Welcome to the Free Horror Addicts.net Online Writers Conference!
We're a Podcast, Publishing, and Media Network By Horror Addicts, For Horror Addicts and we are here this February 25-27 2020 for a week showing you HOW to Write, Network, Market, and Publish!
Hone your craft with inspiration, wisdom, and expertise from new and established authors or learn publishing and editing tips from those in the biz. Whether you're near or they are far, we can all meet at the Horror Addicts.net Online Writers Conference and Learn HOW!
Post by Admin Kbatz on Feb 21, 2019 15:42:02 GMT -5
Hello, hello my literary friends and family!
I can't wait to get talking about diagramming sentences, ending sentences with prepositions, and the Power of Whom!
Okay, we won't be doing anything THAT scary- but we are going to get a little schooled in critical essay and reviewing technique. In today's instant age of quips and quickie three sentence reviews on books, film, television, and music- writing a persuasive essay can seem so impersonal. The muck of thousands of blogs, journals, and social media sites that seem to merely concur, tweet, or link to someone else's critiques can seem so daunting, even overwhelming to the would be reviewer with something intelligent to say. Will my voice be heard? Does my opinion count? YES! You- yes you!- CAN write a full length critique detailing the pros and cons of your subject in a concise, intelligent manner. Don't think you have the time, even to write about a medium you love like books, movies, or music? Nonsense! Afraid fiction and non fiction work can't go together? Forgetaboutit!
We're going to talk about using the basics of essay writing to analyze character, style, design, format, voice, and more. Writing short non-fiction accounts also does not have to interfere with a multi-tasking fiction author's long term goals. Reviewing is another angle of working on your own writing craft and exercising your literary skills! Let's put the quick fun back into reviewing, write concise opinions, and have your critical voice heard!
Post by Admin Kbatz on Feb 21, 2019 15:44:17 GMT -5
So, you've seen a film, read a book, listened to a CD or have a favorite television program and want to put your passion to good use with a critique on a social page, product site- or daringly! you want to start a review blog on your own. No problem! If a newcomer to reviewing thinks he or she doesn't know what to say or if the fiction transitionist feels a sense of meandering prose sidetracking the opinion at hand- the solution is simple. Introduce yourself!
One should always begin a review with a few sentences of introduction. We spend so much time wanting to do clever catchy first lines or advertising quick grabs that we forget our high school essay essentials. The best way to beat your hesitation is to share how you came to review the product. Was it a gift or in the movie theater? Even in this instant 140 characters flash pan internet, there is a reader who will want to know a real person wrote what he is reading. You can be personal and put your personality into your stance- after all, you are persuading the audience towards material you have either loved or hated! It's not the time to be shy. If you have a history with the object at hand, perhaps a musician or series you’ve enjoy for many years-do tell. You can even admit if you have a bias- let the reader know from where you and the product are coming in your goals. Try and mention the full title, date released, author, major star, director, or other big name associated with the material. You have in fact set the scene the same as you would for fiction. Now you can state your thesis for the review to come. Will this be a quality product or is it a miss?
In reviewing a book, film, or television series, summarize the general plot in a few sentences-but try not to spoil anything unless it’s absolutely necessary. Sometimes you read a review online and there is no personal opinion whatsoever- merely a lengthy paraphrasing of what happens. In a pinch you could use an official film summary or book blurb, sure. But why use the same public copy as everyone else? It is good practice to try and summarize a topic like you did in a good old book report. Show yourself you were paying attention and know the product at hand. Inform us who is starring as whom by stating the characters name (then the actor in parenthesis). If you’re discussing a music album, tell us the medium- CD, cassette, record- and some background about the group or the set. Is it special in some way? What is the genre, has it been a successful album and group?
To the Story, Direction, and Songs
Next, it's time to tell the reader if the material does what is supposed to do. You don't need to apologize or feel bad for being harsh. Again, go back to school: make your statement and back it up with three examples and support sentences. Does the book tell its tale consistently? Do the director and screenwriter make their movie or show uneven? Lists the positives and what is right and group the cons with their reasoning. Depending on the material or the length of your complaints, try a paragraph for each. There's also nothing wrong with breaking down your essay with subject headings- Even as something as simple as 'What I liked' or 'The Stinky Parts.' For music, you can discuss each song on the album individually or selectively detail the best material by paragraph. If it's all good, super! But feel free to mention the clunkers. Heck, you can even joke about any unintentional humor or mistakes. This is after all entertainment and enjoyment and you are sharing the love. How are the lyrics poetic, the dialogue corny, the plots hysterical? Mention the good things about your product, but be honest if something’s bad, too. For TV also mention the standout episodes as well as the bad ones. What worked for one that was lacking in the other?
For a sample now, feel free to check out my review on the new film X-Men: First Class at my review blog I Think, Therefore I Review
I had a lot to say about this film, so I broke it down with headings detailing the story, stars, villains, design, and experience. The good of the cast was blocked separately from the negative in the cast. I gave professional references and also admitted some of my favoritism. I opened with why I wanted to see the film and concluded with the pros and cons of attending the cinema.
