Stuck? Write the End of Your Story First

Sometimes stories write themselves from beginning to end. However, most times, stories take work and you – the author – will become stuck during the outlining process. If you’re stuck, try this age old method of ungluing your story. Write the end of your story first.

We all know how we want a story to end? Or do we? Experiment a bit, and write a synopsis for the end of your story that counters your normal way and even the expected way.

  • Synopsize an unhappy ending. Your character can still be victorious but without the outcome they desired or deserved. Imagine an unhappy ending and write a few paragraphs detailing what it looks like.
  • Synopsize no ending. Perhaps your story is one of those ‘to be continued.’ Write an ending that is questionable, and leaves readers wondering what happens next. For example, your character just spent an entire novel or novella fighting a bank to keep their home, winning the last but not final round; it is okay to end your story with them sitting on a park bench, reviving himself for more. You can save the real ending for part two.
  • Synopsize a happy ending with twists. Maybe you end the previous chapter with the problem of the story solved. However, you can write a happy ending with outcomes no one saw coming. Your protagonist ends up with another partner or spouse, whereas, your readers were certain they’d be with someone more predictable. You can do this by carrying your story into the future with an epilogue.

As you write your ending first, you will realize that it’s not the ending that unsticks you. It will be loosening of your creative juices. Do not be surprised if your story begins differently as a result. Have you ever written the ending first? If so, share the results in the comment section. Thank you.

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