“Begin with the End in Mind.”

beachwithrockoutcropsBefore I get to this post I wanted to wish everyone a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  I’m hoping to get in some beach time, reading time, critiquing time and of course…SERIOUS WRITING TIME (I love long weekends!)

Now, for the regularly scheduled post…..

The title of this post comes from Stephen Covey, the mastermind behind the 7 Habits series of books.  In his books (which all deal with organizational psychology), Mr. Covery states that we need to “begin with then end in mind” in things as diverse as parenting and business ventures.  He goes on to say that it is only if we know where we are going that we can know if we’ve ever arrived.

Makes sense to me…So, I thought about its application to writing.

Those of you who know me know that I typically start my WiPs at the end – sketching out a climax long before I figure almost anything else out.  In talking with other writers I am finding out that this is not as common as I assumed.

Personally, I start with the end in mind for one simple reason, it is how the story comes to me.  This has been true in every creative endeavor I have ever attempted – whether it was dance choreography ( I always “see” the final production and work backwards from there), designing fashion shows, or writing.

The climax of the story is always the first thing I know about the story – playing like a movie in myhead.

That is not to say that I don’t change it once the story is actually written.  Typically in changes quiet a bit…

…but the essence of the climax, the first thing that made me aware of the story itself – that remains intact.

So I ask you…how do you start?  Are you able to begin with the end in mind?

7 thoughts on ““Begin with the End in Mind.”

  1. I always start with a character. He or she jumps into my head and I go from there.

    However, I always have the ending in mind before I write. Because part of developing that character is knowing where their story ends.

    I think it’s a great way to write.

  2. Nisa

    The story I’m telling currently began with a handful of characters I’d written into some short stories for an online role-playing game. Yeah, I’m a nerd. At least I used to be. The stories have been floating around in my brain for a good six years, but I never actually thought I would ever, could ever sit down and write them into the story I’d set on replay. So, to be honest, I know the whole story, but I’m not sure where I started. Of course, some of the details are very rough! Time for a sander!

  3. In my WiP, I started with the main characters. That’s the only thing that would’ve worked for me. However, now that I have the main characters (I’m writing a series) I will probably try writing the ending of the next one first. I think that will help me suss out the middle, which I had trouble with in this first book.

  4. Steph

    The work I just finished, I def started with the end in mind, but once I got there, I realized it wasn’t the “end, end”, so I added another chapter after that, but all I had to go on when I started writing was the ending. My WIP now, I have NO CLUE where it is going, and it is really bothering me. I love the story thus far, but haven’t decided how to wrap it up at all, so I guess it’ll be a surprise to me as well!🙂 Great post!

  5. Christine Fonseca

    Thanks for all the great comments…I think starting with characters is a must too. Just as important as having a sense of where the story is going

    And just the like rest of you guys, I’ve been known to have the whole thing change dramatically!!! (and unexpectantly)

    Mer

  6. You mean people can start a novel? This is something I have been unable to do as of late. And I think it goes without saying that I have no freaking clue what the ending will be. Or the middle. Or the next paragraph, most of the time. Somehow, though, the words come and I piece it all together. Um, most of the time. *cough cough*😀

  7. I always start with the end, too. If I don’t, then I’ll crap out after a few pages and the story will forever go unfinished. Learned that one the hard way during my high school years😉. Now, I just always get an image or idea of how I want the novel to end that makes me say “cooool,” and then go from there!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s