Writers Anonymous
Writers, come in. Talk about your stories, problems, any advice you need, critique, etc. You don't have to be good, you just need to want to write! Fanfic or original fic writers, all are welcome. Read the rules before posting or risk Rhea's displeasure.
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pyrrhicvictoly

The last two sentences were okay (to me), though they were a bit choppy and might have been better as one sentence. Taking them out is fine, too. I still find it awkward to say "thanks to accidents..." because it gives a sarcastic feel to the phrase. You know, like "Thanks to my friends, I now have detention for a week". That sarcastic tone might work for accidents/enemies, but throw friends in there and I kind of want to wrap some quotes around it, like "Oh yeah, those guys are my "friends", all right." LOL.

Accidents, friends, and enemies are pretty random. There's nothing pulling them together, so it might be better to say "due to..." rather than "thanks to..." and then fill that in with something else. Maybe something like "due to unexpected events"? Or just take it out. Personally, I would go for something like this:

Bardock's team lives to fight. Nach's team just wants treasure. But now, these two very different teams are forced to work together.

I messed with the wording a bit to bring up more of the contrast between the teams. It's a lot shorter, but I think it packs more of a punch. Haha... Most of my summaries are really short, so I guess I just have a tendency to cut stuff out if it doesn't sound right.

7/5/2010 #391
Abandoned.See new ZefronsAngel

Bardock's team lives to fight. Nach's team just wants treasure. But now, these two very different teams are forced to work together.

That sounds pretty good:)

7/6/2010 #392
PixyMisa87

Yeah that does sound a lot better. Thank you guys for the help.

7/6/2010 #393
twin.delphine

Here's a little modification to my first ffic summary.

Title: Eternity Legend Chronicle: DAWN

Based on: Maple Story

Summary: As the world prepares to face the imminent danger of the Dark Magician, an unknown existence has emerged amongst the people of the Maple world. What threat does this new power hold for Cygnus & her people?

7/6/2010 #394
Dejsha

I need help with a Lord of the Rings plot summary:

http://forum.fanfiction.net/topic/59919/14591984/2/#30281221

(its in the ladst couple of pages. I had a summary, but not sure about it)

8/17/2010 #395
Rhea Silverkeys

How's this? Harry Potter fandom.

Sometimes there are good days. Sometimes there are bad. And sometimes you just close your eyes and pretend everything is okay again. Written based on the prompt "wishful thinking" and an Angelina/Fred pairing. Set after Deathly Hallows.

I am also just now considering something along these lines:

More than half a year after the final battle at Hogwarts, Angelina Johnson bumps into George Weasley in Diagon Alley. Written based on the prompt "wishful thinking" and an Angelina/Fred pairing.

8/21/2010 #396
obi-glasses

Sometimes there are good days. Sometimes there are bad. And sometimes you just close your eyes and pretend everything is okay again. Written based on the prompt "wishful thinking" and an Angelina/Fred pairing. Set after Deathly Hallows.

Needs moar commas! Something like "Sometimes there are good days, sometimes there are bad.. " etc.

8/21/2010 #397
Rhea Silverkeys

So do you think the first one is more interesting/has the potential to pull more readers in than the second one?

8/22/2010 #398
Dejsha

This is a Lucy and Tumnus story and I was wondering about tthis summary(I think its a little long):

Summary: TL. Promises, betrayal, friendship and love. Tumnus did not know that his peaceful life would change when the White Witch had made him a kidnapper. When he met Lucy, he knew that his feelings were deeper than friendship.

8/22/2010 #399
Rhea Silverkeys

Ariana: The 'TL' bit is a little redundant because you can tell it will be Tumnus/Lucy from the summary. It sounds like a summary for a Tumnus/Lucy story and I think it would pull in people who like the pairing...but other than that I don't really see anything else that would entice people to read the story.

8/22/2010 #400
Wildcard999

Rhea: Sometimes there are good days. Sometimes there are bad. And sometimes you just close your eyes and pretend everything is okay again. Written based on the prompt "wishful thinking" and an Angelina/Fred pairing. Set after Deathly Hallows.

That sounds better than the second version. You can totally see how it ties into 'Wishful Thinking'. It also has a much bigger emotional impact than the second summary idea. The second summary idea just sounds like a cute little friendship fic, but this sounds like a really emotional story that explores the depth of their relationship.

I disagree about the commas, but bad needs to be followed by a noun. Days, ones, doesn't matter, but as is, it should be connected to the prior sentence…grammatically speaking, anyway.

Dejsha: Promises, betrayal, friendship and love. Tumnus did not know that his peaceful life would change when the White Witch had made him a kidnapper. When he met Lucy, he knew that his feelings were deeper than friendship.

