How to Write a Review of a Story That Will Influence Readers
Story Review Definition
A short story review is not merely a summary – it is also a good opportunity to show critical discussion of the short story. French writer Victor Hugo received the shortest review of his work: his request to the publishing house with the text of one question mark was answered no less laconically – with one exclamation mark.
When you like everything in the story, no extra words are required. When there are controversial points in it or new and frightening things, you need something more than an exclamation mark. We are talking about reviews, ladies and gentlemen! The review of the short story is a critical analysis and evaluation of a work written in the scientific, artistic, or journalistic style to form an opinion about it for the target audience. Do you know how to write a short story review, and what is the purpose?
The Purpose of the Short Story Review
You can parse the short story to:
- better learn what you read;
- publish a blog review and attract additional traffic;
- show expertise → attract the attention of publishers → start reviewing on a commercial basis.
When we write a review, we form the final opinion about the book and create a primary view for other people. And are we doing it right?
How to Prepare for Writing a Short Story Review
First of all you need to read a story! It seems to be obvious, but no! People manage after a once-over of the content, reading the summary, and write “reviews,” where there is nothing but a binary “good-bad.” It is necessary to read the story several times – first from the standpoint of an ordinary reader, and then with a view to making a critical analysis. In the process, you can have a pad, paper bookmarks, or stickers.
Are you ready to begin reviewing? Wait a bit and check yourself:
- Do not read other reviews about the story, so as not to write other people’s words.
- Yes, your opinion may differ drastically from the majority opinion. Write, do not be afraid – a competent review will only be a plus.
- Remember the rule: the more negative opinions you have about the story, the more arguments you need to give in its favor. The review in this case will be more extensive.
- Use in equal proportions logic and emotions.
Questions to Ask Before Writing a Short Story Review
- What is the title of the book, the author, the year of publication, and the publishing house?
- What feelings did you have after reading though the story?
- How does the title of the story depict what is going on in it?
- What is the structure of the story?
- What are advantages and disadvantages of the story?
- What is the relevance of the story?
After you find out the answers to these question, it is time to learn how to write a review for a short story.
Short Story Review Writing Steps
Evaluate the form. It is good because:
- it does not require reading a story;
- it is fairly quickly compiled;
- it is more objective than a content review.
It is bad because:
- the time must pass to evaluate by some criteria;
- all the same it is not devoid of subjectivity.
Consider orientation of the text. There are two types of orientation – book or landscape.
Review the design and cover of the book where the story is presented.
Look at the font size. Some people are lucky – they have perfect eyesight, and can read even on a matchbox. However, there are people who need large letters in the text.
Evaluate illustrations. Remember how you flipped pages in your childhood hoping to see pictures? And there was only text! In non-fiction books, the reader also wants to discover a visual component, but if to talk about short stories, probably, you will not have anything to analyze here.
Evaluate the content. To give a worthy critical review, the reviewer should have at least the same level of material as the author, and better – a higher level. You can choose one of the following strategies: a review from the side, an analysis without positing positive or negative evaluations, a critical analysis, or open polemics with the author.
Indicate the author and the title of the work in bibliographic data. Note whether this is a novelty or a reprint.
Don’tl retell the story. You can disassemble the title, content, method of building the story, and the author’s style and skill, but do it competently and intriguingly.
Express your impression of the story, while justifying all negative and positive points.
Mark the relevance of the work and the degree of its entry into the target audience.
Point out the stylistic, factual, and grammatical mistakes made by the author. Recheck their availability.
Watch your own style: do not use jargon, speechless statements, or clericalism.
Make sentences laconic and simple depending on the volume of the review.
Short Story Review Sample Analysis
You can check out the analysis of one of our short story review examples where no mistakes are allowed. We have tried to share the experience of our writers who know not only how to write reviews, but how to analyze them as well. Our analysis of a story review example can end your struggles if you don’t know where to get ideas for writing your own review.
Click the images to see their full size.
Now after reading through our post and checking whether you know how to write a review of a story, you are ready to do it on your own. Practice more to write high-quality reviews and gain success. Do not impose your vision on readers – read through review samples to know how to express your opinion better. If you stick to all the guidelines, you will be able to complete great reviews.