• Natalie Gordon

Start at the end


It might seem counterintuitive when you’re just trying to figure out what your book is, but if you’re struggling to get going, skip to the end. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what the end is. In fact, that’s the point. Knowing your destination makes it much easier to get there.


I’ve just done it for my current wip. There are so many forms my story could take, and I’m struggling to pin it down, so I sketched out three possible end scenes, just a sentence for each. I then picked one of them and spent a few minutes to think about the context and the overall feeling I wanted to evoke. Next, I set my timer for thirty minutes – a trick I’ve recently learned when I know I’m fighting an urge to go off and procrastinate – and then I started writing.


Half an hour later, I had something. It may well bear no resemblance to my eventual final scene, but it did throw up some interesting questions on the theme of the book. I’ve got more questions than I had when I started, and I have a possible new angle for one of my characters.


The point of writing the end before you’ve even begun, is that it gives you a goal to aim for. And when you know where you’re going, it’s easier to start. It doesn’t mean you’ll arrive at the destination you’ve just sketched out, but it makes it more likely that you’ll arrive at A destination.


You can’t reach the end if you don’t start, and sometimes you can’t start until you can see the end. So, if you’re not sure where to start, don’t. Go to the end instead.

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