Have you ever wondered how I write my reviews? Well, here's my usual reviewing process split into five steps. I've included a lot of details, so it may be a little long (but hey, there's a lot that goes into reviewing a book).
Take notes of book during and/or after reading the book.
This step is different for every book. Sometimes I write a lot while reading. Sometimes I don't write any notes until after I'm done reading. (There are some books that I just skip this step altogether.) What I take notes on varies with my mood and whatever is closest to me at the time. Comp books, small or large spiral bound notebooks, sticky notes inside the book, Kindle notes, iPod or phone memos, the first piece of blank paper I can find. I take my notes in so many different places that I'm losing track of where I wrote my thoughts for a book down.
Some of my handwritten notes:
Sinner (yellow) - I wrote on both sides of the yellow paper both as I read and after I finished the book.
Crown of Midnight (small spiral notebook) - I took a sudden break while reading to write down my thoughts. I decided to make them the bulk of my review (so, I had my review all figured out before I even read the entire book).☺
The Murder Complex (comp book) - I think I wrote mot notes as I was reading and added a few after I finished. I wrote with my favorite color of ink (purple).
Want a fun fact? My handwriting is at its absolute worst when I write book notes and reviews.
A couple of my digital notes:
The Ring and the Crown - I wrote a lot of notes. I'm only showing one screenshot out of four. I think I wrote them as I read, but I can't remember for sure.
Reboot - I took a random note about Callum and Wren's relationship. I actually think I have different notes in a notebook or on a piece of paper somewhere.
Here's another fun fact: I haven't written a review for either book. Sometimes, I just don't get to writing a review for books that I bought (Reboot) or won (The Ring and the Crown).
. . . and another: I love writing notes on my iPod! Maybe it's because it's a smaller device than my phone or because it doesn't lag, but I can type out my thoughts really quick on it. I rarely use it for notes, though, because I forget about them.
You may be curious about whether I ever take notes in the margins of my books . . . I don't. Unless I'm writing an essay or taking a test on it, I won't text-mark my books. I use sticky notes instead.
Write full length draft in notebook (character names, settings, etc. may be left blank if I can't remember).
This step, too, is sometimes skipped. I've been doing that a lot lately because I just haven't been in the reviewing mood. However, I do like writing my reviews by hand first. My thoughts just flow easier when I have a pen in my hand and I'm able to just let the sentences pour out. It takes a lot longer to put my thoughts into words when I'm typing them straight out. This doesn't just apply to reviews. In my senior year, I drafted almost all of my essays and writing assignments on paper before I typed them up. I've outlined or even written drafts for discussion posts. For example: I wrote my guilt letter to Splintered in a notebook a week before I typed it up.
Reviews from my notebook:
Torn Away (left) - One of the reasons why I prefer hand writing my reviews first is that I can cross my words out instead of deleting them. I was having a tough time with the wording in this review, so I crossed a lot of stuff out. I skipped taking notes for Torn Away, which is
The Murder Complex (right) - I showed you the notes, so I'm showing you the review. I crossed out less words in this one because I referred to notes. When I wrote my Torn Away review, I skipped the notes and went straight to pouring out my thoughts in paragraphs.
Type up review on my computer Notepad and fix errors/weird sounding sentences.
I've never been a big fan of reading over my own writing and proofreading, so this step is helpful. It forces me to read my review and make corrections. I think it helps me write better reviews because I have to write them not just once, but twice.
Copy and paste to Goodreads. Fix typos.
Thank you, red squiggly line. You've saved me from so, so many typos. (Notepad doesn't have the line, so I make quite a few mistakes as I type and I don't even notice until I add it to Goodreads.)
Copy and paste the preview of the review to draft on Blogger.
I haven't read Of Monsters and Madness yet, but I've had the rest of the post set up since March.
Here are some questions for you:
Do you ever take notes as you read? Do you also hand write your reviews? Do you set up a draft for your review before you even read the book?