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Friday, February 7, 2014

Writing A Blog Post: Tips For New Galley Group Members

Hey guys,
     If you found this post then welcome to the blog! As part of YALSA, we're supposed to review books. This is the public side of reviewing online. Hopefully you're getting closer to writing your first blog review. If not, don't sweat it. You've likely never done something like this before. Or maybe
you don't feel like it, you're busy, or procrastinating (I know I'm guilty).

Blogging and I don't mix
     In any case, here I'll outline the basic steps I follow in my blog posts. I intend this page to be a permanent fixture to help all future CCHS YA Galley Groupers (groupies? members? denizens?) get some help sharing their opinions on this blog.

1. Read a book, any book... but preferably an advanced readers copy (a galley). You don't have to finish it or like it to review it (I couldn't read more than a fourth of The Flame in the Mist).

2. You probably have some opinions about the book once you're done with it. After reading, just collect your thoughts. Did you like it or not? What are the best parts? How are the characters? The story? The writing style? If you did not like it, what are the most nagging problems? Talking about the book in the weekly group meeting can help.

     Here are some major areas that I think about when I'm preparing to write a review:
-Setting. Science fiction, futuristic, and fantasy novels put lots of emphasis on describing the world and societies in it. Is it believable?
-Plot. Is it interesting and unique or is it boring and cliched? Was it exciting as an action-packed movie or was it as dry as reading Thoreau?
-Characters. Are they interesting, unique, and complicated or are they simple, unrealistic, and/or machine-like? Do you like them?
-Writing. Is the writing skilled and legible or are there obvious flaws in mechanics or story-telling? Does it use simple words like a child's picture book or was it as dense as a Shakespearean play?

3. Put down whatever you're thinking into a new blog post. It could be as short as a few sentences or as long as several paragraphs. While lots of posts here look long, most of the earliest posts we made are in total length a paragraph or shorter. As long as it's your opinion, you're going great.

4. Add a short summary of the book. If you're going to tell someone about a book, it helps if they get an idea what the book is about. Try to make it so they know who and what the book is about without telling them spoiling details or the end of the book. You can look at the back of the book for inspiration.

5. Summarize your opinion of the book at the end. Write down your overall judgement in a very short way with an analogy to food and/or the number rating system (look on the right sidebar of the blog for the rating system explanation).

6. Prettify it up/make links
 Linking and tagging is a more optional step, but this is on the internet after all.
-Put in at least the title of the novel as the blog post title.
-Mention the author's name and link their name to their blog or website if they have one.
-Add an image of the novel's cover. Save the image to your hard drive so that it is permanent.
-Position the image and the text so it looks good.
-Check spelling and grammar.
-Tag the post with the book's rating and genre by looking under "Labels" on the right in your editor view.

7. Click publish!

 That's all there is to it. I hope to see some posts up soon!

1 comment:

  1. Such a wonderful article. It was both entertaining and informative. Thank you so much for sharing. Underrated Books


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