1. Vapor
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    Vapor Member

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    Visualizing an Ending

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Vapor, Jul 8, 2009.

    I'm having a problem where I begin to write a story and as soon as a few paragraphs in I feel a sort of aimlessness and even boredom (not good if I'm bored of my story, can't expect my readers to feel different). So I've been trying really hard to think how the story will end, because usually I create a character I find interesting but just can't think of what they should do. I'm wondering is it customary to write with an ending in mind, or is this a failure of planning and outlining? I've still never once tried using an outline... perhaps I should do that. Feels boring like a math problem though. Maybe it's just my attention span that needs fixing.
     
  2. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    What are the conflicts for your character, and how will they all be resolved at the end? That's what I'd focus on, because without problems & drama, there's really no story.
     
  3. A2theDre
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    A2theDre Active Member

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    I have this exact same problem.

    I assume you have a general idea, as in, setting, characters, etc. Try picturing an interesting moment in your story, and write that. Then write something that leads up to that moment. Sort of starting in the middle and working back.

    At this point, you will have an idea of who your characters are, and you may know how to finish it off! Best of luck.
     
  4. Anders Backlund
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    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

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    I'm not sure of what is customary or whatever, but I usually see the ending well in advance, like the ending scene of a movie. This typically happens around chapter 2, actually. I don't really have a choice in the matter.
     
  5. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Knowing the ending makes it easier for me to write the long middle.
     
  6. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    Sometimes I know what my endings will be, but other times I don't have a clear picture of the ending. I think I actually end up with more motivation to continue writing in the middle when I don't for sure know how it is going to end. Usually once I write the ending, it is all over for my story. I don't know why, but if I write the ending while I am working on the middle, I just end up stopping. I get the feeling that the story is already completed.

    So I avoid over thinking the ending too much. I'd rather not know till I get there naturally.
     
  7. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    I usually have a projected ending in mind. Sometimes a twist pops up that surprises me and my projections have to change.
     
  8. Vapor
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    Vapor Member

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    Do any of you utilize outlines?
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I do not use outlines. The written story itself becomes the "outline." At any given time, I already know a great deal about where the story is going, becausw it has been percolating in my brain.
     
  10. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    Be like water...

    It's probably best I don't go into a long diatribe about Bruce Lee and being fluid. Nevertheless, I am a massive fan in the idea of writing for the sake of writing and not trying to pigeonhole myself into a small box that I cannot move in. When I make an outline it feels like I'm not writing for myself, but for invisible the slavedriver. Instead, I always get the basic idea of a story, then I create the characters, and then I start writing. This way the story can evolve and my characters become a bit deeper, as though they're actually human beings.

    Maybe your boredom is born from a lack self confidence. A friend of mine had that issue. He was an amazing writer, but all he saw in his own work was utter garbage.

    Maybe you need to simply write. Don't create a story in your head or characters to go into the story. Just sit down and write for no predetermined amount of time. It doesn't matter if the story revolves around the effects of the Marquis De Sade's last book on French society or an angry bird who takes out his frustration on the back of a child's head. Whenever I get all hung up on the small things I find it best to purge my system of doubts, and this method always works for me when I'm writing.

    Then again, maybe that technique will prove entirely worthless and send you spirally into an even greater depression. If so, don't blame me, blame Bruce Lee for inspiring me. Personally I think you are not confident enough in your own work. We, as writers, should always go back and wonder if our work is good enough, but there is a limit. I can reedit a novel for my entire lifetime and it will never be finished, but that doesn't mean I can't quit the process and still be content.
     
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  11. Bernard Hartigan
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    Bernard Hartigan New Member

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    How long are you planning for this story to be? A short? A novel? Etc. If you don't know what the ending should be then you shouldn't concern yourself with it right now. Ask yourself what you want to achieve in the story? Are you trying to portray a message? Is it character based? What direction do you want to take the reader on?

    To be honest, if you're getting stuck already then that probably isn't a good sign. Think about what you want your story to be. You don't have to necessarily worry about chapter/scene breakdowns as such, but a general idea of what you want your story to ‘do’ is a must - could be simple, could be complex.

    Say if it's about a noir detective - is the story about his personality? What are the best situations for him to get in to show his character range? Is it about the murder of a woman? Who is this woman, why is this woman interesting enough to write a story about? Did she and the detective have a history? Is she part of a conspiracy? Maybe the story is about the war in Iraq and the detective symbolises America and the woman symbolizes Islam - what ever, I'm rambling now.

    I hope you get my drift, if you don't have a focus on a particular point then maybe that's your problem? Find this point or character you want to focus on and run with it.
     

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