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ain't a story without it - Idiot Control Now
bees on pie, burning rubber tires
mellowcandle
mellowcandle
ain't a story without it
The 30 Days on Fanfic Meme
Day 16 – Summaries – Do you like them or hate them? How do you come up with them, if you use them?



I hate them. I think a lot of people do. I know they're necessary, but when you think, "Okay, I have to come up with something that will make people interested in reading this", and then no one does, is it a boring summary's fault?

I try to come up with some sort of summary for most things. I've got a few short drabble/ficlets here that I didn't give summaries for, because they're just so short, and I figure a title and pairing is enough. If you weren't going to read it anyway because of the fandom or pairing, a summary wasn't going to change that.

I don't know how I come up with summaries, though. I'm bad about doing that "question" thing. You know, where you ask an obvious question that pretty much reveals what's going to happen in the story.

Even HF does this. "How far will you go for a friend?" Well, you'll apparently agree to marry her. "How far will others go to stop you?" They'll send you a vaguely threatening note! Oooooh!!! I have no idea if I'm going to be able to live up to the second part of that.

A couple of times I've just taken a line from the story. OVG and TGP both do this. I originally had a funnier, pithier summary for OVG, but it didn't really explain anything. A quote directly from the story sums it up much better.


But, yeah, you have to put something. "lol I suck at summaries" isn't going to get anyone in the door. They'll think, "Then you probably suck at stories, too." I suck at summaries. I know I do. But I don't say that in the summary. I just hope whatever I've got is enough to at least make someone interested, and then hope that they've forgotten what the summary even said a second later when they actually start reading.






Day 1 - How did you first get into writing fanfic, and what was the first fandom you wrote for? What do you think it was about that fandom that pulled you in?

Day 2 – Name the fandoms you've written in, and how much you've written in that fandom, and if you still write in it.

Day 3 - For each of the fandoms from day two, what were your favorite characters to write?

Day 4 – Do you have a "muse" character, that speaks to you more than others, or that tries to push their way in, even when the fic isn't about them? Who are they, and why did that character became your muse?

Day 5 –If you have ever had a character try to push their way into a fic, whether your "muse" or not, what did you do about it?

Day 6 – When you write, do you prefer writing male or female characters?

Day 7 – Have you ever had a fic change your opinion of a character?

Day 8 – Do you write OCs? And if so, what do you do to make certain they're not Mary Sues, and if not, explain your thoughts on OCs.

Day 9 – Pairings – For each of the fandoms from day two, what are your three favorite pairings to write?

Day 10 – Pairings – Have you ever gone outside your comfort zone and written a pairing you liked, but found you couldn't write, or a pairing you didn't like, and found you could?

Day 11 – Genre – do you prefer certain genres of fic when you're writing? What kind do you tend to write most?

Day 12 – Have you ever attempted an "adaptation" fic of a favorite book or movie but set in a different fandom?

Day 13 – Do you prefer canon or fanon when you write? Has writing fanfic for a fandom changed the way you see some or even all of the original source material?

Day 14 – Ratings – how high are you comfortable with going? Have you ever written higher? If you're comfortable with NC-17, have you ever been shocked by finding that the story you're writing is G-rated instead?

Day 15 – Warnings – What do you feel it most important to warn for, and what's the strangest thing you've warned for in a fic?

Day 16 – Summaries – Do you like them or hate them? How do you come up with them, if you use them?

Day 17 – Titles – Are they the bane of your existence, or the easiest part of the fic? Also, if you do chaptered fic, do you give each chapter a title, or not?

Day 18 – Where do you get the most inspiration for your fics (aka "bunnies") from?

Day 19 – When you have bunnies, do you sit down and start writing right away, or do you write down the idea for further use?

Day 20 –Do you ever get bunnied from other people's stories or art in the same fandom?

Day 21 – Sequels – Have you ever written a sequel to a fic you wrote, and if so, why, and if not, how do you feel about sequels?

Day 22 – Have you ever participated in a fest or a Big Bang? If so, write about your favorite experience in relation to one. If not, are there any you've thought about doing? And if not, why not?

Day 23 – When you post, where do you post to? Just your journal? Just an archive? Your own personal site?

Day 24 – Betaing – How many betas do you like to use to make sure there aren't any major flaws in your fic? Do you have a Beta horror story or dream story?

Day 25 – Music – Do you listen to music while you write? Do you make playlists to get into a certain "mood" to write your fic? Do you need noise in general? Or do you need it completely quiet?

Day 26 – What is the oddest (or funnest) thing you've had to research for a fic?

Day 27 – Where is your favorite place to write, and do you write by hand or on the computer?

Day 28 – Have you ever collaborated with anyone else, whether writing together, or having an artist work on a piece about your fic?

Day 29 – What is your current project or projects?

Day 30 – Do you have a favorite fic you've written? What makes it your favorite? And don't forget to give us a link!

Tags: ,
Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: "smile time" (angel) on tv

5 pathetic excuses or justify your existence
Comments
roseice From: roseice Date: July 14th, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree, summaries are awful. They have to encompass your story in a few sentences, as if that's possible. You have to tweak it into something that will flood interest, get something connected to your story across. And it has to be gripping, otherwise, like you said no one's gonna click the link.

I end up going vague most of the time and am surprised when I get reviews. Probably because the story's too long and I update enough to keep it on the first page. :\ People get sick of seeing it there and just click.
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: July 15th, 2011 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
And sometimes not even a few sentences. Just one or two, because we all have short attention spans and will tldr a summary that just keeps going. So you really have to boil it down into a pithy line. I make sure to list the pairing(s) and hope that gets people in the door: "Eh, a generic summary, but there's not enough fic for this pair, so I'll check it out."
roseice From: roseice Date: July 16th, 2011 03:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll confess back when I read fanfiction, pairings were the first thing I looked for. At the end of a summary. And then I'd read the summary. I suppose that's why they offer a pairing search on ff.net nowadays. xD
serena_b From: serena_b Date: July 14th, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I suck at summaries too. And I always agonize over them, lol. Ah well.
mellowcandle From: mellowcandle Date: July 15th, 2011 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
And as much as we agonize over them, how much do readers even care? No one's going to spend more than a second looking at it. It's not even necessarily what a summary says that makes me interested; as long as I don't see the same old AU/cliches or a bunch of sugarhigh chatspeak, I'd probably read anything that has my OTPs, because I'm easy like that.
5 pathetic excuses or justify your existence