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?