When You Just Need to Switch It Up

Have you ever hit a blogging rut? That’s a stupid question – most of us have, at one point or another. Mine came in the first week of November this year, and after altering the way I looked at it (making it a fun hobby rather than a demanding job), I’ve been smooth sailing ever since. But that was for the inspiration part of it. Now, I’ve come up against another issue: I feel like my book reviews aren’t doing justice to any of the books I read. And some of them have been pretty darn good, and deserve a glowing review.

So it was time for another switch up in how I do things around here. I was reading Jamie’s (Perpetual Page Turner) post about moving forward into 2014, and some of the goals she made for herself, one of which is “talk about books, not review books.” And I thought to myself, “YES, that is exactly what I want to do!”

There’s nothing wrong with reviewing books, per se, but I’ve noticed that when I break it down into Character, Plot, Concept, and Writing Style, I end up getting really choppy and stunted. It used to work really well for me, but as I’ve grown as a writer and learned how to say what I want without rambling, it’s become more of a crutch rather than a help. So I’ve done away with the separate sections!

You might have already seen the changes, in my reviews for World After and Flat Out Love, and hopefully enjoyed them a bit more. Basically, I’ve labeled the two sections this way: the “dwarf version” and the “supernova version”. Gotta keep with that galaxy theme folks! And I do mean dwarf as in dwarf star, not dwarf in the derogative way. Hopefully that didn’t need to be clarified, but… internet. You know how it works.

The Dwarf Version is just a few sentences to give a basic overview of my feelings – a little blurb if you’ve only got a minute. The Supernova Version is when I break it down a little more, and really get into what I liked or disliked about the book. I’m already enjoying this a lot more because sometimes with the other format I didn’t have much to say about the writing style, but had a lot to say about the characters! I would always end up with random sentences hanging everywhere, and I didn’t like it.

Long story short, I really enjoy the new way I’ve been writing my reviews. It gives me a chance to share how I really feel, and there’s a lot more flexibility to focus on the points that I felt were really important. Hopefully you enjoy them as well!

And now to you: have you ever felt the need to change up the way you review books? Do you prefer to give an analytical breakdown of the writing portion, or do you prefer to just write about what you felt and how you reacted to the book? 

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16 thoughts on “When You Just Need to Switch It Up

  1. I love it 🙂 I think thats what can make you unique from others. People are always like “your reviews are so weird. You talk about how hot the characters are, and random stuff”. And I”m like, well, do you want to read a boring review, or do you want to know why I loved it, and fangirled over it?

    • Exactly! I feel like the analytical stuff is for the big leagues… I figure I’m not getting paid for this, so if I’m a bit unprofessional it’s all good. And as for me, I’d rather read someone gush than someone who sounds like they should be having tea with Mycroft.

  2. It’s great that you’ve found a new way that works better for you! 🙂 I also want through different methods and I also think I’ve found the one that works for now. I love how you stick with your galaxy theme (so yeah, I got the ‘dwarf’ reference :p)

    • It takes a bit of wiggling around, doesn’t it? I hope I stick to this one for a while! I tend to be flighty at times xD When I first started I changed it up every week, and wouldn’t settle on a blog theme for AGES

  3. Oh, yes, I’ve noticed the changes 🙂 It was a bit of the surprise, but your reviews are looking really nice now! You’re growing a lot as a writer, Kayla, you really are. And I love your galaxy theme. Fun fact: At first, I wanted to name my blog Planets and Unicorns 😛 Your blog will forever remind of that.

  4. Yay for switching it up! I did notice the changes, and I must say that I like them.
    As for my reviews, I write about how I feel. Like, emotional essays, I guess. I don’t break it down, but I do touch on different aspects of the book that annoyed me, or that I loved. I’ve never had the desire to change my review type, but I sometimes wonder if they’re analytical enough. I mean, some people write really intricate reviews and touch on all kinds of things like themes and innuendos etc etc. But I just write about how I felt about the book. Sure, I like my reviews – but I sometimes wonder if everyone else does, too? I think they are the posts that receive the least traffic, which sucks because isn’t the main reason of book blogging to blog about the books we read?
    I guess I got a bit off track there, haha!

    • Why thank you my love 😉

      I love your reviews, for that reason. I enjoy analytical well enough, but most of the time I don’t want to know about the parts and pieces, I want to know how I’m going to feel when I read a book.

      And I often wonder the same thing! Traffic on my reviews are way low, and it makes no sense to me.

  5. I wrote my first blogged review last Monday, and broke it down into similar categories: synopsis, plot, characters, style and other thoughts. I can’t help feeling that it came out a little dry, and that’s probably part of the reason. I don’t have much experience reviewing books, so it was more of a learning experience than anything else.

    I have a mind that likes to break things down and analyze them in detail, but I worry that too much analysis and not enough emotional reaction will ruin the review. I guess it’s just about finding the proper balance of the two.

  6. I change how I review books basically every time I write a new one, ha ha. Sometimes I feel the need to break things down a certain way, sometimes I want to do it another way. I have some formulaic methods to it, but I don’t make myself adhere to them if they don’t feel right for that particular review. I’m always in favor of doing what works best for you!

  7. Pingback: Bookish Recap: December 15th – 21st | A Bookish Heart

  8. Oh I definitely agree with that decision to switch things up a bit! 🙂 I loved how you wrote your reviews before you changed it, but whatever works for you is still the best way to go 😀 Also, I do think that’s important to keep variety in your blog so that you and your readers both don’t get tired of it– I think it’s amazing how innovative you’ve been Kayla! So kudos for that 😉

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