Writing Step 5: Destination
Written by: Ben Marroquin
The destination of a story is the ending. Before you begin writing you should write down the ending. Why? This way you’ll know where your story is going. There is nothing worse than spending time writing a story and not knowing how to end it. Think of it like going someplace in a car. When you know your destination you know there are roads that will get you there. When you don’t know your destination you’ll spend hours driving around and end up lost, out of gas, or heading back to where you came from.
Below is a segment of an article written by Holly Lisle:
If your first reaction is, “What am I going to do with an ending when I have only the foggiest idea of my beginning, and none whatsoever of my middle?” don’t worry. You aren’t going to do a completely written-out chapter. All you’re going to do is figure out a basic landing pad for your story.
In my case, I’ll make the following decisions:
* Cadence will live (the survival of the main character is not always a given in my books, and eventually Cadence will make an irreversibly fatal mistake – but not this book)
* She will find what she’s been sent to find
* It will not be what she was led to expect, and this surprise will nearly cost her her life, and will prove fatal to at least one person the reader has come to know (though not necessarily to like)
* She will have her reckoning with the man who used her
* Maybe she will get her papers – that I’ll decide later.
Okay – next part of your workshop. Go back to your original entry and figure out in general terms how you want the story to end. Try to answer the following questions:
* Does your protagonist succeed or fail in gaining the objective you gave him in your opener?
* Does your story come to an emotionally satisfying conclusion?
* Can you see yourself going through anywhere from ten pages to seven hundred and being happy to see the story end this way?
I highly recommend reading the whole article at: http://www.hollylisle.com/fm/Workshops/plot-outline.html