Write a story that has a specific duration and is consciously (but subtly) broken into successive segments of scene and summary (or a mix of the two).

if “summary and scene are methods of treating time in fiction” (Burroway), so much depends on what goes into scene and what goes into summary, and why. In fact, this is a huge part of the work of drafting and revising, as we figure out what’s at the heart of a story; as we figure out what can or should be summarized, and what can or should be in scene.
Scene and summary are ways of guiding our readers’ attention, too–if we want attention, we “make a scene,” whereas if we need to provide a little context, we use a tiny bit of summary. Burroway includes scene and summary as aspects of setting, which is really interesting to me; if we think about the primary experiences we, as fiction writers, can offer readers, it is an experience of time via immersion in a consciousness (that of an author or character) in a place. And so this makes sense to me, in many respects.
Writing a good scene depends, then, on rendering setting well, describing it enough so the objects and significant details evoke an experience in the reader’s mind (that cold blue from the Slurpee machine in the Adjei-Brenyah, for instance). It’s easy to over-describe setting, just as it’s easy to write a page-long scene that should be a sentence of summary, or vice versa. Scenes are where our readers get to participate in the fiction, but in order to participate, readers need enough context to understand where and when and why we are where we are, and what’s at stake emotionally, as well as what has happened and what might now happen.
The “aboutness” of the story depends, crucially, as well, on its duration. The duration sets the arc of action, the scope, the setting, the choice of what’s in scene and what’s in summary–everything.
This week’s Exercise is to write a 500-word story that has a specific duration and is consciously (but subtly) broken into successive segments of scene and summary (or a mix of the two). Keep our authors’ tips about what makes for vivid scenes and settings as you write, and borrow tricks from our model authors, as well. If you respond to the Chopin, the Adjei-Brenyah, or the Wolff you could write a moment of promised transformation or coming of age for your character. You could start with a tension and reverse, develop, or transform that tension by the end. Or you can chose respond to these authors in another way–via setting, perhaps–or choose another subject for your story.
*remember our work with objects, concrete, sensory details, closure, and attentive language (subjects and verbs close together, few adjectives and adverbs), and remember to start your piece close to the peak action you want to describe. You can choose to mimic the structure, paragraph lengths, and sentence work of the Chopin, Adjei-Brenyah, or Wolff, if you like.
Please do not exceed the length limit, as the limit is present so that all Exercises can receive generous and timely feedback. You will have a chance to expand later, and concision is a real virtue in Sudden Prose! (Most word processing programs offer a “word count” tool, or you can copy-paste the text of your story here, at wordcounter.net, and get a word count that way.)
I look forward to reading your Exercises!

Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Work with Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.

Professional and Experienced Academic Writers

We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.

Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.

Original & Confidential

We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.


Essay Writing Service

No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.


Admission Essays & Business Writing Help

An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.


Editing Support

Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.


Revision Support

If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.