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Thread: End Of Book Question

  1. #1
    Now available (see sig for link)! Cliff Face's Avatar
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    End Of Book Question

    Okay, so I'm editing a novel at the moment. I'm getting close to the end, and something's been bugging me.

    Now, this novel is intended to be part of a trilogy. So with that in mind, when I wrote the first draft, I included an epilogue that foreshadows book 2.

    My question is this: Would that bug anyone?

    It's not exactly a cliffhanger. It's more just setting the theme of the next book (all about the Undead) by having some zombies and skeletons and stuff start showing up in the city. No real plot stuff there - just a casual, "Oh look, there's a zombie!" sort of thing at the end of book 1.

    If it helps your answer, the books are probably going to be released 6 months apart from each other.

    Should I ditch the Undead references and just wrap up story 1 (which is also already in the epilogue)? Keep the foreshadowing?

    Any comments would be appreciated. I want to have a good think about this before it comes time to edit the epilogue.
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    practical experience, FTW rwm4768's Avatar
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    Well, if you're going the traditional publishing route, your agent or editor will probably tell you if it's a good idea.

    If you're self-publishing, it's up to you. Personally, I like it when authors give a little foreshadowing that other stuff might still happen, and by the sound of it, you've tied up the main plot threads.

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    Now available (see sig for link)! Cliff Face's Avatar
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    Yup, self-e-pubbing this series.

    So that's one vote for "foreshadowing can be good". *takes notes*
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    avem narrans lastlittlebird's Avatar
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    I'm only truly unhappy with heavy foreshadowing, or outright cliffhangers, if the author has a reputation for spending years and years in between releasing books (light foreshadowing wouldn't bother me as much). That's cruel and unusual as far as I'm concerned.

    Otherwise, well... I guess, I don't like it, because I prefer instant gratification, but it does make me really want to read the next one (if it's done well), so from your point of view, it doesn't matter that I don't like it... it's a good marketing strategy
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    Now available (see sig for link)! Cliff Face's Avatar
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    Hmm. I'll keep that in mind. Good marketing strategy...

    I'm with you on not liking cliffhangers at the end of books, which is pretty much the main reason I'm agonising over this decision (even though it's not a cliffhanger).

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    Ustom Ser Itle Dgullen's Avatar
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    A little foreshadowing sounds good to me as, for one thing, it brings some continuity. Personally I do not usually appreciate important cliffhangers at the end of novels, but this doesn't sound like your plan.
    As an alternative, how about including the first few pages/chapter of your next book at the end of the first - that's what a lot of mainstream publishers do these days.

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    Bites upon request me-a-monsteR's Avatar
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    I just began reading an e-book series where the author included epilogues at the end of each book to foreshadow the next book in the series. It made me sit up and go in search of the other books. So, this is another vote for yes
    Under construction until further notice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Face View Post
    Okay, so I'm editing a novel at the moment. I'm getting close to the end, and something's been bugging me.

    Now, this novel is intended to be part of a trilogy. So with that in mind, when I wrote the first draft, I included an epilogue that foreshadows book 2.

    My question is this: Would that bug anyone?
    Wouldn't bug me. I wouldn't read it .

  9. #9
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    I tend to hate epilogues the way most people hate prologues, only more so.

    Only add it if it substantively adds something to how book 1 ends.
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    Depending on the rest of the book, it might bug me if there was zero mention of any undeads and then all of a sudden they're dropped in at the end. If you somehow established earlier in the book that the undead exist in that universe it'd be totally cool though. Even if it was only through a very fleeting comment or observation.


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    I do all my foreshadowing in the book itself. The last chapter is a tiny denouement, a cap on what came before. The over arching issues are still there, but I don't want to beat the reader over the head with them.
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    Often misses his target BabySealWriter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canotila View Post
    Depending on the rest of the book, it might bug me if there was zero mention of any undeads and then all of a sudden they're dropped in at the end. If you somehow established earlier in the book that the undead exist in that universe it'd be totally cool though. Even if it was only through a very fleeting comment or observation.
    Agreed


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    I aim to misbehave Myrealana's Avatar
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    It wouldn't bother me in itself. A little tease in the epilogue can be good - as long as it's not essential information for the plot of Book 2. Understand, some readers skip epilogues, just like many skip prologues.

    It would really, really bother me if I got half-way through Book 2 feeling like I was missing an essential bit of information and found out it was in the epilogue of Book 1 that I neglected to read.

