When I started writing this section, I went, “WHYYYYYYY am I bothering to write this? People shouldn’t be writing much summary anyway. Okay, I’ll mention it.”
Then I went to The Princess Bride to pull up a few examples and really paid attention. Nearly every quote summarized something.
I will grant you that part of the reason that I’m writing these posts is so I can refine my own craft. There really is nothing like trying to teach someone else something to make you realize how much you have to learn. But this lesson in particular surprised me.
I know that I’m supposed to tell the reader what I’m going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what I told them. But it always surprises me with how little time the best writers spend on actual action and how much time they spend on getting things set up, doing description, reminding us of what happened, different characters giving interpertations of what happened, and telling us what is about to happen.
I suppose the trick is mostly just to make all that interesting.