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Hey there (: So Im really bad at writing summaries for my stories. They either end up being really boring and atract no one, or they end up not really explaining the story. Which is annoying because i feel they dont do my stories justice. Does anyone else have this problem? Or is anyone really good at writing summaries and has some advice? Thanks, Ingrid
9/1/2012 #1
Miss Clementine

I have the same problem sometimes! I think everyone does. It's a bit of a struggle to try and describe a work both properly and succinctly. The best advice is to look at it objectively - think of the intended audience and try to think of what they'd like to hear. Try not to reveal anything too important, just main plot points that are revealed early on. I'm not exactly the best at writing summaries either, mine tend to be pretty boring as well, so if anyone else has any better advice, take theirs! Haha!

9/10/2012 #2
Anihyr Moonstar

While I won't pretend to be the best at writing summaries, I can certainly think of a few things not to do ever in a summary.

Any summary that contains the words: "I suck at summaries", "Just read it", "It's better than it sounds", "I'm not sure what to put here", or "Please please PLEASE read and review!! :D" immediately makes me scurry away in fear.

I think Miss Clementine hit on a really good point:

...think of the intended audience and try to think of what they'd like to hear.

Figure out the neatest/most original twist that's in your story and use the summary to highlight it to get your readers' attentions. If a writer can't even present one line that sounds interesting to the readers, how can they be expected to entertain them for thousands of words?

9/14/2012 #3

Thankyou (: Very heplful. Maybe trying to screw it a bit towards your intended audience is a good idea.. When Im stuck sometimes i just quote the first three or four lines. Is that a good idea or not, would you say?

9/17/2012 #4
Anihyr Moonstar

If your first three or four lines are really grabbing, it can be a great idea. :) Using dialogue in the summary, or stealing a neat part of the text that at least partially gives a feel for the work, can definitely work too - it just obviously depends on what that snippet is.

9/17/2012 #5
Kay Iscah

I've changed the summary on my current serial about 3 or 4 times now as I've realized the focus of the story shifted. I kicked off with just using the first 2 story lines, but now I have a summary that I think fits the totality of the story better.

Summaries are tricky, particularly when you have a multifaceted story. Or you don't want to be too blatant about the moral.

I think I've been told the best way to approach it is to put yourself in shoes of a reader. What would you as a reader make you want to pull a story off the shelf? What would get you to open the book and not feel betrayed by the contents later?

12/19/2012 #6
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