With the year 2020 about to become the year 2021, I’m starting to think about finishing up old projects and starting new ones. That goes for all kinds of projects, from cleaning the house to trying new foods, but since this website is mostly about writing, I’d like to talk about the beginning and the ending of a story.
If you’re like me, both the first sentence and the last part of a story are the hardest, but for different reasons.
Beginnings. Every time I revise, I notice how the first part of my story feels different from later parts of it. This is because I am a Pantser, but also because I don’t know the characters as well when I’m just starting to tell their stories. I think that the most effective way to deal with this is to write and then to revise. If you wait to get to know your story well enough to start it, you may never type the first sentence, let alone the last paragraph.
When you revise, your characters will touch your story in ways they can’t do when you’re caught up in the writing moment. You will be able to correct sentences that don’t make sense to them, add things you didn’t know when you started, and smooth out inconsistencies in all aspects of your work.
Endings. The end of a story should be easy. You know the characters inside-out by now, and all you have to do is wrap things up, save your file or close your binder, and then go celebrate. However, it’s not aways simple. To find out one of the reasons why it might not be as easy to write an ending as it seems, please refer to this post.