Having mentioned that I don’t like books with epilogues, that I find them really irritating… ‘and so they lived happily ever after and had three children and her sister married the  farmer and she had three children as well and later they all emigrated to Australia…’ and having also written quite a lot about endings and satisfactory endings, I have now  written my satisfactory ending for my novel ‘Radwinter’, and the story is completed… except there are certain pieces of information the reader needs to know… heck what should I do? I can’t put the pieces of information in an earlier chapter because either it would give the ending away, or it would cram too much action into an already very busy few days for my characters… but how else can I let the reader know how various things came about? Thomas my main character is set the task of tracing his family history by his brother Paul… but why does Paul ask him to do it? Paul is setting Thomas on the trail, not just of discovering their distant family connections in the early nineteenth century, in the Ukraine, Poland and Essex, but also for Thomas to find ta truth much closer to home… Because Thomas is the narrator, he can’t know Paul’s motives… so at what stage can those motives be revealed?

In real life when there is a family mystery it can take ages before people manage to talk to the right cousin or brother or aunty and find out the truth of a situation… but a novel needs to be contained, it can’t be endless…

I must think about this!


  1. Isabel Lunn

    Yes I can see your dilemma. I don’t much like epilogues either as they seem to be too neat where real life is not. However, as you know from my comments on “Flipside” I did feel that too many thing were left in the air at the end. Perhaps a furher couple of chapters might have been the answer, though that could have spoiled the dramatic impact of the ending. As you can see I’m not being a great deal of help, though as I said at the beginning i can see your dilemma..


    1. Lois

      You have solved my dilemma! I haven’t written an epilogue as such, because the reader is left to imagine the characters’ future, but I’ve added a completely separate chapter, which I hope ties up a couple of unresolved issues… and I’ve also gone back of the final pages of the main story, fleshing out the resolution of the various problems out hero has been facing!
      Thanks for your comment, Isabel, much appreciated!


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