Saturday, December 17, 2016

Prologue and Epilogue—Do They Have a Use? By Connie Vines RR# 12/17/16

Victoria Chatham suggested this topic: Prologue and Epilogue. Do they have a use? Should they be used? Can you have one without the other? This topic was suggested by one of our group, Victoria Chatham. Be sure to check out her blog.  

pro·logue ˈprōˌlôɡ/
1.     a separate introductory section of a literary or musical work.
"this idea is outlined in the prologue"

It’s an interesting topic. While critique partners and other authors seem to ponder the pros and cons, frequently.  I’ve used both in my historical and romantic suspense novels.  While my contemporary romance novels have an epilogue so that my readers know it truly is a happily-ever-after story.
My prologues are short and to the point.  I have an action event that sets the tone of my romantic suspense novel.  I find this effective because it doesn’t leave ‘dead time’ so to speak.  I can hop into the action/ skip ahead in time/ or open my story the a different POV.

However, a writer must be selective, I believe.  You need to make certain that your story still opens with an inciting moment, perhaps for the hero (Brede, Rodeo Romance, Book 2).  Or to set a historical tone for a novel (Whisper upon the Water).  Does the prologue change the story?  I use my prologue to intensify the emotional connect between my character(s) and my readers.

1. a section or speech at the end of a book or play that serves as a comment on or a conclusion to what has happened.

Epilogues tie up all the loose ends.   I like to jump forward and show a wedding or have a toddler in the picture.  The reader is satisfied, knowing all is well in.  Isn’t that what stories are all about?
I also make use of diaries; which, in my experience, editors seem to love or hate.  Though in a contemporary novel, I suppose, I would make use of email, twitter, and blog/snapchat.
So, I am pro epilogue, pro prologue.  And, I am also, pro Oxford comma!

Happy Holidays!

Connie Vines

Please Blog Hop and see what these participants have to say:

Margaret Fieland
Skye Taylor
Dr. Bob Rich
Marci Baun
A.J. Maguire
Victoria Chatham
Anne Stenhouse
Helena Fairfax
Beverley Bateman
Rachael Kosinski
Kay Sisk
Rhobin Courtright