This advice from Alan Watt’s wise how-two, THE 90-DAY NOVEL:
“I didn’t try to figure out the ending, but rather, imagined a sense of my hero at the end of the story. How was he relating differently to his father? What had he come to understand as a result of his journey? How was the dilemma resolved? What was the visual metaphor, the image that captured the essence of my story at the end?
As I pondered these questions, ideas came to me, and I realized that they were a goldmine of images for what preceded the ending.
Imagining our hero transformed is a sure way to gain insight into our ending, while eliciting images and ideas for what precedes it. We are not after a concrete series of events, but rather a sense of how the hero has been altered by the end. This sense leads us, in time, to that concrete series of events. Of course, the story never unfolds exactly as we had imagined it. If it did, there would be no reason to write it.”