Richard’s Resources: Writing in Order

Writing in order

Many new writers think writing a story is a linear process. You start at the beginning, work through the middle, and wrap up the rest of the story at the end. But that’s not always the case.

The End

Similar to Casablanca, but not as impressive or renowned, I didn’t know how one of my stories was going to end until I was a few words from finishing it. That closing line led to another storyline that I added in to create an unexpected, but perfect, conclusion.

So, don’t be afraid to write an unfinished story. You may find the journey offers more than just a destination.

The Middle

Before and throughout my writing process I constantly come up with ideas for single scenes. These visions may occur anywhere in the story arc from preface to post conclusion. I simply jot down the concept, add in any additional quotes, actions, notes, or themes, and move on with my life. Later, I will rearrange the order of all my notes to create an outline.

By the way, Scrivener is a great tool to easily manage this function and many others.

The Beginning

The opening line of my current work in progress actually takes place in the middle of my story. But this single scene is the backbone for the book theme and works perfectly as a hook for the copy.

Not all stories start at the beginning. Feel free to use flash backs, flash forwards, timeline changes, or alternate realities in your story to engage the reader.

Start To Finish

With this said, some writers feel the need to write in a linear fashion, starting with the opening sentence and concluding with ‘the end’, and can do so with perfection. If this is you then congrats and stick with your process.

For others, regardless of your method, or methods, write your story in whatever way works best for you. Your reader will never know of your writing process or the amount of time spent to complete the book. They only care how the finished product is enjoyed by them, which is why we write.

How do you write your stories?

Do you encounter problems with starting at the beginning or ending at the end?

Let me know!

Richard E Todd, author of The Golf Rules series, Short Stories from the Long Links, and other titles has been heard on the PGA Tour radio station and seen in On The Green magazine. Contact him at and follow him on social media and at  and

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