Blogging Discussion: How I Write a Review

Last month, I wrote about the difference between writing positive and negatives review. This month I’d like to talk about how I write a review. I think this might be an informal feature going forward – these discussion posts about blogging. As I delve deeper into book blogging, I’d like to get a bit meta and chat about subjects particular to book blogging. Onto this month’s topic!

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As I started my review of The Third Plate, I realized I had settled into a regular pattern for how I write reviews. I decided to document how I wrote that review.

  1. Copy notes into a Word document – While I’m reading, I make notes on my iPad or directly in ebooks.
  2. Jot down initial thoughts – When I sit down to write the review, I make a note of any immediate thoughts I have.
  3. Organize notes and thoughts into groups – I look for common themes in my notes and group together related ideas. These groupings usually develop into paragraphs.
  4. Review remaining notes and organize/delete/make more paragraphs as needed – This is a final tidy step before I start writing.
  5. Quickly mold notes into sentences – This results in some very poorly formed paragraphs. The idea is to make the first draft, just get something ‘on paper’ to work with.
  6. Build up the paragraphs – Here is the longest step, the bulk of writing. I develop each of my fledgling paragraphs into something intelligible.
  7.  Edit the paragraphs – Once I’m done writing, I give everything an overview to see if it makes sense in context. I may rearrange paragraphs and do another edit.
  8. Write The Bottom Line – The Bottom Line is basically a summary of my review, so I save it for last.
  9. Read the post in preview – The final edit stage! The main purpose is to read aloud, catch any awkward bits, and fix any wayward formatting.
  10. Publish the post – This isn’t really a step but I saw I was at 9 and wanted to round out at 10 😉
This is the process I follow for my usual reviews. How do you write a review? Do you follow the same process every time?

  • Great post! Your method is sort of similar to mine; I have notepad docs of all of the books on my immediate TBR pile (makes it easier to cut and paste into wordpress, lol). I type my notes there, and then I later go back when I'm done to rearrange my thoughts into paragraphs and give the final rating. I suppose I do it most of the time, though there's been an occasion or two where I don't get around to typing my notes and just go straight into typing the review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your review process! It's interesting to see how other bloggers go about typing up their reviews 🙂

  • Haha, usually I type it in Word because I like to use bullet points, and then copy it over to Notepad to get rid of the formatting XD Do you make your notes while reading or after reading? I'm glad you enjoyed this post! Thanks for leaving your thoughts. I wonder how many other bloggers follow a similar process.

  • Very organized 🙂 I usually just jump on my computer and start typing whatever comes to mind, then edit it! haha.

  • Cool to read what you do. I'm starting to develop a process because I'm tired of picking up books that I read weeks ago, finally ready to write a review, only to realize that I remember nothing.

  • Thanks! I did used to do that, but I'm not so great at keeping track of my thoughts ^^;

  • I'm glad you enjoyed this post! I know what you mean. Even taking notes, sometimes I leave too much time before I review them. It's something I'm trying to improve this year. Good luck on finding a process that works for you.

  • Sounds like me 😉

  • I guess you could say I make my notes while reading (and happen to be on my computer, haha) though there have been few occasions where I've made my notes after reading. lol, that's the reason why I just stay at Notepad the whole time: no formatting problems, and I can immediately code my posts 🙂