Eoin's Writing Tips:  Know Your Ending - or Not 

Can you begin your novel without knowing your ending?  Is an ending something of a destination you head towards without having a specific location in mind?  For instance, your endpoint is New York City.  But the city is huge with five boroughs.  Do you want Manhattan, Queens, Bronx?  And further, what neighborhood are you interested in when you get to Brooklyn – Flatbush, Brooklyn Heights, Brighton Beach? 
 
It’s easy to get lost in details and therefore stall your movement.  By striving for specificity before you begin, you can easily get bogged down in never ending demand for precision.  This can take away much of the reasons for writing in the first place.On the other hand you can consider an ending without knowing exactly how to get there, all the twists and turns.  This can also be a recipe for inaction.  Not to mention ignoring one of the real pleasures of writing, namely the feeling of satisfaction when a new idea intrudes and surprises you. 
 
Is there a balance to be achieved in this matter?  You can generally know your ending, or part of it, and write toward that while holding yourself open to the frequent circumstance of having some characters take on a more significant role than you had anticipated.  Under these conditions your planned ending can be a straight jacket, or a straight road – if you are open enough to accept it. 
 
If you find yourself bogged down in minutiae and hesitant, just take a deep breath and relax.  Write toward an ending but allow yourself to be surprised when your unconscious story demands surface and insist on your acknowledgement.  Unexpected twists and turns are fun for you and your reader.  Besides, if you feel you’ve made a wrong decision, that’s what rewriting is all about. 
 
Download Writers Fusion’s Novel Writing Workbook and Journal to guide you through these types of decisions.

  

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