Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. If it didn’t have those elements it wouldn’t be a story but rather the random ramblings of some slightly insane scribbler. In the world of the writer beginning a story is easy….one dark and stormy night….and so on… The middle of the story is also semi easy because, well a story is gonna do what it’s gonna do but that ending….well THAT’S where we get our bums in a pinch. That damn ending is the hardest part and why? Because most of us are just too stupid not to want to start there.
I can’t tell you how many time I have had another writer come up to me at a conference and say, “I had the ending all figured out first!” I usually politely nod and smile but in my head I am saying, “Universe who laughs at us -1, Want to be writer – 0. If you are beginning with the ending you are simply doing it all wrong. You cannot create characters and then allow them to do what comes naturally if you are forcing an ending. It’s like having a really good running back and then not letting him run…it’s ridiculous.
We should always be thinking ahead just not writing from there. I am currently working on a series involving the same main characters so, to some degree, I have to always be thinking ahead but I can’t write from there because, in the end, my characters are gonna do what they are gonna do.
Thinking ahead to how a story “could” end can be fun but don’t let that cloud how the story naturally progresses. The key to any good story is to create the characters, flesh them out and then let them do what they do. The story will progress but in such a ways that it will make total sense based on the characters themselves.
So as a writer always “think” ahead…just don’t write from there!