When I was writing the first book I came across an interesting thing. I was about half way through the book and knew where the plot was going, knew what was going to happen at the end, but I had a burning desire to jump ahead and write the last two chapters. I sat and thought about that for a while, wondered whether other writers did the same thing (they do) and what the ramifications would be for the rest of the book.
I think the main concern had been whether writing the end of the book would create an anti-climax when I had to go back and fill in the blanks in the middle. In the end I decided to do it anyway, if nothing else it was an interesting experiment on how it would make me feel about the book.
So I went ahead and wrote the last couple of chapters, tweaked them and felt quite elated. In some ways it felt like I’d finished the book, even though I knew I hadn’t really. I knew that I had a substantial amount of work still to do on the middle of the book, but even so it gave me a lift. It proved to me that I knew exactly where the story was headed and it wasn’t just something that I was making up as I went along. I guess it provided me with the confidence that I could do it and that spurred me on, I had the beginning, I had the end, now it’s just the middle.
I’ve read various articles that say you should find time to write every day, and while that isn’t always practical, does it really matter what you write? No, if the inspiration for a chapter suddenly comes along then why not do it and fill in the rest later. There aren’t any written rules that say you have to start at page 1 and continue to page 350 in order.
It’s not the first time I’ve done it either, the last chapter of the third book was written when I was half way through writing the second book. Since I know exactly how the series ends and what happens to the characters it was interesting to put it on paper. Sure, I’ll go back and revise it when I get there, but it gave me a buzz to actually have the final chapter of a three book series that I never envisaged would exist.
Now I just need to write the start and the middle of book 3!