Summary and scene are methods of treating time in fiction. A summary covers a relatively long period of time in relatively short compass; a scene deals at length with a relatively short period of time.
Summary narration is a useful and often necessary device: It may give information, fill in a character’s background, let us understand a motive, alter pace, create a transition, leap moments or years…. Summary can be called the mortar of the story, but scenes are the building blocks. Scene is the crucial means of allowing your reader to experience the story with the characters. Basically defined, a scene is dialogue and action that take place between two or more characters over a set period of “real” time. Like a story, on its own small scale, a scene has a turning point or mini-crisis that propels the story forward toward its confection. Scene is ALWAYS necessary to fiction, for it allows readers to see, hear, and sense the story’s drama moment to moment. (Writing Fiction)
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A Handbook to Literature. William Harmon.
“Cogito et Histoire de la Folie.” Jacques Derrida.
The Elements of Style. William Strunk.
New Oxford American Dictionary. Edited by Angus Stevenson and Christine A. Lindberg.
The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Martin Puchner, et al.
The Norton Introduction to Philosophy. Gideon Rosen and Alex Byrne.
Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English. Patricia T. O’Conner
Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft. Janet Burroway, Elizabeth Stuckey-French & Ned Stuckey-French.
Writing the Other. Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward.« Back to Reference Index