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GUEST BLOG: Walter Ramsey

Finishing before you start


A lot of writers seem to be stuck when we first begin to write. The question for many is where to start. Yes, we all sketch out our ideas, create character charts and develop a general plot outline to help us along. What works best for me, is when I finish, before I start.

When I wrote my new novel, Beneath the Dune, I wrote the very last chapter first! I’ve looked at most of my writing as a road map. I have a destination, and a number of routes to get there. For me, the journey is half the fun. Which road should I follow, which turn should I take and what detours will divert me. All this comes together as I make my way to my final destination, my final chapter.

The other concern is inspiration. Where does it come from? You may be surprised to find it can, and will come from the most unlikely sources. In writing Beneath the Dune, I intertwined the present with the past with a number of dream sequences through out the novel. Why not, since that very last chapter I wrote came straight from a dream I had, yes a dream. The last chapter I mentioned earlier is a dream I had, so I went with it and used it as the destination at the end of the route I was planning to take.

For me, writing is a choice of avenues. For many others, it can be what ever you imagine. What is important is that you find a working process, the route, which fits you best. Sometimes it will be the road less traveled. So take the road, explore the scenery along the way, and make it what ever you perceive it to be. Most importantly have fun with what ever you decide to do!


After years of teaching others to read and write as a high school language arts teacher, Ramsay was inspired to do a bit of writing himself and produced this novel. Intended to engage and entertain, the book was written for fans of light murder mysteries.

About the Author

Walter Ramsay holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in education. He has worked as a high school language arts teacher and athletic coach for more than 25 years and enjoys working and learning with young people. Ramsay currently resides in Ocean County, N.J. and spends his free time at his house in Brevard County, Fla. Married with four children and two grandchildren, he enjoys the outdoors, following sports and learning about history.

“I enjoy writing stories that will engage the readers mind and bring pleasure to them,” says Ramsay. “This book, my first novel, offers a unique look at the possibilities that can link the past to the present.”

Categories: Guest Blogs
  1. July 3, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Hi Walter and Rasana,
    That’s an interesting idea, to write the last chapter first. That happened with me, but unintentionally. I began with a man getting out of jail and hoping to start a new life, then realized it was more interesting to see how he got there in the first place. So eventually the story ended with his going to jail.

    To your point, though, it’s important to know where your story is going to end up, even if the route isn’t clear.

    • rasanaatreya
      July 3, 2011 at 10:50 pm

      Sometimes you don’t really know (or I didn’t, anyway) where the story is going. My story “Tell A Thousand Lies” followed the life of my protagonit, Pullamma, and I learnt more and more about her as she grew as a character. While Walter’s (and possibly yours, Bob) book is plot driven, mine is character driven.

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