Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What Is a Review?

That's a good question.
So, I used our favorite search engine and put in How To Write Romance Reviews. All I found were romance review sites. Not much help.

So, I decided to make it basic - How to Write Book Reviews. I got a hit.
It's a generic outline in professor speak but there are elements within the body of the work that I have actually touched upon here. Of course, I've tailored it to romance but I was tickled to find it expressed in dry, bare bones prose. Want to see? Click
The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Gee, even the link sounds impressive.

Did you see the Beer example?? Ha! It was synopsis and look what the author said after -- that the reader didn't learn anything from the review. Remember my stand on synopsis reviews? No? CLICK

The last paragraph in the section in Developing the Assessment has this sentence in it.
"What is the book's genre? Out of what field does it emerge? Does it conform to or depart from the conventions of its genre"?
Did you see that? That is another good question that can relate to reviews of the romance genre.

I admit that there is a lot of information to plow through that has no bearing on what I do as a romance book reviewer but towards the bottom where the author has IN REVIEW are four paragraphs that are worthy to take note of.

So that's the conclusion and my input about that link. What cracks me up is the assertion that
"Typically, reviews are brief. In newspapers and academic journals, they rarely exceed 1000 words"
Have you seen MY reviews? I have gone over that amount on many occasions. When I like a book, a reader will know it. When I am ga-ga over a book, I leave a reader with no doubt. I can be a bit...verbose.

So, now I ask you, did you find this link helpful? Do you have any questions about how or where some of the author's points can relate to writing romance reviews?

Let me know. Meanwhile, I'll continue my search for tidbits to assist reviewers.

2 comments:

The Long and the Short of It Reviews said...

They seldom go over 1000 words? It's sometimes like pulling teeth getting our reviewers do the "required" 250 words!!

I love longer reviews. :-)

Anonymous said...

When I was looking around for information, I found this link. It addresses problems like writer's block and keeping things fresh. It's not geared toward romance, but I found it helpful. Maybe you'll like it too. Yours is still the first place I go when I need advice on writing reviews. Thanks for what you do.
http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/bookrev/