Categories Users Search
Sign Up Sign In

Having multiple epilogues


According to Wikipedia,

An epilogue is the final chapter at the end of a story that often serves to reveal the fates of the characters. Some epilogues may feature scenes only tangentially related to the subject of the story. They can be used to hint at a sequel or wrap up all the loose ends. They can occur at a significant period of time after the main plot has ended. In some cases, the epilogue is used to allow the main character a chance to "speak freely".

Now, my understanding is that in most cases the epilogue is at most one chapter.

Yet, if you have multiple characters in your story, you may want to "wrap loose ends" for each one of them. This is especially true if your narrator has a limited perspective of the events, and wouldn't be able to talk of all the relevant characters in a single chapter.

So, can you write more than one epilogue?

Of course, I'm well aware that you can put how many chapters you wish at the end of your novel. What I'm interested in is if it would be possible to "extend" the notion of epilogue to a subset of chapters.

E.g, if we have three characters, Alice, Bob and Charlie, we may want to have:

  • Epilogue: Alice
  • Epilogue: Bob
  • Epilogue: Charlie

Each one keeps the basic functions of an epilogue described above.

history · edit · permalink · close · delete · flag
Why should this post be closed?


2 answers


You can, but it's self-indulgent and kind of sloppy --a bunch of disconnected scenes outside the body of your story. Typically an epilogue helps put a cap on a story, and bring it closure. But this effect is diluted by multiple epilogues.

Of course, you want your reader to desire to hold on to your characters and your world after the story ends. Even in that case, however, the multiple epilogues can be counter-productive. They stop your reader from dreaming up his or her own future for the characters. If you're bound and determined to do this, I'd recommend just reducing the multiple epilogues to single paragraphs or even sentences --just enough to give a little update on how the characters are doing in the future. Or, finding a reason to bring all the characters together in the future, so at least they can share a single scene.

The only time I would accept multiple, fully realized epilogues is in obedience to the rule that the end structure should mirror the beginning structure. If you've started your book by introducing your A, B and C characters one by one, in their own individual prologues, I can see pairing that with multiple epilogues at the end.

history · edit · permalink · delete · flag

This post was sourced from It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.



I've read several stories that do this and I've always appreciated it, personally. Many stories will simply end and leave the reader to fill in the details, but for me this has always just been lazy. If someone wanted to fill in the details, why write the story at all? They can just fill in all of the details.

That's all just opinion, though. You ask whether you can write more than one epilogue, to which the answer is simple:

Yes, of course.

Why wouldn't you be able to? As long as you're writing interesting, well-written content that your readers are going to care about, you're doing the right thing.

If you're concerned about your particular target audience, why not try asking around? Do some polling, maybe. I can only offer my personal perspective, which is not necessarily useful.

history · edit · permalink · delete · flag