How I Review || Cute Ruby Heels Optional1:05 AM
Hey there, hi there, ho there! I've been watching a lot of That 70's Show so forgive me for emulating the characters now and the...
Hey there, hi there, ho there! I've been watching a lot of That 70's Show so forgive me for emulating the characters now and then. That Kitty' a hoot! Recently, I read a post over on the lovely Ranu's blog about how basically- your style of reviewing is the perfect style for you. You don't have to copy anyone. You do you. You be proud. It was a great motivational post, but it also made me stop and think... *dawns British accent* "JOLLY HECKS WHO THE DEVIL AM I? WHAT IS MY BLOODY PROCESS?" And so, since I've found it out, I figured I'll share with you because why the heck not?
Somewhere between thinking up the idea for this post and actually writing it, I got the bonkers urge to pretend that a great review is like the great Emerald City of Oz. Reading a book and writing the review is like the journey along the yellow brick road. I don't know how I got to this conclusion, but you know what? I like it! AND I'M IN CHARGE SO LET'S CHUG A LUG DOWN THIS CRAZY TRAIN OF THOUGHT!
So starting with the beginning- I have to take notes while reading a book. All random thoughts I write down into a post, a note book, or on my phone notes. Then they're all uploaded to the review post in a kind of smorgasbord of thoughts. To keep in random theme, my gathering of unorganized thoughts are like the Munchkins- they pop up out of nowhere, all over the place, and are a singing conglomeration of mad colorful choreographed chaos.
Literally it took me forever to remember the names of Munchkins. Midgets? Oompa Loompas? Dwarves? Lolly Pop Guild? CLOSE! Apple Dumpling Gang?? *crawls under a Kansas farm house in shame*
So once my thoughts are all pooled into one place, I back it the heck up! I step away from the review. I give it a few days to marinate. Like Dorothy trying on her ruby red heels (I'm following the movie for these analogies and you can't stop me), she's got to walk around in them before she heads off the yellow brick road! SHE CAN'T JUST SPRINT DOWN OZ HIGHWAY! She has to grow accustomed to the shoe lest she get blisters. I have to let my thoughts sit, otherwise my review will run rampant with overjoyed flailing or multiple stomps of rage at how poopy a story was without actually telling you WHY I hold those opinions. If I wait a bit, I can infuse my reviews with intelligent opinions and point it in a logical direction.
If I put distance between myself and the book I have to review, I can more clearly see the flaws or redeeming qualities I missed in my fog of intense fangirling and judgement.
What do I do while I step away from stories? I read other reviews of the book I just read. It's nice to see the impression a story has left on other people. Reading other reviews, for me, is enlightening. People think the plot is slow, the characters are poorly written, they see plot holes, and weak romances, and inaccuracies. Sometimes I come across a review that says exactly what I was thinking, but I didn't have the words for this off feeling I had. And I'm like, "OH! THAT'S WHY I DIDN'T LIKE TOTO! HE WAS JUST A LITTLE BITCH THE WHOLE TIME!" Other times, I totally disagree with a review.
After reading other reviews, I have clarity. I know which direction to go with my review.
When I come back to my collection of unorganized thoughts, I organize them. I cut out some repeating thoughts, and trim my sentences into something closer to an intelligent opinion I hope. Then I divide my organized thoughts into things I loved about the story and things I hated. If I have a lot of thoughts, I style my review into a series of lists to keep things short and to the point for readers. And occasionally, I'll add a third category- I defend the story against opinions I saw running throughout other reviews. Sometimes people will think there's a plot hole, and I'm like, "People think this exists, but if you read page 666 the author clearly explains it." Or "Warning: some people think the story is slow, I personally did not. So don't avoid the book because of potential lethargy. You may think it's a practical twister of awesome."
And then of course I add lots and lots of gifs. I want viewers to be able to scroll through my posts and be able to get the gist of what I'm saying. Or at least wonder why I have an image of Sebastian Stan placed strategically under a paragraph. It might make someone READ the review. AND THEN THEY MIGHT THINK I'M A BUCKET FULL OF CHUCKLES AND LOVE ME AND WE CAN CHIT CHAT ABOUT BOOKS! It's all part of my master plan. Thanks, Stan for your beautiful face and chiseled bod.
In the end, my aim is to make a review as magical as The Great Emerald City. I try to keep my reviews short (but try as I might, I am quite the virtual gab at times) and to the point. I really want people to know WHY I loved or hated a story without boring them in the process. And I want to be able to strike up conversations about the books too. Because who doesn't like flailing about books? My best friend, that's who, but that's an entirely different story for a different post.
HOW DO YOU WRITE REVIEWS?