You have been working on your writing skills for a while now and you feel that you finally have a piece you have perfected. You’ve been looking at submission guidelines and noticed that a lot of them want a summary of your story included in the items you send to them. What should you put in this?
A good summary not only gives its reader an idea of the story’s plot, but also allows them to see the style of writing you are using and the tone of voice used. It should be rather short and to the point but packed with information about your piece. This should be interesting and make the reader want more.
A lot of writers have a hard time giving away the ending of their story in a summary, but this is precisely what you need to do in this situation. The people reading your submission will likely have a ton of submissions to go through, so they need to get an idea of how your work fits into their goals. The requested summary gives them a good indication about how well it will work for their needs and is designed to help them weed out those that aren’t right for them.
You will want to make sure you are accurately presenting your story, invoking intrigue, and paring things down to the essentials. The details will be there if and when they request a full version of your piece. Think about what portions are essential to the plot and put them into your summary in a fun way that will give the reader a taste of what your work has to offer.
It’s also important to pay attention to any formatting guidelines that are given to you. Follow the directions offered, as this can be the difference between someone actually reading your summary and moving on to the one behind it in line. This is particularly important when it comes to length. Remember that the person reading your work knows the guidelines that have been suggested for submissions and will take note of the fact that you were too lazy or stubborn to follow them.