I “Finished” Battle Song–Writing With the End in Mind

end in mind.png

I know, I know, you got so excited when you saw this. “Whoa, she finished her novel in a month? Awesome!”

Well, not really…but I did finish the end of Battle Song(Which was only about 5,000 words long…so not that awesome.)

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I was browsing on Pinterest and I saw a writing tip that said to start writing at the end, so that you know where you’re going with the story. Since I’m not an outliner, this sounded like a great idea to try. Normally, I never have endings planed out.

So I took some time to prepare (though, not too much, since I already had a basis of the world from last November, when I originally started Battle Song). I figured out a few main scenes I wanted to happen at the end, and then I decided to write it.

But every single scene didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to.

Some might call it a waste of time because I’ll probably only use two or three paragraphs plus some phrases of that ending, but I thought it was rewarding, and here’s why.

Because the ending turned out so much what I didn’t want, I figured out what I did want.

I took a few notes while I was writing, and here’s a few of them to show you what I mean:

When this is rewritten I need to do better at the dagger her sisters giving her being more tempting or something…this is a bit not intense enough, as if everything is already decided. There’s not enough realization.


Ugh, there’s so much explaining in the scene. I want Amrya to figure almost all of it out, if possible, and have <spoiler> be the cinching moment when it all comes together. So I’ll need more stuff throughout the book.


(And a good one.)

Ooh okay so she has this ancestry line… <spoiler spoiler> So as she’s learning more about them, she’s thinking about her ancestors, realizes that…interesting, hehe. Yay!


It was a great learning experience for me. These last few scenes were supposed to be pivotalintense scenes, and they just really weren’t. Writing them told me that I needed to bring more elements of the ending throughout the entire book, so that there would be traces and hints to what would happen from the very beginning.

Basically I need to foreshadow.

Additionally, writing the ending first helped me figure out what I really wanted with this story. What I wanted the reader to feel, to come away with. I’m still figuring it out, but I have a much better idea.

In the first version I started (that is, Battle Song 1.0, (this is 2.0)), Amrya trades her beauty rather than her voice. I realized that, as I was writing 1.0, I didn’t want that. It didn’t affect her enough.

As I tried to figure out the exact aspects of her deal with the sea witch, I was having a lot of trouble, but I came up with a few ideas. Writing the ending scene, when it came up again, helped me figure it outEven though I’m still not sure about it. But it’s better.

And religion! In the original story by Hans Christian Andersen, part of the reason the little mermaid wants to become a human and marry the prince is so that she can have an immortal soul. (The mermaids don’t have souls–they drift into seafoam at death–but marriage to a human would combine his soul with hers.)

It came up in 1.0, but I didn’t really realize how important I wanted it to be, and how much it affected the story. I was really intrigued by this aspect that Disney took out (well, they took out a lot of things), and as I planned and wrote this ending, it became a very integral part of the plot line.

(Not to mention that there was a little scene that was like a fluffy bit of goodness and I love it to death.)

Writing the end was pretty awesome, and it’s also helped me as I restart with Battle Song 2.0! I’ve written one chapter, and it’s pretty great, mostly because of the development I did. Everything is a lot more important to Amrya as a character and expressed in much better ways.

So, writing the end? I’d call it a success.


let us speak to each other wonderful words

Well…that was kind of a rambly post. What did you think? It was supposed to be a writing advice post but I think it turned into more of an update post, so…oops.

Have you ever tried writing/planning out the ending to your stories/novels first? How do you plan for your ending? How do you plan your novel–or do you? What things are absolutely essential to figure out before you start writing?

Oh, and check out Battle Song‘s new pageIt’s even got a synopsis and everything. *wink wink* Don’t ask me why I winked there. I just did.

