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Something missing?  [message #77180] Fri, 07 August 2020 04:54 Go to next message
Talo Segura is currently offline  Talo Segura   France

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I've always thought there is something missing when new stories get published here. A summary/synopsis to tell the reader what the story is about?
Re: Something missing?  [message #77181 is a reply to message #77180] Fri, 07 August 2020 07:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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If the author sends me a synopsis for a serial I will publish it happily and do so whenever it is sent. Not for a short story. It's not going to appear in the announcement email.

There are many things missing, but the site is a hobby, not a business



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Something missing?  [message #77183 is a reply to message #77181] Fri, 07 August 2020 15:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin   United States

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I'll agree that having a synopsis would be a valuable addition. A short one (almost a teaser) when a serialization begins or for a short story, a longer one for a completed story whenthe serializaiton is over--for those who come to the story later. However, that said, my experience is that most writers don't a good job of writing their own synopsis becuase they're too close to the story and their motivation or vision of it. Those written by objective third parties are almost always better, but along with that comes a huge workload to read the story and craft the synopsis! 



Bensiamin
Re: Something missing?  [message #77184 is a reply to message #77183] Fri, 07 August 2020 16:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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"Bensiamin wrote on Fri, 07 August 2020 16:24"
I'll agree that having a synopsis would be a valuable addition. A short one (almost a teaser) when a serialization begins or for a short story, a longer one for a completed story whenthe serializaiton is over--for those who come to the story later. However, that said, my experience is that most writers don't a good job of writing their own synopsis becuase they're too close to the story and their motivation or vision of it. Those written by objective third parties are almost always better, but along with that comes a huge workload to read the story and craft the synopsis! 

--
Less work, still non trivial, is adding it to the site. I have no process for this so each has to be hand created



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Something missing?  [message #77185 is a reply to message #77184] Fri, 07 August 2020 19:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Talo Segura is currently offline  Talo Segura   France

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@Timmy, I completely see the problem. You would in fact need a whole new website, which is not what I had in mind. I was thinking, new story, little intro, summary, here in the forum. That's it, nothing else. Readers do sometimes mention a book or rather recommend one, but for the most part you have no idea what the story is until you start reading. Of course, I'm not telling you anything you don't know, and I don't mean to criticise, because it's nice to have this site.

The only easy way to add a summary, and I appreciate it is more work, is as a chapter, so STORY XXX by XXX synopsis, chapter one, chapter two, etc.

Wishful thinking, but what you need is someone to write you a new site, for free, and or some volunteers to help out with running it.
Re: Something missing?  [message #77186 is a reply to message #77185] Fri, 07 August 2020 20:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Actually I handle a synopsis as a php include, not a chapter. Have a look at Rigby's index page as one of the rare examples of folk who have sent synopses

A whole new site is an interesting concept. The look and feel is slightly dated, but familiarity is important, and there are sme huge design readability subtleties here. Behind the scenes is a tailor made content management system. Converting legacy pages is always possible, programmatically, but the glitch and gotcha potential is immense. Thsi site is, well, enormous.

Under the skin it's well structiued, but itls also well search engine indexed, so the urls would need to remain identical.

Webmasterng is a back art!



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Something missing?  [message #77188 is a reply to message #77186] Sat, 08 August 2020 00:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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Well, I posted a comment and it vanished into cyber oblivian. I'm not doing it again! You'll all have to be content not knowing my contrributtion! LOL




“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Something missing?  [message #77197 is a reply to message #77188] Sun, 09 August 2020 19:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin   United States

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Talo's observation struck home, as I'd not created synopses for my stories...but now have. I will say that now that I'm six to twelve months down the road from the writing of them, that I can take a step away and write a more objective and comprehensive synopsis for each one - here.

Thanks for the push, Talo! 

Everyone's comments on these examples welcome! Summarizing 20 plus chapters in less than 100 words is a challenge!



Bensiamin
Re: Something missing?  [message #77198 is a reply to message #77180] Mon, 10 August 2020 05:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Talo Segura is currently offline  Talo Segura   France

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I think your stories are so much better for having these summaries. The reader knows what the books are about and they provoke interest to want to pick up and read more.

