Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Camping Out in Reviews

Yesterday, my blog's Google Ads had something about learning how to kiss. I suppose they think that relates to marriage. It kinda does. Focus on the Family interviewed an author who said one of the most important tricks to maintaining a marriage is the good-bye kiss, and it should involve the swapping of spit. Grossed out, I walked away for a bit, but for those married folk who aren't as germaphobic as I am, have at it. On with the post.

I recently read a warning from an author about how writers like to "camp out in reviews." I'm not sure that's the exact wording but it's close. It got me wondering "Is that true?"

Do writers prefer to review other writers' stuff? Prefer it to what? Writing their own stuff?

I don't like to write reviews. I don't mind discussing bits of a book, but I'm not good with the "summing up."

On the other hand, many of the blogs I follow regularly review books, movies, video games, whatever. I have reviewed some movies and TV show episodes myself when excited or disgusted enough.

TT: Fringe should be starting up soon. Woo-hoo!

Studying someone else's writing is beneficial. If you've put in the time, why not write about it? 
I see two caveats, and this is probably what that author was talking about.

One, review-writing could be a way to avoid writing your own stuff. That would be a bad thing, if you think you are supposed to be writing your own stuff.

Two, readers might get tired of reading reviews all the time. Fact is, I get tired of it. I don't have the money to buy all the recommended books I've seen, so I tend to skip reviews unless I'm bored or avoiding work.

In the blogs I follow, I haven't noticed anyone neglecting their own writing in favor of writing reviews. (How could I possibly notice that? I can't, really, but the discussions about their own writing journeys don't seem significantly impacted by the presence of reviews. Plus, it's possible review-writing is the current leg of their writing journey. I can't fault anyone for that.)

As for Caveat Two, well, that's the risk we all take when we pick a topic of the day.

I've already decided I need to read more. I don't know if this will translate into more reviews.

I don't read like I used to. My eyes get tired faster, and my attention wanders more. I've been working on that Agatha Christie book for two weeks, and its about 100 pages. I just can't bring myself to care. I will admit, though, she has a few "gem" sentences in there, like "she followed her bust out of the room." Classic. If only she didn't use so many exclamation points!

0 : - )

Conclusions?

One, it may be a true statement that most writers like to camp out in reviews.

Two, I'm not most writers.

But we knew that, didn't we?

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