Welcome to days 13 of #BookBlogWriMo – a writing event focusing on what it means to be a book blog hosted by the lovely Book Bumblings. You can click the picture above for more information and how to participate!
11/13 – Your Review Process – Do you write your review the second you finish the book? Months later? Take notes as you read?
I would like to think that my process for reviewing a novel is relatively uncomplicated, so here are the details of how I go about it.
1. Choosing a Book – Step one of reviewing a book always starts with choosing a book. Now for me, I have a self stated mental policy where I will review whatever book I am currently reading. Last year when I first started to write book reviews for my blog, I would post reviews on books I had previously read regardless of how long it had been since I read it and on books that I thought other people would be interested in reading about. I found this to be a difficult pursuit because my impressions of the books were lacking which impacted my overall thoughts and review. The important part of this is to choose books that YOU want to read, books that YOU are interested in, and then share your thoughts on them – I think that we are better at reviewing material that we have some sort of investment in and that investment need only be in the form of a desire to read a chosen book.
2. Read Said Book – Read the book, learn the book, become familiar with the book, become friends with the book, love the book, make notes about the book, highlight quotes in the book, etc. There is so much which goes into reading a book that you plan to review, but the most important part is reading it – and not just reading it, but thinking about what you are reading. Since I do the majority of my reading on a Kindle Fire I make a lot of highlights and will sometimes write notes in my books that I want to bring up in my reviews. I carry my Kindle Fire with me everywhere I go, it is always in my purse. This allows me some luxuries because I can easily read my book anywhere or if I have a random stray thought about the book, I can easily make a note of it in the book itself rather than hoping to remember it later.
3. Question the Book – Upon finishing a book, I will typically take a day or two where I won’t read anything new and I will think on the book I just finished. I will question the book – asking questions about the characters, the plot, the story, the writing style, etc. I will typically start writing down all of these questions that I have about the book and then pick the ones which I find to be the most interesting and want to focus on for my review.
4. Answer My Questions – This is when I will actually sit down and start writing up my book review. I will take the questions that I have chosen to focus on and I will answer them, writing out my thoughts about the book. There have been times where I have gotten to this point and wound up writing a separate post in the form of a discussion post regarding a single question just because there is so much to discuss in its answer. An example of this was my review of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy, which I then followed up with a discussion post where I analyzed the role of faith and religion.
5. Fill in my Template – I keep templates for my three weekly posts saved in WordPress for sheer writing convenience. I will pull up my “Book Review Template” and I will start filling it in with the book’s information. Then I will fill in the section for my review, which I will then summarize in a non-spoiler manner at the end of the post in the form of a TL;DR and my rating for the book out of 5 stars.
6. Revise, Edit, Revise, Edit Cycle – Depending on how early in the week I complete a book will determine how many times I will go through the Revise/Edit cycle for my review, since all reading related posts (i.e. Book Reviews and Currently Reading Updates) are scheduled as Friday Reads. Typically, if I finish the book at the beginning of the week, say Monday, then I will spend Tuesday thinking on the book and writing up my questions, then write my review on Wednesday. Once I have written the review and filled in the template, I will schedule the post for Friday at 10am. After the post has been scheduled though, I will read through it multiple times and revise/edit it until I am satisfied, then it will automatically post itself on Friday as scheduled.
If you want to see my other #BookBlogWriMo posts, you can find them here!