May 23, 2015

Learnt it the hard way #1 || Discovering your reviewing style

Hi my dear marshmallows!
First of all, in case you were wondering why I was MIA for about a week, I started school last Monday, and I am slowly getting used to being a school kid again. 
Well, anyway I am back now and I promise I won't disappear randomly again!:)

Anyway, so today, I am going to introduce a new feature. Learnt it the Hard way will be a series of posts where I discuss a few blogging quirks that I learnt the hard way:) I know I am not an experienced blogger genius to give you guys tips:), but I've seen my fair share in blogging and thought I'd share the things I've learned.

For the first post of this feature, let me tell you guys about reviewing styles, and how to find yours.

As book bloggers, reviews make more than half of our blog content. The way we write our review,vary from person to person, from our structure to our tone, from the words we use to how we use them.

Truth to be told, it's a bit hard to find your own unique style when you start to write reviews.Our first reviews are horrible and embarrassing to look back:) But it's common. I don't think that anyone can write fabulous and awesome reviews on their first few tries itself. It takes time, and a lot of tries, and until you discover you own style, there'll be a lot of changes in the way you write them.

Here are a few things that might help you in finding it.

1. Read a lot of reviews, observe the styles, but don't copy them.

Go read a lot of reviews, so that you might get an idea on what kind of style is closer to you. Some write long, detailed, critical reviews. Some write funny and quirky reviews filled with gifs.
You'll also notice that each reviewer has their own structure and style.

Reading these will give you an idea on how to write your own reviews.But that doesn't mean that you can copy them. Please don't. Your style should be unique,not something you copied off from another reviewer.

For example, my reviews are critical.I deeply analyse things, and give my views on characters,plot,writing style,world building,action etc. I give my overall view on the story and say to whom the book might appeal to (fantasy lovers, mythology geeks etc.) 

In a totally contrast way, some write these awesome long,funny reviews. Best example is Cait . Her reviews are hilarious and amazing!

2.Experiment your own style. Drop those that doesn't work and develop the ones that do.

Go try your best on these different styles you observed. If you think that one doesn't work for you, just drop it. When I started reviewing, I thought that funny reviews are the best, and attempted to write like that. It took me some time to realize that I can't connect to my own writing and that it sucked:) So I started experimenting. I tried a lot of styles, changed my structure often, and it took me about one and a half year to end up in the style that was comfortable to me.

3. A lot of things will influence your style.

I myself am a Literature student. Which strongly influences my reviews, as I analyse and see things deeply in books and review them as I do at school with my text books. Likewise, you might have a lot of personal quirks that may influence in your style. For example, if you are a sarcastic person by nature, then of course, it can reflect in your style.

Speaking of sarcasm, please don't force it in your reviews. I've seen a lot of reviewers trying too hard to be funny and sarcastic in their reviews and that it's so obvious that it's fake.Be yourself in your reviews.

4.Tweak your structure often.

Until you end up with something you're comfortable with. Until I created Chasing Faerytales last December, I kept on tweaking my reviews in Goodreads, that when I started reviewing in my blog, I had a proper structure that was my own. You'll realize the one that suits you and your writing style,and reviews will have their happily ever after:)

My structure goes with a banner I make for the book,a small introduction,a tiny summary of the story,and my critical analysis of the overall story and execution and finally end it up by stating to whom I'll recommend it to.

From what I've noticed around the blogosphere, Kelly gives her own short synopsis and summary for the book before she starts her reviews,and her reviews are really informative and beautiful. Nicole writes her reviews in lists,two lists stating what she liked and disliked.Aimee includes a segment called book porn in her reviews where she posts photos of the books she read.Jamie wraps up her whole review in a single sentence and puts it in a post it note at the end of all her reviews.

Likewise, invent your own structure. And until you find it, keep tweaking.

5.Go take a look at your old reviews.

It's embarrassing but inevitable!:) When you read your old reviews,you'll realize your mistakes and it will help you to correct them. And sometimes you need to ask others' opinions to know what is wrong with your reviews, because it's hard to find faults with something that we wrote ourselves. Make surveys, ask for your friends opinions and find out the flaws in your writing and improve them!

So that's how I discovered my own style which I am comfortable with.
How did you do it?
Have you ever felt like you should change your style?
What kind of styles do you admire?
Feel free to leave me a comment.

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