Too often when we sit down and try to submit a fan fiction we forget one of the most important parts: the summary. The summary is your one chance to grab the attention of a potential reader and give them a glimpse of what’s in store if they’d only come and look.
So how does one go about writing a summary? The trick is to give the basic plot and theme of your story without giving too much information away. After all, you do not want the readers to wander off, having read only your summary and knowing the full content of your plot. At the same time, you do not want them scratching their heads, wondering what in the world “a day in the life of Luna” means.
The following are some key things to keep in mind when writing this all-important net for readers:
That said, allow me to give an example of a bad summary:
There’s a new girl in Hogwarts an her name is Mystiana. She is part house elf and part wizard. She falls in love with Harry but Ron likes her to. When she is caught kissing Draco, it’s all over. Next chapter: Mystiana flirts with Snape and he is happy for once in his life!
Here is an example of a better summary:
There’s a mysterious new student at Hogwarts who has a shared experience with Harry. As the two become friends, Harry learns of a little-known fact that could change the course of his life, not to mention hers. Harry/OC.
Keep these points in mind when you go to write your summary. Be sure to spend some time on it, as your story won’t matter if your summary doesn’t draw in readers. Ask you beta reader for advice, or talk it over with a trusted friend. But remember, there isn’t a set formula— just a few guidelines. Just let the creativity from your story shine in your summary as well.