In Summary

There’s something I want to talk about today, but before I do, let me divulge for a moment and do something I never do – let me tell you about my day.

So, it’s been inside me and my boyfriend’s head for a while that we should rent a tandem bike. I don’t know why. Maybe we supposed it would be the next step in our relationship, elevating us to the next possible tier. Maybe it seemed like an accurate activity for both of us to do, being we both like the outdoors and continuous movement. But, let me just start by saying that this was the worst. possible. idea. ever.

Not that tandem bikes are bad. I’m sure there are one’s that are enjoyable, and not utterly frustrating and painful for every microsecond that you are sitting on the bike. But for every second I sat on that bike, that specific tandem road bike, I alternated between thoughts of how the seat felt like it was jack-hammering the bones in my butt, shoving a stake into my *cough* woman parts, and putting the full weight of my body upon my two child-like hands. Trust me – they’re small and wimpy and can’t support the full weight of my 150-pound body when you’re leaning over your handle bars.

Now I’m sitting here while typing, and I’m still sore. It hurts to sit. My hands seem frozen in that permanent crippled-old-person claw, and I can’t do anything but theorize on different plots of revenge. Not that I didn’t do this while biking. There were multiple times I wanted to get off the bike, rip the gears off the side, toss them on the pavement, take out a flame-thrower miraculously hidden in my back pocket and burn the thing until it melted alongside the pavement, creating a uniform, if somewhat rippled, surface on the road. And this is before bring a cement roller and run over this bike, then back over it, then run over it again, and repeat this multiple times until the bike is a thing of sheet metal. Yes. I wanted and still want to murder this bike. I have the scratches to prove why.

Now, I’m not telling you all this just to complain – which I am, but mostly out of our road bike ignorance and my hatred for my body’s continuous rebellion against exercise – but this all has a point. What I did just there was summarize my day, which was mostly about bike riding and my continuous hatred of this exact bike.

I have a friend that said he struggles to write summaries, and I feel like a lot of people can find themselves with this opinion. But, summaries don’t have to be a wall. You can easily break them down by thinking of them as a sort of diary. How do you summarize your day? Your past? Summaries are those times when you want to convey information without going into the whole scene. Maybe the scene is boring, maybe it’s unimportant, besides that single fact.

Either way, I encourage everyone to practice their summaries. Write about your day or something that happened. You don’t have to go into detail. But, by providing enough anchor, you give the summaries their own weight. By capitalizing on this skill, you can elevate your skill as a writer. After all, stories continuously alternate between summary – scene and scene – summary. If you can get comfortable switching back and forth between the two, writing will feel much easier, at least in that way.


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