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Naught
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:49 am
Posts: 44
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:36 am 
 

Throughout my relatively recent induction into the forums of the Encyclopaedia Metallum, and my longtime browsing of this website's comprehensive database and its varied, dynamic forums, I noticed that there is a quaint attachment to writing, or more specifically, reviewing music. There is a plethora of contributors that correct, compile, and improve the overall efficiency and resourcefulness that this database provides. Yet, there is a select group of those said contributors who pursue the craft of writing, weaving together word after word to construct towering, monolithic sentences and phrases to suit their specific needs. Furthermore, those individuals implement their pursuit of language into the composition of reviews, which analyze, describe, and elaborate upon exactly how a given musician's/band's effort(s) sound. The myriad of reviews that the Encyclopaedia Metallum hosts is immersible, to simply say. Often I will spend a fair amount of time browsing and perusing through the reviews that countless new and lasting contributors submitted onto this website. You can say, perhaps the massive collection of user-submitted reviews that the Encyclopaedia Metallum contains is one of the most popular side-dishes that this palette of delicacies (aside from the database, itself).

Therefore, I recently reached the conclusion to attempt to construct a thread that acts independently from "The Review Feedback Workshop". Instead of providing a foundation where various users may post their reviews (either a finished product, a rough draft, or even a fragment) and receive constructive criticism and feedback on how to specifically improve the user's writing, this thread will focus primarily on providing an outlet where users and fellow writers can discuss, debate, or bring to the forefront the countless styles, techniques, mistakes, habits, etc. that writers often face. I wish to provide a comprehensive thread that offers users a habitat where they can simply contribute to discussions where general writing is concerned. This thread will be a work-in-progress, hence it is anticipated there are might be a few hurdles along the way. Nevertheless, "The Compendium of Composition" will strive to assist and provide for the writers of the Encyclopaedia Metallum, through offering an outlet where those said word-welders can communicate with one another about the enormous amount of techniques, styles, fallacies, etc. that writers often (and continue) to witness.

Hence, before I begin read the already-established and enforced rules and regulations that have been announced by the administrators and moderators of the Encyclopaedia Metallum. Reading those guidelines will allow this thread to progress more efficiently than if only a select few understood the rules and regulations. Now, here are a few thread-specific guidelines that I desire to be implemented and enforced. Please read through these guidelines, as it will potentially allow this thread to blossom into a useful tool that I hope many up-and-coming, as well as experienced writers can implement to discuss, and improve their individual efforts at writing.
  • Acknowledge and obey the established regulations that have been pronounced for the forums of the Encyclopaedia Metallum.
  • Attempt to keep the discussions within this given thread centered on the art of writing. A minor digression will not pose much of a threat, however, do not make an obsessive habit over it.
  • Mature arguments/debates are fine, unless they resort to throwing blatant insults, degrading comments, or phrases that insinuate what is commonly known as "trolling". In fact, hosting worthwhile debates pertaining to writing is desired, as it allows everyone an opportunity to learn more about the craft of words.
  • Do not ask for feedback concerning your own reviews (or segments thereof). There already exists a thread that is dedicated to providing an outlet where you can obtain constructive criticism for your writing. That thread can be visited here.
  • Lastly, maintain a civil and courteous demeanor throughout this thread, while respecting your fellow users and contributors.

Following is a comprehensive list of reliable (i.e. scholarly or renown), online guides that contain invaluable tips, suggestions, and guidelines for one to begin to improve their own style of writing. These guides might also provide an outlet for discussion, if desired.
  • Provided here is an educational website that provides insight into the aspect of word choice, or choosing the correct words for the desired meanings. This guide generally will attempt to assist one in revising their writing for word-level clarity, eliminating wordiness and avoiding clichés, discovering the proper words that best expresses your ideas, and selecting words that suit your desired audience. The handout above is presented with the intent on improving academic essays, however, the suggestions provided can easily be implementing in review-based writing.
  • Here is a website that focuses on the ongoing process of writing, yet again, suited for academic papers. The suggestions contain therein are still useful to optimizing one's writing, however.
  • Now, here is a rather lengthy, yet extremely useful resource for one to develop their writing. This given website, offers an extensive, thorough examination on how one can begin to revise their writing, and ultimately, plant the seeds for compositional evolution. This is perhaps the most helpful website that I have stumbled across today.


Now, those are only but three resources concerning the technique of writing. As I discover more potential resources for the community of the Encyclopaedia Metallum, I will list them within this opening post. Also, if a fellow user knows of any other reliable and worthwhile websites concerning writing, please inform me, so I can aptly submit it into this compendium of a thread.

