Writer Wednesday Exercise: 3 things a writer wants to see in a review

It’s Writer Wednesday and i like to post exercises. This week’s a little different. Read on to see why. i think you’ll be pleased

I came home from work yesterday to see a tweet from a follower that said she wrote her first review ever….wait for it…for MY book. Mine. It got me thinking about the power of a review to the writer let alone readers, so Inspired by this blogger’s review of Anomaly, I thought I’d put out a new exercise. btw: that linkie just over there at ‘blogger’s’ is a hint that you should go and visit that blog.

 The three things a writer would love to see in a review:

  1. Key elements from the plot that don’t give away the niceties of the storyline, but that show an inkling of the complexity of the plot.
  2. What characters struck the reader’s fancy and why: conversely, this could be the opposite—what characters fell flat and why
  3. If the book is a must recommend to others.

I know there are other things, too many to mention in a quick blog post that’s supposed to have a writing exercise in it, but that’s up to you. What do you want to see in a review either as a writer or a reader? List it below and get entered into the new writer Wednesday monthly draw (end of June). I don’t know what the prize is yet as it’s the last Wednesday of the month and I’m only just now deciding to give stuff away.

 So: onto the writing exercise.

Pick a book you’ve read. Write a 200 word review of it using all the elements from above. Now go to Amazon  or BN or Smashwords or Goodreads and enter the review in for the poor writer right there. Anyone who does that and reports back will get entered into a bonus draw. Put in your comment: I went and did it! A review for: title

comment to your heart’s delight and feel free to share.

Happy reading and writing


Thea Atkinson is a writer of character driven fiction.

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Posted in writerwednesday exercises
8 comments on “Writer Wednesday Exercise: 3 things a writer wants to see in a review
  1. I’ve only given a negative online opinion on a book once since I started on the social media. I’m not going to say which book it was because I’m kind of ashamed of myself.

    I didn’t flat out bash it – what frustrated me was that it was all good up to about three quarters of the way through, and then suddenly every character bar one (the main character WASN’T the exception) turned round and started acting completely out of character. It drove me insane, to the point where I had to make myself keep reading the book, purely because I’d spent money I couldn’t afford on it and I was damn well going to finish it!

    My rant didn’t occur in an official review of any kind, it was me spouting off on Twitter but I’m still embarrassed.

    • theaatkinson says:

      I think we’ve all done this, Anne. You’re forgiven, my child. grin.

      thanks for coming over to comment. It’s great to see all the reactions to this thread

  2. “If you seriously feel you need to be negative, at least try and be constructive, and spare a thought for the writer’s feelings.”

    OMG YES! If I read a book I didn’t like, I could never flat out bash it. I have read books I didn’t like and when talking about those books I will make a point to say something nice about how it was still a quite read despite what I didn’t like or the beginning was great but the middle was what got to me.

    When I wrote the review for Thea’s book I wasn’t in writer mode that’s for sure. I was in I really liked reading this book so I’ll do a review for fun. I don’t think I really want to review a book as a writer because when I sit back to read, it’s to get sucked away and forget the world around me, including my writing. Books are my escape (and hopefully someone will feel that way for mine one day too.)

    PS I also didn’t think my review would get this much attention. My stats for that post are off the charts!

    • theaatkinson says:


      I do certainly hope you’re getting tons of hits. I’m doing my best! That’s how happy I was to see a review!

      thanks for visiting and commenting. and do return. I’ve subscribed to your blog to see what you review next!


    • There were some comments about typos in your review and in follow up discussion over at your site, Patricia (great blog by the way!).

      I put the following note of caution there and do the same here for Thea’s readers:

      A small point on Kindle typos.

      Even some big names like Charlaine Harris are getting slammed for typos in their Kindle versions, and I find it hard to believe major publishers are releasing Kindle versions in that state.

      We are aware of instances when our own book has mysteriously acquired errors that we know for sure were not there when uploaded or when quality checked before confirming.

      I’ve seen versions on two different devices side by side and one has errors the other does not…

      We suspect there may be a download gremlin in the Amazon works that just occasionally sends a duff ebook out.

  3. The topicof the reader-review is an interesting one, Thea.

    A review from a fellow writer might be very different from a review by a reader who has never written a word in anger or delight as an author.

    Our reviews range in the extremes. Five stars or one star are our norm on Amazon UK. People either love our book or loathe it. Luckily far more people have loved it.

    But the one stars, while occasionally depressing when it’s clear the reader has totally missed the point, are sometimes just crazy.

    One of our favourites is the reader who gave our book one star because it was so badly written from page one, the characters were stereotypes, the dialogue flat, etc. There were simply no redeemable factors. Not even the price. The money could have been better spent on a bar of chocolate, they said.

    Then they add, “I only read to the end to see how bad it could get.”

    Bless ’em! You have to admire their determination to read a 120,000 word book they hate, from beginning to end, if it’s so very bad. Maybe their Kindle doesn’t have a delete button? 🙂

    Given we’ve sold almost 75,000 and are in the top five on Kindle UK with over 100 4 &5 stars we don’t let those sort of comments worry us too much.

    But if that sort of pointless, destructive negative had been one of our first reviews received it would really have hurt.

    If you seriously feel you need to be negative, at least try and be constructive, and spare a thought for the writer’s feelings.

    • theaatkinson says:

      Yes. all of this, Mark. Even though I diddn’t personally enjoy the Twilight series, I did read them (well, I didn’t finish the last one) and they taught me a lot about writing. So I’d be one of those that dogged my way through something I didn’t enjoy, but for me, it was about researching a genre other than my own. I don’t regret reading them and I’m happy with what I learned.

      • That’s fascinating, Thea. I’ve not read all the series, but I quite liked what I have read, not so much as a reader, but more as a writer.

        You have the right attitude reading other authors for research as well as enjoyment.

        We all love to criticise Dan Brown, JK Rowling, etc for ignoring the How To rule book, but who wouldn’t love their sales figures?

        Ditto Twilight.

        It may not be the finest prose in the world, sure, but Steph knows her target audence and writes for *them*, not to win some elitist lit’ prize. Her sales figures speak for themselves. No-one is forcing teen girls to read her…

        I’ll be blogging on this next month over at MWi and will expand on the theme. Might even use this as the intro for your guest post!

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All Thea's novels are available on Kindle, Nook, Sony, and Kobo

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