Do you need to know where you’ll end up before starting your journey?
No, I’m not philosophizing. I’m planning.
I’ve come up with a few ideas for short stories, but I don’t know how to end them. A wee problem, eh? I’m afraid to start writing, as I want these stories to be short. Maybe flash length. Gershdernit.
3 thoughts on “No end in sight. A bit of a problem for short stories.”
I think it helps to know where the story is going to end up before you start. At least that’s what I try to do. It’s like a roadtrip: if you don’t have any idea where you’re going, how do you know which direction to take?
On the other hand, not knowing how a story will end before you begin shouldn’t necessarily prohibit you from starting. The very act of writing might inspire you and help you figure out where the story should end up.
I pretty much have to know the ending before I dare begin writing. I’ve had too many short stories fizzle out because I didn’t know where to take them. That’s really frustrating, at least for me.
On the other hand, the latest novel I’m working on began life as one of those fizzled short stories. Once the perfect ending popped into my head, the short story became a whole novel-length story.
I think some writers can start writing without knowing the end because the really do know the end and just don’t know that they know it. They know their characters or their theme or their subject matter or their talent so well that they just start down the road and the inevitable end is reached. It would have been the same if they knew the ending in advance. I don’t think I’m one of those writers.
Still, beginning writing a story without an end is a fine, directed way to get some practice.
Thanks for your encouragement! I managed to get two short stories written, and the ending just “appeared” for both of them.