Tuesday, June 20, 2017

End the Story

So, I was reading through some new reviews for They Called Him Nightmare. If you haven't heard of that one, by the way, it's a short story I wrote that many people loved for reasons that I never envisioned when I penned it. Go figure. But, one thing that came to mind while reading a review was that there wasn't an epilogue.

Oh, They Called Him Nightmare? Don't know that one? Wait. Let me get the information for you. Hang on. It's around him somewhere.

Here's the picture! Cat Ford did the cover!

Tricia Kristufek is the editor! (She's magic, people. Promise!)

Here's the blurb and the buy links:

Growing up, Kai Bennu was taunted for skin dark as midnight and his otherworldly appearance. They called him Nightmare, but Alec Vasilios, a wealthy and powerful businessman, wants to call Kai his own. Kai’s past has left him with little trust in others and even more reluctance to surrender himself to Alec’s power. With both men harboring supernatural secrets, finding common ground won’t come without sacrifice. 

Amazon US:  goo.gl/V0rRqX
Dreamspinner Press: https://goo.gl/32HS1I

Okay, now that that's finished, going back to epilogues.

I've learned in this short time I've been writing to avoid certain types of reviews and to pay attention to others. Sometimes, there might be a thing or three to learn from the ones that come from reputable reviewers and ones from readers who are thorough and passionate about what they read, ones who care. I usually read reviews and celebrate a win or scan for a goal to improve. My goal now is an epilogue at the end of a short story. 

The reviews on They Called Him Nightmare have been awesome, enough to let me know that I made the right choice in helping the guys in my head tell their stories.  
Wait. I have a few of those, too. 

This one is from A Barb The Zany Old Lady Review

Since it's the most recent one, I'm just going to copy and paste it. Why did I find it? Well, I'm trying out this new thing called Queeromance Ink https://www.queeromanceink.com/ which will help readers get to my work. It's easy to use, pretty affordable and it just might work. Also, there are quite a few authors I actually read there. So, why not? 

But, here's the latest review:

From the 2016 Daily Dose package – A Walk on the Wild Side
This short story is my first from this author, and I was pleasantly surprised by the story. It opens with high school student Alec assessing all the others in his class for who will taste the best. A young vampire, he has the ability to put people in thrall, so they have no idea he has had sex with them and drunk their blood. But when the young man nicknamed Nightmare is around, Alec loses his ability to think straight. He’s attracted to the boy whose real name is Kai, and when he reaches out and touches him, sparks literally fly. Both recoil from the shock, but Alec wants more and Kai, wanting nothing to do with Alec, disappears shortly after the encounter.
Flash forward ten years and Alec has finally found the location where Kai has been hiding from him all this time. Excited to finally set out to meet the man he feels attracted to, he has no idea that Kai’s mother, or at least the woman he calls mother, is dying of cancer but wants nothing more than to see her boy settled before she goes so is willing to help him get his man.
There’s much more, including some very good character development, considering the brevity of the story, and there’s a surprise in store for readers who are wondering what type of being Kai might be. Let’s just say he’s the last of his kind. When the two men come together this time, they ignite in passion and finally fulfill their destiny.
I really like this story as I said at the beginning of this review. It had all the ingredients of a longer story, including a unique otherworldly perspective, and I’m looking forward to more from this author in the future.
Catt Ford is the cover artist for this series and this particular cover shows a figure in the center of a clearing lit by bright blue light and surrounded by wild animals in a darker shadowed border. It’s very appealing.
Now, there were some others I found, and one in particular stated they felt the story hadn't ended. To me, it had. It was done. But, the reviewer needed more. And, I read another with a similar thought. Again, the reader wanted more. So, I had to do it. I asked Facebook the question. 

Who feels that you must have an epilogue when you read a book or a short story? 

If you'd like to see all the responses, feel free to drop by my Facebook profile Deja Black https://www.facebook.com/deja.black.69 . There's always a flower and a little purple frog book. 

Now, I had some great responses. Won't mind if you stop by there and add an opinion or two, but these are the ones that grabbed me:

First Response
NO epilogues are poor excuse to write reasonable ending or write a series. The current trend for epilogue to be same sex marriage and adoption of child/children in house with white picket fence are trite.

Second Response
I... on the other hand...appreciate a good satisfying ending...COMPLETE with an epilogue. I like a short "revisiting " with the M/C's.

Never "must" - sometimes it's a lovely touch to wrap things up, sometimes it's cute but unnecessary, like a second bit of icing on a completed cake, sometimes it feels like a cop-out, skipping over the real work of forming a relationship or dealing with the world to say "and it all worked out great" where another book or story would be better.

Last I'm Sharing
Epilogue equals resolution to me, I don't care what you call it, as long as it's a HEA.

There were a few other lovelies, but this has me thinking. Yes, I make sure that my novels have epilogues, but do I need to do that for the short stories, too? You know me. I had to look up a few articles and share, of course. It's the researcher in me. 

Writing 101: Do You Need an Epilogue? - Jade Varden

Loved her thoughts here. Will be saving that one!

Is It Really Over? To Epilogue or Not to Epilogue - Kaye Dacus

Great ideas here and thorough explanation. (Of course, I had to change the subject pronouns in my head a little, but hey! Life!)

After “The End” – The Epilogue - 

This is a must read. Oh, so helpful. 

So, let's think. 

As a writer, I may think my book is complete. As a reader, I may want a bit more. In the end, I think I have to ask, "What does the reader want? Is the reader satisfied?"

I can end with a solid finish, but for many readers, if the book doesn't have an epilogue, a glimpse into the characters' future, then it's not finished. That would have to go for my short stories, too. And, you know what, maybe it's a compliment to the writer that readers want to know more.

In the end, I have to keep the reader in mind. Looking at the reviews, the Facebook responses, the articles and just generally speaking, readers like closure. If I can give them that, why not? 

And, Deja wrote epilogues for her short stories! 

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