Think Aloud explores book-related discussions encompassing reading, writing, blogging, and perhaps newsworthy content. The focus is to push the boundaries, stretch the mind, and encourage dialogue within this community. Let’s all think out loud.
Would You Read Reviews
Written By Your Clone?
Step 1: Clone yourself.
Step 2: Ponder if you would read the review written by said clone (who is actually you).
This will be a very obscure thought process all about self-reflection.
You often hear the writing advice to “write what you want to read” but does the same concept apply to book reviewing?
Here’s the dilemma: would you read and/or find yourself gravitating towards a review written by you if you were someone else? (If that statement lacks clarity: just clone yourself and ponder if you would read the reviews written by that clone.)
See: I write fucking long ass reviews. Sometimes they’re short (my definition of “short” is still ~750 words) but most times they’re skyward of 1,000 words (Red Queen was 2.5k…well 2,780 words if you want to be specific).
But the odd thing is that I don’t think I’d read my own or someone else’s book review of that length on just a whim. The culture of consuming media on the Internet sits between three extremes of accessibility, information, and its value of entertainment. They’re all linked; a constant balancing act on the outside to understand the needs of your target market while having that internal battle to fight for your voice and artistry so that you are you.
But let me get technical and expand on these factors from a [book] reviewing standpoint.
Do note that I’m making this shit up as I go and that many of these elements blend into and influence one another.
…regards the structure of the review for the purposes of visibility, delivery, and consumption. Is it short or long? What medium is it on (word, audio, video)? Are there images and GIFs? How is the voice being promoted and on what platforms?
Since I knowingly sacrifice [shortened] length to write a bunch of random shit, I throw in a quick summary for the entire review for those who only skim the beginning and/or who don’t have the time to read everything else.
Plus an additional bullet point too long; didn’t read blurb.
…focuses on choosing the facts you want known while knowing there’s a possibility for non-discrete information to be obtained. Is it a spoiler-y review? How legitimate is the voice? Is there enough done to pique interest? Do I sound like every other reviewer? Am I focused enough in the topic?
Looking at the graphic above, I always break it down into smaller sections of discussion. By doing this, I’m able to give myself a direction to write about and this hopefully sets an expectation of reviewing style [for the reader].
…considers the overall experience of reading the review. What is the tone of the content and does this come naturally or is it forced? Is there snark/satire/humour? Is there retention value in readership (e.g. do people come back because I’m XYZ)? Is it worth sharing?
There’s nothing I can objectively say because entertainment differs per individual. What I will say is that I review as if I’m candidly speaking to my reader in order to achieve a conversational tone. My process involves reading what I write out loud just to hear how it sounds (which also involves hand gestures) haha.
Would I read a review written by my clone?
Yes and no.
While I may enjoy writing [optimistically objective] snarky bullshit in my reviews (re “keeping it real”), I know in my gut that it’s unlikely that I would read lengthy word vomits because I tend to reach for quick grabs of entertainment more than anything else. That is what I value. It is in this reason that I gratuitously devour Khanh and Emily May’s reviews on Goodreads — because regardless of length, they’re proven goldmines of honesty that somehow turns into minutes of laughter.
But know that not all [book] reviews are not made equal.
Personally, as long as there’s some merits of humour, sass, and unfiltered honesty (e.g. the more profanity used = the more I will love you), then length is less of a concern for me because time flies when you’re having a blast.
So…sorry clone, I’ll be picking and choosing what I read from you.
What is the likelihood that you would read a review written by your clone and/or if you were someone else (not you) reading a review written by you?
What are the types of things you look for in reviews? (e.g. honesty? GIFs? humour?
Who are some of your favourite reviewers and why? (Let me know, link them!)
As always, think aloud.
This post is inspired by self-doubt and self-reflection. Sometimes it’s good to have both in your life.