Have you ever tried to summarize a favorite book/movie/TV show to a friend without spoiling the ending? Tough, huh? Welcome to the world of an author!!
My stories have ranged from 35 thousand words to almost 99 thousand words. Now imagine summarizing a story of that many words to about 150 words or to a single page! A challenge to be sure.
There are a couple of important products for an author to create through summarizing their story.
First off, let's discuss the "Blurb." Yes, that's a thing. You'll find it on the back cover of books. The purpose is to inspire interest in your book and entice a reader to spend their time and money on the story associated with the short blurb they just read. This is also why ratings and reviews help folks make that decision, but I digress.
There are multitudes of articles providing guidance on writing a blurb, but bottom line the author is in control. For my first three books, I wrote short and to the point blurbs. They were 67, 91, and 79 words in length. I got more verbose with my next three. They were 142, 149, and a whopping 175 words. I'd like to keep them no more than 150 words.
Another form of summarizing a story is a synopsis. These are used to interest a literary agent or publisher in your story. The major difference from the blurb, is you include the ending. Major characters are introduced, the action, perhaps the theme. Again there's guidance available to help you. This one can be longer—one or possibly two pages.
I participated in a challenge where the submission was a synopsis. If I remember right, we couldn't exceed 1,000 words. I finished mine at 821. It was strange to not write an actual short story. Although I may turn it into a short story for the fun of it and for my newsletter subscribers to enjoy.
Another form of summarizing is a one-minute elevator pitch. This would give me nightmares, so I won't go there.
So there you have it, things we authors do besides write stories.