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Post Reply Quick question: Is it wise to know the ending to your story before you even write it?
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Posted 3/9/17 , edited 3/9/17
Okay, I am working on a long story that I have yet to write. As I am thinking about the story, I am also coming up with ideas for the ending. It's a five book novel series and I already know how I want the ending to be. But I haven't even started writing yet. Is it really okay to know exactly how you want to end your story before you even started? I could possibly change my mind(though I rather not) but I still would know how the story ends. It's funny I know how I want to end the story but haven't figured out how I want to begin it.

Also there is more:

See, I plan on writing a novel series with five books and two novellas. For each of the five books, I am giving them two hundred chapter while the novellas are getting twenty chapters. I plan on starting book one as soon as possible in order to complete all five books. Now, I know that two hundred chapters is a lot but I want to give myself a big goal. My question that I ask is kind of silly: If I start immediately on book one, will I be able to finish book five even if I write daily and nightly? And to be honest, I don't even know if I should make this story first or third person. It's a little frustrating and the reason why I have not started. I'm pretty lazy and I get bored easily plus I can never surpass chapter five when I really get into writing. But for once in my life I want to write a novel series that I can complete. I'm tired of throwing in the towel and giving up. I need to finish a novel and prove to myself I can do it. But I somehow seem to never finish. I just want to believe that I am capable of finishing a novel whether it's a rough draft or edited version. I'm not the best writer but I am certainly not the worse either. So, with sheer willpower, can I complete all five books and two novellas?


Is two hundred chapters for each of the five books too much?


What do you think?
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20 / M / Winnipeg, MB.
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Posted 3/9/17
Yes
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34 / M / outer wall, level...
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Posted 3/9/17
i try no to think about the ending. i have ideas that i work in. but thats about it.
it kinda just grows for me.
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Posted 3/9/17


So, it's weird?
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28 / F / The margins
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Posted 3/9/17
Knowing the ending beforehand leads to one set of issues, just as not knowing it beforehand would have its own issues. What's important is that you understand what those issues are. One of them is likely that you'd probably too easily constrain yourself towards developing the ending you want, when maybe you'd do something different without that constraint.

If I had to guess (and this is kind of how it works for me), ideas for stories pop up in our heads in a way that's at least partially independent of how they fit into the story temporally. I write short stories sometimes, and I've had story ideas based on settings, situations, endings, beginnings - all sorts of things. Just don't force ideas to the extent that the story feels artificial.
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Posted 3/9/17
Having a good idea of how it will end helps. Not knowing the exact details of how it will play out is where the creativity comes in.
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Posted 3/9/17

auroraloose wrote:

Knowing the ending beforehand leads to one set of issues, just as not knowing it beforehand would have its own issues. What's important is that you understand what those issues are. One of them is likely that you'd probably too easily constrain yourself towards developing the ending you want, when maybe you'd do something different without that constraint.

If I had to guess (and this is kind of how it works for me), ideas for stories pop up in our heads in a way that's at least partially independent of how they fit into the story temporally. I write short stories sometimes, and I've had story ideas based on settings, situations, endings, beginnings - all sorts of things. Just don't force ideas to the extent that the story feels artificial.


Makes sense but I might end up changing(rather not) the ending later on if it does not please me.
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Posted 3/9/17
You don't want to end up like bleach.
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Posted 3/9/17

HateKillingCamels wrote:

You don't want to end up like bleach.


Are you saying by knowing the ending will make the story end faster or something?
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Posted 3/9/17
its wise, just so you dont wander off topic too much. In the end at least you can surprise the reader as long as you loop it all back to your intended ending
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Posted 3/9/17

qualeshia3 wrote:

Are you saying by knowing the ending will make the story end faster or something?


No, not at all.
Knowing the ending means you have an actual story that you want to tell, which lets you have a more tight concise story, instead of just meandering aimlessly letting the story write itself.
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Posted 3/9/17

HateKillingCamels wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:

Are you saying by knowing the ending will make the story end faster or something?


No, not at all.
Knowing the ending means you have an actual story that you want to tell, which lets you have a more tight concise story, instead of just meandering aimlessly letting the story write itself.


But it's strange. I don't even know how to begin the story. I also can't figure out whether to make the story first person or third person narrative.

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Posted 3/9/17 , edited 3/9/17
In my opinion, you need to know two things before you start writing: how to start your book and how to end it. The rest can come later. Just the other day I began work on my second book and I was struggling because I didn't have an ending, but as soon as I worked through that, the story fell into place. The ending should be something that you work up to throughout the entirety of the book, so if you don't know it, how can you utilize foreshadowing, reincorporation or make believable character or story arcs?
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Posted 3/9/17

sundin13 wrote:

In my opinion, you need to know two things before you start writing: how to start your book and how to end it. The rest can come later. Just the other day I began work on my second book and I was struggling because I didn't have an ending, but as soon as I worked through that, the story fell into place. The ending should be something that you work up to throughout the entirety of the book, so if you don't know it, how can you utilize foreshadowing, reincorporation or make believable character or story arcs?


Thanks. I'm thinking about how to begin it but that depends on which narrative I choose.
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Posted 3/9/17

qualeshia3 wrote:



So, it's weird?

I believe his answer was in response to the thread title.

And yes, it is a good idea to know where you're going with a story before you start writing it. You shouldn't tie yourself down to it though, in case you end up going in a different direction with your story. You should try to remain flexible, especially if you don't know the beginning or the middle yet, because those will eventually lead to your ending and depending on what you decide to do there (in the beginning and the middle) your ending could be totally different than what you originally planned.
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