To illustrate this process, let us assume that I get this brilliant (and original) idea of slow and steady wins the race expansion: the wild West is invading the earth. I first start an electronic file to write notes about the story. Inevitably, a new idea produces a storm of ideas about the opening scene, characters, settings, scenes, plots, dialogue excerpts, potential confrontations. All I do at this point is to insert it in the file. Once I judge that I have enough material, I start working on the story, but I do it in a different way than writing the draft as a first step. My initial priority is to set an acceptable end.
In return, I mean one believable me, the writer, as well as the reader. I often end up not satisfied, in my opinion, with a reader who agreed to suspend the belief of the course of the story. As you struggle for this end, I will think of more parts of the plots or settings of the dialogue or scene but there is no guarantee that any of these parts will be in the manuscript because I do not know after the end. Consequently, I can not tell if this article is appropriate for the story.
Why is the end so important? As Robert McKee tells us in his book “Story,” much of the story’s construction is lagging behind, working from peak to beginning. This ensures that dialogue, viewer and conflict drives the reader from the opening of the story to the final action. It also ensures that all plot points are consistent and without conversions. This illustrates the main problem in trying to write the story before the end: the author can not direct the reader toward the end of the story. Do not exist yet! This will result in a great deal of rewrite once the end is finally discovered, because much of the initial writing will not be relevant to the story.
For our virtual story, when I come to the end, I summarize the story in one sentence: X is superior to the bizarre alien invaders and provides the world only to discover that his maternal grandmother was a strange intruder. The importance of this sentence lies in the fact that it divides the activities of characters as they move to the height of the story. For example, a character X-hero must deceive invaders, so killing them all in an explosion will violate the summary. The summary of the end and the story may also affect your characters’ drawings. If you had previously thought of a muscular man, I now know that he will need a brain more than a humerus to stay within the features of the story.
If I do not already do this, my next steps are to fill the character set so that I develop a Y character as the owner of X and Z as a foreign leader will be the opponent.
With these characters in place, I need a plot problem for Z and Z to fight. In this case, it is quite clear that the problem of the plot is to make foreigners leave the land. In most cases, it is easy to understand the problem of conspiracy once the end is discovered.
Now I can develop a plot that has X trying to defeat Z, just to fail. many times. Finally, in desperation, X tries again and succeeds (or does not!). When the plot unfolds, I make sure it moves the story towards the end. Any meeting or action that does not meet this requirement is removed because it is distracting.
Now I have a great sense of story, characters and end, I use it all to write a story summary. This is a summary of four to eight paragraphs about the story as I see it. In fact, this is a road map to tell the story and reach its climax. It also serves to verify the story itself. If the summary does not satisfy me as a writer and reader, building the story needs more work. As a preview of the story, I ask myself if anyone wants to read this? If I can not honestly answer yes, then go back to the construction process. This emphasizes the great advantage of this process. If the summary shows the need for more work, it has invested a few hundred words instead of thousands on a short story. For example, in a story I’m working on now, the story’s summary showed that the end would be boring but had an exciting work scene in the middle of the story. Since the climax must be the best part of the story, it has lifted the middle scene and rewritten and put it in the end. This change requires less than five minutes of work. If I did not see this problem until after completing the manuscript, it would take a long review to make the same change.