The Summary Of All Its Parts

Many years ago, I worked at a university. Part of my job was to write and edit academic papers and reports. Anyone who’s ever written such a report knows that often the only part of it anyone actually reads is the executive summary. So, the executive summary, like all summaries, needs to contain the most salient parts of the report in just a few words. This was always a task that took great thought and care, but reports are largely objective and emotionless.

Now, as a fiction writer, I’m once again required to write summaries for my work. I won’t lie; it’s still the part I find the trickiest. Unlike reports, stories are imbued with emotion. They are our deepest thoughts set free. How do you sum up the blood, sweat and tears (shh, I’m being dramatic) you poured onto a page into just a few lines? What makes a good summary? I wish we had an easy to follow, handy dandy guide to writing summaries.

Let us know in the comments whether you write stellar summaries, or whether they’re sputtering along. What are your tips and techniques? Do you struggle with them too?

May Poetry Slam: Poetry Criticism

All right, poets, it’s your turn. April was National Poetry Month, so this month instead of a slam we’re going to talk about how to read and critique all that work you generated for your #poemaday before you unleash it on an unsuspecting Internet. Or, if you’ve been reading everyone’s poetry but not feeling sure how to discuss it, it’s a great time to build some vocabulary around poetry critique! Learn more from Rowan here.

Prompt Up!

Prompt Up is our optional weekly writing prompt for the fiction|poetry challenge! Here’s how it works: we choose a sentence prompt from last week’s winning nonfiction post and announce it in the kickoff. It’s your job to use that prompt in your poem or story and then run with it. The prompt is just a springboard, though: feel free to use it as your first sentence, move it, change it, or float it down to other territories.

In Sreeblog’s Yes I lie to you, Mom, a mother and daughter come to an understanding. This week’s optional Prompt Up is: “The rain looked different in that city.”

How to submit and fully participate in the challenge:

Basic YeahWrite guidelines: 750 word limit; your entry can be dated no earlier than this past Sunday; fiction or poetry only.

1. In the sidebar of this week’s post, please grab the code beneath the fiction|poetry badge and paste it into the HTML view of your entry;
2. Follow the Inlinkz instructions after clicking “add your link” to upload your entry to this week’s challenge grid;
3. Your entry should appear immediately on the grid if you don’t receive an error message;
4. Please make the rounds to read all the entries in this week’s challenge; and
5. Consider turning off moderated comments and CAPTCHA on your own blog.

Submissions for this week’s challenges will close on Wednesday at 10pm ET. Voting will then open immediately thereafter and close on Thursday at 10pm ET. The winners, as always, will be celebrated on Friday.

Thank you for sharing with us your hard work! Good luck in the challenge…

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About the author:

An English Professor and award-winning freelance writer living in Southern California, Natalie has written for a variety of publications such as Mind Oddity, The Huffington Post, Have Heart Magazine and Cinapse. She writes about life and the arts on her personal blog The Cat Lady Sings and as a hopeless polymath, enjoys too many hobbies to be a practical person. Natalie is a Contributing Editor here at YeahWrite.

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