Summaries vs. Detail

I’ve heard people say that one mustn’t take too much time to think over what you’re writing, but to just get it out on paper, and worry about editing later. I’ve never been good at that. I can do it, but only if I’m allowed to leave out dialogue and almost all detail. In other words, I end up with plot summaries, like I did for my Healing Potion story. Now that I’ve written that summary, I really don’t feel any need to expand upon it. In fact, the majority of the work I’ll be posting on this blog will probably be in summary format, or else will be discussions of plot elements and their associated tropes.

It feels a bit juvenile and a bit selfish to take this position, but it’s true. The reason is that my favorite thing is coming up with plots. Next favorite is coming up with characters, especially their personalities. A close third is settings — not rooms or buildings, but entire worlds or kingdoms. Next, I suppose, are all the little rules that go along with a setting — if it’s a fantasy setting, how does magic work? If sci-fi, what technology is there? If a setting for politics, what systems of government do the nations have? Stuff like that.

My least favorite things are, as I mentioned, details and dialogue. By details, I mean specifically details on what my characters look like, scenery, nearby sounds and things that are going on around the main characters, and additional characters that flesh out the cast, but end up having little bearing on the plot. I hate doing those things, not least because they slow my writing and thought processes down.

In fact, there’s one huge story that means a lot to me, and definitely will be worth the work. More on that later. For now, I hope you find my ideas interesting enough to read.


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