Rhea is right. Honestly, it sounds like you wrote about what happened in the book and called it fanfic. It's also very…not dry, so much as completely lacking any emotional component at all. Honestly, it sounds like something serious told without seriousness.

Broken promises and betrayal turn to friendship and love when a young faun meets an innocent daughter of Eve. Little did he know that adhering to the White Witch's decree would turn his peaceful little life upside down. Lucy was much more than a friend to him.

It still sounds exactly like what happened in the book, but at least this way you can see where the emotional turmoil is. You can see the conflicts and it's quite obvious what was standing between Tumnus and Lucy's relationship.

8/31/2010 #401
Rhea Silverkeys

Thanks, Darkwinter. I changed it a while ago to:

Sometimes there are good days. Sometimes there are bad. And sometimes you just close your eyes and pretend everything is okay again. Angelina meets George more than half a year after the battle of Hogwarts. Angelina/Fred.

Kind of incorporated both versions of the summary. I know it's grammatically correct to put a noun after 'bad', but it just sounded repetitive to me if I put 'days' or 'ones'. *flimsy excuse*

8/31/2010 #402
Ginneke

I've got a couple of story summaries that I'd like to get second opinions on, if people don't mind?

The first one I put up here a little while ago, but it got buried at the bottom of a page. I'll be starting to publish it soon, though, and I'd like to know if it grabs your attention: (244charas)

Regular monsters aren't the ones to be scared of. Those around you? They're a different story. But the worst monsters are in your heart, when the memories come back. When the world changes. When you find out you're technically dead, like... me.

The second one is within the same universe as this first piece, and features the same main characters as the above story. The summary is only a work in progress, though, so it's not quite so... polished. (251charas)

Everyone deserves a second chance, especially the lost. "I thought his new life was a blessing, but maybe you can't forget the past so easily. People know exactly what he's done – but he can never find out." AU, follows "Rising Signs" and "Opposition"

Any assistance would be much appreciated!

9/4/2010 . Edited 9/4/2010 #403
Dejsha

I LIKE YOUR SUMMARIES:)

9/4/2010 #404
Rhea Silverkeys

Gin: Your first summary is a little confusing. More specifically, the first three sentences. You say regular monsters aren't the ones to be scared of. Then you mention the ones around you as being a different story, as if they're a different kind of monster. But then the next sentence starts with 'but', implying that the next thing you are going to say is opposite/an exception to what you said previously. Um not sure if you know where I'm going here, but I basically thought that the monsters around you were different to regular monsters and were scary. Then I got confused when you mentioned the ones in your heart, and thought, 'Eh? So are the ones around you scary or not?'

If the regular monsters = the ones around you, then it needs to be clearer. Maybe something along the lines of:

Regular monsters, the ones around you, aren't the ones to be scared of. But the worst monsters are the ones in your heart, when the memories come back. When the world changes. When you find out you're technically dead...like me.

Changed the ellipses to before 'like' because I thought it flowed better, but that's just a personal thing.

Other than that, I think it's enticing.

Second summary: Sounds alright, but...I don't know. The dialogue bit doesn't seem entirely natural. Is it supposed to be a quote from the story?

Everyone deserves a second chance, especially the lost. His new life was supposed to be a blessing. A chance to forget the past. But how do you keep him from finding out, when everyone knows exactly what he's done?

Eh. I might have changed the entire tone? Sorry if I'm not much help on this one!

9/6/2010 #405
Ginneke

I think it would make more sense within the context of the fandom. ^^" I'm writing for YGO 5D's, where life is pretty much dominated by the game Duel Monsters -- so those monsters, the ones people usually encounter, aren't something to be afraid of. The "monsters around you" are supposed to be vague (actually referring to characters, situations, etc.), so those do evoke fear. Basically, for the purposes of this fic, regular monsters =/= the ones around you.

The "monsters in your heart" bit is because the main character was formerly possessed by an evil god, and is having to come to terms with that as she remembers what happened back then... (and deals with being repossessed, poor gal.) Perhaps I just like the power of three too much.

I agree with you about the ellipses, though - I'll change that for sure, and have a look at improving the rest!

Second: As I said, this one is unpolished -- in fact this is only the second draft of the summary (the one before is on its sixth now). I wasn't sure about the dialogue either although I didn't know how else to put it. That said, I like the way you've dealt with the problem. The tone is slightly different, but then it also fits better with what I've written so far...

Thank you very much for your help, Rhea, I'll keep your suggestions in mind!

9/6/2010 #406
Rhea Silverkeys

Ah, ok. I think it wasn't very clear that you were talking about three different kinds of monster, but I guess someone familiar with the fandom would know, because they'd know that regular monsters weren't the same as the ones around you?

Glad I could help!

9/7/2010 #407
Ginneke

Looking at it again, if I put the first instance of the word "monsters" in quotation marks (much like there), that might help to avoid the confusion you noted... it could help with singling them out as not-really-monsters... *shuffles off to ponder* Thanks again, Rhea, I do need my head being put back straight from time to time!

9/7/2010 #408
SilverBlaze55

I'd just like to throw something in here for the summaires. I REALLY appreciate having the pairings and any OC disclaimers in the summary. Great practice.

Now, for whatever reason, I'm a bit twitchy about stories written in First Person POV. As a reader and writer, I find that first person is really f-ing tricky to do correctly and effectively, and it may be made even more difficult by the framework of fanfiction. Sometimes I read a summary, think it sounds great, click it.... and can't make it through the first chapter because it's in First Person.

In any case, I would really love to see some sort of First Person PoV disclaimer start happening in the summaries IF the summary in itself does not indicate first person. (And lately I've been clicking on quite a few that don't.)

Just a thought. I know I will indicate first person, if I ever write a fic in it. Carry on.

9/9/2010 #409
pyrrhicvictoly

Authors aren't obligated to tell the readers upfront what kind of style the fic is written in. If we started doing that, we might as well start disclaiming other things in the summary, like "contains many sentence fragments" because I know that annoys some people. The thing is, it's a stylistic preference, so we shouldn't really be sticking a warning on it. Same with 1st person POV. And I'd think the POV would be obvious once you went into the fic, so there's no need for explanations.

I've written 1st person POV where the summary didn't give that information away, and I just figured that if some readers didn't like that style, they would get a few sentences in and click the back button. It's totally their prerogative...

9/9/2010 #410
Wildcard999

Ah, ok. I think it wasn't very clear that you were talking about three different kinds of monster, but I guess someone familiar with the fandom would know, because they'd know that regular monsters weren't the same as the ones around you?

See, this is why people announce their fandom first. So we have context and don't have to wonder what the rules of the fandom are. Some of us are actually familiar with a wide range of fandoms--just enough to avoid misunderstandings like this when we know the fandom. I never liked Yu-Gi-Oh and do not write for it, but I know quite a bit about the rules of the fandom.

Anyway, my thoughts:

Gin No Ryuu: What monsters around you? The connection between the first and second sentences needs to be clearer. When you omit the subject of a, one usually assumes it's the last one mentioned. But then you start talking about regular people and the monsters are suddenly figurative, with no warning of the change. I agree with Rhea on the ellipsis move.

The second summary sounds okay, except I have no idea what the 'but he can never find out' part is supposed to mean. Until I read that, I thought I had a pretty good idea what you were trying to say here.

SilverBlaze: You're kidding me. As little as you're allowed to put in the summary, I'm not going to waste it on warning people about something easily discovered in the first paragraph. I mean really, it would take a sneaky b*** and lots of effort to keep that from the reader.

I'm sorry, I know this is a little bit harsh, but I'd really like to know why you need the summary to warn you about the POV. Personally, I'd just like POV warnings if they're going to be unstable, like wandering from one third person to another (limited to omniscient or something), or bouncing around between first and third for no discernable reason. Yes, I've seen both these and it's sad. Unfortunately the people who do this usually don't realize it.

Also, I'm really not sure how a summary can give away first person unless you're using 'I' in it. Is that it?

9/10/2010 #411
SilverBlaze55

pyrrhicyictoly and Darkwinter: Yeah I figured I'd get that response. Thought I'd throw it out there anyway. It seems to have become a pet peeve of mine; I have to be in a certain mood to even think of reading a 1st person story...... And I'm use to being able to see other things at a glance, such as pairings, OC, AU, etc. It'd be nice for me, but I can be content with hitting the back button. ^^;;

9/10/2010 #412
pyrrhicvictoly

I think the difference between things like pairings, OC, and AU tags on the summaries and warnings about style are... well, that's the difference. The summary isn't supposed to be an actual summary, but rather a hook to pull readers into the story. Pairings will definitely attract readers. OC and AU will also do that to a lesser extent because there are people out there who are on the hunt for those types of stories. (Personally, AUs are my guilty pleasure.) And then there are warnings for possibly offensive material, like sexual situations, which is just common courtesy because, for example, you wouldn't want to write a story that deals with r*** and have someone be traumatized by it.

