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Tip Tuesday #99

Tip Tuesday is a recurring feature where blog readers send in tips for fellow writers. If you'd like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

Today I have a tip from Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban who blogs at Dare to Read. This is the first tip she's sent in so please visit her sites and consider subscribing. Her most recent post is on querying, which is always a popular topic, so check it out when you're done here.

Writing Tip: Know your ending.

To write a story you need characters, setting and conflict. You also need an ending.

If you don't have an ending you don't know where you are going and, although you may get there by trial and error, it would take you longer and you'll need many revisions for the ending to fit the story properly.

Yes, I know Stephen King does not know the ending of his stories when he starts writing and he seems to be doing all right, but, in my experience 99% of writers block and 99% of unfinished manuscripts are a direct consequence of the author not knowing the end a priori.



  1. This is a great tip Carmen. I so agree with you. I'm thinking of a new project and couldn't figure out my ending for the longest time. I couldn't start the project until I sort of figured out the end. And it makes it so much easier to know the plot twists your story needs if you know the end.

    Thanks for the tip.

  2. This is cool. I find that if I can figure out the beginning and the ending of a story, the rest just drops in naturaly. :)

  3. I fear you're right, even though I'd still like to think it's possible to discover the ending as you go - and definitely possible to discover a different ending. I've only started one story without at least a sense of the ending, and it completely stalled around 150 pages - no idea where it's going. Which pretty much sucks!

  4. I think it's important to have an ending so you know you're always working towards something, but don't be afraid to change it. Good advice!

  5. Isn't that true? The same goes for us: if we have life goals, chances are we'll follow them. You have to envision where you're going to get there. Thanks for sharing this tip.

  6. There's always something or someone who is the exception to the rule (Darn you Stephen King and your awesome scary stories).

    I have to agree with this tip. It can be very helpful in directing the flow of the story when you know where you want to end up.

  7. This has been my biggest obstacle to finishing and has caused me a lot of rework. I read Stephen King's advice and thought I was A-OK, but I've continued to struggle! It would have been much easier if my original outline included an end goal rather than trying to let the story figure itself out.

  8. I always know my ending. It keeps me on track.

  9. I usually know my ending... Thanks for the tip!

  10. I enjoyed this post, thank you. It's interesting reading the various writing processes of other writers. Sometimes I have an ending, with no beginning or middle, while other times the story unfolds to reveal the ending!

  11. Unless, of course, you are writing a NaNo novel. Then the ending is often filled with sweet surprises.