When I start writing a story I always know how it ends. I am never sure how I am going to get readers there, and sometimes I have no idea how it starts – but I always know how it ends.
As a result, I don’t have a writing process that takes me from Point A to Point B in a linear progression. Much like my travels, my writing meanders and there are delays, obstacles, and detours if something more interesting happens along. By more interesting, I mean I may be happily writing in the current story, then an idea for other characters in a story four books later strikes me and I have to go write that for a while. Sometimes I write in five or six different narratives before I can return to the one I started in. Is that too many stories to write in at once? Maybe if I had a strict deadline.
But I love writing interconnected stories in a series. I have to write what comes later first so I know how to foreshadow it in earlier stories. In one sense I am writing the entire series backwards, since I already know how it ends – it’s a matter of setting up a lot of dominoes to get everyone there. I think writing this way gives readers from the beginning of the series the opportunity for a lot of ‘Aha!’ moments – those times when suddenly why a character said something in Book 1 makes sense, or the reason that weird thing that happened in Book 3 becomes clear.
Although it may take me longer to get from the end to the beginning and back again, I eventually do find the trail to the end – which is the beginning for me.