Do you write the ending to a story first, and then build the story toward the ending?

Do you have dramatic endings in mind before you have written the events to get your story to that point?

Updates:
Some authors normally do this...

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Sometimes. Most often I write as I go starting with a basic premise.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • That might be a good way to write a mystery, but it's not a good way to write a story.

    The characters drive the story. You need compelling characters. Then you need to decide the arc that they will go through.

    Some excellent pieces have been written on the structure of story, such as Joseph Campbell's Hero Of A Thousand Faces, or even Dan Harmons much condensed story circle : A character is introduced, wants something, enters a new environment, adapts to that environment, achieves their goal but encounters problems as a result, leaves that world and changes as a result.

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Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 12

  • I have an ending to my stories in mind, but often tailor a twist to suit

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  • Generally i begin to write the past / psychology of the character and why they act like this.

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  • This is a really brilliant question. I overthink and the ending is the first thing I think of.

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  • I have a rough planning but I start with the beggining.

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  • I usually have the beginning and the end all figured out but never the middle. I don't write the end out though. Keeping notes of how I want it to end, I start from the beginning then work my way there with the hope that I'll actually stick to the plan.

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  • I write what I'm thinking the most about, then fill in the gaps.

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  • I have the ending planned out, but start with the beginning

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  • No, I don't do like that. Actually I don't plan stories, the ending and the story changes according to my mood.

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    • I mean the topic of the story is certain but I develop different scenarios in my mind about that topic that's why I don't write the ending at the beginning of writing process :):)

  • I guess I do. Never really thought about it before. But I don't write it down or anything.

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  • Sometimes

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  • no, never

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  • I write whatever parts I can think up, then work on building to those.

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What Guys Said 2

  • I usually have the middle - or a rough outline for a middle's agenda-figured out first. I then write a beginning to justify it, flesh out the middle, then look for a way to end it that will be sufficiently dramatic as to make everything else seem worthwhile.

    When I wrote the Classic Gerosha Ciem comic a decade ago, I knew only a few bullet points of what I wanted to say:

    1. Candi is destined to become Ciem
    2. Her nymphomaniac tendencies will at some point get her in a lot of trouble
    3. She will face a genderflipped Betty and Veronica dilemma. But must try to save both men from getting killed.
    4. She will get pregnant at some point. When an assault by the villains means her baby doesn't last long after birth, she dons the suit and takes revenge.
    5. She will have a shaky relationship with the law.

    6. She will have a dark secret in her past, involving getting away with manslaughter of a rapist.

    7. The end credits would be stylized like those of Spider-Man, but with a centipede motif.

    Everything else that happened was within that framework. Like starting with a skeleton and then wrapping it in everything else.

    For the crossover fic Volkonir Meets the Power Rangers, I only knew I wanted Volkonir to run into the show Rangers, film Rangers, Emo Rangers, my knockoffs of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and MODM from Camelorum Adventures all in the same adventure. And give a follow up to the Knight and Samurai arc where I introduce Masato.

    Everything else was done purely to justify this premise, and within the limitations of Sims 4 software. To justify borrowing characters I didn't own, I'd give the comic end credits like a proper film. It'd contain midcredits scenes, an ad for the Power Rangers Blu-ray, a plug for Emo Rangers Wiki (which I repaired), and the story itself would contain spoof product placement for Biggby and Mancino's, whom I've advertised for in the past, to parody the PR film's product placement for Krispy Kreme.

    I also littered the thing with jokes that deconstruct its own premise, and make fun of time travel tropes.

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  • The story I'm writing is put together by connecting a few separate ideas I've had. I've mapped out the beginning but the ending is somewhat vague for me. I have a general idea of what will happen but nothing solid.

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