Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Beginning Before The Beginning and The End After The End

Love them or hate them, prologues and epilogues still stir up controversy in chat rooms, writers meetings and blogs. Some swear that editors and agents hate them. That they're a lazy way to give back story. Others, like myself, believe they have a purpose, if used correctly.

I like prologues. I've written several of them. But what I really love are epilogues. I haven't written as many of those, but I love them in my favorite books. I want to see how the characters are doing months or years down the road. I want to see them happy and content. Somehow, when I close that book, I'm more satisfied. The valuable time I've invested in the story and characters has been worthwhile. I'm convinced the characters are living their happy ever after.

What about you? Do you like prologues and epilogues? Or hate them? Do you use them in your own writing?

5 comments:

JoAnn said...

I've written only one prologue. It was the traumatic event in my heroine's past that set her on her life course. But I got dinged in contests because judges said they wanted to know what happened as soon as the prologue event ended. It was weird. I finally abandoned the prologue, but then I found I couldn't work in the backstory very effectively. So I abandoned the ms. I may go back to it some day.

And like you, I love epilogues.

Christy Reece said...

JoAnn, I have prologues in all my books coming out next year. I didn't have one in the first one until my editor asked me to add it.

So, don't let those 'rules' you hear about stop you. Write the book the way you think it should be written!

Diane Richmond said...

The first book I ever wrote had an epilogue. I loved the way the story was neatly wrapped up and you knew for certain what happened in the near future. Maybe I will try one again.

Debra Elliott said...

In my upcomimg book Vampire's Quest I have written my first epilogue to introduce my two main characters and I plan to write an epilogue as well.
Debra Elliott

Naima said...

I love epilogues and prologues. But, like you, Christy, epilogues are my favorite. I love to find out if my favorite characters have the house with the white picket fence, and 2.5 kids. I love knowing they live happily ever after. The manuscript I'm working on now has a prologue and the third book in the series will have an epilogue...at least that's what I'm planning...