Last Monday I posted a snippet from Grahame Greene --
A story has no beginning or end;
arbitrarily one chooses that moment of
experience from which to look back
or from which to look ahead.
The End of the Affair 1951
We had a discussion on where we begin a story. Roland had a fabulous counter-question after reading my post -- where do we end the story?
Do we linger too long, milking the afterglow of the story. Or do we end too abruptly once the crisis is averted or overcome?
Many teachers of creative writing stress not to begin writing until you have the ending clearly in mind
so that you can head to it with skillful foreshadowing and firm precision, not meandering until the end just comes to you.
I think that approach also helps you to know when to begin.
If you know the ending with its transformation of the main character, then you know where to start your story ...
and you get a sense of how to bring your protagonist to his destination.
So my question to you -- Do you know the ending before your beginning? Or Do you let it just come to you?