Start from the End, My Friend

One of my fave writing quotes is from E. L. Doctorow:

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

This is true.

We write in Tiny Beetle Steps 🐞 🪲 🐞 🪲 🐞

But if we have no clue where we’re going, and it’s dark and foggy, we can end up going round in circles. Or even wandering off a cliff.

It’s much easier and safer if you know vaguely where you’re going.

(And don’t worry, you don’t have to have the entire journey mapped out in detail if you’re not a details person—you can still go on side quests along the way if that’s how you roll)

It seems obvious to start writing a book at the beginning—and for some people, that works great. They love a logical order from A to Z and they love to see every step mapped out.

But we don’t all write like that and if you place me in front of a computer and say start at the start and finish at the end now GO I will whimper and then I will start a new hobby instead, like learning to play the didgeridoo to symphony standard.

(I can’t play the didgeridoo but now I want to learn)


Trying to write from the start of a book to the finish can be even trickier if we’re still struggling to narrow down our Big Idea—or if we haven’t chosen which idea to go with yet.

So instead, try this:

✨ Start at the end ✨

Imagine your book is written and write the last page or two.

Your reader is at the end of your book, now what do you want them to do? Be? Feel?

What’s their next step—with or without you?


If you can figure out your destination, then your starting point and everything in between becomes clearer.

Sum up your book in a couple of paragraphs, THEN think about starting it.

Lemme know if it helps.

Psst: Season 3 of The Weird + Wonderful Book Society kicks off at the end of June. I’m opening the doors in a couple of weeks…

But if you want to sneak in the side door now and secure your place (there are only 10 spots available) you can hit the big pink button below:

Or book a call with me here and we’ll talk.

Notes in the Margin

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About the Author Vicky Fraser