Sunday, November 09, 2008

Reverse Engineering

I think Sam Riddleburger's plan to start with the ending of a story and work backwards sounds like a great idea. I wish I could come up with the ending of a story first so I could try it.

4 comments:

lisanowak said...

That would never work for me. I know the ending of my books before I write them because I outline, but the stories still seems to develop depth that would render any pre-written ending useless.

Sometimes I get an inspiration for a scene that comes later in the book and I'll write it down, but inevitably I wind up not being able to use some of my carefully crafted dialog. The characters and situations have changed too much by the time I reach that point in the story.

TadMack said...

Ditto what Lisa said. Occasionally I'll write a scene and tuck it away, but I have to rewrite the blooming thing anyway when it comes time to use it. This is possibly because my books tend to be really character driven, and people -- even fictional ones -- change so much from one end of the book to the other...

But it IS a great idea, if only one could come up with endings. I can't even outline effectively; sometimes I think what will happen simply... happens, in my stories (this ideology makes me a remarkably bad writing instructor).

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

There are some wonderful novels that begin at the end and go backwards in time: I'm thinking specifically of David Maine's Fallen, but then of course it helps if you're retelling something and by definition already know what the ending (beginning) is going to be. I write a lot of retellings, so this might actually work for me! Thanks.

gail said...

I could never truly write a book backwards. But if I knew the ending, I could try to plot it backwards. Plots are very difficult for me. Then after I had gone backwards to get the plot, I could use it as an outline and go forward.

And, of course, things would change, but at least I'd have the backbone, route (whatever analogy you want to use) to get me started.