Martha Alderson

Start Plotting Your Novel from the End

From my experience writing fiction and helping writers with plot, I’ve found that we often obsess over the beginning of our stories, developing detailed backstories and writing, revising and rewriting – and rightly so. Beginnings hook readers. At the same time, endings create fans. Don’t fall into the trap of neglecting to give your endings the same sort of time and attention by stalling out before ever reaching the end or by slapping on an ending with the hope it works.

For now, forget the beginning of your story and turn your focus to the end. This approach of plotting from the end allows you to visualize the whole of your story rather than simply juggle a loose collection of its parts or scenes.

Whether you’re a pantser or a plotter or a combination of the two and whether you have a firm grasp of what happens at the end of your story or simply a vague idea, come prepared to try out two new strategies. Learn the foundational skills of a backwards approach to satisfy both the inner plot and the outer plot of your romance novel.


MARTHA ALDERSON, MA is known as the Plot Whisperer for her best-selling The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master. She writes novels for readers, plot books for writers, and most recently Boundless Creativity: A Spiritual Workbook for Overcoming Self-Doubt, Emotional Traps, and Other Creative Blocks for anyone looking to enrich their lives with more creativity and inspiration. She lives and writes in Santa Cruz. Learn more about Alderson on her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Youtube.