Writing Guide II: Titles and Descriptions/Summaries

Writing Guide II: Titles and Descriptions/Summaries On Mibba, a summary is the 'hook' of the story, as is the tittle. There are a few major do's and don'ts for tittles and descriptions that I think haven't been said enough. Although tittle may seem unimportant, it does play a decent role in grabbing the reader's attention.

Something I've been seeing now-- which I haven't seen since I left Quizilla-- is the 'summary title'. The summary tittle is exactly what it sounds like. It tells you half of the plot, sometimes the whole story, in the tittle alone. The problem with these are that they give away too much, and you have nothing to put in the summary. I personally try to avoid those, since I find them obnoxious and unnecessary, but that's just me. Here's an example of a summary title:

I Met and Slept With Gerard Way and He's a Total Ass Who Now Goes to my School. Help!

That right there is a big no. For one, you told us the whole story line. Saying I met and slept with someone in the tittle already gives away too much. Telling a main character's role or personality in the title is also something you don't want to do. Giving characters away in the summary is an okay move, but as a reader, I think it's fun to figure it out.

Another thing I've been concerned about is the decorating of tittles. I understand it some of the time, like when you're new or it gives it a good ring, but other than that I'd watch out. The only time I think it's okay is when people add brackets or parentheses. I've been seeing a lot of:

Bloodlust ~A Vampire Story~

And

?Summer Love?[/u]

Tittles. For one--I know from experience-- you'll get in trouble with the Mibba moderators. Two, it makes it look less professional. Adding it's a (fill in the blank) story like example one is meant for the summary. As is saying stuff like: "Sequel of Summer Love". You will get reported, no matter how many people like your story. Most find it annoying, or they just like trolling. Either way. Something else I'd avoid is saying the main character's name in the tittle in a fan fiction. Maybe if you're doing a ZV fiction and make it catchy with the word Vengeance thrown in, or something.

Synyster Gates is My Freakin' Cousin, in my opinion, is too much. I suppose some may find it intriguing, but I don't know. Something like: My Cousin Gates would be alright, but it could still use some work. Making the title mysterious is something I think is important. Lyric titles can be brilliant, if you have the right song. One story I think was brilliantly tittled was If I Was Your Vampire by CharmedLuna.

On to summaries/short descriptions.

I think marathon summaries are, like run-on tittles, annoying. You don't want to give too much away in those either. Give a small amount of background and some sneak-peaks of the future, but that's it. You honestly don't want to give it all away, because then readers loose the urge to keep on reading. Don't give too little, either. Here's an example of too much and too little.

a. "Jessica and Jenifer are cousins. Jess and Jen like the same guy. Featuring: Oliver Sykes."

b. Jessica and Jenifer Williams are cousins because their mothers are sisters. They were both born on Fridays and share a lot of common interests. Both like to swim, dance, and eat pasta. Another thing the two have in common is taste in boys. There's a certain accented wonder who has them both awestruck: Oliver Sykes.

Obviously, a gives much too little information. There's nothing there besides the character's names. B is a little too much to read over as your scanning over the many Mibba stories. Sharing their interest other than the boy Oliver is overwhelming. All you want to know from the summary is the character, their roll, and a very brief summary of what's going on. Here's how I think summaries should look.

Jess and Jen have lived in small town Willix all their lives. When a new boy--Oliver-- with good looks, an amazing accent, and musical talents comes to town, there will be a few problems between the two.

That wasn't anything too great, but it's all a summary really requires.

One thing I do approve of (Don't I sound critical?) is the short description: 'Featuring: So and So.' I do that If I can't really think of a summary that doesn't sound bland or give too much away. Since it tells you who is in the story other than your original characters, I think it's okay.

That's all the advice I have for now, but for now, goodbye wonderful Mibbans.

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