I Suck at Summaries
"If you can't write a decent summary, how the hell am I supposed to expect you to write a decent fanfic? Geez, at least if there's no summary at all, that way I can assume you're just lazy."Stock Phrase found far too often within the larger online fiction communities, fanfiction or otherwise. Most online works described in this fashion, needless to say, aren't very good. Furthermore, such stories usually die long before they are completed, due to the author giving up from lack of feedback... Neither is surprising: if the author lacks the skill and dedication to write a proper summary, why should the story itself fare any better? Sometimes followed with "please read and review", although most fanfic readers take this phrase as an ominous warning and end up not even reading the fanfic, let alone giving any feedback. Sometimes, the phrase is substituted with "Summary sucks, story is much better" or something similar, but most readers will react in the same way as before. 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 sucks. It also shows a failure of Show, Don't Tell: don't use the summary to say the summary is rubbish - write a better one that actually summarises the entire story. 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.