I mentioned this lack of summaries/intro to stories on another site as well and if you think about it, coming to a story/book site online is like going into a bookshop or library. You enter and look around for the section that interests, fiction, drama, fantasy, romance, sci-fi, whatever. You pick out a book, attracted by the title (no one should under estimate the power of a title), next you look at the cover (there aren't covers on these older sites, there are on every new site) because that's the next important aspect. Then you read the blurb as to what the book is about. If you like it, you buy it, or borrow it, in any case you read it.

I don't think anyone has ever gone into a bookshop or library and picked up a book at random. Sure, you might read all the new stories published, like having joined a book club where each month you are sent a selection of new stories, but even such clubs ask your interests.

I would encourage every author who wants a readership to take the time to write carefully a synopsis for their story. It is not an afterthought, but a critical step in the writing process. Book covers are another idea worth thinking about. It's not difficult, grab a copyright free to use and edit image, edit it, add the title, resize it to fit the format (commonly 400 x 600). 

If you have spent months writing your story, you should want to publish it to the world giving it the best possible chance of success.



Re: Something missing?  [message #77199 is a reply to message #77198] Mon, 10 August 2020 07:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Messages: 13458



It will be an enormous task to go back over all author pages.  I can do this, but it will not always be fast. But there is no deadline



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Something missing?  [message #77200 is a reply to message #77198] Mon, 10 August 2020 08:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ivor slipper is currently offline  ivor slipper   United Kingdom

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"Talo Segura wrote on Mon, 10 August 2020 05:43"
I think your stories are so much better for having these summaries. The reader knows what the books are about and they provoke interest to want to pick up and read more.

I mentioned this lack of summaries/intro to stories on another site as well and if you think about it, coming to a story/book site online is like going into a bookshop or library. You enter and look around for the section that interests, fiction, drama, fantasy, romance, sci-fi, whatever. You pick out a book, attracted by the title (no one should under estimate the power of a title), next you look at the cover (there aren't covers on these older sites, there are on every new site) because that's the next important aspect. Then you read the blurb as to what the book is about. If you like it, you buy it, or borrow it, in any case you read it.

I don't think anyone has ever gone into a bookshop or library and picked up a book at random. Sure, you might read all the new stories published, like having joined a book club where each month you are sent a selection of new stories, but even such clubs ask your interests.

I would encourage every author who wants a readership to take the time to write carefully a synopsis for their story. It is not an afterthought, but a critical step in the writing process. Book covers are another idea worth thinking about. It's not difficult, grab a copyright free to use and edit image, edit it, add the title, resize it to fit the format (commonly 400 x 600). 

If you have spent months writing your story, you should want to publish it to the world giving it the best possible chance of success.





-

This may very well be necessary in the world at large, but I dispute that it is needed here. Anyone coming to this site will soon know the type of stories to be found. These are "Gay Teenage Male Romantic Stories" as stated on the Home Page. What further synopsis does any potential reader need? They can open the story and quickly decide if they wish to continue reading it.

There may be more validity to your argument on the other site where you have posted it simply because they host stories that cover a much wider range.

However, even coming here isn't that much different to going to a bookshop or library. Surely in either you will read a page or two of any potential choice before deciding whether or not to put it back on the shelf or take it home to read.


Re: Something missing?  [message #77202 is a reply to message #77200] Mon, 10 August 2020 17:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Talo Segura is currently offline  Talo Segura   France

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Quote:
Actually Ivor, no I wouldn't read a page or two, maybe I am not representative of all readers, but I like to find a story I'm interested in either by recommendation or reading something about it - before I open the book. Okay, I admit, I might read the first paragraph, but following through with your line of thought, I could get several chapters into a story I like to then be confronted by alien space ships or zombies having no idea it was sci-fi fantasy or the living dead. And I could name you the story, it was very disappointing - It wasn't on here, but it could have been, it was teenage romance. Even on other sites around 80% or 90% of stores are teenage romance.


The site has a label of teenage romance, but that still leaves a wide variety of stories from sexual fantasies through real life drama to sci-fi and fantasy. I may be wrong, but I think you would find all these genres of story on here and more besides. In any case, more info, a synopsis introduction is a plus which I believe will attract more readers. I would not say anyone must add a summary, but I would encourage authors to do so, and in so doing to promote their work which they have spent some time and effort creating and also let the reader have an idea about the book.
Re: Something missing?  [message #77203 is a reply to message #77202] Mon, 10 August 2020 17:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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Now that I have more time than I did when my first response vanished into a oblivion I'd like to weigh in. 