What have you seen in the movie theater recently? Try getting your thoughts down with the starter tips here. You aren't going to have a perfect essay the first time out either. Get your notes and initial thoughts on paper first. Formatting and corrects, bells and whistles can follow later. When reviewing, go ahead and say what you mean, speak plainly, and let your opinion be heard!
Post by Admin Kbatz on Feb 21, 2019 15:45:29 GMT -5
Well now that you have your direction in reviewing your product of choice, you have to let yourself and the material shine. Part of discussing cast, characters, or music is a bit of marketing, indeed. Here is where you spin the critical points of your analysis and sell why you feel the way you do about the pieces of your material and how they affect the whole. However, don’t forget to let your honesty and evidence show through. You can gush about how much you love love loved it! But you don’t want to sound like someone’s agent or a publisher’s pet, either. Say how you feel and let the reader know you mean it. Just like fiction, there’s nothing worse than something that comes across too forced or at the worst, fake.
Cast, Characters, Vocals
For a film or television report, tell us something about the major actors involved. Do they fit the role of the character and create a convincing, realistic portrayal? In a book, if the character is out of place or underdeveloped, say so. Whom did you like? Whom did you dislike? Be sure to give thoughtful reasons as to why you like or dislike a persona. ‘Sucked’ doesn’t cut it in a professional review. If there are many players, how is the chemistry or ensemble as a whole? When discussing music, tell us how the vocals and music sounds. Does the material fit the vocalist’s range-if someone in the band isn’t up to snuff, tell us why. Try and group similar players or who you liked or didn’t like together in two or three paragraphs. You don’t need to be an actor to talk of performance or play instruments to know music. You are a customer relating your response and what you have to say is of value to another customer. If you are an expert or have a special insight, by all means, share your specialties and let your voice standout.
The Action, Effects, Horror, and All the Extras
If a show has fine stories and characters but the set design, costumes, visuals, or graphics stink, tell the audience why. Reviewing means mentioning everything that struck you in your product experience- where one piece may persuade a reader another part may put off the audience. Well balanced and objective applies just as much to describing everything here as it does in presenting a non-one-sided report. Is the picture dated, low-budget? Do the bad effects hinder the finer points of the material? How are these seemingly negative aspects potentially a good thing? If there’s something iffy about a book-the format or the cover design, again share how this affects the joy of the subject. If we’re talking about science fiction, fantasy, action, adventure, or horror- say if the product lives up to the CGI, car chases, history, scares, and gore expected of its genre. Was the comedy funny? Was something so bad that it wasn’t meant to be funny, but was just that bad? In our efforts to please or appease sometimes we forget the most simple thing that could make or break material- what if that romantic comedy had no romance nor laughter?
The Video, Medium, and the Bads
If your disc skipped, or if the DVD has a lot of extra worthwhile features, mention these good or bad. Frankly, are the bells and whistles worth the price of admission? If there’s some sort of good or ill packaging or any other issues or specialties, let the consumer know. If the material is currently available, provide the possible prices or stores and online options. You can write something of merit and depth, but the instant yay, nay, where to buy should always be presented. Also for the fiction writer, remember your audience. If you have established a family friendly review blog, be sure and mention any appropriate or inappropriate material. If a film is PG-13, mention what is too mature for children. If you have a mature following, provide all the adult merits. If a song has some derogatory lyrics or an album has a warning on it, concur if this is a warranted warning or not.
Don’t be afraid either to say if any language or literature offended you, either. If you can’t finish analyzing material because it is that bad or inappropriate, your time and effort has not been wasted. Never think any opinion you have to offer is unvalued. Even today where everyone and their grandma can have a blog or post a social quip every fifteen minutes, by remaining true to yourself, your product, and your thoughts on the matter, you can write an article of substance. Don’t get dejected if there aren’t many comments or hits or tweets and whatnot and all that relaying your work. Write with an audience in mind- Who would want to read this book?- but make your statements first and foremost true to your feeling. If you write quality material that accurately reviews the product, readers and thankful informed consumed will follow.
Here’s a link to a somewhat negative review I wrote several years ago for a book called Fantasy and Your Family.
Though of an intriguing subject matter, the execution here was faulty. The uneven representations of the author’s pros and cons and referenced materials was so askew that the evidence was compromised at best and off putting at worst. As the author here- whether in articles, essays, or fiction- we should keep some of these mistakes in mind. Give it a go, be realistic about the goods and bads of your material, and say what you have to say! Even if you think no one is reading your work- take heart in that you are writing a damn fine essay!
Post by Admin Kbatz on Feb 21, 2019 15:47:08 GMT -5
Well, now that you have the confidence to write and put your opinion out there in the vasts of internetdom, what next? You’ve added flavor and style in describing your positive and negative opinions on your deepest thought provoking desires- books, movies, television, jazz. It’s all started off so smart, but how does it all end? Don’t panic!
