_ «Ted Chiang: My usual process is to start with the ending. The first thing I write is usually the last paragraph of the story, or a paragraph very close to the end; it may change somewhat after I've written the rest of the story, but usually not much. Everything else in the story is written with that destination in mind. I've heard many writers say that they lose interest if they know the ending too far in advance, but I have the opposite problem. I've tried writing stories when I didn't know the ending, and I've never been able to finish them.» _
Ted Chiang is one of the world's best short story writers, as evidenced by his many, many awards (which include the Whole Set: the Campbell, the Nebula, the Sturgeon, the Sidewise, the Locus, the Hugo, and others). If you haven't been reading him, you're really and truly missing out.