Now to conclude this introductory post, here is an insightful essay composed by George Orwell, titled "Politics and the English Language" (1946), which might intrigue anyone who possesses a definitive passion for writing.


Last edited by Naught on Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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caspian
Wanderer of the Wastes

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
Posts: 6084
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:42 pm 
 

A bit self important perhaps but not a bad post. I'm not entirely sure what responces you expect to get though- I don't think many of the reviewers here consider themselves "writers", speaking for myself I'm just opinionated and bored from time to time, thus I enjoy smashing out a review here and there. I tried reading most of those links, but I really lack the attention span. I'm no english major, I guess! :lol:

Re: my "composition" I just describe the album the way I would if I was talking to a friend about the record. I find I normally end up with a rough formula though, intro/good stuff/bad stuff/conclusion. 4/5 paragraphs, 500 odd words. It's not brilliant but it works for me.
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Byrgan
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 5:35 pm
Posts: 1333
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:16 am 
 

On one hand, I've gone ahead to improve my writing by reading up on how to potentially do so. It has saved some time and prevented myself from walking into the usual pitfalls. Yet, on the other, I don't want to get to a level of "know how" that will set up possible diagrams, blue prints or rules, because some of those can be hard to break or undo, especially if it pertains or has the potential to impede the juices of your brain from flowing down a certain taboo or blocked direction. And in the worse case scenario, it might lead one to think they've made it or can now settle, or have rights to pride or get cocky. What's been making headway however, is the basics. I read anything I can get my greedy hands on: magazines, articles, newspapers, foreign items, comics, fiction, non-fiction...anything, cook books, instruction manuals, terrorist manifestos, porno letters. Ha, got ya, just kidding on those first 7.

My exact personality or typical speaking voice doesn't always come out in my reviews here (It'd probably be a little more prankster or have more curses and the same words might be shuffled around too frequently). So some vary from different tones and techniques. I'm also using this as a practice ground for my other creative writing. And essentially there's nothing better than being forced to squeeze words together for one specific or laid out thing as a review, and it furthers along your confidence of critiquing or analyzing, even for unrelated things. 'Honey, I just don't see buying those curtains as productive to the assortment of our living room. The color patterns are weak, if it had a voice it isn't commanding, and whoever produced the material should have been shot at the mixing board, I mean textile station.'

Sometimes I find my editing process taking longer than my initial rough draft, just because I want to get the flow or timing down; almost something you can thump your foot to as you read. I also found you have to not be your best friend when editing, in order to be your best friend on the final draft. I mean nothing's sacred if it doesn't go with what's around it, or if I can't make a match. Same goes for repetition, forced flashy words or the most dreadful of them all: selling short your reader's attention by getting that first or last line in there that you know doesn't need to be in there, 'I don't really listen to this genre,' 'this sucks.' I have some other little methods and practice techniques I do or have done, but would like to rather read what other people do as well.

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Naught
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:49 am
Posts: 44
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:50 pm 
 

caspian wrote:
A bit self important perhaps but not a bad post. I'm not entirely sure what responces you expect to get though- I don't think many of the reviewers here consider themselves "writers", speaking for myself I'm just opinionated and bored from time to time, thus I enjoy smashing out a review here and there. I tried reading most of those links, but I really lack the attention span. I'm no english major, I guess!


Thank you for the feedback, caspian. I, too, am uncertain of which type of responses this thread will receive as well. However, later along the road, I plan on adding a bit more information into the opening post, if this thread somehow becomes popular.

Those links for the most part are quite dense I suppose. I am sure that you might unravel a piece of advice within at least one of those links, however.

caspian wrote:
Re: my "composition" I just describe the album the way I would if I was talking to a friend about the record. I find I normally end up with a rough formula though, intro/good stuff/bad stuff/conclusion. 4/5 paragraphs, 500 odd words. It's not brilliant but it works for me.


My writing is far from brilliant either. Managing to keep your writing held within a formula often helps. For myself, I tend to include an introductory paragraph which often evokes an image/scene that corresponds to the music being reviewed. I will also attempt to begin the review off with a quote, containing either lyrics from the release in-review, or a literary excerpt that compliments the mood of the music and writing as a whole.

Byrgan wrote:
On one hand, I've gone ahead to improve my writing by reading up on how to potentially do so. It has saved some time and prevented myself from walking into the usual pitfalls. Yet, on the other, I don't want to get to a level of "know how" that will set up possible diagrams, blue prints or rules, because some of those can be hard to break or undo, especially if it pertains or has the potential to impede the juices of your brain from flowing down a certain taboo or blocked direction. And in the worse case scenario, it might lead one to think they've made it or can now settle, or have rights to pride or get cocky. What's been making headway however, is the basics. I read anything I can get my greedy hands on: magazines, articles, newspapers, foreign items, comics, fiction, non-fiction...anything, cook books, instruction manuals, terrorist manifestos, porno letters. Ha, got ya, just kidding on those first 7.