POV, on the other hand, isn't controversial or traumatizing or squicky enough to need to be warned for. Sometimes warnings are placed in an author's note at the beginning of the story, and that works too, but a POV warning would be redundant in that case because it would be obvious in the next paragraph. I tried to think of it as a possible hook, like OC and AU labels can sometimes be, but I don't see that either. Really, it's a content vs. style issue, and my opinion is that the summary should be a space for you to put info about the content of the story.

9/11/2010 #413
dartigen

I usually don't put tags in bar AU or pre-/post-X in some fandoms (if there were major changes to the canon in X). But I guess style tags/warnings are up to an author. I generally put my warnings either in the first chapter (for the whole story) or in specific chapters if it's not something that comes up a lot in the story. Pyrrhic is right though, it's very much content vs style. And I agree, content is a lot more important than style.

This is the summary for the first part of Interesting Times. The initial part is fairly short (23ish chapters if I remember right) and it's sort of like the Scenes From A Multiverse webcomic - it's not really focused on one set of characters or their plotlines in particular, but it does have a general progression to it. Most of this part is about characters leaving home, taking on new jobs, or making other changes to their lives necessitating travel. That strikes me as something that would be incredibly common in Azeroth, and while some of the characters aren't too happy about their lives changing, some of them are. So I tried to center the summary around that and a backdrop of what's going on in the wider universe of the fic:

It seems that everyone is cursed to live in interesting times. There's divided opinions causing trouble in the Horde, a recession in the Alliance, a war in Northrend - and no real way to get away from it all. And a handful of people across both sides are about to find out that nobody gets to have a boring life in Azeroth - or a normal one.

It just looks too short to me. I'm not sure it's particularly eye-catching or hooking either, or if it'd fit in the summary box.

9/20/2010 #414
Wildcard999

It seems that everyone is cursed to live in interesting times. There's divided opinions causing trouble in the Horde, a recession in the Alliance, a war in Northrend—and no real way to get away from it all. And a handful of people across both sides are about to find out that nobody gets to have a boring life in Azeroth—or a normal one.

For one thing, using a double dash is more appropriate and uses up less characters (since spaces do count). Also the voice of your summary doesn't really seem to feel for the people of Azeroth. It's like he's watching it on TV or it's happening to a bunch of ants. The key to being eye-catching is being emotionally invested. If you can make people feel for the characters—whether the fic is about good events or bad—you can get the reader thinking, "So what happens next? How does it end? I have to find out!"

I think part of the reason your narrator doesn't seem to feel for the people is because of the word 'interesting'. It severely minimizes the pain, fear and horror Azeroth is in. I realize that changing this probably changes the title too, but I can't really see a way around it.

Another thing I just realized, starting the last sentence with 'and' diminishes its importance by adding it in as an afterthought. Afterthoughts should be reserved for weak arguments and unimportant minutia since the delivery itself reduces the impact of what is being said.

9/24/2010 #415
The Lauderdale

I have an "old" (completed June 2010) fanfic that I want to do something with, but I want to write a better summary. Typically what I do for my multi-chapter fics is write a one- or two-liner for the story, followed by an update re: the latest chapter added. For example:

The Fourth Age, and there are still Elves in Middle-earth. There are also Orcs. CHAPTER XVI: Rukshash shares a story from his soldiering days, and those who sing in gorges get what they deserve.

An Elven family that elected to stay in Middle earth is confronted with harsh Fourth Age consequences. CHAPTER IV: In which we find that terrified Elf children and cranky Orcs are not a good combo.

Since there no more chapter updates, this is how the current summary stands:

Fifteen years after the Ring War, an Elven family that stayed in Middle-earth faces harsh Fourth Age consequences when Orcs disturb their peaceful woodland. Rated for coarse language, harsh subject matter and Orcs being themselves. A prequel to Orc-brat.

Does that make YOU want to pick it up? I would because the word "Orc" is an immediate eye-grabber for me, but I'm weird. Thing is, I hate to give away too much of what happens in the story or who it is about, since I employ a "trick" early on and the MC is not the character that the story initially focuses on. Which led me to write this summary at a kind of extreme remove that doesn't make it sound very interesting. I do like the "Rated for" part because I feel like it is a sufficient warning without getting into specifics, but the first part makes me think of what Darkwinter999 said about watching ants.

1/16/2011 #416
Maiafay

Prequel to Orc-brat. The decision to remain in Middle-earth has harsh consequences for a family of Elves when Orcs invade their peaceful woodland.

When doing summaries, stay away from anything you can reveal in the AN, or first chapter. This being the fifteen years, Fourth Age, and rating info. The "remain in middle-earth" implies this story takes place after the war of the ring. You want to tease the plot, not weigh your summary with unnecessary details. Put only vital information.

