FAQ 10apr12

April 10th, 2012 | FAQ

Do you usually know the heart of something when you start writing it, or do you have to have dig around to find it first?

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What I always say is that the two things I first need to know are what the story’s about, and what the book’s *really* about.  That is to say, the basic plot, often very basic, and what I’m actually there to talk about, the themes and subjects of the book.  Story without theme is just a bunch of typing.  Often, the themes — the stuff I’m actually there to talk about — will assemble themselves before the plotline.

And, also, the end.  I do need to have a clue of how it ends.  I’ve been known to start with the ending and work backwards.  I mean, to the point where I thought of an ending first, gathered the themes that suggested themselves from the ending, and then plotted in reverse time up to the opening scene.

FAQchive is here.

You can send questions to warrenellis@gmail.com or ask me on Tumblr.


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  1. You can find Warren on Twitter: @warrenellis