What do you think of epilogues? Are they overkill or handy summations?
For me, it depends. I like a well-paced story. I get frustrated when the pace jumps abruptly to the end and everything wraps up quickly and thoroughly. It is synonymous to having a great outing with someone who has just realized they are late for a meeting, stuffs all belongings into a bag and kiss-kiss “Toodaloo, ’til next time!”
However, I also don’t like a story that should have ended shortly after the resolution of the main conflict and then just keeps going and going. It’s like continuing a sports game after the clock has run out and it’s clear that one team has scored more points than the other. “Get off the field already, let’s go celebrate or something.”
Most stories have a definitive ending even if there might be lingering questions in a reader’s mind. In those cases, an epilogue is favorable. Much like those movies based off a true story then puts up quick details about what happened to each character over time after the big event.
An epilogue can offer that quick source of information to settle lingering thoughts.