I have been battling (with myself) over whether to add an epilogue to the finale of my trilogy. It was a battle that was completely over. I had the epilogue written and appropriately placed behind the finish to the book. It was sneaky and cool and one of those winks at the readers that maybe makes you rethink what you read in case it meant something other than you thought.
And then, I snatched victory from the jaws of defeat (or vice versa) and removed it.
The most compelling reason to remove it is that it weakened an emotional final chapter. A secondary reason to eliminate it is that it provides me a backdoor to writing a follow-up book (or trilogy), something I had promised myself I would not do. No ten book series for me, I leave that to writers more inclined and capable.
I wanted to finish my trilogy by truly finishing it. Love or hate the characters, this is supposed to be the end of the line with them. If you enjoyed them, you can re-read the books. If you didn’t care for them, they won’t be troubling you anymore.
Most importantly, the energy and emotion needed to reach the end of the story is now preserved. No second-guessing, no doubts to final resolution. Happy or unhappy, by the end of the third book you will unquestionably have the end of Jeremy’s adventures and the effects on the people who surrounded him.
A clean ending also lets me move on to other works and ideas, something I have been eager to explore as they have come to me. For now, they are just scribbled notes on various pieces of paper. Soon, I’ll take them out and see which one(s) send me back to the keyboard. I’ve enjoyed writing Jeremy over the past few years, but this is definitely the end.