I’m pretty sure a lot of people are going to disagree with this sentiment. The path of the pantser if fairly common. Not the way I do things, but I’ve run into many who simply fly into a story to see where it goes. There could be an ending in mind or it could just be a beginning or middle that they have. One thing I can be sure of is that it differs from person to person. Then again, I’m a severe plotter, so I shouldn’t speak as if I understand the other side of the pasture.
While I don’t come up with my endings first, I do like to have them in mind before I start writing. This helps me keep things on track and avoid running the story into a brick wall or minefield. Some would say that the downside is that your writing becomes too linear and dull because you remove the chaos of creation. I can see how you can come to that conclusion, but deciding on the ending doesn’t mean you know how you’re going to get there. Most of my books had the finale planned out, but I only had a general idea of how to get there. That goes for chapter and book endings. Probably why I had the outlines and still had that excitement of not really knowing what will happen.
Sometimes, I like to think of writing like driving. Biggest difference is that I really enjoy writing and driving is just something I do to get around. Anyway, you know where you’re supposed to go, but there are different routes to get there. Of course, you have the most common one that you know the best and is kind of obvious. Yet, there could be an accident or broken street light that forces you to take a detour. Maybe you forgot about a parade that closes off a bunch of streets. Either way, you need to get to your intended ending by a different route. I’m reminded of how people say it’s the journey and not the destination that’s important when it comes to traveling. Well, the same can be said for writing for both the author and reader. As long as you get to where you’re going, it should all work out.
Again, this is personal taste. I like dealing with as many known entities as I can because the unknown can drive me up the wall. Some of it is a good thing because you can’t know everything. It’s when I don’t have a plan or the plan I do have is too flimsy to give me comfort that I have issues. So, knowing my ending gives me a target and faith that I can finish the project. Maybe it goes against my more roving and rambling nature, which I had in high school too. After all, I had a bad habit of turning a short story into a novel because I kept building on things. That ending means I can’t go over the top and risk destroying everything because I keep thinking up ‘cool twists’. So, it’s a personal restraint on my creativity that I psychologically require.
That’s all just me though. I’m sure many opinions are waiting to appear in the comments if they haven’t already. So, what do you think about knowing your ending?