There are writers out there – you know, the crazy ones – who begin the events of their novel from the END. The Ending Scene.
I used to think that, until yesterday. I used to think those writers were crazy and how in the absolute hell can you start your novel from the end?
But, you know, I like a bit of crazy.
I’ve been working on my new work in progress – Hard Silk – since last week. I have a good foundation, I have the characters and setting and a general idea of the plot laid out.
But I didn’t have a set middle or end. They were vague ideas floating around in my head. I thought I knew what they were, but I didn’t. Because I hadn’t written them down.
Every novel I’ve abandoned over the past eight years – looking back – never had a set middle or end. So they would meander near the middle – the saggy part – until I realized I had no idea where in the hell this story was going, and I would drop it.
So yesterday during lunch, I did it. I made a list of around 4 possible endings: A HEA (happily-ever-after) ending. A Character-Focused ending. And two tragic endings, one worse than the other.
Hard Silk is a romance set in a fantasy world with a fantasy plot. I read over my 4 different endings and chose the one that would be the strongest. I had a bit of trouble deciding between the HEA ending and the Character-Focused ending. But I realized I didn’t want to insult the Character’s story by focusing the ending on just the romance. I wanted to show my character achieving something great! So I chose the Character-focused ending.
And then, the Magic happened. I began listing the events that would lead to that ending. I worked backwards. And it worked. The events quickly floated out of my pen until I reached the middle. Then I wrote the middle. Now, I just have to fill in the middle to the beginning. What used to take me hours to plan my novel took me 5 MINUTES.
Whoa. Mind blown. Maybe those writers weren’t so crazy, after all.
If you haven’t tried this, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Magic, I’m telling you. Magic.