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  1. Billy Sollox

    Billy Sollox New Member

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    Ways to place a plot summary in my story without being too obvious

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Billy Sollox, Oct 8, 2018.

    I'm looking for general ideas of how to have my plot summarised without being too obvious about it. I like to have this when I'm reading, so I'm reminded of all the strands of a book.

    I've noticed other writer's do this subtly. Anyone got any ideas?

    TIA

    BS
     
  2. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Well, first off, you need to do this often. At least once a chapter. Having one of the main characters outright asking what's going on and having the character that's least important and has the most annoying voice stop the action dead to exposit all over the place is probably your best chance of doing this subtly and under the radar. If that's not enough for you, there's also the option of flashbacks and dream sequences that most definitely won't make any readers feel angry or cheated in any way. And remember, if your characters don't randomly recite their life story whenever they meet a new character, they're probably not making friends.
     
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  3. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

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    This answer carries the energy of that Terrible Writing Advice channel and I like that.
     
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  4. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

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    On a more serious note, I think you could try slowly working it into the dialogue. Only use the most important parts of your plot and have multiple characters involved in the talking. Have them talk about what they're going to do next in the context of what's already happened, or have them wonder about how the past events will effect what might happen next. I'm not too sure about this, but it's what I'd do if I did it.
     
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  5. Billy Sollox

    Billy Sollox New Member

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    That's great, thanks. I'm going to be writing short chapters, so this will help to lengthen them! So, you suggest I get my main protagonist to take a break and ask a minor character something like "What's going on, dude?" I guess I'll have to introduce some new, minor characters now then.

    I've never been much of a fan of dream sequences, but you bet I'm gonna use 'em now!!!! Although I'm not certain having characters RANDOMLY recite their life stories will quite ring true - although it's how I get by in my life - I'll give it a try anyway!

    Thanks again! ;o)
     
  6. Billy Sollox

    Billy Sollox New Member

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    Thank you, it's appreciated.
     
  7. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Banned Contributor

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    That is going quite near "as you know" -conversations.
     
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  8. EstherMayRose

    EstherMayRose Gay Souffle Contributor

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    You could try having a character write a letter. I have a character separated from her mother and she writes her letters (despite knowing she can't send them) to tell her what she's been up to. I don't plan on transcribing each and every letter in full, but my mother beta-reader said that she liked having the little recap. Obviously this doesn't mean your character should recite the story in each one, but instead it can be nice to see which elements your character feels the most important and what they think of them, as well as demonstrating the character's relationship with the recipient, which means it serves another purpose and so isn't just an infodump.

    I still have a feeling this suggestion will be shot down in flames.

    How did the books you read do it?
     
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  9. Billy Sollox

    Billy Sollox New Member

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    EstherMayRose, Thank you for your suggestions. Certainly I would never shoot down anyone who's taken the time to help me, but I know what you mean. I suspect there's a snobbishness/clique feel on here (merely from the first response to this post - my first on here - not the perfect welcome), but I appreciate any well-meant help. ;o)

    I did think "Well, how did the books I've read do it?" and it was often with a sidekick who didn't quite understand the situation, but I'll go back to those books and re-read.

    From the earlier responses it seems like it's a technique that's frowned upon, but I want to write a book that people enjoy and can follow, not that's going to impress elitists. Having said that, this recap thing needs to be done carefully.

    Thanks again! Best of luck with your writing.

    BS
     
  10. EstherMayRose

    EstherMayRose Gay Souffle Contributor

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    This forum has a wonderful atmosphere. Some people have complained about cliquiness, but I've never had that problem. We're all just trying to help each other. What people are trying to say is that plot summaries can be tricky and need to be done carefully, or they'll be annoying, like you said yourself. We aren't howling snobs - or "elitists" here. @The Dapper Hooligan was only pulling your leg.

    All I'm saying is, don't get the wrong idea of this forum and don't be discouraged. :)
     
  11. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Banned Contributor

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    You are absolutely right.

    But clique mentality is something that happens everywhere were societies and sub societies form and where both individuals and sub groups get different kinds of dominance hierarchies.

    Those who bind they identities to these social or imaginary dominance plays protect their positions and facades.

    Those who don't take these plays seriously, concentrate to something else.

    That annoys identity-players. They experience it as a aggressive move even that it is not. And they...

    It is a play that is all the time going on in almost all the boards that have regular writers. And it is easiest to see if you are a novice or that kind of person who rides outside dominance hierarchies. Both show you as a potential threat that needs to be put to his right place. And that place is on the bottom.

    Most dominance oriented people don't see how much dominance plays guide their actions and behaviour. They have other kind of explanations. Usually these blame others about what they think, say or do.

    And if you want to write you can have an endless material warehouse by paying attention to these happenings and persons.

    If you want to get really good material, you can google covert narcissist and compare these dominance plays to the information about that topic.

    But... As I said. It is not only here. It is in almost every board with lots of regular writers, identity connections and so on.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
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  12. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Banned Contributor

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    By action that has very light "foreshadow" and/or "backshadow" touch in it. And by situations.

    Inside that action you can have very light hints in dialogue, but it must be almost invisible.

    You stay out of repetition by showing different sides of the same thing after and later. And you show it in action & situations.
     
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  13. Billy Sollox

    Billy Sollox New Member

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    Thank you. I've used IT boards extensively and only experienced people trying to help me, not patronise. Never mind, it takes all sorts to make a world.
     
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  14. Billy Sollox

    Billy Sollox New Member

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    Thank you for responding. I feel I'm starting to get a handle on it, sort of ;o) It needs to be done with a light touch!
     
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  15. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    For a brief summary, there could be an exasperated reflection.

    First Fido was eaten, then the house was vaporized, the crossing guard tried to murder them, and now aliens were popping up in the tulip fields? It was long past time to leave town.
     
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  16. Billy Sollox

    Billy Sollox New Member

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    Thank you! That's exactly the type of thing I'm after. Poor old Fido ;o)
     

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