Recommend your Audience
After you’ve made your case for the story, characters, cast, music, visuals, graphics, and pointed out the mistakes or any negativity- now is the time to conclude your thesis. Say who the intended audience of the product is or what group of viewers or listeners might not like the material. If you’ve been particularly touched by this material, do share those lofty concepts and artful abstracts. Was the obligation of the product to inform, insipire, and entertain? Did it succeed in what it set out to do? Not only was your film or book achieved, but now you also need to make your final persuasive argument. If your thesis has been to comment on the good of the product, sum up and recommend the product in a sentence or two. If you’ve found the material nothing but bad, reiterate your standing. In conclusion, you can also list links or references for purchase or in support of your claims. So many website simply splice samples from other material with a sentence or two of opinion or an offer for a readers thoughts in the comment box. Stand out by making a claim on your material and sticking to it. If you have a blog or your review site has an option for reader comments, you will get spam or an obligatory drive by insult. It happens, you cannot let fear of internet rudeness ruin your artistic analysis. For every negative comment you receive, there are great thanks, appreciation, and discussion that will follow. The reward for your insights far outweighs any poo poo spammers.
Look at this lovely comment posted on my lengthy multi part critique of Fish Tank:
Mrs. Villarosa said... Just wanted to say that I really appreciated your review. It's really in-depth and it made me want to watch this movie. I was going to skip it (the whole banging mom's new boyfriend thing creeped me out too much) but now it seems really interesting. Kudos!
See? Don’t be overwhelmed! I know I’ve been a bit technical and fancy in some spots and perhaps obvious on other points. Give it a try, and you’ll know when to be technical and when to say what needs to be said. Start with something you really like and feel comfortable expressing your thoughts about. Like a trunk novel, nothing says anyone has to see your first attempts. If you are part of a fandom or have a critique group of friends with which you feel comfortable sharing, go for it! Your concluding thoughts and words of wisdom are everything you’ve said in a nutshell. In fact, you can take all the principles here and apply them in lengthy reviews and thesis or in short, insightful paragraph mini reviews. For a capsule comment, all you need is your introductory theme, your detail sentence, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the conclusion. If you feel uncomfortable with a larger article, try a few shorthand critiques instead. If you are building a review blog or want to post on a social area or product website, write several at a time. Nothing says you have a time limit on any of your thoughts. Yes, timely reviews are nice. However, it’s better to be true to your writing and opinions and write something of quality than rush on something haphazardly, write poorly, and regret your presentation. You can develop a voice and style in the art of reviewing that expresses your opinion and provides positive information for others.
In the old days, you would print of that manuscript and mail it off on blind faith. Create your own faith in yourself here. Formatting or fancy interfaces can be fixed, don’t let any technicalities hold you back! Don’t think you will be read and judged harshly if something is imperfect or let that deter you from writing. This is your opinion on the internet- everyone has an opinion online and no one is perfect in real world or on the web. People may disagree, but that’s okay. Writing critiques like this helps your fictional writing. If nothing else, it is damn fine writing practice on who, what, when, where, and why. It doesn’t have to feel like a chore, job, or obligation-but if taken seriously and done right, it can be very rewarding and a lot of fun. By following your intuitions and these basic rules on how to approach reviewing your material of choice, you might be surprised with the insightful and intelligent report you’ll create. Now get writing!
Post by Admin Kbatz on Feb 21, 2019 16:05:15 GMT -5
Kristin Battestella writes for her hometown newspaper The Cumberland County Reminder and has been writing non-fiction, speculative fiction, dark fantasy, paranormal, and horror for over twenty years.
She is a member of the South Jersey Writers Group and founder of the South Jersey Women Authors. Kristin has attended the Philadelphia and Collingswood Book Festivals and the Muse Online Writers Conference among numerous other literary events across the Mid-Atlantic states. She established the Autumn Authors Fair as well as the Mount Holly Writers Conference and Book Fair in addition to volunteering at her local libraries.
Along with numerous sports articles, print essays, online reviews, and pen name fiction, Kristin's first eBook was published in 2005. Her first full-length work The Vampire Family was re-released with Eternal Press in 2010, and her 7 book sequel series Fate and Fangs was published with Muse It Up in 2013.
Kristin's essays appeared in the Horror Addicts Guide to Life Anthology in 2015, and she has written for Search Magazine since 2016. Recently, she has done podcasts and video reporting for HorrorAddicts.net in addition to her longstanding film criticism at I Think, Therefore I Review.
After a difficult battle with Lyme Disease, Kristin is ready to finish her next dark fantasy novel alongside exploring new media platforms and attending more literary events.
She recently relocated further into the Wilds of South Jersey between The Burnt Mill Ghost and the Jersey Devil to the Last House on the Left with a gracious husband and a temperamental black cat.
Emz: Thanks for coming Trin and Kbatz thanks for all your work on this. It really is an awesome thing and I enjyed reading the transcripts.
Feb 28, 2020 0:52:38 GMT -5
robbiec: A most interesting post. I really enjoyed the comments and discussion about Shakespeare whose stories I have always enjoyed. My favourite story is Romeo and Juliet [sorry about that].
Mar 1, 2020 12:34:35 GMT -5
This Conference is Dedicated to Dan Shaurette, David Watson, and Stacy Rich – Once a Horror Addict, Always a Horror Addict!
Please Note: HorrorAddicts.net is not affiliated with any other websites soliciting money and using the Horror Addicts name. We are a free podcast, publisher, and media network. Thank you.