In this case, you have plenty of room now for maybe some other plot teasers such as main characters or main conflict. Use bold language. In this case, "invade" rather than "disturb". I had little to go on with the info you gave, so I couldn't suggest anything else to tease with.

1/16/2011 . Edited 1/16/2011 #417
MauMaster

Hey, writers anonymous fanficers! I've been gone for so long... But I'm venturing back into forums and with a new multichaptered story underway, I was wondering if anyone could give me some help on the summary (despite my long absence and many published fics in that time, I don't think I've improved on that front. If anything, I've gotten worse).

Here's for the Mortal Instruments fandom, a What If AU. Dark fic, centering on Alec Lightwood (Not sure if anybody's read the series, so sorry if this doesn't make sense). It's called Eternally Bound.

"He was only three when his parents died. Now he's a servant of the Morgensterns, bound to their secrets more tightly than any could imagine. Breaking the ties and finding the truth before his life runs out is only the beginning of his struggle. AU Malec"

I felt it was only fair to warn that it was AU, because it is a drastic AU fic. I'm not a fan of including the pairing in the summary, but... It's the sort of fandom where seeing Malec in the summary has at least half the fandom ready to read it, not caring about the plot, but simply for the pairing. It's brought in a ton of new readers, even if I'm already somewhat known as a Malec writer (I write a lot of it, almost solely Malec in that fandom).

Thanks in advance!

1/17/2011 #418
The Lauderdale

@MaiaFay:

I really appreciate your response and am sorry not to have responded sooner - I've not had a proper internet connection lately.

I had little to go on with the info you gave, so I couldn't suggest anything else to tease with.

Meh, I'm just going to get over my reticence and talk about the plot. It begins with a young Elf woman, Nevhithien, traveling with her mother, Thalawen, to visit a sister living in Rivendell. Her father Fírhador is accompanying them for the first few miles of the journey, sort of seeing them off, and it is during this first leg that Orcs attack their traveling party. Though the Orcs are driven off, both mother and daughter are injured and Thalawen seems to hold her husband responsible ("You said there would be no trouble, Fírhador.")

Up till now the focus has been on Nevhithien, who has been set up as a fairly conventional main character, but at this point the attention shifts to the two younger daughters who were left at home, who ought never to have been in any danger at all. However, two Orcs who had become separated from their band happen upon the house and break into it, terrorizing one child and stealing the other.

The story, therefore, goes through three "arcs." In the first instance the focus is on an Elf lass going to Rivendell and her prospects, which are rudely aborted. The second is a family shaken in the weeks after an abduction (sort of a Lovely Bones scenario over the course of several chapters) and a father who is obsessed with finding his probably dead child, even as he appears to be losing his wife. But then the third shift occurs, when the focus of the story returns to the stolen daughter, who is alive but in a bad situation. At this point the story is very much Leni's story and that of her captor, Kurbag, who hasn't killed her but who won't let her go.

Frankly, you composed a more commanding sentence than I pulled off. It frees up valuable real estate and makes room to think about other stuff to add. I've erred on the side of no names and a very general description, but maybe I should just get over myself and write a summary that doesn't try to hide the story. I still like the rewording you suggested more than what I currently have, and would welcome any other advice you might have to offer.

-.-.-.-

@MauMaster I don't know the books or the fandom, but unless the "he" is supposed to be unknown I would go ahead and use Alec's name: feels more decisive that way. I actually like the first two lines. As for the last sentence, how does this sound:

Freeing himself and finding the truth is only the beginning.

I think you said elsewhere that you are starting to think this isn't a Malec story, so drop that obviously. Depending on what "the truth" he finds is, you might want to say "the truth about...," if that doesn't spoiler things too much. Does he really find out this great truth at the beginning? If that is really just the start, then I might follow this sentence with,

Now he must... (or) Now Alec must...if he is to...

Obviously this is contingent on how much room you have, and whether you think compacting things as I have suggested helps or hinders the description. Maybe someone else can weigh in on that.

1/20/2011 . Edited 2/27/2011 #419
BlackEyePea

this is a year and a half late, but...

Oracle five: Iwould try this:

L puts his oh-so tremendous expertise to the test...

or:

L puts his tremendous capabilities of deduction and analysis to the test.

Or:

L puts his oh-so tremendous capabilities of deduction and analysis to the test...

(italics are my additions)

Oh-so indicates comedy,or at least pretentiousness, and an ellipsis indicates tapering off and therefor drawing the reader in... hopefully.

1/25/2011 #420
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