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The Underused Chapter Summary

I have mentioned in previous posts that my first book resulted from a bit of snarkiness on my part. Imagine my surprise when it took on a life of its own! Along about chapter seven, I realized I wasn’t gonna get away with a simple short story; and, I could also no longer keep up with all the details in the chapters to that point. The chapter summary was the answer. What a tangle I would be in if I didn’t keep the facts straight.

The summary is an invaluable tool because it facilitates my writing a synopsis for query letters when needed. The primary things to include in the summary are: important scenes (in brief), new characters as they are introduced, and the parts of the chapter which carry the story line. Use one paragraph for each chapter, then number them for the chapter to which it corresponds. This ensures each chapter’s summary is short and sweet. I can easily locate what details I need by referring back to the chapter summary. Not having to juggle all the details of a novella-length or longer story allows room in my pea-sized brain for new ideas and inspiration.

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