I can't remember where I heard/read this advice, but it came up again recently when I was flipping through some hand written notes that could have come from anywhere in the past 5 years. "The best stories start as close to the end as possible and rush headlong to the finish." -Unknown I have a few questions regarding this: Do you guys agree with the quote? To build a good tight story it seems like the most practical manner if you identify the necessary elements for the finale and develop them right from the beginning. This could have been a quote from film study. Would you apply this advice to a short story? a novel? a script? Would you introduce the conflict at the beginning regardless of the medium or do you feel exceptions are in order? I'm a bit of a world builder when it comes to writing. After applying the advice to my current project I find myself with 9/10ths, or possibly even less, of all the information I've gathered. Would you use this advice from the ground up adding subplots as you go and fitting in the relevant pieces you have? I have half a mind to apply this advice after I've completed my project as a form of editing before the next round of rewriting. I know its up to me, but I'd like to thoughts outside my own brain too. Finally, the question that's itching at me the most. Anyone have any idea who would have said this quote. I don't think it is verbatim, but I get the feeling that its something a famous author would have said. As far as I can tell, even Shakespeare introduces the conflict right from the get go. Who said it, or even better, what is the earliest example you can think of for "the best story " that starts as close to the end as possible. Thanks for the help.