I am trying to wrap up my newest manuscript. But I wonder about how I’ll finally write “the end.” To me, a story isn’t finished when the “happily ever after” finally happens. I always find myself needing to craft an epilogue.
I know epilogues aren’t too common. Especially in romance. Romance novels have a very strict structure. Depending on the romance publisher, the prescribed format can be even stricter. The general rule is that once the hero and heroine say they love each other, their story is done. Nothing more need be said. Nothing more can be written about them. (Unless they play secondary characters in a sequel—a technique I’ve used myself in my “Desire” series.)
For me, letting go of the hero and heroine abruptly is painful for me. Not only as a reader but as a writer. I have picked up many a romance novel only to have the story concluded immediately after the declaration of love. The next page will be an ad for more books, and then the author’s bio page.
Wait, what? You mean I never get to see the characters actually enjoy their happiness together? To find them in a place of rest, so I can feel at rest, too? Seeing people happy is cathartic for me, even if those people aren’t even real. Having invested a couple of hours with them, I still want to know that they truly will be all right.
Even the ancient Greeks understood the need for audience catharsis. Oedipus Rex may be a bit of a downer but at least I get to know where the king emotionally stands for the rest of his life.
When I initially started writing, I didn’t start out with the idea I’d complete a novel and get published. I wrote because it was a need I felt to create people and put them in a better place then where they started. Doing so was uplifting for not only them, but me. I write epilogues because I get to breathe a sigh of relief when I know that everything for them really will be okay.
Epilogues. I need to write them. I want to read them.
What’s your opinion on epilogues?
WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR STACY HOFF:
AMAZON LINK FOR DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC by Stacy Hoff:
AMAZON LINK FOR DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES by Stacy Hoff:
AMAZON LINK FOR LAWFULLY YOURS by Stacy Hoff:
AMAZON LINK FOR HOT SEDUCTION (box set with Stacy Hoff):
AMAZON LINK FOR SEASON OF LOVE (Box set with Stacy Hoff):