    For example:
    In the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Jack has an undead monkey. If you had seen the first movie, but didn't stick around long enough to get through the credits to the bonus scene at the end, the monkey being undead would seem to be a plot hole. This bothered me through the WHOLE DANG MOVIE.
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  14. #14
    Now available (see sig for link)! Cliff Face's Avatar
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    Dgullen: *adds 1 for foreshadowing* Unfortunately, however, book 2 will need heavy edits at a point after book 1 is released, so I won't want to release the first chapter of 2 with 1... If I was more prepared, I probably could, but yeah - edits required on the whole book, which might change that first chapter. (Book 2 isn't finished being written yet either.)

    m-a-m, plus 1 for foreshadowing.

    Buffy and Kuwi, +2 for "wouldn't read it".

    Canotila, I'm pretty sure I have mentioned the Undead in passing in book 1. It wouldn't be too hard to add it in if I hadn't. I'll put that as +1 for foreshadowing.

    xC, I'll take that as -1 for foreshadowing in the epilogue.

    BabySeal, same as Canotila, +1 for foreshadowing.

    Myrealana, it won't be crucial information by any stretch of the imagination. So I'll put that as +1 for foreshadowing.

    ...

    So how's the tally coming? Adding the 2 I saw last night before going to bed...

    +6 for foreshadowing, +2 for wouldn't read it.

    Hmm, good information to have. Thanks to everyone who has posted so far. I really appreciate it.
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    A little teaser in the epilogue can be good. Just don't make it a long winded one.

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    Now available (see sig for link)! Cliff Face's Avatar
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    Mmm, if I recall correctly, it was only a paragraph or two. I'll keep the length thing in mind though.
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  17. #17
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    I have a prologue and an epilogue in my book as a narrative tool and I think it worked out OK.

  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW Tezzirax's Avatar
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    I read prologues and epilogues...I guess I have never felt they were optional reading if a book included them. Sometimes I will gloss over an authors forward if he is talking about how the lunar phazes affected the speech patterns of his sneetches.

    If a book has kept me engaged to the end, I will certainly read an epilogue, but I might not read an appendix on character ancestry.
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    Now available (see sig for link)! Cliff Face's Avatar
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    Thanks both. Things to keep in mind.
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  20. #20
    Azarath Metrion Zinthos AshleyEpidemic's Avatar
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    Personally when there is an epilogue I want some extra tidbit to the novel at hand. If it doesn't really have anything to o with the story why have an epilogue. Instead why not have an excerpt highlighting the situation at the end instead. I used to love those excerpts, while I hated epilogues 75% of the time.
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  21. #21
    Now available (see sig for link)! Cliff Face's Avatar
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    Mmm, well, initially I had used the epilogue to show things returning to a kind of normalcy after the final chapter saw the heroes solve the main conflict. So it was sort of an "extra tidbit" for the novel at hand.

    It was just that I then added the bit about the Undead, because I realised what I wanted to happen in book 2.

    ...

    Okay, so I'm leaning toward keeping the foreshadowing, but maybe tweaking it very carefully, keeping some of this stuff in mind. There haven't been many of you jumping out and saying, "No, I'd hate that!" which is what I was originally worried about.

    It's still a ways off, but yeah.

    Thanks for all the replies.
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    practical experience, FTW RobertEvert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Face View Post
    Okay, so I'm editing a novel at the moment. I'm getting close to the end, and something's been bugging me.

    Now, this novel is intended to be part of a trilogy. So with that in mind, when I wrote the first draft, I included an epilogue that foreshadows book 2.

    My question is this: Would that bug anyone?

    .

    My agent had me do the same thing. Book one ended with most of the main threads tied up nicely. So there wasn't a hook to drag readers back to book two. So she had me write an epilogue that leads to the start of the next set of plot twists.
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    You've gotten lots of replies already, but Imma throw my grain of sand here.

    I know you're doing self-pub, but will you have your entire trilogy out at the same time? Or at least close together?

    Unless you have it planned like this, I'd say to be careful of cliffhangers. Make each book as self-contained as possible! You never know what can happen in between, a cliff-hanger can be extremely annoying if you know you have to wait for half a year for the conclusion.

    If you are planning on releasing the trilogy together or close to one another, then I'd say go for the cliffhanger, use it for marketing even.

  24. #24
    Now available (see sig for link)! Cliff Face's Avatar
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    Robert, sounds like an interesting tactic. That's what I was sort of hoping for - that there'd be just enough, "Hang on a minute..." to draw readers into the second book.

    Whistle, they'll be released about 6 months apart, or at least that's the plan. The epilogue isn't a cliffhanger, but it does raise a few questions. Mainly, "Wait, why are there a bunch of Undead coming into the city?" It doesn't give any real plot points of book 2. As in, you don't need to have read the epilogue to know what's going on in book 2. And the epilogue won't have everyone going, "Tell me what happens now!" Or hopefully not... Mild intrigue is the goal, not a cliffhanger.

    Thanks both.
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