Reading Response #38: The Sixty Word Summary

Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes. When you are done, think about your book so far. Consider:

  • Who is the main character?
  • What does this character want or need?
  • What is this character doing to get what she wants or needs?
  • What interferes with him getting what he wants or needs?

Briefly list your responses as a pre-write.

Set up a piece of paper with ten rows of six blanks running across it, like this:

______ ______ ______ ______ ______ _______

______ ______ ______ ______ ______ _______

______ ______ ______ ______ ______ _______ (etc. for ten rows.)

Now, using just one word per blank write your summary.

If it is too long, shorten it by deleting unnecessary detail and rephrasing wordy or passive sentence until it reaches sixty words.

If it is too short, go back and work in greater specificity of incident and detail (without being unnecessarily wordy) until it reaches sixty words.

Read it aloud. You have created a minute long snapshot of your novel.

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