As I scrambled to finish my new young adult manuscript before my next critique group meeting, I felt like I was a little lost. I thought it was because I could write these certain scenes because I didn’t have all the information I needed from the police officers and the juvenile court judge. But as I tried to write around these scenes I still wasn’t feeling particularly directed.

I decided to try something my friend and mentor has done for years—write the ending first. I used to think she was crazy—wasn’t that like eating dessert first? The ending was my favorite part; I wanted to savor it, treat myself to it after working hard over 200-300 pages in a manuscript.

But I decided to try it because I wasn’t sure what I was doing after a big turning point in the book. And it was amazing! I wrote and rewrote the ending scene, which expanded into the last chapter. Suddenly I had all this clarity about where the earlier chapters should go and how I needed to shape certain relationships and events. So, of course, Julie is trying not to say “I told you so.” But go ahead
and say it, I don’t care. I’m just thrilled the book is chugging along again!

I also tried her method of writing random scenes and putting them together. This was mainly because I was at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference last weekend and had brought my Dana AlphaSmart which is fantastic but doesn’t handle large documents as well as smaller ones. So I gave up trying to work on my big novel and wrote different scenes I knew I wanted in the book. It was a lot of fun and got my juices flowing.

Yesterday I was sick so today I’m playing catch up with my Blab, the Blab-o-Readers, and Erin’s blog.  This weekend I should be able to get back to the novel.

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