Do not Start a Story with a Summary

Well, I finally made it back home from San Diego on Saturday. Unfortunately, my party was just lounging around. Today, there will be another blast from the past of the defunct Written Adventure blog. You'll have to look for the original somewhere on Tumblr, which is where all of those old posts can be found.

A while back, WattPad was infested with spammers. This was the time, when I first started using. During that time, I had a request from a user to view this story. It was not that good, but it had one of the worst starts ever.

Why was the start of the story so horrible? Well, many people complain about cliches in stories, but this is not one them, and for good reason too. The passage is a summary. Summaries belong either on the back of books, inside book jackets, or in the synopsis area of sites dedicated to storytelling. In this case, it does not allow us, the audience, to get to know the characters or visualize the story's scenery, which is what pulls the audience in, when they start reading. Because of this, I am not drawn to even pay attention to the piece. A summary's job is only to make us consider reading the story.

What should be done instead? When starting a story, the audience must be given enough details to draw images and we must be introduced to the character's personality. Things like dreams, having the character look up at the sky, while they are on the ground, or look out towards to ocean from a high place or a beach can somewhat clue the audience into what a person is like. However, the latter items work best, when we know exactly what a character is thinking. If the piece were written in a third person point-of-view, the intrigue would be on the mystery. The beginning of stories should introduce us to characters and allow the audience to draw scenes.

What is your opinion on this? Any other good ideas for starting a story, feel free to comment.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.