History Main / ISuckAtSummaries

5th Oct '16 3:58:31 AM DoctorNemesis
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To say that a summary is important to a work of fiction is an understatement. The summary is almost certainly the first thing your prospective reader will see; it is where they go to know what the story's about and to get some idea whether they will want to read it or not. You are essentially making a pitch for their time (and money, if you're writing professionally), so your summary is an important way of letting them know that spending it on your work won't be a waste. So making the first thing your reader sees be a statement declaring that you are essentially no good at an essential part of writing is a bit like introducing yourself to a prospective partner at a blind-date by saying that you're terrible at introducing yourself and then proceeding to list all your worst features -- ill-advised.

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To say that a summary is important to a work of fiction is an understatement. The summary is almost certainly the first thing your prospective reader will see; it is where they go to know what the story's about and to get some idea whether they will want to read it or not. You are essentially making a pitch for their time (and money, if you're writing professionally), so your summary is an important a vital way of letting them know that spending it on your work won't be a waste. So making the first thing that your reader sees be a statement declaring that you are essentially no good at an essential part of writing is a bit like introducing yourself to a prospective partner at a blind-date by saying that you're terrible at introducing yourself and then proceeding to list all your worst features -- ill-advised.
4th Oct '16 9:40:55 PM DoctorNemesis
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To say that a summary is important to a work of fiction is an understatement. The summary is almost certainly the first thing your prospective reader will see; it is where they go to know what the story's about and to get some idea whether they will want to read it or not. You are essentially making a pitch for their time (and money, if you're writing professionally), so your summary is an important way of letting them know that spending it on your work won't be a waste. So making the first thing your reader sees be a statement declaring that you are essentially no good at an essential part of writing is a bit like introducing yourself to a prospective partner at a speed-dating event by saying that you're terrible at introducing yourself and then proceeding to list all your worst features -- ill-advised.

to:

To say that a summary is important to a work of fiction is an understatement. The summary is almost certainly the first thing your prospective reader will see; it is where they go to know what the story's about and to get some idea whether they will want to read it or not. You are essentially making a pitch for their time (and money, if you're writing professionally), so your summary is an important way of letting them know that spending it on your work won't be a waste. So making the first thing your reader sees be a statement declaring that you are essentially no good at an essential part of writing is a bit like introducing yourself to a prospective partner at a speed-dating event blind-date by saying that you're terrible at introducing yourself and then proceeding to list all your worst features -- ill-advised.
4th Oct '16 9:35:27 PM DoctorNemesis
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To say that a summary is important to a work of fiction is an understatement. The summary is almost certainly the first thing your prospective reader will see; it is where they go to know what the story's about and to get some idea whether they will want to read it or not. You are essentially making a pitch for their time (and money, if you're writing professionally), so your summary is an important way of letting them know that spending this on your work won't be a waste. So making the first thing your reader sees be a statement declaring that you are essentially no good at an essential part of writing is a bit like introducing yourself to a prospective partner at a speed-dating event by saying that you're terrible at introducing yourself and then proceeding to list all your worst features -- ill-advised.

to:

To say that a summary is important to a work of fiction is an understatement. The summary is almost certainly the first thing your prospective reader will see; it is where they go to know what the story's about and to get some idea whether they will want to read it or not. You are essentially making a pitch for their time (and money, if you're writing professionally), so your summary is an important way of letting them know that spending this it on your work won't be a waste. So making the first thing your reader sees be a statement declaring that you are essentially no good at an essential part of writing is a bit like introducing yourself to a prospective partner at a speed-dating event by saying that you're terrible at introducing yourself and then proceeding to list all your worst features -- ill-advised.
4th Oct '16 9:33:40 PM DoctorNemesis
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To say that a summary is important to a work of fiction is an understatement. The summary is almost certainly the first thing your prospective reader will see; it is where they go to know what the story's about and to get some idea whether they will want to read it or not. So making the first thing your reader sees be a statement declaring that you are essentially no good at an essential part of writing is a bit like introducing yourself to a prospective partner at a speed-dating event by saying that you're terrible at introducing yourself and then proceeding to list all your worst features -- ill-advised.

to:

To say that a summary is important to a work of fiction is an understatement. The summary is almost certainly the first thing your prospective reader will see; it is where they go to know what the story's about and to get some idea whether they will want to read it or not. You are essentially making a pitch for their time (and money, if you're writing professionally), so your summary is an important way of letting them know that spending this on your work won't be a waste. So making the first thing your reader sees be a statement declaring that you are essentially no good at an essential part of writing is a bit like introducing yourself to a prospective partner at a speed-dating event by saying that you're terrible at introducing yourself and then proceeding to list all your worst features -- ill-advised.
4th Oct '16 9:27:42 PM DoctorNemesis
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Added DiffLines:

