Give or Critique a Story Short Summary:

Total posts: [195]
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1 almyki9th Jan 2011 03:29:12 AM from Maryland, USA

Post the title of your story, its rating (optional), it's genre(s), then a short (short) summary. This does not have to necessarily be an actual 'summary' of the plot, but be a hook, a snippet from the story itself, or whatever you think will get a potential reader to give your story a chance.


Give either a 'YES I would peek' or 'NO I would skip' to someone else's summary. It's a YES or NO, no in-betweens; it's best to go with your very first instinct. If you want, explain your decision please. Spelling errors, too long, too vague, boring sounding? Try and be helpful with your feedback. Saying 'YES' does not mean 'YES I would read the entire story ', but 'YES I would give the story a chance and read at least a few paragraphs'.


Title: Love Lost

Ages 13+, Romance/Tragedy

Summary: "It was a mistake. I knew it was." "Marrying him?" "Falling in love." People like Kaira weren't meant to.

- - - - -

Why might this be helpful or important?

In places like and, there's only one or two sentences that an author can squeeze to advertise their story. Not much space at all. Yet somehow, with just this measly slice, most practiced readers will skip over TONS of stories and mentally label the majority junk.

Some of this is due to a picky reader, that only likes certain genres or characters in their works. Unfortunately, a large part of this is because the writers that post their stories FAR too often make dumb spelling and grammatical mistakes in their summaries, write silly notes, or simply write a bad summary. I eliminate 90% of the fanfic/origfic I see by bad summary alone, and anytime I take a chance despite initial misgivings, 90% I find my first instincts were right.

What does this tell me, or you all? It tells me that often, your general writing level can and will prove itself within the span of a few sentences. Your summary is more important than you think, if you want to get online readers, and you often only have one sentence to do it. And most summaries... SUCK.

Post away, let's see how the Writer's Block fares.

<3 ali

edited 9th Jan '11 3:31:36 AM by almyki

As Good as a Mile: She is always afraid that one day she will forget, and it will happen.
Away on the wind~
No. Sorry.
There are too many toasters in my chimney!
That's helpful?
5 MrAHR9th Jan 2011 09:18:39 AM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river

It seems too vague. There is no kick, no twist. It could be anything from fantasy to slice of life to romance. It's just meh.

edited 9th Jan '11 9:19:00 AM by MrAHR

Okay then. At least it was more than two words. Admittedly I don't have the actual thing written, which is why it's so vague.

Here's a couple of summaries that actually have stories to describe!

The Ones Who Can Wait: That girl on the ship, in an evening gown with a concussion—that wasn't the weirdest thing to happen to Francisco. Not that afternoon.

Glass Eye: How does one tell a five-year-old that she won't be able to perform magic again, for no reason you can see? (You don't.)

edited 9th Jan '11 9:34:37 AM by Slan

Away on the wind~
Well, that's what happens when I post at 4 in the morning.

She is always afraid that one day she will forget, and it will happen.

It's the last little bit tht threw me off. The 'and it will happen'.

You switched from using 'maye', which was vague and mysterious, to 'will', with only a conjunction in between.

It's like... If you were readig a book, and suddenly, you were reading it in first person from someone else's perspective. Very jarring, and unless you're already hooked, it's going to make you put the book down.

The summary needs to be a hook. It does not need to need a hook itself.
There are too many toasters in my chimney!
RE the last sentence: Uh, that summary is my idea of a plain old hook. Are you saying that the last part drags it down?
Away on the wind~
Yeah. The odd change in style jrs you.

You had a nice, mysterious touch going with the first bit. But then the last bit... Almost sounded like you were running out of space to type your summary. It was just a straight-up fact delivery, rather than mysterious and intriguing.

Honestly, the first bit would have stood better on its' own.
There are too many toasters in my chimney!
See, my above question is where a simple yes would have sufficed.

Anyway, feedback on the other two? Or is it still too early for you to be coherent?
11 snowfoxofdeath9th Jan 2011 10:00:54 AM from San Francisco Suburb
Thou errant flap-dragon!
Title: In the Swings

Genre: Slice of Life/Romance

Summary: She was determined to overcome it. He was forced to shut it away. What happens when their worlds clash?
Away on the wind~
Dammit >.<

Why do I keep getting the two mixed up?

Alright, I'll stop critiquing here then. Sorry for the hassle :)
There are too many toasters in my chimney!
Snowfox: Fairly standard summary for a fairly standard plot. Neither good nor bad.
Away on the wind~
Title: Fading Light

Genre: Action/Adventure

Rating: M 15+. Not R18+; M.

