Sunday, March 21, 2010

Beginnings and Endings: Where is this story going to end up?

One of the best parts of starting a new writing project is the thrill of excitement you feel as the story starts to take shape.  Even before putting the first words on paper (or screen), the plot reveals itself, and the characters become real with voices of their own. It’s intoxicating!

Also scary. Because that initial euphoria doesn’t last.  And how often has your writing stuttered to a halt as the excitement fades and you lose the thread – and perhaps even the meaning – of the story?

Here’sEnd of the path a trick to try: before you start writing your story, determine where you want it to end up.  Picture the final scene.  Hear your characters’ final words. Imagine it as a film, with the last images flickering into darkness and the credits starting to roll up the screen.

If you know where the story is going, then you’re ready to begin.  You don’t have to know all the details of how you got there, just where you want to end up. 

If you do find yourself stalled along the way, or if you get side-tracked and lost, all you have to do is look down the road towards the story’s conclusion.  You’ll be able to see your way back to the story and get writing again.