Monday, April 18, 2011

Know You Can See "The End"

As you all know, I am a big fan of being a plotter when it comes to writing. I think it is amazing important for a writer to have a clear vision of how he or she plans on getting from that first line to the last. I think, however, there is another element many writers fail to see. For many writers, seeing the end is something that is still an abstract concept. In other words, the thought of finishing the novel has never crossed their minds.

Successful writers have the ability, whether they are a plotter or a panster, to see and know that "THE END" is on the horizon. It is the simple thought that they know they can make it to the end and type those wonderful two words. Unfortunately, there are far too many writers that simply don't have the confidence in their own abilities to every think they can finish the story.

If you are a writer, you probably know jsut the type of people I am talking about. These are the people that, when you tell them you are a writer, they tell you how much they would love to write a story but "probably would never be able to finish it." It's really a shame, because they probably have amazing stories to share with the world, but just don't believe in themselves enough to even start. There is a fear that if they start, not reaching the "THE END" would be a sign of failure.

As a writer, you have to believe in yourself enough to want to finish that story. You have to believe enough to force yourself to do it.

This is just one thing that makes a successful writer. It isn't just the technique. It is the "I CAN DO IT" attitude.

Do you have it/


  1. Fabulous thoughts, Scott. I used to feel like I couldn't finish a book. Then I finished one ;). It definitely helped with my self-esteem.

  2. This is definitely something I've noticed. I usually try, not too harshly, to ask how they could bear leaving the story unfinished. It seems to help them figure out whether they really have the passion for this or not.

    Perhaps I'm lucky in that endings are often the first thing I envision, and so I can't help but keep trying to get there, even if I get bogged down in the middle and it takes longer than I'd like. I keep thinking about that ending and how everything else has to build up to it in order for me to successfully pull it off.

  3. You make a great point here. It is the belief that carries us to the end. Great post.

  4. These comments just don't compute with me. What's the point of not going all the way to THE END?

    Even before I learned to plot I still had to finish the story. Maybe I understood in those early days that it was a 1st draft. That's the inspiration energy of writing a novel. Until that first draft is done there's no way to analyze if it's worth the work to make it a publishable novel.

  5. I had a different experience when I started writing my first novel, FINDING FRAN. To begin with, I didn't even think of it as a novel but just a piece of fiction that I was working on. Being a short story writer, I didn't want to scare myself by thinking in terms of tens of thousands of words instead of the four or five thousand I was used to doing. Instead, I just focused on the story and let the characters lead me down the garden path, so to speak. By the time I hit 25,000 words, I finally allowed myself to think in terms of "book" instead of "story" but by that time, I was so caught up in the tale itself that I couldn't imagine stopping until I found out what happened. Of course, now that I've done it once,I find myself doing it again -- novel-writing, that is. What a slippery slope writing can be...

  6. The first time I saw the old adage "What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?" I realized I would finish my novel. I think that's what it takes is getting rid of the fear of failure.

  7. Just found out about your blog in Writers Digest. I'm looking forward to reading more. Like Joanne Sher, I had similar thoughts at one time but with my recent novel, I did see the end while I was writing it.