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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My favorite kind of book reviewer



To put it simply, my favorite kind of book reviewer is the one that has more people in mind than just themselves.

In other words...

The kind of book reviewer who puts themselves in other peoples' shoes.

For example, in this post about showing vs. telling, I mentioned, "I've seen some reviewers strike out at a book because of [the showing vs. telling] debate."

Why?

 Don't be a
 narrow-minded 
 book reviewer.

Because the writer doesn't know how to write? Perhaps but unlikely.

Because the writer broke some cardinal writing rule? You might think so, but to me that's what makes you a narrow-minded reviewer.

It's much more likely because you simply didn't like the amount of showing or the amount of telling (the latter being the more likely scenario).

The Wrong Way and a Better Way

Narrow-minded reviewer: "There was way too much telling. The writer should know better, or the editor should have helped the writer show more."

My kind of reviewer: "There was more telling than I would have liked. Because of that I had a hard time connecting with the main character. But perhaps it'll be up your alley because the writing was good."

In the first (bad) example, the reviewer is insinuating that the writer doesn't know what s/he's doing, that the editor didn't do his/her job, and/or telling is evil and showing is the only way.

That's narrow-minded in three dimensions. 

The second example, on the other hand, conveyed the reviewer's displeasure of the amount of telling without insult or innuendo.

Plus, the reviewer explained the result of the excess telling, the fact that it was hard to connect with the main character. THEN, the reviewer spins it around and says something nice, with someone else in mind.

Should a reviewer always say nice things? 
Even if there isn't anything really good to say?

That's my question for you. What do you think?

Leave a comment below.


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