Tuesday Tip: Imagine the Ending

Tuesday tips is a category of posts here at Writerly Life promises to offer concrete tips for improving or kickstarting your writing. The tips that fall into this category are the sorts that you can do today or even right now.

This week’s tip is:

Imagine the Ending

When you’re writing a long story or a novel, it can be easy to get bogged down somewhere in the middle. You know you have to have your characters traveling across all of Siberia, or you know that you need at least two hundred pages; whatever the reason, we can get lost in the soggy middle. In these parts of the story, we can lose sight of the original tension or momentum and end up with a dull, dragging, or confused work. There’s something you can do right now, though, that will get you back on track.

Today, take a look at your novel. Don’t think about the middle or all the small wearying intervening scenes you have to write. Instead, allow yourself to picture the very ending. Get a clear image of the last scene, the final message you want to send; if you can, try to picture even the final image. Where is your character? What has been accomplished? Who is your character with? Who is he or she thinking of in his or her last thought?

This technique can really kickstart your writing in a variety of ways. First, it can give you the direction your story needs. You’ll now know where you must be heading, where you will eventually need to end up. Second, it can help you figure out what is really important in your story. Not only will it help you end where you want to end, but also it will help you focus on the right things in the middle. And finally, it can be a big motivator to imagine that there is in fact an ending. To picture the light at the end of the tunnel will help you get there all the faster.