Monday, November 4, 2013

Prologue...Epilogue-- A journey from Beginning till the End

A while back I read a book, which hooked me in right from the very first page. I was reading the prologue and after two pages of it, I was like WOW; I have never read anything so beautiful. A book’s prologue is the first thing that tells me for sure whether or not I am going to like it. For me a prologue is the first few pages of description that sets the tone and mood for the entire book. If we go for a formal definition then,

A prologue (Greek πρόλογος prologos, from the word pro (before) and lógos, word) is an opening to a story that establishes the setting and gives background details, often some earlier story that ties into the main one, and other miscellaneous information. The importance of the prologue in Greek drama was very great; it sometimes almost took the place of a romance, to which, or to an episode in which, the play itself succeeded.

Here, read this one; it’s my favourite prologue till date…

One Week Girlfriend by Monica Murphy

Day 6
Too caught up.

Those three little words ring through my head over and over. The perfection description of how
I’m feeling at this very moment. Too caught up in your sweet, heartbreaking words, in your strong,
capable arms and in your warm, soft lips. I’m too caught up in this…pretend life I’m so completely
submersed in.

And you know what? I like it. I love it. Even though I know deep down inside, it’s fake. That
the way you talk to me, look at me, touch me. Kiss me…is all for show. I’m some sort of protection
for you but I don’t care. I want it.
I want you… [click here]

In the same way a prologue shows what happens before the main story begins, an epilogue is a separate section showing events that happen later. It may jump ahead months or even years, and will give extra insight into the characters’ lives. Not every story needs an epilogue, but it can be useful to give the story closure. Or if the author is planning a sequel, it can set the tone and plot for that.
Formally, an epilogue is defined as

An epilogue is a piece of writing at the end of a work of literature, usually used to bring closure to the work. It is presented from the perspective of within the story; when the author steps in and speaks indirectly to the reader that is more properly considered an afterword. An epilogue is a 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.

As amazing as the prologue is for “One week Girlfriend”, its epilogue is equally beautiful. Take a look at this…

A new week, a new life

Dear Fable,
My worst enemy is behind me because of you.
And there’s still a lot left for me to explain.
Right now, all I can think about is you.
So many things in my life confuse me and…
Hurt me—except you.
Maybe we can be together again someday.
All I really want is you, but I can’t do this now.
Losing you will be the hardest thing I’ve dealt with yet.
Loving you might be a mistake. Drawing you into my world will
Only hurt you. And I refuse to do that.
Will you ever forgive me?
I love you.

While I was searching more on this, on some exceptional prologues and epilogues, I stumbled upon an amazing article on the same topic. Titled “From Prologue to Epilogue” by Angie Dickens, it provided me with great insight and thoughtfulness on the subject. As very rightly said, the basic intention of a prologue and epilogue in a book is to
Bring the Story Full Circle

There was a very amazing example given by her, keeping her own book as the baseline. I am quoting her here, directly from her blog page.

Example 1- Situational- In the prologue, the heroine, at four years old, hides and cries in the barn because her BROKEN father finds out the sin of his wife. In the epilogue, the heroine's four year old daughter runs to the barn in a game of hide and seek, squealing and playing with her cousin, only to be coaxed out by her own LOVING father and her redeemed mama.

Example 2- Figurative speech
In the prologue, the heroine's mama's secret sin is buried deeper than "a harvest worth of crop", an appropriate
analogy since the setting is a farm in rural Texas.
In the epilogue
, the heroine's mama is redeemed, and her blessings are more abundant than "a harvest worth of crop." 

This is such a beautiful concept. I often think about the link between endings and beginnings - I love reading a book that creates a sense of resonance.

I like the idea of connecting the two. I also think that each book is different - in some cases Prologues and epilogues add to the book, in other cases, not so much. People who claim to 'love' or 'hate' them are being a bit narrow... It's simply a case by case thing.

I have so many amazing examples, to share with you guys, but obviously I can’t write them all down. So here’s another one of my favorites.

While It Lasts By Abbi Glines


My Eva Blue
The fact I’m writing this letter pains me more than you could ever know.  This isn’t something I ever want you to read but I know that you deserve a goodbye. You deserve so much more than that and God willing you will get the perfect life that we’ve spent hours together daydreaming about.
I’ve loved you since the moment I looked into those pretty blue eyes of yours. Even at five years old, I knew there’d never be a girl that could take your place in my heart. No one would ever compare to you. It would always be you for me, Eva Brooks.  Always. Please remember that, you were all that ever mattered to me. No one else ever touched my heart the way you did. My life was marked with every year I grew more and more in love with the wild, crazy, beautiful girl next- door. I lived in awe that this perfect angel wanted me, that this amazing woman would be my wife. The life we planned. The life we dreamed about was what kept me going as long as I did.
I pray to God you never have to read this letter. I want this to be a letter I pull out of my box one day for you to read when we are old and gray. We can smile and realize how much we have to be thankful for that this letter was never needed. But Eva, if you do receive this letter from my mom one day, then know: I loved you until my last breath. You were the only thing on my mind when I closed my eyes the last time. Our time together was more perfect than anyone’s life should be. The life I lived was heaven on Earth because I spent it with you.
One day you will heal. Life will go on for you. Another guy will be lucky enough to find a place in your heart. When that happens, love him. Move on. Live that life of happiness that you deserve. Know that I loved you. Know that you made my life complete. But move on Eva. Love again. Live your life.


Dear Josh,       
Thank you for giving me the most amazing memories. My life growing up was so full because you were in it. Having your love and loving you was always just right. It made sense. You were my home. When I was with you I knew everything would be okay. 

You dried my tears for me when I was sad. You held my hand when we buried my mother. You made me laugh when the world seemed like it was falling apart. You were every special memory a girl could have. That first kiss will forever be embedded in my brain. It was as funny as it was sweet. 

Our life together molded me into the woman I’ve become. I understand what it feels like to be loved and cherished because I had that with you. I never doubted my worth because you taught me I was worthy.               
When you said that one day I would heal I didn’t believe that was possible. Life couldn’t go one without my best friend. There was no room for another guy in my heart. It turns out you were right. You always were. I found him. He is incredible. He is nothing at all like I would have planned. He doesn’t fit into a perfect package. He managed to wiggle into my heart and take over before I knew what was happening. I found that happiness you told me would come along. I’m going to go live that life. I’m sure it will be a wilder ride than I ever imagined and I can’t wait to live it. He’s my home now.  I’ll always love you. I’ll never forget you. But this is my goodbye. I wasn’t ready before to let you go. Now, I can move on. Your memory will live on in my heart always. 

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