Writing Resources

Novel 5… last chapter done

Yep, I’ve finished writing the last chapter of the latest novel.

Now, before you get too excited, be reminded that I only started writing this novel recently and I am far from finished. I finished the first chapter last week and the last chapter this week but there’s the whole issue of the rest of the thing. All the middle stuff stills needs to be written. I just wanted to try something different with this latest novel so I thought it might be interesting to write the first chapter, to get a feel for the character’s voices, and then leap to the end, to better prepare me for how things need to resolve.

Now I know some writers detest planning but I’ve found myself enjoying the process more if I’m better prepared before starting the novel. The first novel I wrote was a completely chaotic affair, me only having the barest ideas of where I wanted the story to go. I did enjoy myself writing it but I think the novel itself suffered from a lack of planning (and editors seem to agree since I’ve had minimal interest expressed overit). Over the next few novels I’ve increased my planning but I’ve always written linearly.

So, this time, though I had a fleshed out plan I also wanted to really feel what the last chapter needed to accomplished. Not just in plan form, but through the characters. It has certainly been an interesting experience and we’ll see if it will pay any dividends as I write the remainder. With each novel I want to experiment with different ways of telling my stories and I do believe I’m moving closer to a process that works well for me.

Former lead designer at BioWare (Dragon Age: Origins, Neverwinter Nights). Creator of Raiders of the Serpent Sea.


  • dataferret

    Interesting.   Are you planning on coming back and touching up that last chapter when you get the rest in, or is it more or less set in stone?  I wonder if that choice would make you write differently in-between.

  • Brent Knowles

    Yep, I’ll definitely touch it up, possibly even rewrite the chapter if necessary. I generally find that I have to rewrite several chapters in the second draft anyways (though with each novel the amount of rewriting is becoming less and less).

    If I were unable to go back and rewrite the end chapter (say, if I were writing to contract on a tight deadline) I’d be ┬ámore┬áhesitant┬áto do an experiment like this. I’m not 100% sure I’ve nailed the voice of the main character, for example, and so I’m certain I’ll have to do some revision to correct that in the second draft.

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