When the End is the Beginning

Written by on August 31, 2014 in Writing Inspiration with 0 Comments

the-end_110003548-011314intThere are probably as many ways to write a novel as there are novelists. In my early writing years—grade school, high school—I believed in a magic formula, and if I could just find it all would be perfect. Easy. I read about all kinds of writers, how they approached their work, what they did, even what time of day they wrote. But every writer is different, and every book is different.

I had writing friends who could start at Chapter One, Page One and keep going all the way to the end, never backtracking. I had editors who expected me to write in that way and assessed a proposed novel based on a rough-draft first chapter and synopsis of the whole. But what if you don’t know the ending until you get there? And what if you’re like me and write the first chapter last?

I’d be hard pressed to come up with a single one of my books in which the beginning wasn’t the end of the writing. In one the first chapter turned out to be what I had written as chapter four. I lopped off the first three chapters and discovered the perfect opening.

It’s not until the ending is clear that I can see the beginning.

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