I just found out my Preteen reads the last page (sometimes even the last chapter) of a book first! I don’t know if he does this all the time, but he does it some of the time. Apparently, so does his literacy teacher! He says it doesn’t “ruin” the story for him…he says that if it’s a good book, reading the end first makes him more interested in reading the entire book because he wants to see how the author is going to get to the end. Still sounds like a ruined story to me, but whatever…at least he’s reader! (I’ve been repeating that line over and over in my head ever since he broke the news to me – “At least he’s a reader…at least he’s a reader…”)
The interesting thing about this, though, is I’ve been thinking about how to fix the plot of my I Am Anna Winkler and knowing that there are people out there who will read the ending first (and then, if it interests them enough, they’ll go back to see “how the author gets there”) is affecting my plotting. While I’ve decided the next draft needs to end at about the halfway point of the current draft (the point where the “how it happened” is revealed), I’ve realized I need more than the “how it happened!” Just finding out how something happened isn’t going to be enough to entice someone like Preteen to go back and start at the beginning to see “how the author is going to get there” because the ending will give away the entire story. I need an ending that’s satisfying to the “regular reader” who starts at the beginning and reads to the end AS WELL AS an ending that inspires those weird people who read the end first to go back and read the entire book!