“Diana Metz contemplates”: which is easier (or harder) to write – beginnings or endings. For me it’s almost always the ending. Most of the time when I sit down to write a story, I already know how it’s going to end. The beginning and middle are usually a little bit fuzzy, but that ending is the vivid picture in my mind and what drives me to completion. Less often, I will hear a line or two from the middle of the story, a snapshot from a scene without context. I know nothing of the characters wandering around in the scene, nothing about the world in which they live. I just see them doing things, saying things, and I know that there is a story there. Rare is the time when I have the beginning of the story in clear view, so that is almost always the hardest part for me.

In each of these cases, I usually have to let the idea sit and percolate for a while, let it simmer and stew in its own juices. I’m not sure what’s happening, let alone where it’s going, so until I do have some idea, it’s pointless to start writing. Often what happens is I come up with a separate story idea that eventually ties itself to this one. The two ideas, seemingly independent, become the formula for a new and different story, the setting for a universe I never imagined.

I have so many ideas now, though, that I suddenly have two universes beginning to form in my mind. One is a sci-fi setting; the other is a fantasy setting. I’m sure that if I give them long enough, both worlds will start to manifest themselves frequently in my writing. Frankly, I can’t wait.

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