As with many other things, in think this is a matter f individuality rather than some hard and fast requirement. Some of us would prefer a synopsis. Some of us don't care. When I go into a bookstore or onto Amazon I look for a synopsis. If it's not there I spot read to discover if it's a book I'll be interested in. Sometimes I know I'm going to like the book without ever checking for a synopsis because I already know the author and either like his work or despise it.

It is much the same here and other sites like this. I'm a big boy, responsible for my own reading preferences. I like gay fiction. This is a place for that. It takes minimal effort to decide whether a tale is something I'm going to like, but honestly, I like most of the work posted here. Thanks Tim for the work you do to make that possible.



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Something missing?  [message #77357 is a reply to message #77180] Mon, 21 September 2020 14:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Matthew is currently offline  Matthew   United Kingdom

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Registered: February 2015
Messages: 73



"Talo Segura wrote on Fri, 07 August 2020 04:54"
I've always thought there is something missing when new stories get published here. A summary/synopsis to tell the reader what the story is about?

--

I can't speak for everyone, but for me personally, i couldn't think of a quick summary, my story is massive and i honestly could not think of a couple of lines that could summerise it, there was just too much to the story for me to do that.

Looking back now, all these years later. I guess i could type something like:

A young boy is uprooted by his parents, just after discovering possible confusing feelings for his best friend, of which he doesn't even have a chance to begin to understand. To a new country where he doesn't want to be, but a persistant boy slowly brings him out of his self induced isolation and shows him that not everything is bad about his new situation.

I think that's the best i could do, but even as i read it, it doesn't even scratch the surface of what the story is really about or what could potentially happen.

So i think it's harder than you thing, to summerise a story, maybe it's easier with shorter stories, which could be the case.
Re: Something missing?  [message #77360 is a reply to message #77357] Mon, 21 September 2020 20:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

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"Matthew wrote on Mon, 21 September 2020 07:35"

A young boy is uprooted by his parents, just after discovering possible confusing feelings for his best friend, of which he doesn't even have a chance to begin to understand. To a new country where he doesn't want to be, but a persistant boy slowly brings him out of his self induced isolation and shows him that not everything is bad about his new situation.


Now you've got me wanting to go read your story and I don't know for sure where to find it! LOL



“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Something missing?  [message #77361 is a reply to message #77360] Tue, 22 September 2020 00:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pandareader is currently offline  pandareader   Brazil

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I was going to say the same thing, lol. That summary got me curious....
I searched a little and found the story:
http://iomfats.org/storyshelf/hosted/flaming-matt/the-life-o f-matt-summers-part-1/01.html
(
Sorry, but I still don't know how to paste links properly on mobile)
Speaking as a reader, most of the time I don't really mind reading the beginning of the story to try and find out if it's something I'd enjoy. However, I think summaries are a welcome addition when I'm trying to decide if I'll start reading a series (especially if there's a lot of chapters). I am a bit intimidated to start reading  a story with lots of books and chapters knowing nothing about it. I don't have the same problem when I catch something here in the "first chapter" and follow as it's being published (maybe I'm just weird?).
Re: Something missing?  [message #77362 is a reply to message #77361] Tue, 22 September 2020 05:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Talo Segura is currently offline  Talo Segura   France

Toe is in the water
Location: Europe
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Messages: 87



Pandareader you are not weird and Matthew, I too looked around for your story, and you know what I found: 

SYNOPSIS:
This is a story about the love between two boys and how love conquers everything and shows that no matter what life throws at you, no matter how bad and brutal, you can over come that with the love of your family, friends and loved ones, it may not be easy and there will be setbacks, but in the end, love conquers all.

Now, you've got two people saying the summary interested them in your story and you did actually write the summary above yourself, although for another site. Without meaning to be smug, I believe this proves the point about a summary being important.

Edit: I suppose you might read - "without meaning to be smug" - as being smug about it. But really I would just like to encourage authors to go one more step and write a summary for readers. I do sincerely believe it adds a lot and it's a skill you need to learn. If you want an analogy, you've painted the picture, but now you need it framed and hung in the gallery!

[Updated on: Tue, 22 September 2020 06:01]

Re: Something missing?  [message #77366 is a reply to message #77362] Thu, 24 September 2020 20:25 Go to previous message
Matthew is currently offline  Matthew   

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Damn, as if I forgot I wrote a summary for the story on another site. In my defence, it was many years ago. I do need to one day write again though. There was some fun times writing my story
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