So, you all know or will find out – writing a synopsis sucks. Imagine how thrilled I was to learn that MSWord has an “AutoSummarize” feature! Yep, right under the little Tools menu – you can tell it to condense your entire manuscript to a certain number of sentences or words or a certain percentage of the original.

I was so excited – imagine, Bill Gates found a way to take the pain out of synopsis-writing! So here is the Prologue of GOTH, in ten sentences:

Lucy was sorely disappointed. Toby. Lucy whispered. “Lucy!” “No, Henry!” Henry cried. “Lucy, wait.” Lucy stifled a wry laugh. Lucy bristled. Goodness, thought Lucy.

Um, maybe not. It’s fun to play around with, though – if you need some laughs.

13 comments to “AutoSummarize Me!”

  1. Anonymous
    · March 13th, 2007 at 10:43 am · Link

    Hi, Eve!

    I’ve been lurking around a bunch of different blogs and hanging out at Fanlit Forever. I just have to comment on today’s blog. I was sooo excited at first . . . and then I was laughing out loud. I hate synopses, too. Good luck with yours! And come join us at FF sometime.

    Take care,
    Kellye (aka Pollyanna)

  2. Sara Dennis
    · March 13th, 2007 at 11:43 am · Link

    That’s beautiful. Now I have to play.

  3. beverley
    · March 13th, 2007 at 3:11 pm · Link

    I’m wondering now why I spent over a week on mine when apparently Bill Gates and company can do me one better!

  4. ERiCA
    · March 13th, 2007 at 3:12 pm · Link

    ROFL!!! I must try this right now. Hold on… okay, back. Here’s the Auto-Summary of my first 60 pages:

    “Trevor!” “Trevor.” “Trevor.” Daisy sighed. Trevor?
    Daisy blinked. “Trevor.” “Daisy?” Daisy sighed. “Trevor.”

    Wow. Gripping, huh? I cannot fail to get an agent now!

  5. CM
    · March 13th, 2007 at 3:27 pm · Link

    Question: Why does MS include a feature of such dubious utility?

    Here’s the summary of chapter one:

    London. “Claire,” her father had said. Well. Well. Claire sighed. Gareth blinked. Well. Gareth blinked three times.
    Gareth considered this. Gareth’s brow furrowed.


  6. Tessa Dare
    · March 13th, 2007 at 4:25 pm · Link

    LOL, Erica and CM – those are great!

  7. Kelly
    · March 13th, 2007 at 5:58 pm · Link

    Those are absolutely hilarious! I guess that’s further proof that shortcuts aren’t always the best option.

  8. Sara Dennis
    · March 13th, 2007 at 10:35 pm · Link

    Okay, the ten-sentence summary of the first chapter of my current work:

    Melanie laughed. Noura snorted. Melanie laughed. Noura beamed. “Yeah,” Kade agreed. Kade couldn’t help himself. “Have backup,” Kade interrupted. Kade’s forehead wrinkled. Kade smirked at the phone. “Perfect timing.”

    I’m dying.

  9. Sara
    · March 14th, 2007 at 12:32 am · Link

    In ten sentences, this is my novel. Literally, this is what the autosummary spit out. Thank you, Bill. At least agents and editors will know my hero’s name… and the fact that he gets yelled at and questioned a lot. Too funny!
    1. James.
    2. “James!”
    3. “James?”
    4. “James?”
    5. “James!”
    6. “James?”
    7. “James?”
    8. “James?”
    9. “James!”

  10. Alice Audrey
    · March 14th, 2007 at 12:23 pm · Link

    How does this thing work, anyway? Does it give you the phrases used most often or something?


  11. Lenora Bell
    · March 14th, 2007 at 9:50 pm · Link

    This is too funny, Tessa. I never even noticed that feature before. But I’m laughing about you hitting it in your desperation to create a synopsis. That is classic. Here is my novella in ten sentences:

    Eveline gasped. Eveline screamed. Eveline frowned. Eveline smiled. Eveline flushed. Eveline shivered. Eveline winced. Eveline squeaked. Eveline blushed. Eveline.

  12. Lindsey
    · March 18th, 2007 at 1:31 pm · Link

    ROFL!!! I don’t know, Tessa, I thought that summed up the prologue pretty well! 😉

    That feature is too fun. It’s also a hoot to download texts of classic novels and auto summarize them.

  13. Elyssa Papa
    · August 2nd, 2009 at 11:25 am · Link

    OMG, this is hilarious.

    For As You Wish:

    “Portia?” “Portia.” “Portia. “Portia. “Aubry.” “Portia.” “Portia. “Portia?”