Seorang teman maya di milis “writers”, Bruno, nanya kenapa ia gak pernah bisa nyelesaiin cerita yang ingin ditulisnya. Teman lain bernama Jeff Hall menyarankan Bruno untuk mulai menulis dari bagian akhir kayak yang dilakukan Agatha Christie.

Bertahun lalu gw juga cukup sering bertanya di milis ini. Kali ini, saat baca emailnya Bruno, gw coba share apa yang gw percaya. Ini bukan soal memberikan jawaban yang benar (yah, apa ada yang benar-benar benar dalam soal ini?), tapi gimana kita sharing apa yang kita percayai kepada orang lain. Jawaban gw ini mungkin bermanfaat buat teman2 di sini:

Hi Bruno,
I’ve been asking the same question for myself. Although until this time I haven’t got a clear solution, I think I’m starting to see the beginning of its answer (at least for myself) so let me share something to you.

I start with a question: how does a story work? A story is like a usual conversation. A writer sits there and tells us who is John and what happened in his life. A writer may first tell us about John’s house or John’s teacher or John’s family and then deliver an unrelated conversation about a dog or a computer before finishing his stories with something that relates all topics before. So he or she must know what he or she wants to tell, and use the best approach (best plots) to convey it.

As a (wanna be) writer, I think all I have to do is to know, from the very beginning of my reading effort, what a writer wants to tell us (or what you called the whole picture). We can do this by re-reading (read at least twice), but there is other way that doesn’t waste time, we can read the first 2 pages of a novel (or the first 2 paragraphs of a short story) and skip to the last 2 pages of a novel (or the last 2 paragraphs of a short story) to find out what kind of story the writer want to tell us, then continue to read orderly from page (or paragraph) 3rd until end of that story.

Of course when we skip to the last part of the story we don’t have to find the right answer about what the writer wants to tell us. We just have to guess what it all is about, letting our mind wander to connect the beginning and the end part of the story while reading the rest of the story (from page 3rd until the last lage) just like the writer does.