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 we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.

I’m on a roll with blogging this week so lets continue with a Let’s Talk Bookish discussing prologues and epilogues!

What’s the difference between having something as a prologue vs. a chapter 1?

For me, the prologue sets the tone of the book – I like prologues that are “prequels” to the book, and say this thing happened X year ago, and now we’re in the present time and that thing affected current life (of the world or of the character in particular). I like prologues, I don’t mind them but I’m ok without them too.

Is it too much to have both a prologue and epilogue?

If a book has a prologue, I assume it’ll have an epilogue. It just feels like that’s something that author likes and would do in their book. I don’t think it’s too much to have both, it feels like a “beginning” and an “end”.

How does having one (or both) affect how readers perceive the story?

I think having a prologue is almost like having a little “preview” into the world before you jump into the actual action. I don’t notice when a book doesn’t have a prologue, but I definitely DO notice when it does have a prologue or epilogue.

Do you think epilogues have more value because they might tie up loose ends?

An epilogue feels like an after thought. Personally I don’t need to know what happens to the characters after the last chapter ends – in my mind, the authors job is done and if I want to imagine what happens next, great! But some epilogues can ruin a book. Sometimes more information is not better. Sometimes they are good, but sometimes they aren’t…

Do prologues have more value because they can set the scene? Do you prefer having neither?

I’m ok with prologues, as they do set the tone of the world, but an epilogue feels like an after thought. The author should fit the story within the story. Why add something else after the story, when you could’ve included it in the story? Sometimes epilogues are useful if its a series, and its a little taste of what is to come next, but otherwise, I can take or leave both prologues and epilogues.

How about you – how do you feel about prologues and epilogues?

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14 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Prologues & Epilogues: Are they necessary?

  1. Well articulated discussion here! I totally agree that more information is not always better, and for that reason epilogues can be a real slippery slope. And I wish I mentioned this in my own post, but “why add something else after the story, when you could’ve included it in the story” resonates with me a lot as well. I think I’d generally rather leave things more ethereal and up to my imagination – because if the epilogue doesn’t match your expectation, the dissonance between what you wanted and what you got often can ruin a book…

    Here’s my own post:

    Let’s Talk Bookish – Prologues and Epilogues: Are they Necessary?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And yeah, sometimes epilogue can have their purposes, but overall, I feel like it should be contained within the story…thats the entire purpose of a story! Agreed, an epilogue can sometimes ruin a good book. Definitely a good topic to get me thinking about things I normally wouldn’t even think about!

      Like

  2. I agree with ALL your answers. I too prefer my characters left where they were, I don’t want to see them at some point in the future. I REALLY don’t want an epilogue that ties up loose ends, those should have been dealt with in the story itself. I do like those ones that set up the next book, though they are more of a teaser to my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and agree with all you said too! If loose ends aren’t tied up within the story itself, did the author really do their job correctly? :/ I agree that ones that set up the next book I’m ok with, and makes me eager for more!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You make some good points! I also like prequel prologues. I used to feel similarly about epilogues as well, that they were after thoughts. Romance novels have kind of given me a different outlook because I like the confirmation of a couple’s HEA. Although there have been some that I wish didn’t exist because it ruined the book for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading! Thats a good point, it is nice to know in a romance book the couple stayed together and are happy, etc. But yeah, some epilogues can ruin a book…so its a fine line!

      Like

  4. Great post! I don’t mind whether a book does or doesn’t have a prologue and/or epilogue. Prologues do set the scene nicely, but for me they sometimes don’t add any overall value to the story. I do tend to like epilogues more. Sometimes I want to know more, especially in romances, because feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading! Yeah, I agree prologues are ok but often don’t had any value so, whats the point? Just make that part of the overall story! Ah yes, epilogues in romances can be nice, I prefer when its just like ~1 year or so later, I don’t usually care for ~5 years later and they have kids etc. because that’s just not something I look for in romance.

      Liked by 1 person

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