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Epilogue used as Prologue for the next book in the series

helmut_meukel

I know there was an lengthy discussion about the merits of epilogues and prologues. IIRC, to use the epilogue of a book as the prologue for the next book was never mentioned.
P.G. Allison did this in the Missy the Werecat series.
It's always a simple copy/paste. I've never seen this before in any other series.

HM.

Replies:   REP  docholladay
REP

@helmut_meukel

It is a very common advertising technique in paperbacks.

helmut_meukel

@REP

It is a very common advertising technique in paperbacks.


There is a difference.
I've many paperbacks where this advertising technique is used. At the end of the book are some pages of another book by this author (next in the series or just another book).

But with Missy the Werecat it's a real epiloque, concluding some open ends. The next book starts with a prologue. This prologue chapter is just a word-by-word copy of the last book's epilogue chapter. For any reader who had somehow missed the previous book(s) it doesn't help understanding the story arc, it tells details only usefull for readers of the previous book, but they should already know those details.

HM.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
docholladay

@helmut_meukel

It just shows that the end can and probably is the beginning of the next step in life.

examples are:

Graduation from either high school or college. Both can be considered either an end or a beginning. Depending on viewpoint or usage.

Weddings can also be considered that way.

Many normal everyday events can be classified the same way.

Depending on usage in a series. There is a common sense in the usage outside of the advertising. There is a definite link between the two stories in the series.

StarFleet Carl

@helmut_meukel

it tells details only usefull for readers of the previous book, but they should already know those details.


While I haven't read any of the books you're referencing, the publication dates are far enough apart that the author may have felt that it was a quick recap for those people who were following the whole series.

Missy the Werecat Dec 2013
Missy Goes to West Point Jan 2014
Missy's First Mission Jul 2014
Missy's Misadventure Dec 2014
Missy Makes Mayhem Sep 2015
Missy's Operation Lily Pad Sep 2017

I know when I'm reading a series and it's a year or more between publication dates, when the next book comes out, I'll go back and skim read the previous book (sometimes books) just so I'm up to date on what happened. I may KNOW all about Honor Harrington or Faith Smith or Merlin Athrawes, but a refresh is never a bad thing.

I would only see this as an annoyance if I were new to the series and started doing a binge reading of all the books in series. And it's one easily ignored once you realize what's going on - simply skip the prologue.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@REP


It is a very common advertising technique in paperbacks.


While it's common to include the first chapter of the sequel at the end of a book, I'd be careful about making either a prologue or epilogue.

An Epilogue is mainly what happens after the main story concludes, while a prologue details what happens before the main story begins. Thus you should title the upcoming chapter as a "Preview", regardless of the chapter title, so it's clear it's NOT a part of the current book, and in the sequel, you would normally include it as "Chapter 1" and NOT a Prologue.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl

I would only see this as an annoyance if ...

It still sounds tacky to me.

I expect an epilogue to be an integral part of a story. The central conflict has been resolved but there are a few loose ends to tie up. I expect a prologue to be an integral part of its story too, a brief recounting of past events readers need to know so that the new central conflict may be told without interruption.

I wouldn't object to a short prologue with a heavy-handed style summarising the previous book in the series, analogous to the "Previously on ..." beginning to many TV shows.

I wouldn't even object if it was called "Previously on" instead of "Prologue" -- but I would be annoyed by anything that's not an integral part of the new story.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Ross at Play

I expect an epilogue to be an integral part of a story. The central conflict has been resolved but there are a few loose ends to tie up. I expect a prologue to be an integral part of its story too, a brief recounting of past events readers need to know so that the new central conflict may be told without interruption.

I wouldn't object to a short prologue with a heavy-handed style summarising the previous book in the series, analogous to the "Previously on ..." beginning to many TV shows.

I wouldn't even object if it was called "Previously on" instead of "Prologue" -- but I would be annoyed by anything that's not an integral part of the new story.

That's exactly what I would expect from a Prologue and Epilogue. Prologue: set up the stage for the story, Epilogue: clean up the last loose ends.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Keet

That's exactly what I would expect from a Prologue and Epilogue.

It wasn't correct when I said a prologue should recount past events. A valid technique is for a prologue to be a scene from the future, near the resolution point of the central conflict of the story. That can create an ongoing mystery for readers wondering how the events they are reading now managed to end up THERE?!

Replies:   Keet  Switch Blayde
Keet

@Ross at Play

It wasn't correct when I said a prologue should recount past events. A valid technique is for a prologue to be a scene from the future, near the resolution point of the central conflict of the story.

Correct, I have seen that before. It doesn't really matter, it still sets the stage for the story and that's the important part that I expect from the Prologue.

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

It wasn't correct when I said a prologue should recount past events. A valid technique is for a prologue to be a scene from the future,


Not necessarily. I remember an article on prologues where he said one valid use of a prologue was to show the murder of Spider Man's uncle. He said the Spider Man character wouldn't be understood without knowing about his uncle's murder. So the prologue was something that happened in the past.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Paige Hawthorne

This thread got me thinking. So for my latest story, I added, at the end, the Description of the next story.

Of course the new story will probably change as I putter along so the old Description may not be all that accurate. Not that anyone else will notice.

SOL put the addendum in a shaded box, which I hadn't anticipated, but don't mind.

Paige

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play
It wasn't correct when I said a prologue should recount past events. A valid technique is for a prologue to be a scene from the future,


Not necessarily.

You are right but that was the point of my post.

I was clarifying an earlier post to say that prologues do not necessarily recount past events. And that a scene from the future may be valid too.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Paige Hawthorne


SOL put the addendum in a shaded box, which I hadn't anticipated, but don't mind.


That's an SOL code "{ caution }{ /caution }" without the spaces.

I mistakenly did that, posting the sequel's first chapter, but because I labeled it with a section break "{ p }Preview", but few readers ever check the story index, they read it thinking it was a continuation of the story, and it caused me no end of grief, so I quickly deleted it and never tried that again.

It's fine in books, where you (or your publisher) controls the formatting, but on SOL, it can be problematic. Though, honestly, my main failure was using the actual chapter title, rather than "Preview of the Sequel" as the chapter title. :(

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