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9 thoughts on “I “Finished” Battle Song–Writing With the End in Mind

    • Lana June 28, 2017 / 9:08 PM

      Thank you! It was fun to try out and to write about. 🙂

      Like

  1. Claire Wong June 29, 2017 / 12:07 AM

    Writing the end early on is a great idea if you want to include lots of foreshadowing – it helps you know what you’re alluding to. That was really interesting about the original story too and the fact that it had a religious element, I didn’t know that before 🙂

    Like

    • Lana June 29, 2017 / 10:15 PM

      Yes, definitely…hopefully I will succeed in adding some cool foreshadowing. And yes! It was really interesting to learn and will be fun to incorporate. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. May @ Forever and Everly June 29, 2017 / 9:01 PM

    Wow, writing the end really seems to work for you! I think I’m more of an outliner (though I haven’t for REAL outlined anything yet) and plotter/planner than a pantser, but I’ve heard the advice of writing the end first! And duuuuuuude I keep forgetting Battle Song is a Little Mermaid retelling and I’m like WHY SHE GOT MERMAIDS IN SOME DRAGON WAR NOVEL. XD (Yes I keep thinking it’s about a dragon war. 😛 ) I’m glad you figured a lot of things out, Lana! 😀

    Like

    • Lana July 8, 2017 / 10:06 PM

      Yep…maybe I’ve found my own way of writing! Because they always say that you should write in the way that works for you.

      You probably think that because I would LOVEEE to have a dragon war novel because dragons. And war. Like my two favorite things. But there is a war. And I need to talk about it more so that all my readers can find out about it! Maybe a spotlight or just some crazed ramblings or something…

      Thanks! I’m glad, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kellyn Roth June 30, 2017 / 2:43 PM

    Wow, I seriously believed you’d actually finished Battle Song for a moment there. *glares at Lana for betraying my trust*

    I usually just write parts of the sequel first. And then I REALLY know how it ends. XD But seriously, I’d written parts of At Her Fingertips before I finished Ivy Introspective.

    Well…that was kind of a rambly post. What did you think?: I really liked it! And I thought it was sorta writing-adivice-y. I think that’s a pretty cool idea! I always try to write with the ending in mind. In fact, it’s weird that you would post this now (well, a couple days ago … that’s how long it takes me to get through the posts in my reader nowadays … although I did read a part of it earlier in my Inbox …). Anyways, I was trying to figure Beyond Her Calling out … and I had no idea what to put in the middle! I had a beginning and an end, basically, and even the ending wasn’t too developed. Being a major outliner (well, being a person who wants to be a major outliner but fails), I need to know the middle so … yep. I was just thinking about how I could use the ending to create a series of stepping stones to get there.

    So yes. It is really weird that you posted this … a couple days ago. XD

    Have you ever tried writing/planning out the ending to your stories/novels first?:
    I’m trying to plan from the end backwards right now, but … it’s not going too well. I’m really struggling with finding the middle (and the ending). But I will soon!

    How do you plan for your ending?:
    Uh … I guess I just think about where I want the characters to end up. I always kind of know the ending before I begin, soooo …

    How do you plan your novel–or do you?:
    I do! I use like fifty different techniques. The summary. The bullet point. The plot arc thingy. Sticky notes for scenes. Sticky notes for plot points. Random listing of events. And that was just with At Her Fingertips. XD Seriously, I will outline the same novel five different ways … *sighs at over-plotty-ness.

    What things are absolutely essential to figure out before you start writing?:
    Well, for me, it’s the beginning, middle, and end. I can work with the characters as I go as long as I know a tiny bit about them (like just their name sometimes), but I need to know plot stuff or the story goes all over the place. Literally. I mean, TDS and IvIn are both products of not plotting in the first draft. Both of them kinda spiral out even in their finished draft!

    Like

    • Lana July 8, 2017 / 10:14 PM

      Hehehhh, sorry. I’m really…not close at all to finishing.

      Well, I don’t blame you for that. AFOP is so awesome it’d be hard to resist writing that. 😉

      Must be my psychic abilities kicking in and helping me post right when you’re thinking about the ending of your novel! 😉

      Wow. That’s a lot of outlining. I don’t think I even fully outline one way, let alone five, hehe!

      Haha, I think we are very different writers. Although I am getting better at preparing and developing plot and stuff…but it’s hard to not just write from a story spark. (I mean, that’s what I did with Enhanced, and look how cool it is now! After much thought and revision of plot and ideas…)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kellyn Roth July 10, 2017 / 7:47 PM

        Yeah, my outlining is nuts. Or at least it was for AFOP. With TDS and IvIn … not so much. I kinda loosely summarized what I wanted to have with IvIn, but not with TDS at all … and they both got seriously reivsed.

        Like

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