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Location: Baltimore-DC Area

Author who writes for a living and lives for writing. // WOMB: a novel in utero (Merge Publishing 2017) // TRACKS: A Novel in Stories (Atticus Books 2011) // FLIGHTLESS GOOSE, a storybook for children (Writers Lair Books 2008) // www.EricDGoodman.com

Friday, February 17, 2006

Begin at the End

Was it Stephen Covey who first said "Begin with the end in mind?" Probably not -- he said it, but surely this advice comes from long before Covey's repackaging. And certainly it'll be repackaged again and again. Most recently, perhaps, by novelist John Irving.

Irving says he never begins writing a novel until he has decided on the end.

"I always start with the last sentence," he says. "I know exactly where I'm going. I have a far more fixed sense of the ending than the beginning. In the five, six, seven years it takes me to write a book, I always know the ending first and don't start writing until I know the last sentence. You need to know the ending to understand the tone and language to use. You need to know how to set everything up to get to where you're going."

When did Irving discover this method? Read Writeful next week as Irving elaborates.


Anonymous Ania (lilajam) from NaNo said...


remember Ania (lilac jam) from NaNo?

how is it going?

i am taking a detour and focusing on short fiction, workshopping on Zoetrope. having fun. having some stories published. check out my blog -- which is pretty static right now, but has the links.


ania (forgot my password, can't log in as user)

February 22, 2006  

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