About FictionPress: Peer Help for New Users
Stuff I learned and may be useful to you. This is an unofficial forum. I have no other way to contact the admins besides the same Help link in the corner. In fact, the absence of any response from the admin is what prompted me to create this forum.
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taerkitty

You get 255 characters to write a summary of your story or poem. This summary will be displayed in your profile, in the Just In page, or in the Genre drill-down. Think of it as the 'back cover blurb' to your story. It's your chance to 'sell' someone on reading your story or poem, so make it good.

What's a good summary? Depends.

- You don't want to give too much away.

- You don't want to be vague, either. If your summary makes your story sound like one of many others in the genre, why should the reader bother with yours?

- Talk about the story, not how you wrote it. No one cares if it's your first story, or you wrote it in an hour.

- Never, ever express doubts about your writing ability, the quality of the story, etc. Think of it as the reader looking for a reason not to read your work. Why make it any easier?

- Avoid comparing it to other works in the genre, even canon. The point is to show originality - if your summary is about how your story differs from some seminal work, that's not very original.

- Give the reader a sense of what's inside - a hint of the language, the character, the plot, etc.

- Make sure to review it after each chapter to ensure it's still applicable.

- Ask yourself what makes this summary unique in the genre. If you can't think of anything, time to rewrite it. If the only things you can think of are weak, time to consider rewriting. If you never considered this before, time to consider it.

Your story or poem's summary is your foremost advertisement for your story. You can post on review request threads, but those who review from that source know you, and feel obligated to review your works. Your summary is for people who are browsing, and they give the best feedback on your skills.

2/2/2010 #1
MonochromePhantom
Would you mind looking over this summary I have? It's not for the site or anything and it's way too long, to fit in the summary part ^^; Did I give too much away or anything? Summary- Amber Leung is a young girl who has the ability to see spirits, Since she was a child, Amber could see spirits of the deceased. She befriends the spirit of Hyori, a young woman who was murdered and now her spirit roams the Earth unable to rest in piece then learns of the murder binding Hyori's spirit from going beyond. Will they be able to find her murderer? Edit: So kind of like that? *sorry I'm not very good with summary's ^^;*
3/15/2012 . Edited 3/16/2012 #2
taerkitty
A few thoughts:

1. Spelling and grammar are a must in the summary. This includes knowing when to use the possessive form ("encounters" v. "encounter's"), and when a sentence is a run-on.

2. Trim it down so there's no fat. As you pointed out, the summary is too long for FP. This means it's too long in our Twitter-acclimated society. See if multiple related ideas can be condensed into one sentence.

3. Watch the logic flow. This is a subset of trimming it down. You ask "What will happen when Amber finds out how Hyori died?" followed by "Will they be able to find her murderer?" The second question answers the first one, making it redundant.

I think the following tracks the same highlights as yours, in half the length:

Since she was a child, Amber could see spirits of the deceased. She befriends the spirit of Hyori, then learns of the murder binding Hyori's spirit from going beyond. Will they be able to find her murderer?

As always, this is only one kitty's opinion. As author, you trump that. (The only ones who overrule you are your audience. :) )

3/15/2012 . Edited 3/15/2012 #3
MonochromePhantom
Thank you very much :) I'm not so good at grammar but I have an online grammar checker, that's very useful ^^ When it comes to writing for me summary's and titles are always the hardest ^^;
3/16/2012 #4
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