National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) comes to a close at 11:59 p.m. on November 30th, so we thought this would be the perfect time to offer you some last-minute tips on writing your epilogue.
An epilogue serves as the conclusion to what has happened within your book. It’s not meant just for tying up loose ends; rather, it’s a chance for you to give the readers the final pieces of information they’re craving, answer their questions and connect the dots.
To avoid adding a chapter of anti-climactic content, take a look at our three tips for writing a powerful epilogue.
- The epilogue is where you can give your readers closure. For this part, the who and when are the most important pieces of information: Who is speaking and when is this taking place? If your main character was the main narrator of your story, he or she should narrate the epilogue in the same voice in order to keep it cohesive with the rest of your book. Now, you can get creative with the when of your epilogue, because it doesn’t have to fall in the timeline established for the rest of your book.. Is the epilogue happening a few hours later? Days? Months? Even years? As the author, you get to decide; however, you’ll want to make sure that the time frame makes sense with the rest of the details in your book. For example, if a character was 95 in the book, having them still alive in the epilogue set 20 years in the future might not make the most sense.
- If important information wasn’t covered in the climax of your novel, the epilogue is the place where you can explain your characters’ fate. Perhaps a main character moved away; the epilogue could cover what they’re doing now and how this move changed their life. Readers crave details, so unless you plan on writing a second novel that answers these questions, the epilogue is where your readers can get the closure and the details that they desire.
- An epilogue is meant to be brief, which means that you’ll want to make every word count. The purpose of the epilogue is to give your readers an idea of what happened to the characters after the book concluded. Do not make the mistake of giving too much information and leading your readers to believe that a brand-new story is about to take place. Address the main characters and the main plot and keep it concise.
As NaNoWriMo is comes to a close tomorrow, we hope that these epilogue writing tips will help you craft an ending to your book that your readers will love!
Copyright Dorrance Publishing, 2016