Writing backwards…

Let’s not call this advice, since I don’t know how it will turn out yet, but so far this has gotten us unstuck and ready to roll on our Sci Fi MS.

Paul Dellinger and I were about halfway through our story and we had an ending in mind, but nobody could figure out what to write next.

So, I estimated how many chapters we’d want total, about 20. Took our current #, 10ish and then listed the rest of the chapter 11 – 20. We started at 20 and worked our way backwards through the plot, figuring out which dots we’d have to connect and when.

The result was a strong outline and many new ideas. And lots of new energy to finish!

I need to try this on another collaborative effort which has mired down.

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3 Responses

  1. This sounds like a great idea. If only I could come up with the endings to books first, I’d try this.

  2. I think I’ll crib this example for the talk about plotting that I’ll give on Saturday. I’ve heard authors who have to start at the beginning, others that start in the middle, and one (Christopher Paul Curtis) who doesn’t know where in a book he is when he starts writing. Some plot in advance and others don’t.

    My opening message (I use a checkerboard as a visual aid) is that it doesn’t matter how you get from one corner to the other, as long as you cover the distance.

  3. Hmm. Worth a try!

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