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.
Storytelling is in the details. Most stories when broken down can sound just like any other story. “Girl meets boy. Events happen. They fall in love. They live happily ever after.” “Life is good. Bad event happens. Battle ensues. Someone prevails.” “Life is ordinary. Something is discovered. Events take place. New inspiration is found.”
Details breathe life into a story. Building characters and the world they live in is a painstaking process. Authors detail every aspect of what makes that character do what they do, react the way the do, think and feel they way they do. Those details don’t always get written into stories but they exist on scraps of paper, old files, mental images, etc. And when a writer has done their job well, the character they build becomes as real to the reader.
Commitment to a goal is a key part of fiction. The main character will stop at nothing to reach that goal which might be clear from the beginning or unfold over time. It might multiply or narrow down, and seem unattainable at times. The protagonist may even lose sight of it, but her/his commitment to reaching it will fuel the story especially as problems arise and challenge the desired outcome.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one story in particular that comes to mind when I think of an intense and undying commitment to a goal.
How significant is beauty when considering a protagonists attributes?
At this moment I can’t think of a novel that the protagonist didn’t possess some form of beauty.
Katniss is a kick-butt competitor who doesn’t need outer physical beauty to achieve her goals. Yet I’m pretty sure there was no doubt even before Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal that she was physically attractive..
Harry Potter was initially geeky, skinny and wild haired. There is reference to his awkwardness but as I remember he was never described as hideous. He certainly has an inner beauty (handsomeness) that makes him a desirable friend and a protagonist readers want to see prevail.
Many protagonists have visions of themselves as less than they are, but most of the time a secondary character will point out that she/he has no idea the beauty they possess.
Gone Girl is a great example of outer beauty vs an ugly heart. **Stop reading here if you haven’t read the book and plan to.** I don’t believe this story could have ever been pulled off if she hadn’t had outer beauty to manipulate the situation.
Can you think of a story that strips the protagonist of all beautiful attributes?
Can be explosive
No one really wants to be around it
Can be caused by ingesting toxicity
Many people have experience with it
For some people it’s chronic
Can be a sign of serious illness
No one wants to be part of someone else’s
Can be contagious
Urgency to react
Can cause a quick exit
Drama or Diarrhea:
If you bring ___________ to the pool, expect everyone to jump out.