7 mistakes to avoid when writing the summary of your novel

It is now time to talk about the most common awkwardnesses encountered during our readings!

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The summary is the decisive criterion in the choice of a book by a reader. Indeed, he is on the front line to convince him, whether you use it during an oral presentation or on the back cover.

To survive his story

You want to hang the reader and for that, you will resume the logic implemented in advertising! It seems very simple a priori : just boast the incredible qualities of a product.


Discover the greatest science fiction novel of all time! The book that Jules Verne would have liked to write in six hands with Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick!

How to avoid this error?

Be factual : talk about the content of your work and the main elements of your plot, for example. Is it necessary to explain that your story is “exciting” or “surprising”? The reader will be able to realize for himself .

To remain vague or even incomprehensible

Your story is too complex to present it simply! Or you find that ads using incomplete resumes are very effective. The reader will surely want to “connect the dots” by reading your literary puzzle!


An isolated mansion. A memory found. A cat running out the window. What happened to Herbert Legendre to live such a hell? The Brotherhood of the Sages in Paper had warned him however: the night of the disappearances approaches .

How to avoid this error?

We agree on the principle: a summary intrigue by what it does not reveal . But some strategies to “do not over-explain” can make your presentation incomprehensible. The best is to start from a coherent text, written with simplicity, before wondering what elements to remove or adapt to make your presentation more “sexy”.

Get lost in details

Your work is so rich that you do not know when to stop! Why limit yourself to the main plot when you can expose at leisure all the wonders of your imagination? Eight pages will not be too much to summarize the essential points of your novel!


The world of Kriskölkan has six continents, each with a Federating King at its head. The continent in which our story unfolds, Shaklozon, has a population density of 28 inhabitants. per square kilometer, explained mainly by a large share of agriculture in local production .

How to avoid this error?

We rarely recoil on the brevity of our writings . Several solutions are available to you to avoid spreading too much:

  • Follow a diagram setting certain limits when writing.
  • Adopt a maximum size for the length of the text.
  • After writing, follow a rule comparable to that of the 10% of Stephen King .
  • Have you reread by your loved ones and your beta readers.

Keep in mind that the details of a plot or universe are especially interesting in the context of the novel itself. They surely have nothing to do in a summary.

Leave mistakes in your summary

You have not taken the time to reread yourself, or to have your text re-read by someone else. And then, you are an ace in spelling and grammar! Not a single fault will stain your summary, is it?


These are the story of a young man who decides to go on crazy adventures.

How to avoid this error?

We all make mistakes! This observation does not dispense us from conscientiously tracking the shells and errors in our texts. There are not thousands of solutions to this plague: a careful reading is necessary .

Let his ego explode (1)

Your life is more interesting than your work … which justifies a biography richer and more elaborate than the summary of your story!


Summary of the story

“A summer in India” makes us share the doubts of an accountant confronted with the corruption of his company.

The life of the author

Son of Paul Legendre and Lucie Lagrande, scientists at the CNRS, the life of the author seemed all drawn after his scientific studies started brilliantly (prep and then doctorate of biology). Fate decided otherwise. Struck by a rare disease, the author fought several years before finding the cure for his own affection. Marked by this experience, he decided to go live on the other side of the world, where he embarked on a career as an adventurer.

How to avoid this error?

Your life is surely very interesting. We can not say the opposite. But your life interests the reader less than your story … unless the two are confused in the autobiographical genre. In this case, you can frame your summary as that of any story.

Let his ego explode (2)

You are a genius! But you alone know it. And some members of your family. And your romantic relationships. In short: the world does not value you. The publishers have rejected you and the readers are sulking you, but you are an in-com-pris. The whole universe must know it!


Condemned by the publishers’ lobby, this work did not deserve to be offered to the unhealthy circuit of pseudo-literary industrialists. A bastard child of Bukowski, Sophocles and Huxley, heir to two millennia of literary genius, the author of this book brings you light. Know, mere mortal, that what you read will upset your life and that of your loved ones.

How to avoid this error?

Even if you are a genius, it is useless to proclaim it loud and clear at the outset. Show your talents rather than talk about them . Your style, your ideas and your literary prowess will impress your readers if that’s the case. In the same spirit, it is useless to say that you are “original” or “innovative”: show it.

Forgetting the reader

This bias is at the source of all the previous errors.You sometimes forget to make efforts to communicate . However, it is the objective of a good summary: to present your novel in a pleasant way to invite a reader to continue reading it. It’s about communicating information or even starting an exchange with another person.

Wrapping Up !

Here are some common mistakes and problems which have been faced by many writers even professionals, to avaoid such problems you can get ghostwriting services from professional writers.
Put yourself in your reader’s place . Be as kind to him as you are demanding with yourself. So, you’ll avoid a lot of the oddities we’re talking about.


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  1. Thanks for the article. Very useful tips. It’s necessary for each writer to learn more about an improvement of his writing abilities.

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