To say that a summary is important to a work of fiction is an understatement. The summary is almost certainly the first thing your prospective reader will see; it is where they go to know what the story's about and to get some idea whether they will want to read it or not. So making the first thing your reader sees be a statement declaring that you are essentially no good at an essential part of writing is a bit like introducing yourself to a prospective partner at a speed-dating event by saying that you're terrible at introducing yourself and then proceeding to list all your worst features -- ill-advised.
25th Sep '16 9:32:29 AM DoctorNemesis
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Some writers attempt to justify this when on websites like fanfiction.net where the summary limit is under 500 characters by saying they don't have enough space. This isn't much of an argument, since the whole purpose of a summary is to establish what the story is about in a concise manner without revealing too much, so long summaries in fact defeat the whole point. Giving an eloquent summary of your story in a short space is actually a show of good writing. Besides, 500 characters isn't ''that'' short.[[note]]For demonstration purposes, when run through the word count function of Microsoft Word the previous paragraph clocks in at just over 500 characters when spaces are included. So you can still write a short paragraph with that amount of characters, or a couple of sentences at least.[[/note]]

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Some writers attempt to justify this when on websites like fanfiction.net where the summary limit is under 500 characters by saying they don't have enough space. This isn't much of an argument, since the whole purpose of a summary is to establish what the story is about in a concise manner without revealing too much, so much; long summaries in fact defeat the whole point. Giving an eloquent summary of your story in a short space is actually a show of good writing. Besides, 500 characters isn't ''that'' short.[[note]]For demonstration purposes, when run through the word count function of Microsoft Word the previous paragraph clocks in at just over 500 characters when spaces are included. So you can still write a short paragraph with that amount of characters, or a couple of sentences at least.[[/note]]
25th Sep '16 9:27:23 AM DoctorNemesis
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Some writers attempt to justify this when on websites like fanfiction.net where the summary limit is under 500 characters by saying they don't have enough space. This isn't much of an argument, since the whole purpose of a summary is to establish what the story is about in a concise manner without revealing too much, so long summaries in fact defeat the whole point. Giving an eloquent summary of your story in a short space is actually a show of good writing. Besides, 500 characters isn't ''that'' short.[[note]]For comparison, when run through the word count function of Microsoft Word the previous paragraph clocks in at just over 500 characters when spaces are included. So you can still write a short paragraph with that amount of characters, or a couple of sentences at least.[[/note]]

to:

Some writers attempt to justify this when on websites like fanfiction.net where the summary limit is under 500 characters by saying they don't have enough space. This isn't much of an argument, since the whole purpose of a summary is to establish what the story is about in a concise manner without revealing too much, so long summaries in fact defeat the whole point. Giving an eloquent summary of your story in a short space is actually a show of good writing. Besides, 500 characters isn't ''that'' short.[[note]]For comparison, demonstration purposes, when run through the word count function of Microsoft Word the previous paragraph clocks in at just over 500 characters when spaces are included. So you can still write a short paragraph with that amount of characters, or a couple of sentences at least.[[/note]]
25th Sep '16 9:26:42 AM DoctorNemesis
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Some writers attempt to justify this when on websites like fanfiction.net where the summary limit is under 500 characters by saying they don't have enough space. This isn't much of an argument, since giving an eloquent summary of your story in a short space is actually a show of good writing. 500 characters isn't ''that'' short.

to:

Some writers attempt to justify this when on websites like fanfiction.net where the summary limit is under 500 characters by saying they don't have enough space. This isn't much of an argument, since giving the whole purpose of a summary is to establish what the story is about in a concise manner without revealing too much, so long summaries in fact defeat the whole point. Giving an eloquent summary of your story in a short space is actually a show of good writing. Besides, 500 characters isn't ''that'' short.
short.[[note]]For comparison, when run through the word count function of Microsoft Word the previous paragraph clocks in at just over 500 characters when spaces are included. So you can still write a short paragraph with that amount of characters, or a couple of sentences at least.[[/note]]
26th Jul '16 12:50:40 PM Tabs
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10th Jul '16 5:23:05 AM DoctorNemesis
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This should be avoided since it tells readers that either the author doesn't have any self-confidence, or that the story is ''so boring'' that the author couldn't be even bothered to put in a real summary. Or, worse, that the author just plain sucks. After all, as the page-quote says, if the author can't even write a basic two-sentence summary then why should the reader have any confidence in their ability to write a longer story? It also shows a failure of ShowDontTell: don't use the summary to say the summary is rubbish - ''write a better one'' that actually summarises the entire story.

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This should be avoided since it tells readers that either the author doesn't have any self-confidence, or that the story is ''so boring'' that the author couldn't be even bothered to put in a real summary. Or, worse, that the author just plain sucks. After all, as the page-quote says, if the author can't even write a basic two-sentence summary then why should the reader have any confidence in their ability to write create a longer story? narrative? It also shows a failure of ShowDontTell: don't use the summary to say the summary is rubbish - ''write a better one'' that actually summarises the entire story.
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