I am a fairly gullible person, so you had me lured for a tad bit there, Byrgan. Yet, I sort-of agree with your sentiment. I often enjoy reading books, mostly within fiction and the occasional non-fiction piece. Depending what I am reading at the time, a few of the peculiarities of the writer which I am delving into might seep through and into my own style. Earlier this year, while I was reading Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov (1880), my writing included more episodic instances, as well as the occasional musing(s) on life and morality, by which Dostoevsky meandered into within the aforementioned novel. I will also browse online and peruse various writing guides/compilations, to improve my own writing in some degree.

Improving your individual style of writing through the usage of established rules, guidelines, and ideas is beneficial to an extent. However, when those said demands completely devour the voice of your writing, then complications will certainly ensue. Therefore, I try to moderate myself on how much information I decide to incorporate, because those said "rules" are only opinions at the core.

Byrgan wrote:
Sometimes I find my editing process taking longer than my initial rough draft, just because I want to get the flow or timing down; almost something you can thump your foot to as you read. I also found you have to not be your best friend when editing, in order to be your best friend on the final draft. I mean nothing's sacred if it doesn't go with what's around it, or if I can't make a match. Same goes for repetition, forced flashy words or the most dreadful of them all: selling short your reader's attention by getting that first or last line in there that you know doesn't need to be in there, 'I don't really listen to this genre,' 'this sucks.' I have some other little methods and practice techniques I do or have done, but would like to rather read what other people do as well.


Before I even begin composing a music review, I will allow myself an ample amount of time to formulate and envision the review within my thoughts. At this time, I will develop various motifs, themes, images, and ideas which I might incorporate into the review. Furthermore, I will note which writing techniques and styles I wish to embellish my writing with. I might decide on centering the entire review on a metaphorical comparison, or I might simply structure the review similar to how a screen-play is presented. Generally speaking, before I even write a single, sole word I allow myself a set amount of time to prepare my argument(s), idea(s), opinion(s), etc., as well as to consider which method(s) I will present my arguments to the potential reader. This entire process consumes an entire day or two, by the way.

In addition, when I finish any given piece of writing, I will relax and ease my mind away from writing for a day or two. During that time of leisure, I will occupy myself with other activities, so as to successfully be able to view my writing without any bias and/or favorable opinions. Once I return to my recently composed piece, I will then attempt to critique from the eyes of someone other than myself. This technique often illuminates various, and glaring errors that I might have misread throughout the writing process. From past experience, proof-reading after-the-fact will eliminate any nuances that the writing possessed after the initial completion. Once I finish proof-reading, I will read the piece to myself a few times, so as to ensure that the words flow seamlessly together as a cohesive, united whole.

Once the writing is finished and submitted (again, a music review in this case), I will read through its entirety once again, and more often than not, I will stumble upon a few minuscule mistakes, whether they pertain to the syntax, technique usage, organization, etc.. Those given mistakes I will then improve upon in my future endeavors. For the most part, that is exactly how I go about developing a review, or any piece of writing, minus a few minor aspects.


Last edited by Naught on Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RapeTheDead
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:48 pm
Posts: 460
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:21 pm 
 

I can never jump into writing my review right away. I always let it swirl around in my head for a while, almost until I have to review it to get all the opinions and thoughts on the album out on paper. If I try jumping into a review directly after the first listen, even if I've already formulated a solid opinion on the album and have a good idea of what I'm going to say, I always end up drawing a blank. I don't really understand why, perhaps it's just that I know what to write but I don't know exactly how to say it.

When I finally end up writing my reviews, I try not to follow a specific formula but I always inevitably seem to do so. Usually I'll start with an intro paragraph, maybe telling people about my preconceptions of the band, how I heard of them, etc. That will be followed up with 2-3 paragraphs of musical description, finishing up with a conclusion of whether the album is worth your time or not. While I suppose this structure works out well enough, it's kind of tedious to constantly write using this template, and I can't seem to break the habit.

As for the actual content of the review, I try to be as straightforward and direct as possible, because the point of a review is to give people your opinion on the music and to serve as a guide for what they should listen to, not to show how intelligent and verbose you are. As a result, my reviews tend to repeat the same terms quite a bit and are rather plain, but I try to counter that by throwing in a few lame jokes/puns and colorful analogies, which does the trick most of the time.

All in all, I'd say my compositional skills are far from the greatest ever, but then again I just started writing not too long ago and am only recently beginning to get the hang of it.

PS: Naught, you are fast becoming my new forum crush.

