Who is getting pumped up for Camp NaNoWriMo in 2014? In case some of you are unaware of what Camp NaNoWriMo is or what NaNoWriMo is in general, I’ll briefly sum it up. NaNoWriMo stands for “National Novel Writing Month,” and annually during November, writers from around the world write a novel and reach their word count in 30 days—the only catch being that you just keep writing. You lock out your inner editor. Camp NaNoWriMo, on the other hand, is like the annual one, except it occurs during the summer months. Overall, this is my third Camp NaNoWriMo.
Last year, some NaNoers and I were give each other our summaries of our novels, and one of them asked how we gave such good summaries. Summaries are one of the hardest things to writing. So, because Camp is coming up and this blog should include some writing tips, I will help guide you and give you the information (or 411) on how to do this.
What exactly is a summary? A summary is “a brief statement or account of the main points of something.” When you summarize your novel, or any writing piece in general, you want to make sure you hit the important main points of your novel so that the readers will have a general idea about what your novel is about. A summary is, after all, a first impression to see if a book is their "cup o' tea". You want to make a strong impression so all of the "why's" of the novel can be answers.
There are really three essentials that you will need in summaries: who the characters are and the general idea/problem of what is happening in the novel, where and/or when the story is taking place. Personally, I think you don’t need to add the third essential UNLESS it is a fantasy novel on another world or it’s a historical fiction novel, relating to a certain time in history. A great example of a summary using these is R.J. Palacio's Wonder:
See? This summary states that Auggie is the main character, the main problem is that he is trying to prove that he is just like everyone else. If you can answer the three essentials then you have got yourself a good summary.
But there are some things that you can do to make it pop up.
Questions? Do you want to add onto the "do" and "don't" section of writing an effective summary? Have anything else to add to this post in general? Well, don't hesitate to post in the comments!
Stay strong and wonderful!