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What Is An Epilogue?

Practically all books feature a beginning, middle, and end. This is the classic book structure that stories of all genres follow. It helps to break the story up and make it more readable.

What Is An Epilogue

Most books also feature a prologue and an epilogue, but what even is an epilogue? 

Epilogues do not always appear in books, so they are clearly not necessary. If that is the case, then why do so many authors include them?

Well if you are curious about that, then you have come to the right place! 

Here, you will find out everything you need to know about what an epilogue is and why it can be beneficial to include one in your book. So read on to find out everything you need to know! 

What Is An Epilogue?

Typically, an epilogue is a section of writing that is found at the end of the book, after all of the chapters.

It usually takes place outside of the frame, setting, and perspective of the rest of the book and it is meant to provide closure.

Especially in regard to the story, the characters, and any conflicts that would have been happening in the main story. 

The epilogue is still a part of the main story though, so you always need to make sure it makes sense in context to that story.

You do not have to include an epilogue in your story, but sometimes it just gives the readers a little bit more to digest, and it can often be a satisfying conclusion to any tale you weave. 

You never want the epilogue to replace the story’s ending, rather you want it to enhance the overall story. 

Why Is An Epilogue Important? 

Again, an epilogue is never required, but the best stories usually include one. They just add so much more to the story and your characters, and more often than not, they really enhance the overall story. 

There are lots of reasons why an epilogue is important, but if you need some more concrete examples as to why, then read on! 

They Often Set Up A Sequel 

Epilogues are especially great in books that are part of a series. Authors usually include them at the end of their stories to give a little hint or taste as to what is to come in the next story. 

It makes the readers hungry for more. You can even think of epilogues in this context as teaser trailers for the next book!

When using epilogues to set up a sequel, they still connect to the first book, but they add just enough to give you a bit of context on what to expect in the next story. 

They Can Tie Up The Books Theme

Every story has an overarching theme, but you don’t want to be too overkill with it. You want your readers to understand the message, but you don’t want to force it down their throats too often. 

An epilogue can really help with this because it can give your readers one last perspective on it. This perspective can be different from the rest of the book as well. As long as it connects to the story, it still works really well. 

It’s a fantastic part of the book to give your readers a final thought to chew on basically, and they will come away from the story pondering on it. Especially if it is written well! 

It’s The Perfect Place To Experiment

If you are really creative, then the epilogue is also going to be a fantastic place for you to experiment. Remember, the epilogue is part of the main story, but it takes place outside of the time frame and setting that happens in the rest of the book. 

This means that you can play around with concepts because you have more flexibility. Lots of people like to set their epilogues far into the future, or from the perspective of a different character.

You can really play around with concepts you couldn’t include in the main story, but still have them fit into the story properly. 

They Can Resolve Character Arcs

If you are writing a story with lots of characters, it can be really difficult to wrap up all of their arcs in a way that makes sense.

What Is An Epilogue (1)

You want your story to be fluid, and sometimes, this means some characters have to take more of a backseat. 

But this is another reason why epilogues are so handy. They can often be a place to wrap up and resolve character arcs. Especially ones you couldn’t fit into the main story.

You can switch perspectives in the epilogue and it will make sense, so utilize that! 

You can also go into more detail about characters whose arcs have already been resolved.

You can give a glimpse into what they did years after the main story, who they married, how many children they had, and where they ended up living. The only limit is your imagination! 

Epilogue Vs. Afterword

Lots of people tend to mistake epilogues for afterwords, but they are two different things. Sure, they both appear at the end of the book, but their purposes vary.  

Epilogues tend to tie up loose ends and even set up a sequel in some cases. Afterwords on the other hand tells the readers how the book came to be, including the inspiration and its development. 

Usually, the afterword is written by the author, but it’s not uncommon for it to be written by another public figure.

The biggest difference between the epilogue and afterword is that the afterword is not tied to or a part of the story in any way. 


Epilogues are not essential in any story, but they really do add something extra. They serve as a way to tie up loose ends, and if you are writing a series, they are the perfect place to set up a sequel. 

There are many benefits that come with adding an epilogue to your story, so don’t hesitate in adding one if you can!

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