Beginning or the End?
In one sense, whether writer, reader, tv fanatic, or movie buff (or all of those), we have a sense of how things are going to end. We know that (generally) a love story has a happy ending and the protagonists unite. We know what to expect from an adventure, because no matter how many explosions or life changing situations, the good guys always win. And, regardless of how many characters bite the dust, or how gory the result, a horror tends to conclude with the monster being terminated (unless said monster is Michael Myers and we’re not going to talk about that *shudders*)
So, it’s not necessarily unusual for a writer to start at the end and work their way backwards. If we’re talking the journey as opposed to the destination, then that’s the important part – the paths that lead us towards the goal.
The beginning of a story is relatively easy, and the ending is something that a writer probably already has in mind, it’s the middle where things usually fall down! If it’s a thriller you want to add in a few surprises, even if a reader predicts the end result. There has to be twists and turns that entice and keep those pages turning. If it’s a story of discovery, there should be defining moments for the characters that lead to their slice of happy.
Of course, it’s not over until those two (often terrifying) little words are typed – the end. Because the really fun part, is when the characters surprise the hell out of you and go their own way. In some cases this is a minor detour in the plot, in others it’s a whole new destination and for those who sketched out an ending, well, there will be some back peddling going on!
Where do you start when tackling a plot? When you read…have you ever taken a sneaky peak at the end?
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