Summary: When everything you know is gone, and your life is in ruins, what can you do? Why, stand and fight, of course.

edited 9th Jan '11 10:10:16 AM by CyganAngel

There are too many toasters in my chimney!
15 SilentReverence9th Jan 2011 10:29:18 AM from 3 tiles right 1 tile up
adopting kitteh
See, that's a good summary I'd guess, and under normal conditions I would say yes on a whim. However I might be biased, partly because the whole "everything you know is gone" is so overdone already that I can't stand summaries like that. Your summary adds no further qualifications that would help your story distinguish itself from the "other 90%", unfortunately, so I say no.
16 MrAHR9th Jan 2011 10:31:48 AM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Title: Thirteenth Sage

Genre: Adventure/Action

AgePG-13 - R

Summary:There once were 12 Sages feared for their immense power. This is not their story. This is the story of the 13th Sage
Repetitive at the end. I would take out "This is not their story". Also, spell out numbers.

Also also, it's still reasonably bland in terms of looking different from all the other stories with a group that has a surprise recruit.
18 MrAHR9th Jan 2011 10:38:04 AM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
I would, but spelling numbers take up word space.

Also, my current summary is this:

There once were twelve powerful Sages of an expansive kingdom, until one day, they just vanished. This is not their story.

I guess I'll stick with that one for now.

edited 9th Jan '11 10:38:59 AM by MrAHR

19 SilentReverence9th Jan 2011 11:09:53 AM from 3 tiles right 1 tile up
adopting kitteh
There once were twelve powerful Sages of an expansive kingdom, until one day, they just vanished. This is not their story.
That sounds more alluring (I think I am using the word the right way). I'd give it a yes.

This is a story I started designing for with a cousin long ago. Let's see if it would have survived being published.

Title: Barely Vigilantes

Age: 15/+

Summary: the descendants of a family return to their decadent country. They gather their skills and resources to fight crime - if only to benefit from it.

(the title is a rough translation of the original Spanish title)

edited 9th Jan '11 11:10:42 AM by SilentReverence

20 MrAHR9th Jan 2011 11:13:20 AM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
It's a good start, but I feel like it's still a bit too lacking in a clincher, but it's definitely something I'd probably give a look if only by comparison. I think it's a bit clunky in transition from one sentence to the next.

edited 9th Jan '11 11:15:02 AM by MrAHR

21 almyki9th Jan 2011 01:13:56 PM from Maryland, USA
As Good as a Mile NO. ', and it will happen' should be its own sentence to give more impact and breathing space, and it's too much it's own new thought to gel well with the previous statement. I don't know the genre, so I have no idea what to expect. The title is unique but tells me nothing. The most interesting possible hook is making the wonder why the girl will forget, and the second most interesting is what she will forget. The fear of forgetting something is common, but the certainty that they will is not, so that's good to use to your advantage.

The Ones Who Can Wait NO. The title is unique, but again doesn't tell me much. The 'hook' of the girl on the ship doesn't capture my interest or imagination, and at first read I felt that part of the sentence was awkward. I don't know who Francisco is. I know 'weird things happen that afternoon', but that's common.

Glass Eye NO. But it was an almost, partly because I enjoy the genre of fantasy, and partly because the premise seemed mildly interesting and was written in a smart and technically correct manner. The (parenthesis) killed it, they didn't seem appropriate, though I know what you were trying to go for.

In The Swings NO. It was almost OK, but the last sentence killed it. Far too cliche, not clever or interesting. Think of something... smarter. The standard 'she was x, he was x' can work, if the X's are interesting enough, but it's a bit old.

Fading Light NO. On a bored day, I might give it a chance, but on the whole, it's a bit common, vague, and has nothing to capture my interest. But there's nothing terribly wrong with it, no technical errors, and the rhythm and style is great. It's the bland content that's the problem.

- - - - -

I'll critique the others when I get back. ...I realize I haven't said Yes once yet. Sorry, I'm trying to be as honest as I can about whether I'd read it.

<3 ali
At least have a little fucking decency and not use all caps in your critiques.
23 MrAHR9th Jan 2011 01:22:05 PM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
...geez, you're a bit sensitive. I don't think ali meant anything by it. She did the same thing in the OP.

edited 9th Jan '11 1:22:34 PM by MrAHR

Almyki is grading them on a pass/fail basis. Even a 1-5 scale is better than that.
25 MrAHR9th Jan 2011 01:24:35 PM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
So? There is nothing wrong with that, especially when that's how people usually do pick out their stories, they either do click on it, or they do not click on it.

edited 9th Jan '11 1:24:46 PM by MrAHR

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