Seven Extremely Good Reasons to Write the Ending First →

amandaonwriting:

If you are writing for fun, and if you don’t want any help, please write any way that works for you. I am not trying to convert you to writing with a plan. It truly does not matter to me how you write. However, if you are struggling to finish a book that makes sense, I would love you to carry on reading.

Why should you do it?

When I used to teach Writers Write regularly, one of the first things I asked students was: How does your story end? I did this for two reasons. Firstly, as much as some people love the idea of working with meandering storylines, it has been my experience that those writers seldom finish writing a coherent book. Secondly, most people who go to workshops or sign up for courses are truly looking for help, and I’ve learned that the best way to succeed in anything in life is to have a plan. Successful people will tell you that you need to know where you’re going before you begin.

Smell the roses

This does not mean that you can’t take time to smell the roses, or explore hidden paths along the way. It simply means that you always have a lifeline and when you get lost, it will be easier for you to find your way back again. Remember that readers like destinations. They love beginnings, middles, and endings. Why do you think fans are terrified that George R.R. Martin will die before he finishes A Song of Fire and Ice? They want to know how the story ends. 

Here are seven reasons why I suggest you write your ending first.

  1. If you know who the characters are at the end of the story, you will know how much you should reveal about them at the beginning. 
  2. You will be forced out of the ‘backstory hell’ that beginner writers inhabit and into the story the reader wants to read.
  3. Hindsight is an amazing thing. We all know how different life seems when we’re looking back. We can often tell where a problem began. We think about the ‘what ifs’ with the gift of hindsight. You can use this to your advantage in fiction writing.
  4. You will have something to work towards. Instead of aimlessly writing and hoping for the muse to show you the way, you will be able to pull the characters’ strings and write the words they need to get them from the beginning through the middle to the end.
  5. Plotting from the ending backwards saves you so much time because you will leave out stuff that isn’t meant to be there. You will not have to muddle through an overwritten first draft.
  6. Writing the end forces most of us out of our comfort zones. We have to confront the reality of what we are doing. It might not be as romantic as flailing around like a helpless maiden, but if you want writing to be your profession, it’s good to make the outcome visible. This is a way to show yourself that you are serious. The end gives you a goal to work towards.
  7. The ending is as important as the beginning. Good beginnings get people to read your first book. Great endings get readers to buy your second book.

There are a handful of famous authors, like Stephen King and George R.R. Martin, who say they don’t plot. I think they just don’t realise they are those rare authors – natural born storytellers, and that plotting is instinctive for them. I have interviewed many successfully published authors and I can revel that the majority of them do believe in plotting. They outline, in varying degrees, before they begin. And yes, most of them know what their ending will be. Why don’t you try it? What have you got to lose?

I truly hope this helps you write, and finish, your book.

by Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy 10 (Amazingly Simple) Tips to Get You Back on The Writing Track and The Author’s Promise- two things every writer should do. You could also read The Top 10 Tips for Plotting and Finishing a Book.


You carry ancient languages in your tongue
six nights ago, you tried cutting your ties to darkness
your international phone cards lay ripped on the floor,
as you screamed the names of God
in four different languages.

your mother called
you imagine her feet stained with Enugu red soil
what you would do for a sunday of harmattan;
chipped lips and sweet rice

your father came back
a solider from peacekeeping
with a callused heart
left somewhere between Sierra Leone and Liberia
he says war grinds pain into souls

one night,
you saw him talking to the night
screaming his anger
eating the moon for dinner.

Two days ago,
you were called to rush back home
your mother was found with her wrapper around her neck
the red and yellow one
she wore to the airport
the last time you saw her

you hear father say,
some darkness cannot be fought in one lifetime.


All you remember is how she has never looked so peaceful.

Loss

Ijeoma Umebinyuo

(via mynameishachi)

(Source: theijeoma)


toneyspeaksloud:

Nicki Minaj shining a light on the differences on acceptable sexuality from white women and black women.

While it has a good deal to do with color, it also has to do with the fact of how her sexuality is used.

The women above her could arguably be said to be catering to the sexual needs/wants/fantasies of men (Sports Illustrated is ESPECIALLY known for catering to a male gaze.)  While Nicki Minaj has continuously used her sexuality to empower herself.  Her sexuality isn’t for men, it’s for her own self.  And THAT is a huge problem.  Sexuality that isn’t designed for male consumption is deemed unacceptable and threatening.  She is powerful, demanding, uncompromising, and men are weak, so that scares them.

And it’s also because she’s of Indian/Black background, no doubt about it.  It’s not just racist, it’s also sexist.

(Source: )


missturman:

blackfemalepresident:

if your “pro-black woman” movement does not include hoodrats & ratchet black women, because “theyre not queens/theyre setting black women back”, your movement is bullshit and I want no part of it

any movement that segregates my sisters into “good and respectable” and “bad and deserves disrespect” categories is harmful and bullshiterious 

True.


rosas-sylvestres:

I know you don’t like to talk, but you gotta do it for her.

Yadriel & Maria appreciation post ✿◕‿◕✿

this is the whole gif set i am literally LITERALLY crying like with sobs and things. his gulp when he realizes he’s gonna have to make a big change for his daughter and maria happy crying like stop don’t stop.

(Source: jamescookjr)