365 Challenge: Day 363 – WWtR

WWtR: Writer’s Way to Review, a new segment on the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog

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Many tried to guess what the WWtR stood for in last week’s hints… one person came very close! I debated whether I wanted it to be the Write or Writer ‘Way to Review,’ but ultimately settled on this interesting play on words: Writer’s. So… what’s this new segment going to be about on the This Is My Truth Now blog when it starts in a few weeks:  Explaining how people choose to review books (or other things) from all different perspectives. I find it’s quite an eye-opening experience now that I’m a published author. Everyone’s styles are different, and people get quite angry over words and ratings. I want to share my approach to reviewing, as well as the pros and cons that go with it. I plan to have a weekly segment (tho that might change) covering as many angles as I can come up with, but I want it to be interactive where everyone can share their thoughts. I’ll cover questions or topics like:

  • Ratings
    • Amazon and Goodreads have 1 to 5 stars. Does that provide enough of a scale?
    • Should it be grades, like A+, A, and A- (along with other letters)
    • What about % out of 100?
  • Taking a Chance
    • If you’ve never read a genre before, or you read in one you don’t like as a test, is it fair to rate the book?
    • If an author corrects issues in a published book, should they have another chance to get ratings or is it only the first one.
    • Do you read books with lower ratings like a 1 or a 2… or even a 3 which to some is good, to some is bad.
  • Impact / Perspective
    • Low ratings can hurt someone’s ability to make a sale, which hurts their income — do reviewers realize that impact? Is that even a consideration? How does it compare to movies or theatre shows?
    • Should Indies be judged differently than established authors?
    • Are there differences in self-published versus traditional published approaches to rating a book?
    • Can you rate a book without reading the whole thing or never reading at all?
  • Grammar
    • Are you rating the book or the author/editor/publisher/marketer?
    • Do reviewers know the difference between editors and writers?
    • How forgiving are you as a reader when you see a few spelling or proofreading mistakes?
  • What things should you cover in a review?
    • Style & Approach
    • Characters
    • Plot / Story
    • Grammar and Language
    • Point of View (POV) and Perspective
    • Tones, Themes and Messages
    • Comprisons to other authors or books

My list could go on and on… but I intend to provide my thoughts from both a reader’s and a writer’s perspective. I will cover as many sides as I can think of, not just my own, although it will focus on how I personally choose to review. My hope is to offer ideas to others struggling to write something different or get started writing reviews.

I also want to encourage people to be critical of themselves when they write a review. Words can hurt people; it’s not fair to claim ‘freedom of speech’ so you can say whatever you want, including mean things about it. I believe there is a way to find a way to be constructive / nice. On the flip side, if you are a bit forward or mean, it might help drive the author to improve or build a thicker skin. I want to explore this one deeply… for example, why cross that line to be a truly nasty individual just because you can or you want to make a name for yourself? Or why be super sweet and always give a 5 because you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings? Skip the extremes, find the middle ground, perhaps?

So… I promise to be fair. I can’t wait to get started. What do you all think?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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49 comments

  1. I think it’s an interesting idea. It is possible that we are unaware of the impact a review can have. As I said previously I’m looking forward to learning more including how to write a constructive review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think this is a great idea! I try very hard not to be needlessly nasty even when giving a poor review. I do my best to find something positive to add, and if I can’t do that, I usually encourage people to check out the other reviews on Goodreads . There have been a few books which I was so appalled at: Fifty Shades of Grey, My Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend, by Alan Cumyn, (I thought it was going to be funny), and The Continent, by Keira Drake which turned out to be racist, that I pretty much trashed them to bits, but overall I try to keep in mind that in most cases, this is someone’s “baby” that they’ve poured their heart and soul into.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve always loved your reviews for this reason. You truly put time and effort into them. I remember looking at the Fifty Shades of Grey one. I find it so interesting so see how two people view a book differently, e.g. awkward dialog versus brilliant dialog. How can that be so different, lol? But things like racist text is clearly something to go after!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aww. Thank you Jay. That means so much. In the case of E.L. James, I know she has millions of admirers, but I honestly think her writing is just terrible, and I have to admit I do get steamed because there are so many more talented authors of erotica out there. But, the world would be a dull place indeed if we all felt the same way. In the case of a book that has blatant racism, or other equally offensive elements, I will always call them out. And, I meant to say, I hold the editors equally responsible.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m looking forward to your new segment. As a professional reviewer, I cringe at what some reviewers post. Slamming the author for key plot points (such as reading a Regency romance and then criticizing the hero for going to a men’s club when the heroine rejects him) and giving her a 1 star rating because you don’t agree isn’t right.

    Reviews and reviewers is a very volatile subject so I hope you invested in a bomb shelter, Jay. lol!

    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! We’re so on the same page. I know it may be a confrontational segment, but I hope to find a way to balance it down the middle. It is subjective, but rating things also shows a lot about someone’s personality, so it’s always an intuitive experience to understand the type of person reviewing the book. Then you have the “behind the internet wall” safety versus up front and honest about your thoughts if you were to share in person. Yikes, I’m scaring myself!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I found your last paragraph particularly thought-provoking. Reviewers do need to be mindful of our words. Excessive negativity or unkindness in a review often reflects poorly on the reviewer as opposed to the author. If I find a review is unnecessarily negative I disregard it when deciding if I want to try a book or not.
    But you raise a good point about being very direct as a way to help improve the author’s writing… But still, there is a way to be constructive without being callous.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a great post and something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. My big thing is what’s opinion vs what’s actually criticism (yesterday). Interested in seeing your take!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a great idea! I’m always curious as to other reviewers thoughts and how they write their reviews – they are all so different! I always wonder what is too long for a review. I tend to be an over thinker and always want to give the writer the credit they deserve, but I notice some reviewers go on for so long…at what point does the reader quit reading and move on? I try to do short snippets on Amazon, a little longer version on Goodreads, and the full review on the blog. The rating scales are also different on Goodreads and Amazon. Since you are a writer, I’m curious to know your thoughts on these and what helps you out the most! I’ve clearly had too much coffee this morning! =D

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve got great questions… I definitely have some thoughts on those, but a few have made me think, too… I will be starting this one in late March, so soon! Hopefully your coffee is leveling out! LOL Nah…. you’ve had just enough. 🙂 Thx for the feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Brave of you to tackle this topic. One thing I’ve learned about reviews is that everyone goes into a novel with different expectations, and their reviews reflect that. This is particularly noticeable if the book is in a genre the reviewer doesn’t normally read. What might not have appealed to them is something that was most appealing to another reader. Whenever I get down about a review, I remind myself that even the best-received books have a range of ratings and comments. Different folks for different strokes, which is what makes fiction so wonderful. (Of course, the crummy reviews still sting…)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve reviewed books without finishing them. I think you need to finish the story to give it a complete rating but a review could be based on the writing style and characters, etc. long before you get to the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Absolutely awesome ideas and I spot some really great questions there to answer too. Looking forward to your perspective on things. Knowing that you’re a great writer will definitely make you a great source of inspiration for me. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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