Post Reply Before starting the chapters, should I make a chapter summary?
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Posted 7/3/16
Let me know if a thread like this one exist or not.
Thanks a bunches.


Before I start chapter one and the other chapter, I want to do a chapter summary. I feel like if I do that I'll have a clear idea of what I should write for each chapter. I'm struggling with how to start chapter one and the rest of the chapters. I just want to know if this is a good idea to do. Got any advice? Let me know what I should do.

Enjoy!!!



Sorry Loreen but I have to get answers on what I should do. Again I am sorry.
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Posted 7/3/16
You can do it but make it short.
Usually i don't want summary because I can have a clue what going happen in the story
If it possible I want surprising story.
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Posted 7/3/16

bailyn17 wrote:

You can do it but make it short.
Usually i don't want summary because I can have a clue what going happen in the story
If it possible I want surprising story.


I want a surprising story too but I'm tired of not knowing what to write.
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Posted 7/3/16 , edited 7/3/16
I think that some degree of knowing where I am going helps me shape what I am writing. For example, if I want to get from point a to point b, if I know where point b is ahead of time its easier for me to turn conversations and use foreshadowing and just generally make the transition smooth. That said, I do think that you need to be very flexible with your outlines. There have been plenty of times I have started writing something and just went outside my outlines because it just didn't feel organic to make certain transitions.

So to sum it up, summaries are good at helping you get where you need to go but watch out for them making your writing more stiff.

I'd also use outlines and short bullet points and not a paragraph summary, but that might just be me.

EDIT: What do you mean when you say that you are struggling with how to start chapters?
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Posted 7/3/16

qualeshia3 wrote:


bailyn17 wrote:

You can do it but make it short.
Usually i don't want summary because I can have a clue what going happen in the story
If it possible I want surprising story.


I want a surprising story too but I'm tired of not knowing what to write.

Give yourself a break. You will know what to write after that.

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Posted 7/3/16

sundin13 wrote:

I think that some degree of knowing where I am going helps me shape what I am writing. For example, if I want to get from point a to point b, if I know where point b is ahead of time its easier for me to turn conversations and use foreshadowing and just generally make the transition smooth. That said, I do think that you need to be very flexible with your outlines. There have been plenty of times I have started writing something and just went outside my outlines because it just didn't feel organic to make certain transitions.

So to sum it up, summaries are good at helping you get where you need to go but watch out for them making your writing more stiff.

I'd also use outlines and short bullet points and not a paragraph summary, but that might just be me.

EDIT: What do you mean when you say that you are struggling with how to start chapters?



I swear I always look forward to your comments. You're so helpful and insightful.

I can't seem to figure out how to start the chapter. I'm having a bit of trouble. So I thought if I write a chapter summary about chapter one and all the other chapters I'd know how to start it.

Yeah, I was thinking along the lines of a paragraph summary because I suck at outlines.

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Posted 7/3/16

bailyn17 wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:


bailyn17 wrote:

You can do it but make it short.
Usually i don't want summary because I can have a clue what going happen in the story
If it possible I want surprising story.


I want a surprising story too but I'm tired of not knowing what to write.

Give yourself a break. You will know what to write after that.



Thank you.
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Posted 7/3/16 , edited 7/3/16

qualeshia3 wrote:
I swear I always look forward to your comments. You're so helpful and insightful.

I can't seem to figure out how to start the chapter. I'm having a bit of trouble. So I thought if I write a chapter summary about chapter one and all the other chapters I'd know how to start it.

Yeah, I was thinking along the lines of a paragraph summary because I suck at outlines.



Aw shucks, thanks.

Starting chapters can be hard. They are basically a miniature version of the start of a book. You need to make sure that you have a hook (to some degree), establish the setting and establish the point of the scene. So, your main goal is to make someone who reads a few sentences want to keep reading and make sure people know what is going on. I find the fact that you don't always need to show the scene from the very beginning to be quite useful. A lot of times you can skip a good deal of the introductory dialogue and just burst in right at the point things get interesting.

But most importantly, remember that you can change things. Not everything has to be great in your first draft, so don't be afraid to just write. Not only does this let you move ahead to parts that you have a better grasp on, but sometimes it can be easier to figure out what is wrong with something when it is on paper instead of just being in your head.
43737 cr points
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Posted 7/3/16

sundin13 wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:
I swear I always look forward to your comments. You're so helpful and insightful.

I can't seem to figure out how to start the chapter. I'm having a bit of trouble. So I thought if I write a chapter summary about chapter one and all the other chapters I'd know how to start it.

Yeah, I was thinking along the lines of a paragraph summary because I suck at outlines.



Aw shucks, thanks.

Starting chapters can be hard. They are basically a miniature version of the start of a book. You need to make sure that you have a hook (to some degree), establish the setting and establish the point of the scene. So, your main goal is to make someone who reads a few sentences want to keep reading and make sure people know what is going on. I find the fact that you don't always need to show the scene from the very beginning to be quite useful. A lot of times you can skip a good deal of the introductory dialogue and just burst in right at the point things get interesting.

But most importantly, remember that you can change things. Not everything has to be great in your first draft, so don't be afraid to just write. Not only does this let you move ahead to parts that you have a better grasp on, but sometimes it can be easier to figure out what is wrong with something when it is on paper instead of just being in your head.



You're welcome.

What if I do it this way? I write the summary for the chapters then write the chapter making it into a rough draft. Then take the rough draft and edit it.
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Posted 7/3/16

qualeshia3 wrote:

You're welcome.

What if I do it this way? I write the summary for the chapters then write the chapter making it into a rough draft. Then take the rough draft and edit it.


Go for it Moving forwards is the most important thing.
43737 cr points
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26 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 7/3/16

sundin13 wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:

You're welcome.

What if I do it this way? I write the summary for the chapters then write the chapter making it into a rough draft. Then take the rough draft and edit it.


Go for it Moving forwards is the most important thing.


Thank you very much.
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Posted 7/4/16

qualeshia3 wrote:

Let me know if a thread like this one exist or not.
Thanks a bunches.


Before I start chapter one and the other chapter, I want to do a chapter summary. I feel like if I do that I'll have a clear idea of what I should write for each chapter. I'm struggling with how to start chapter one and the rest of the chapters. I just want to know if this is a good idea to do. Got any advice? Let me know what I should do.

Enjoy!!!



Sorry Loreen but I have to get answers on what I should do. Again I am sorry.


No need to apologize. This is a great place for this thread. It's just that weird Poll policy. We mods have talked about possibly making an exception and removing the restriction on Poll Topics in the personal categories (like Advice, Info, Recommendations, and Creative Corner), but are concerned about confusion so are sticking with the blanket rule about Poll Topics being allowed only in the Polls forum, and about personal threads not belonging in the Polls forum, so....

Anyway, I think at least a rough chapter summary, even if it's just a sentence or two per chapter makes sense and will help keep you on track. If as you write it's clear something you planned just isn't going to work that way, then you can make adjustments. And as you write if you get ideas that flesh out some parts of the story that you aren't currently writing, you could add those notes into the summary for the chapter where you think they would fit.

Good luck. I know money is probably an issue right now, but if at some point you have a chance to take a writing course, even if it's just part of a non-credit adult education thing (if there are such things near to you) I'd recommend it. I've never taken creative writing quite as seriously as you seem to, but I've had the privilege of taking several writing courses both in casual continuing ed programs and as part of degree programs, and it's a really great experience with lots of hands on opportunities to practice and get tips and tricks from others, as well as specific feedback on work-in-progress. Getting to see other people's works in progress is very valuable also.
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