Which is harder, writing the beginning of a book or the end?


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Answers vary depending on which writer you ask, but for me, the beginning is always more difficult than wrapping everything up.

Deciding where to start can be nerve-wracking. You want to begin with the action, but if you just throw the characters into a dramatic situation and the readers don’t care about them yet, you have a problem. But you don’t want pages and pages of boring back story before getting to the good stuff.

Something interesting I read not that long ago talked about how when you start a book, you usually don’t have a good grasp of the characters yet and by the time you finish the book, you know them well. Which means you have to go back and re-write the beginning.

I had a bit of a wake-up call when I realized how true that is. In every book I’ve written, once I’ve finished it and gone back to read it all the way through, I’ll start reading the first chapter and think, Hey, character A would not say that. Or, why is character B doing that when in Chapter eight she does the complete opposite? It’s really interesting. You learn a lot as you write.

The only difficulty I have with ending my books is that I’m torn between being relieved that the story’s almost over and torn between being sad because I’ve fallen in love with these characters and want to keep writing for them.

But I always feel fantastic after writing ‘The End.’

When I’m coming up with a plot, I have the end in mind first. I work my way backwards by deciding exactly where everyone is at the end and figuring out how to start a novel with everyone in the opposite place.

So even though I prefer writing endings, I do still love beginnings.

Do you prefer writing endings or beginnings?