It’s never easy really, starting out, but you have to begin somewhere - as did I. I’ve begun a new writing… let’s call it, ‘venture’, and my boss has kindly decided to help me. I used to actually find it easy to begin writing something, and once I began I could go on for a while with great zeal, before, quite abruptly, coming to a stop. I never quite gave knowing where a story was going the importance it needed, which is probably why I’ve never finished anything to date.
So Helen sat me down, took out an A3 piece of paper, and started firing questions at me. Who is my character? What is her goal? What makes her tick? What’s her External Conflict (EC), her Internal Conflict (IC)? This was a lot of questions. Most of my answers to these questions began with ‘Err…’ followed by a few seconds silence. It’s not that I hadn’t thought about my story, or my characters, I had a general idea of what was going to happen and what it was going to be about, but of course thinking about the details began to give this general idea clarity. And in talking about the main character, I realised I’d thought a lot about the ECs she’d be facing, but not enough about her own IC. What began to develop was something solid, a clearer direction; plot.
Sometimes, the excitement is in not knowing where you’re going, but left adrift it’s not hard to lose momentum, and before you know it beginnings can lead to no end at all. That’s not to say there’s no room to maneuver, or that the events won’t evolve or change, but with a little bit of thought (or actually, a lot), knowing the characters you’re dealing with, and knowing the obstacles that they will face, you should, more often than not, help your beginning find that end.