You can review; here's how to give great reviews to be helpful to authors. You can do it!
Yes, you are qualified to review!
If you have spend time reading what people have written, then you are qualified to review their creation; which is their word picture. Yes, writing is using words to create pictures of what we are communicating and showing our readers. If you can tell someone about something which is exciting to you then you can write. If you can help someone enjoy written art as in something someone wrote, then you can review. If you can help someone make what they wrote better by giving suggestions, then you are giving the gift of reviewing to them.
Here are some guide lines which may help you get started reviewing like a pro reviewer or at least get the reviewing juices going for you.
TAKE TIME TO CREATE A REVIEW TEMPLATE
This tool will help you organize your reviews so that the author/writer can follow what you have to say in a logical order. Also, you will be able to have a list of things you want to comment on without having to type over and over the headings for your reviews. You won't forget anything because it is already in the format of your template. The best part is you will save time and energy which you can invest into your reviews to be helpful and encouraging to the author.
Some people think this, using a template, is like a cookie cutter version of reviewing.
If you design your template this way of course this is what your reviews will turn out to be when you are finished reviewing. However, if you consider what you would like reviewers to do for you and provide for your understanding of how what you wrote affects them, the reader; then you will have a wonderful start in creating your review template(s).
A review template doesn't have to be cookie cutter at all. If you set up your review template as a general guide then you can follow it title by title and fill in the information for whatever you are reviewing at that moment. If something isn't needed you can either leave it blank, use NA for not applicable, or delete that part of the template without affecting the original template creation. If you need to omit or add additional information for you review then you can add it to either the original creation which is always saved and available for editing, or just add it to the template which is dedicated to the review you are working at that moment.
template simple example:
title__title of the written work reviewed and comments about the title.
What I liked__What you liked about the written work and why you liked this work.
Suggestions__Your thoughts on what could be changed or improved for the better and perhaps comments on how you related to the writing.
Conclusion__thank the author for writing and allowing you to review for them.
Review templates also can contain group signatures, more detailed titles for making comments and suggestions, and other information which would help you review more effectively. A review template is a tool which is uniquely yours and shows your uniqueness and reviewing talents.
I have several templates which I use for different situations, sometimes making small changes with in the template while reviewing. Other times I find that It would be much better to go to the original template I careated and edit it with the information I want to add or change. I do this when it is something I decide to make a permanent change for that template no matter what review(s) I plan to place into this template(s).
When I first found WDC, I looked around the sight, filled in some information, and jumped into reviewing. Taking these steps eventually led me to more knowledge about reviewing; by looking at other peoples reviews, reading about reviewing; which was posted by many reviewers on WDC, and joining different review groups, which gave me the opportunity to see what the members in the groups were doing, how, and why as well as know where to find good reviews to study. I also took a review class which led me to creating a review template, improving my reviewing skills, going beyond my comfort zone in reviewing different genres, and gave me more insight into what to look for in written word art of the author so I could be more helpful to him/her.
Now I follow my template titles filling in the information to help the author with their writing and most of the time receive nice replies to my reviews. A gift I received which I didn't expect nor thought about was:
My writing improved!
1. WRITE A REVIEW OF AT LEAST 250 CHARACTERS W/O WRITING ML AND NO COPY PASTE OF THE AUTHORS MATERIAL unless you must have this information to make what you are telling the author as clear as [possible and you have no other way of doing this.
2. SAY SOMETHING NICE BEFORE YOU MAKE OTHER COMMENTS BECAUSE THIS WILL INSPIRE THE WRITER TO KEEP WRITING. Encouraging someone according to their ability goes a very long way to your success as a writer/reviewer and their success as a writer/reviewer. Think about how you would feel if you received uplifting comments and direction for making your writing better delivered in a nice, caring manner.
3. WHEN YOU HAVE SUGGESTIONS OR COMMENTS OF CRITICISM, TRY TO SAY IT SO YOU ARE EDUCATING RATHER THAN CRITICIZING. Helping a writer grow and learn is very important gift you can give to them.
4. IF YOU FIND SOMETHING YOU ENJOY READING THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO START REVIEWING. Being comfortable with the subject you are reading will help you because you will more easily be able to relax and focus on reviewing and helping the author by giving information about what you read. Also, as a team you and the author can grow and learn more about writing and reviewing. Gradually you will get more familiar with reviewing and reading information you are not as familiar or comfortable reading, you will gain confidence as you do more reviews, and will eventually venture into new writing genres.
5. DON'T QUIT! AS LONG AS YOU CONTINUE TO REVIEW YOU WILL GET BETTER AT WRITING AND REVIEWING. Certainly, keep writing, reading, and reviewing, however make sure that you do not burn out.
REVIEWING AND STAYING HEALTHY MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY SO YOU CAN REGULARLY ENJOY WDC.
KEEPING THINGS IN BALANCE is the very best gift YOU CAN GIVE YOURSELF life, and to help YOU regularly enjoy WDC activities. As much as possible, I try to do a review each day. There are times when this isn't possible, so when I have some extra time and want to review to add to my number of reviews for the month, I do this but, only if it does not cause issues with other life situations. I have experienced medical issues which caused me to be quiet. This, I do not enjoy, however it is better for me to take care of me, than to push me past what I can hamdel and miss more enjoyable time on WDC. There are times when I have good health and energy so take advantage of this and review more. I try to keep things in moderation/balance. When you are able to review and enjoy this experience go for it!
I have had times when there have been reviews I've wanted to do and I've had a struggle getting these reviews completed. Fortunately, I have managed to work my way though these challenging times.
REVIEWING WITH A SMILE is ideal, however sometimes, reviewing is a major issue for any number of reasons. Oh my! I want to review for the extra gift points! or, reviewing contest! I want to win this contest. And there are many more reasons people push themselves to keep reviewing past their endurance.
REVIEWING MARATHON SUGGESTIONS
1. Take the reviewing process and break it into short sessions. In between take mini breaks.
2. Look away from the monitor screen frequently to give your eyes a change ( a few seconds are helpful)
3. Change positions by stretching or standing. And don't forget to reach for a drink frequently. Water refreshes and revives as well as helps the thinking process.
Please ask any questions you may have about reviewing, in the review lodge forum.
"DWG: REVIEW LODGE"