Writing a good review/Why I don't care about what you didn't like about Star Wars
So I've gotten into the habit of trying to write reviews for all the things I've been reading, and I've thought about branching out to TV and movies. I was discussing reviews with the love of my life, one of the great benefits of having a love of my life, and she remarked that she had been enjoying the brevity of my reviews and hoped they would continue even with Star Wars of which she was well aware I can pontificate for far longer than necessary.
So after getting over the twitterpation of getting a compliment from the love of my life I got to wondering why I was keeping it short. Like most of the things I get compliments on in my writing I was doing it without any kind of forethought. So here's two things I'll be doing on purpose now to make reviews better.
1. Don't talk about the plot: I've rarely felt that any direct discussion of the plot helps me decide whether to read the book or not, and it's easy to bog down a review in wondering around the plot while trying to avoid spoilers. Or worse you bowl into spoilers head on in an effort to let readers know what they are getting into and just lead someone into thinking you've ruined their experience. Best to avoid the whole thing. Ultimately I think readers are best served knowing as little about the plot as possible.
The Plot is what you talk about afterwards once you've found your camp. Like I'm in the "it doesn't matter was the map was for camp" an I try to avoid discussion with people in the "why would there be a map to a particular person" camp. Cause I can rationalize anything. Star Wars in particular provides me with near infinite ammunition for whatever gotcha bothered you. So let's just avoid the whole thing (ya know cause I'll win)
2. The key thing is emotional impact: this is why I don't talk about plot. The only thing I want to know about your experience is how it made you feel. Did you experience the child like wonder of your first Star Wars again? Were you annoyed by Darth Tantrum? Did your brain go into shock at seeing a good Star Wars movie and you cried in your bed that night for reasons that are still baffling to the conscious part of your brain? Maybe it was just me. :/
Like any good rule two it pushes back on rule one. Just putting the emotional reaction in can often seem useless without some context. A pure emotional reaction can seem irrational or meandering, so don't be afraid to imply and summarize were needed. But! Keep it simple and keep it brief.
Also, unlike plot details an emotional reaction is difficult to pick apart or dissect. You like it you don't like it; that's your thing and I can be ok with that if I disagree because we've left objectivity behind. Trying to pretend your review was objective will just get you into trouble. You just give people more ways to disagree with you instead of just assimilating your opinion and moving on with their lives.
You didn't find the middle of the movie as thrilling as the rest and I'm ok and I have very little to even begin arguing with you about. You thought the xwing/tie fighter battle over the ruins of a space bar wasn't thematically consistent with other aspects of the characters involved and we are going to have words. So sticking to rule two makes it better for you and your reader. Less things to fight about. Yay!
So that's it. My two simple rules for writing reviews and not arguing about Star Wars. Both things that can make you popular at parties (I assume...maybe book parties. Is that a thing? I assume...) have fun and saber safely