Summarizing a Summary

Otherwise known as my complete inability to summarize.

Seriously. I can’t be the only one who has this problem. One year at a local NaNo meet-up, we were challenged to summaize our stories in two sentences.

Two sentences? Hahahaha- Oh, you were serious…

And then everyone else is sitting there writing away, and I’m just sitting there staring at my pen like ive never seen one before.

My summaries tend to be long. I try not to be wordy and redundant, but I love detailed summaries.  I love vivid descriptions (Flowery language if you want to be mean about it.).

Actually, I’m not sure where I picked that up either. My grandmother, where I picked up a lot of my language, mechanics, etc., did not like using it, and it always seemed to stun her that I did.  Though, like I said, I try not to be really tedious about it. Too vividly or too many details? It’s probably just unnecessary filler.

Two pages of the handwritten version of my outline. Yes, it's color coded.

Two pages of the handwritten version of my outline. Yes, it’s color coded.

Right now, I’ve already done 3 versions (two revisions) of the summary for this November’s project. I think I’m finally happy with it, but it’s still so LONG. Seriously. Of course, my “outline” is about 22 printed pages, but that was intentional.

I think my problem is that I don’t want anyone who reads my outline to have too many questions, at least questions other than, “oh, what’s going to happen? I want to read this.” I don’t make the mistake of telling everything that happens, that’s what the story is for, but I struggle with how much is enough. “Well, if I say this about this, will people understand what I’m talking about? Should I try to include a tiny bit of backstory about it?” And that’s where I create problems for myself.

Trying to figure out how to fix this is an ongoing thing for me. Finally, what I did this time was print out a copy if the original summary and just go through and slash through things. Words, phrases, and whole sentences got cut. However I did actually keep the revised, longer version. That one will go up on the Nano site once it resets and will become my “official” summary for the time being. The shorter will be posted on here on the side bar, underneath the cover. I’ll probably also include both in a post, or something. I’m kind of proud of the longer one.