I have recently decided to do more book reviewing. Now, I have reviewed books before. Even on this blog site. And I reviewed books for class assignments in school. But as I grow as a writer and as a self-editor, I have learned that it can affect my ability to review another author’s work.
I have honed these editing skills so very carefully over these last few years. And I treasure them. They aid me in my writing and they are invaluable to me.
They have been crafted to suit my voice as a writer, my style. These things are not universal. Sure, there will be other writers that align somewhat with my style, but no one will write with my unique voice. And, yes, there are things that are universal about the craft of writing that are part of what sets off alarm bells for this inner editor, but more than you think is tied to voice and style.
In order to give an appropriate review of another author’s work, I must be willing to set aside this inner editor, turn it off, if you will, and sit with an open mind. Especially if the author’s work is in a totally different genre than I write in. Then I can let myself become immersed in the story, follow the characters along the plot, and decide the merits of the book based on those things (character development, plot elements, etc.).
And, if I’m not careful, I might discover that I have become lost in a world not of my own making, but of a tale woven and spun by another authors words. If I can just flip that switch and shut down that editor.
There is a journey to be had.