What Makes A Good Story Description?

LotsChrono

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I can try and mimic a book jacket all day long, but there seems to be a different vibe to online serials. So what works online?
There’s 3 things I usually give a sense for when I write a synopsis:

The character.

The plot.

And the tone.

It’s tricky, but I usually go with the motto of ‘short and sweet.’ Attention spans are abysmal, so don’t write paragraphs upon paragraphs.

I usually introduce the MC in the first sentence, then roll on with everything else. A quick example right now is something like this:

Jasmine was a bit of a nutcase. Wandering at night, she shot a man dead. Opening her eyes, she finds herself trapped in a death game. Escape or kill? Obviously, she chose the latter. To satiate her madness, maybe she might get to the bottom of things and kill whatever game masters existed and unwittingly free those trapped with her.

(It’s not an actual story I plan to write so anyone can steal the idea if they wish to.)
 

Pujimaki

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There’s 3 things I usually give a sense for when I write a synopsis:

The character.

The plot.

And the tone.

It’s tricky, but I usually go with the motto of ‘short and sweet.’ Attention spans are abysmal, so don’t write paragraphs upon paragraphs.

I usually introduce the MC in the first sentence, then roll on with everything else. A quick example right now is something like this:

Jasmine was a bit of a nutcase. Wandering at night, she shot a man dead. Opening her eyes, she finds herself trapped in a death game. Escape or kill? Obviously, she chose the latter. To satiate her madness, maybe she might get to the bottom of things and kill whatever game masters existed and unwittingly free those trapped with her.

(It’s not an actual story I plan to write so anyone can steal the idea if they wish to.)
I'm jealous how you can write like that. I guess that's the perks of native english... Or perhaps I'm wrong? Anyway, I just want to say advance merry Christmas!!! 🤗🤗🌲🌲☃️☃️🎅🎅
 

LotsChrono

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I'm jealous how you can write like that. I guess that's the perks of native english... Or perhaps I'm wrong? Anyway, I just want to say advance merry Christmas!!! 🤗🤗🌲🌲☃️☃️🎅🎅
I came from a country where English was basically a secondary language. Though I sucked at it till I actually came to the U.S and started writing. So you’re not entirely wrong.

Merry Christmas to you too~
 

BenJepheneT

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Brevity for one. If I see more than three paragraphs I'm out.

Next is short and sweet sentences. Tell me what's gonna happen and what should I expect. Nothing more, and tbh I don't think you could write any less than that.

Finally, grammar. If your synopsis reads like a late night 3am twitter post it's gonna give me a good idea on how you're gonna treat the English language in general throughout your story.
 

Drakonus_

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I usually just make something that would sound cool and a bit mysterious to invite the reader's curiousity.
 

CupcakeNinja

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I can try and mimic a book jacket all day long, but there seems to be a different vibe to online serials. So what works online?
Dont be so info dumpy. I hate that. Also dont just tell me shit. Paint a picture for me. Talk to me. Preferably in a fun and casual way.

For example I think this synopsis I made here is my best so far, which perfectly fits my tastes.
So yeah. As an example, here :
Aiden Alexander Maddox was never what you'd call a 'good guy'. With his hobbies including, but not limited to, clubbing, drinking, fighting, doing drugs, and occasionally accidentally seducing another man's wife and snorting said drugs off their asses, he was far from perfect. But being punted into an alternate universe after dying and told by a mysterious biker gang-looking 'Angel' that he's got to assume a new name--not to mention a new body--and live in a completely alien world full of 'roided up super teens with powers straight out of a novel... well, it's hard to say he deserved all that.

The worst part? Trying to survive the women. Old habits die hard. Sadly, he dies quite easily
Now see I like it cuz it's fairly short, tells me a lot about the MC, the world, and how the story is generally gonna go. With the MC trying to survive all the women drawn to his natural Chad aura. Lol. Anyway this all just means to I like when a synopsis gets personal with me and kinda has fun. Is a bit humorous.

I hate when the summary is just telling me information. Like " oh this kingdom is at war with that kingdom and the Church is corrupt and blah blah blah ."

If you start out like that, well guess what my eyes are gonna glaze over cuz that's shits boring.
 

Piisfun

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1. Length. Try for two paragraphs or less. This isn't a summary; the goal is to give the reader an "appetizer," not a "meal."

2. Content. There probably over a thousand stories just on ScribbleHub alone; what makes yours stand out from the rest? Is it a unique scenario? Perhaps you sent the truck with the isekai?

3. Spelling and grammar. If you go to a restaurant for the first time, and the food tastes like it is 90% salt, would you go back? There are some descriptions around here that really are that bad.
In a modern world where the four elements (no, not those elements; don't stop reading yet) are controlled by the select few born with the gift, seventeen-year-old Joshua Rasgard is horribly, painfully normal. And that’s not changing. No really. He survives by his wit and acute knowledge of how adventures should go, unlike his younger brother Kael who would rather disintegrate his problems to ash.

Together, they're on a globe spanning treasure hunt that is about to take a dark turn. While hunting for clues, Joshua decides to rescue an ex-superpowered-assassin named Gianna. Doing so puts a target on all of their backs and thrusts them into a global conflict not unrelated to the treasure hunt.

The one thing Joshua knows, is that he is out of his element.
This is interesting, and if it were a genre I was interested in, might make me interested. Not a genre I am interested in, though.

(Taken from the original poster's own story description: Syche: The Dark Element)
 

K5Rakitan

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Boil it down to the most exciting elements. Use present tense to save characters. Avoid passive language. Phrase the last sentence or two in the form of a question.

At least, that's the formula I use :s_wink:
 

Blugon

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I think most of what people have described is correct. But, as a reader, most of what is described above is too much flavor and not enough substance. It doesn't matter how intriguing your intro is; if I can't taste the structure of the story before I start reading, I'll go look for something more likely to satiate me. I say this because you have a lot of competition, and I have little patience. I'm not interested in spending 10 chapters trying to figure out you are actually writing. LotsChrono's example description is good enough to be interesting, but I would still ignore that story because there's no indication of what it is actually focused on. To be fair though, I usually use reviews as a bigger metric than the description.
 

Nezothecat

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Here's a good tip especially to guys like me who suck at making synopsis. Thank you. XD
 

NotaNuffian

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I never thought that I would be bothered with the description, so I created my own and will post it out here.

James is a normal farmboy in an unforgiving world and those that he calls friends have long embarked on their own journeys outside the peaceful village. Suddenly, power is granted to him and mayhem abound, deaths become a common occurence to the lad.

In this world of chaos and corruption, power manifests everywhere and one thing is for certain, nobody likes a nouveau riche. So how high must he climb to survive and more importantly, how much must he lose to continue on with the rat race?
 
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