Writing for the End

This week, Writerly Life’s Tip Tuesday suggests how the ending can push your writing forward through a rough middle slog:

“Don’t think about the middle or all the small wearying intervening scenes you have to write. Instead, allow yourself to picture the very ending. Get a clear image of the last scene, the final message you want to send; if you can, try to picture even the final image. Where is your character? What has been accomplished? Who is your character with? Who is he or she thinking of in his or her last thought?”

Just like picturing the finish line during a race or imagining a new, unpacked apartment while you’re surrounded by boxes and chaos (guess what I’m doing this week), imagining the end of your book while you’re in the middle can be a big boost. You want to make it to the end. You want to be in that last moment when your readers think “Oh my gosh, best book ever!”

Still, I think it’s okay to be imagining your ending while you’re in the middle and still allow the ending to change once you get there. I had an image in mind for the end of Queen of the Air that didn’t get used at all, but the vibe was still the same. Sometimes stories take you in a different direction than you expected. Heck, even JK Rowling changed her ending slightly after she told the world that the last word of the Harry Potter series would be “scar.” If Rowling can do it, so can you.

One thought on “Writing for the End

  1. Dennis Langley says:

    I agree that having a plan for the ending is a good idea and can help with some of the middle sections. The first two scenes I wrote for my novel were the opening and the climax. Whenever, I get stuck with where the story is going, I read through the ending and see if it still fits. If not, I make changes to one or the other.

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