Writing to The End

by Rachel Hauck, @RachelHauck 

Once I wrote the first draft of a book in six weeks. I was quite satisfied with having written 76k words, but I had a few more to go before writing The End.

Then, I had to start all over. The story needed a lot of  sanding and polishing.

Usually, about 2/3rds through the first draft, I make a major discovery that sort of brings the whole story together for me. I’ll stop writing forward and go back to the beginning and rewrite. The process usually goes quickly because I know what I’m doing.

But that time, I didn’t stop. I made some major character discoveries. I even changed a major character’s setting. But that’s okay. I refused to go back to the beginning to start my rewrites.

I wanted to go all the way to The End to see what was there.

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So much of a story is discovered as you write it, no matter how much you’ve planned and plotted. I dare say, if you’re not discovering character and plot layers as you write, you  might not be thinking deep enough.

It’s easy to stay with the plan. The writing is fast and relatively easy. But is that the best story the plot and characters can tell?

Stick with the story. Write to The End. Then begin rewriting. It’s a valuable lesson I learned while writing that book.

Here’s another big tip. Stay with the same story. Don’t jump to another idea. It’s so easy to get bored with what you’re writing and want to do something else. Stick it out.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to write to The End before starting over or moving to another project.


Tenley Roth’s first book was a runaway bestseller. Now that her second book is due, she’s locked in fear. Can she repeat her earlier success or is she a fraud who has run out of inspiration?With pressure mounting from her publisher, Tenley is weighted with writer’s block. But when her estranged mother calls asking Tenley to help her through chemotherapy, she packs up for Florida where she meets handsome furniture designer Jonas Sullivan and discovers the story her heart’s been missing.

A century earlier, another woman wrote at the same desk with hopes and fears of her own. Born during the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Under the strict control of her mother, her every move is decided ahead of time, even whom she’ll marry. But Birdie has dreams she doesn’t know how to realize. She wants to tell stories, write novels, make an impact on the world. When she discovers her mother has taken extreme measures to manipulate her future, she must choose between submission and security or forging a brand new way all on her own.Tenley and Birdie are from two very different worlds, but fate has bound them together in a way time cannot erase.

New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal best-selling, award-winning author Rachel Hauck loves a great story. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a past ACFW mentor of the year. A worship leader and Buckeye football fan, Rachel lives in Florida with her husband and ornery cat, Hepzibah. Read more about Rachel at www.rachelhauck.com.