Have you ever walked down a road early in the morning when the fog from the night before is just lifting? You can see clearly behind you and even for a the few feet ahead of you. But beyond that, is shrouded in fog. You can make out some shapes ahead of you, but the shapes aren’t defined. That’s what it’s like for me when I’m writing a first draft.
As I’m writing, I come to know my characters and understand their situations. I know where I want them to go, but the details of how it will all work out are still unclear. Then I get to a point in the first draft where all of a sudden the fog lifts and I see the whole story. It is the greatest relief for a writer to suddenly see the end so clearly. Of course, that end has always been there, it just took its time to let me know.
So I finish the first draft and go back to the beginning one more time. Now that I know the ending, I have to plant the seeds so that all the colors that lie ahead in the garden of my story can grow along the way.