Things I Learn From Reviewing Your Books


I started reviewing books long before I started my blog and they started as an exercise in analyzing books to improve my writing. Boy did that help! The difference over just a year in my writing is amazing! This is all thanks to my hubby, Marc. He suggested it.

For awhile my reviews were just of things I checked out from the library, which were all traditionally published books. The first few, I did as a long  English-class type book report. That got old fast. After that I started an easy and kind of fun review on my phone. I texted my email with a concise and meaningful few sentences that comprised my review. Some of these are on Goodreads, expanded a little to remove my personal code for some common things.

For you, I do a longer review and a deeper analysis of what I’m reading. I focus on:

  • What I really liked about the book
  • What I thought didn’t work, described with kindness
  • What your themes are and whether they came through or not
  • Some of the character highlights

The things I learn:

I learn a whole lot about you! What you write, though it may be fiction, is coming out of your heart and imagination. (This was one of my fears when first publishing, because it is a huge leap of faith to give the general public a piece of my brain!)

I learn about what I like to read and what doesn’t work for me. My “Never Do” list and my Quotes came from reading library books and taking notes on things that I liked and things I did. Most of them were there and I see them everywhere.

I learn about the universal themes that grip you as a writer. They are everywhere. Betrayal, forgiveness, loss, loneliness, these are just a few. I can then transfer my favorites to my own writing. Your writing also shows what is best and worst to you. Sometimes I agree and sometimes I don’t, but it all affects how I shape my own beliefs. If I don’t agree with you, it forces me to figure out why. If I agree, I see your perspective on the issue.

I learn how your mistakes look in my writing. I make many many many of the same mistakes and seeing them in another’s work is like seeing in a mirror. This is one of the best ways your writing improves mine.

I learn the way someone else writes the same thing I am writing about. Talking to some writer friends, we agree that, given the exact same story idea, we will all write a completely different tale. My story of a Vampire Chick will be similar but also radically different from yours. Even formula books will be completely different. Nobody writes like you, or me! Doesn’t that make you feel special?

That isn’t all either, but how long are you really going to spend reading my post?

If you are writing, you should be reading. If you are reading, you should be analyzing the reading in some way, whether through conversation or reviews. If you aren’t you are missing out on a treasure trove of learning about your own writing craft.

 

 

 

Advertisements
Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Post navigation

6 thoughts on “Things I Learn From Reviewing Your Books

  1. TheOthers1

    Agreed. Reading others help you to become a better writer for sure.

    I hope you don’t mind if I steal your way of critiquing. I’m reading drafts for people and I’m awful at figuring out what to say as I offer feedback.

    • I would love for you to steal my technique! It always helps to have a format that works for you.

      • TheOthers1

        I’m the type of personality that needs directions or questions to answer. This will help me until the really get the hang of it.

  2. I applaud this post. I been reviewing books for about a year now for Booksneeze and now other authors and it does step up one’s game. Good for you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: