Dilemmas and Updates ROW80 Nov 9th

November 9, 2011 § 3 Comments

I’m a writing superstar with my Nano goals this week! Some things are starting to come together in my head so I’m up in the clouds (cue nastycomedown). I’ve been up-and-down about my writing though. One day, I think I’m brilliant and the next I think I should do everyone a favor and move out to the woods, Thoreau style, chucking my notebook at hikers so they won’t see my hairy armpits andthe flask hidden in my bathrobe.

Anyhoo, I got in my wordcounts and reviewed the two books I read last week. I’m still inching my way through Fiction For Dummies. I’m the world’s slowest non-fiction reader. My mother can devour self-help books and non-fiction like I can a Harry Potter. I did not get that gene.

And I’ve gotten even more creative about where I write. Twice, I’ve driven around until the kids are asleep in the car and parked to write. Yesterday I parked at a downtown cemetery that was just mesmerizing. It sits at the top of a hill overlooking Kansas City, and the day was perfect with mist and gloom. Magical.

My question for today is about reviewing books. Do you think you’re a good reviewer? How do you approach it? Do you think you’re harsh?

First, I think I’m terrible at it. I have trouble getting much further than “oh, it was okay,” if I liked it or gushing. (See earlier post for case in point!) My approach is to write what I want to know before I read a book. So I don’t really give a synopsis (unless it’s vague) and I write it to myself. I think I’m very harsh. Especially when it comes to endings. I only like an ending if it’s slightly dissatisfying. If everything’s too happy my soul screams “not true!” and if it drags in suspense I get cranky.

Anyway, if you have some advice or the kind of information you like to see on a review, I’d love to hear it.



§ 3 Responses to Dilemmas and Updates ROW80 Nov 9th

  • camille says:

    Good work! I love changing locations for my mental work too.

    As for reviewing: I used to review for a library annual. I haven’t done a lot since, but I always figure that my job as reviewer is not to say how good it was but to answer the question “What is it?”

    The job of the reviewer is to serve the reader, not reward or punish the writer. And the reader, frankly, doesn’t care whether YOU liked it or not. They want to know if they’ll like it. And their tastes may be different than yours. So is it funny? Is it scary? Is it realistic? Is it hard to read? Is it romantic? Does it pay off early and often, or does it tease/frustrate you all the way through? (And if it does tease — is the ending worth it?)

    • heatherishither says:

      @Camille- That is excellent advice! Thanks for stopping by!

      @Ryan- Maybe Ender’s Game will. You could also try the Hunger Games. Those really kept me on edge! I’m determined to find you a good book to enjoy. 🙂

  • Ryan King says:

    You’re doing great. I’m probably the worst person to review a book. It’s hard for me to get sucked in and much more difficult to keep me there.

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