I'm Awfull At This, So Here's My Self-Help Guide
If you've visited any other pages on this site you'll know I'm no professional writer. Some of the reviews, articles and guides are ok, but to be quite frank my book and film reviews are rubbish. They're way too short (check out the LOTM review!) and were mostly written in a rush, offering little or no value to the reader, written more just to bulk out the content of the site than as valuable additions to the web.
So I'm forcing myself to do some research and write a guide to how a good book or film review should be written, so that in future articles I will follow my own advice and produce worthwhile content. Let's get started!
Title. Every review should have a good, imaginative title, drawing the reader into wanting to read on. I'll be following the format I use for my gadget reviews, which is a plain descriptive title, e.g. "Book Review of The Bible, By The Apostles" followed by a funkier sub title, e.g. "Riveting If Long Winded Read With Earth Shattering Ending".
Picture. Every film or book review should have a picture of the book cover, dvd cover or scene from the film. Where video clips are available I'll include them too.
Background. This is a brief bit of research into the book or film. For a book it will include the author and his or her previous works, no. of pages, publishing date, and website. For a film it will include Director (previous work) actors (previous work) release date, length, rating, website. (All hyperlinked of course.)
Synopsis.A brief summary of the plot, without giving away too much about the twists and ending.
Detailed opinions. What I thought about the book / film, the plot, the characters or actors, the dialogue, etc. Scenes that really stood out, or not, ideas in the story, what did or did not work for me and why. Whether I liked the film, with examples of which bits.
Final comments. Who the film might appeal, you might like this film / book if you liked so and so film, and my final thoughts.
Last will be a link to Amazon to buy the DVD, and then visitor comments.
Active reading / watching. I'm as guilty of anyone of just watching or reading a book or film, then forgetting about most of it straight after. To improve my reviewing skills I'll be taking notes while I read or watch to reference later.
So there we have it, my guide to myself for writing a better book or film review. Keep an eye on the book and film review sections of this site to see if I implement them properly. Thanks for reading!
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