How do you write your reviews? How long does it take you? Do you work in silence?
I know some people who agonise over their reviews, and it can take them several hours to write each one. I am currently at the point where I have loads of posts already written and scheduled, so I am in the wonderful position of being able to take my time over any new review.
Often I have stubbed the review, whereby I have brought down the front cover, the summary (from somewhere like Goodreads), and any other little snippets I’ve found along the way, such as the author’s website). I might take notes along the way, which may or may not reach the final review (e.g. a plot point that annoyed me at the time, but which was resolved later in the book). I might take several days after reading the book to start the review in anger.
I then write some form of review. Sometimes that’s the one that goes out, sometimes it isn’t. If it’s not, it’s because I’ve re-read it, checked the spelling, seen if there’s a break in the review’s logic somewhere (do I jump from point to point, only to come back to the original point?). Can someone else tell whether I have loved, hated or am just ambivalent about a book, and can take away an idea of whether they might like a book? If the answer is “no” then I try again.
The hardest books to review are the “average” book – nothing fabulous to rave about, but nothing bad so tat you can go “this is where it all went wrong”. It is these books, where a reviewer has to find another way of saying “actually it was just ok” without offending either the reader or the author that are the worst reviews to write.
Overall the review might take 30 minutes. It might take two hours in total – it all depends on the book and the mood I’m in.
I cant read or write whilst listening to spoken word, such as audiobooks or the radio (I particularly like Radio 4). I usually work in silence, but occasionally have some music on shuffle in the background.
So you, dear blogger – how do you write your reviews?