I don’t have all day, just sum it up…
There’s a certain art to telling a story. Some people have it, and some people do not. This is nothing to be ashamed about. However, the real art is taking a story and “summing” it up. This is called summarizing. There is a subtle art to this that I’d like to relay to you. Below are some simple steps to help you summarize information a little better.
- Read through source.
- Reread through source while taking notes, as you reread, of only the most important information within the text, usually just a single topic sentence says what an entire paragraph portrays.
- No quoting, just sum up a long piece of dialogue, but only if it makes a significant point.
- Now set aside your notes and reread the source material.
- Set aside source material and rewrite notes summarizing the points that stick out in your mind the most
- Compare notes: The stuff that overlaps, that’s your gold material.
- Connect the points in chronological order (the order it appears in the issue).
Is this a lot of work? Yes. Is it worth it? If you want a great summary, it is worth it. Why is this relevant to viners? Well, quite a few of the viners are in school. Following these steps could help you out with schoolwork. More importantly, it could help out quite a bit with the database section of the vine.
In my opinion, which may not reflect the feelings or opinions of other staff or moderators of ComicVine or WhiskeyMedia in general, sometimes the database can be cluttered with what I consider to be “worthless information.” Take this hypothetical example: Issue #56 of Super-Awesome-Rad-Man (SARM) came out this week and Billy notices that SARM finds out that his arch-enemy, Trampoline Face, is actually his long lost brother. Now SARM already has an in depth character page, so the amount you add could be considered daunting to other readers.
Which one looks better?
After a brutal battle between Trampoline Face and SARM, SARM returns back to the Rad-Tower. He notices Trampoline Face’s blood stained on his clothes, and analyzes it in his computer. It turns out, that after all this time, SARM’s arch-nemesis Trampoline Man is actually SARM’s little brother Colin Crease. SARM loses it and destroys the Rad-Tower causing chaos on the ground and killing innocent civilians.
Trampoline Man hits SARM in the face. SARM falls to the ground. Trampoline Man laughs. “You thought YOU were the best? I’ll have you know I eat chumps like you for breakfast! LITERALLY” Trampoline Man pulls out a knife and fork and licks his chops….. (Continues for five pages)
Would you rather read five lines, or five pages all pretty much conveying the same main point? There’s a fine line between too little and too much though, which, at times, is subjective depending on the reader.
Let’s face it, it is a fast moving society where the user wants their info and they want it now, so why not give it to them? Be quick and concise. Give them just the info that matters, instead of every little detail. If they wanted to know everything that happened, they’d hopefully pick up the book and read it. Sometimes it’s not the best idea to get too in depth. Getting to the point is just so much nicer.
Looking back at everything I’ve typed, I’m sure you guys would have liked it if I had “summed up” my article…