Let’s Talk Bookish | Prologues & Epilogues… Are They Necessary?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where a topic is presented each week and we get to share our opinions on it and spread some love among others’s opinions too!

This Week’s Topic is:

PROLOGUES AND EPILOGUES: ARE THEY NECESSARY? (SUGGESTED BY FIVES @ DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE)

Such a great question.

Let’s start with the prologues, since i feel these are too different to talk about together.

So when is a prologue necessary? I never felt like a prologue was out of place. Many times the prologue isn’t about the main character or sets the feeling and set up for the rest of the story, like something you would have to know but the mc doesn’t necessary know or need to know or it happened too long ago so it makes sense they weren’t there (the mc).

I feel they are necessary sometimes. Like, if you are about to tell me something about the main character you can also start by chapter 1. I’m not gonna lie. But yeah, i feel like often, they are necessary.

I mean, i see prologues as necessary especially in fatasy or science fiction novels, a way of introducing us into a world that isn’t ours necessarily and wemay get lost if we don’t know some things before we start the reading. I feel some books wouldn’t be the same without it.

For example, there is the prologue of Daddy-Long-Legs, which was necessary because Jerusha’s life needed to be told before we get to her letters. Sure it doesn’t say “prologue” but Blue Wednesday is for me a prologue. There she sees her benefactor, and without that part things wouldn’t be the same in the story. Also, it wouldn’t be the same if she told them in a letter. I feel it was the right move to make there a prologue.

I can’t think of many books with prologues right now (the problem of answering a question…you are always missing examples), but i think the one i just gave makes a lot of sense and it was right on place.

As for epilogues… I don’t know. I feel since most of the time there a time skip between the story and the epilogue, they are necessary too. I mean, yeah, you have the ending of the story sure, but do you? After all the way you got with the characters you don’t just want to know how the story ends but after.

I remember Adam Silvera saying once he doesn’t know what his characters do after he finish telling a story, and that feels so weird, like, don’t you know how are they doing a few days, months, years after? I would want to know how my characters are doing.

Again always for the best, like i don’t want an epilogue where they tell me the main couple broke up after three days and that was it. I want to see the characters having a little of a good time, you see them struggle all the way through the bookm don’t they deserve aa little fun? A good time? A good moment? I feel like they do.

I feel like epilogues are a way of saying, yes, they have been through a lot but it all way worth it. Don’t worry about them, they are doing just fine. Look, they are having the time of their lives! or everything went back to normal! YAY!

Also, sometimes epilogues are an opening for a different story. Like, if you speak about a side character that you could esaily forget about but you bring them back in an epic epilogue, you have now an opening to a different story.

So overall, i feel like used in the right stories prologues and epilogues can be the right choice. I’m still to find one that doesn’t feel in place, but we’ll see. You can never truly know until you find them.

What is your opinion on prologues and epilogues? Leave the link to your own post or just a comment down below!

4 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish | Prologues & Epilogues… Are They Necessary?

  1. I think prologues are ok. If they are quick. I read Th Wheel of Time and the first book has a real good prologue that sets up this epic mystery and fantasy element. But Robert Jordan ended up doing this real long prologues in every book after that. Some of them were good. For instance some introduced a threat or scheme by the villains. That is good but most of them were flat out boring and I don’t even think they were memorable.

    I think if done right it can give the reader that authority of knowledge that the protagonist doesn’t have. We may have a peaked interest because… we know the monster is coming or even a motive. It’s a driving force that makes us eager to turn the page.

    I don’t remember Stephen King doing prologues and that is good because he makes you suffer the same as the characters.

    Epilogues are fine. I think it’s pure fan service. People want to know if Harry Potter is happy… years later. So the author gives that to them. Personally an epilogue can be stupid because it can kill the climactic ending. You suffer the last real good memory of what you’ve read. For instance in Stephen Kings IT. It would have been dumb to read the ending with Mike stating how every member of the losers club is forgetting what happened and how they all moved on to better things. But then add an epilogue where thirty years later the group does another reunion or something dumb like that. It kills the emotion.

  2. Totally agree with your thoughts here! I hate those bad “and they lived happily ever after, here’s what happened with all their kids, etc. etc.” epilogues. Yeesh. And I also do tend to agree that science fictions and fantasies do well with prologues as well. Great post!

  3. “Also, sometimes epilogues are an opening for a different story. Like, if you speak about a side character that you could esaily forget about but you bring them back in an epic epilogue, you have now an opening to a different story.” Oooh I didn’t consider about how epilogues are sometimes used this way, that’s so true and one of the better uses for them!!

  4. I agree with what you wrote. Used in the right stories, prologues and epilogues can be helpful. Like you, I want an epilogue that tells me the main couple is doing well. I want the confirmation that the things they went through, and those I went through with them, were all worth it. For the most part, I appreciate epilogues in romance novels a lot.

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