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yentass
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 9:28 am
Posts: 897
Location: Israel
PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:21 pm 
 

Slightly off topic - Naught, could you add a side note to the thread's title, something like "Review writing tips", to disclose the thread's purpose and attract the proper audiences? Despite liking the title, I was quite oblivious to it's content until I've checked it, I could have as easily not done so, and its a shame, since the thread could be very useful in my opinion.

As of reviews, my insight on reviewing is similar to caspian's - for the review's body I use a hybrid of analitical ("intro/advantages/disadvantages") and thematical ("intro/lyrics/music/production") approaches. I also have a mandatory "Overall" section, which sums up the whole review in a sentence or two, in case you're not into reading the whole review and only in for a brief synopsis, and also I list the best tracks of the album in the end, had I didn't manage to incorporate this notion in the review itself (as illustrations etc.).

I also use reviewing as a space to improve my English, since I rarely have the platform to do so in my everyday life.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 2:21 pm 
 

I write the reviews I would want to read. I start off with an introduction before kicking into some musical description, telling certain things that are good or bad about the album, or just what it makes me feel like. Sometimes I can't think of an introduction, so I just kind of jump in...either that or I make a really witty or scathing introduction by asking questions and posing metaphors to give a starting portrait of the album in question.

I like to end with a bang, finishing off with the most memorable sentences I can think of to either praise or destroy the album in question. I believe there is an art to doing this - remaining memorable long after the review is done with. I like to sum everything up with a laundry list of what was done well or poorly, and then finish off with some over-exaggerated jokes for a negative review, or a statement of why it is good for a positive review.

Sometimes my reviews are pretty short - usually they are, actually. But I always enjoy digging into a really long review. I like elaborating on things and going over different aspects in detail. I just don't always have the inspiration to do it.
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SharpAndSlender
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:49 am
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Location: Bradenton, Florida
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:50 pm 
 

My reviews typically end up conforming to a 4 or 5 paragraph structure- not really intentionally, it just works out that way. However, I've really distanced myself from the standard introduction/body/outro structure. A lot of my reviews will now jump right in with a particularly striking feature of the album, a weird bit about the band's history, or something else that's a little more interesting thank BLANK IS A BLANK BAND FROM BLANK.
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Naught
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:49 am
Posts: 44
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:34 pm 
 

RapeTheDead wrote:
I can never jump into writing my review right away. I always let it swirl around in my head for a while, almost until I have to review it to get all the opinions and thoughts on the album out on paper. If I try jumping into a review directly after the first listen, even if I've already formulated a solid opinion on the album and have a good idea of what I'm going to say, I always end up drawing a blank. I don't really understand why, perhaps it's just that I know what to write but I don't know exactly how to say it.


Back during a couple of years ago, while my own style of writing was at the sure onset of gradual improvement, I experienced a slightly similar dilemma. In general, I formulated ideas and arguments quite easily, however, I lacked the array of vocabulary and techniques to properly, appropriately appropriate my ideas into phrases and paragraphs. Nevertheless, a remedy that I find feasible considering your situation is to begin reading classic literature if you have not already--yet, if you do spend an ample amount of time reading, then read much more challenging and abstract writing.

Doing so, will stimulate, both, your right and left brain hemispheres, i.e. gradually empowering your creative, artistic and accurate, concrete cerebral realms, respectively. As such, enveloping yourself among a trickling stream of words, phrases, and aphorisms (which numerous authors implemented throughout their writing(s)/musing(s) during the nineteenth-century and before) will (in time) progress your individual writing, hone your reading comprehension, and stimulate your overall brain to function at a much more advanced, accurate, and precise manner. In turn and over time, you will recognize that your compositional skills will have improved--your sentences will vary in depth, detail, length, and impact, your arsenal of techniques will have expanded (perhaps incorporating detailed, metaphorical comparisons, stark or subtle literary allusions, quirky syntactical structures, etc.), and most importantly, your process of thinking/train-of-thought will muse with sophisticated thinking arrangements, advanced vocabulary, and much more.

Simply said, that is generally how I began to improve my writing and overall style of speaking. However, I am far from being able to express myself with a sense of ease, depth, and clarity--which is a task that I am currently undertaking. Yet, keep on pursuing your writing, and in time, your apt to naturally improve.

yentass wrote:
Slightly off topic - Naught, could you add a side note to the thread's title, something like "Review writing tips", to disclose the thread's purpose and attract the proper audiences? Despite liking the title, I was quite oblivious to it's content until I've checked it, I could have as easily not done so, and its a shame, since the thread could be very useful in my opinion.


I agree with your suggestion and as desired, I have included a bit of a brief description within the thread title. Thank you for the keen observation.

Empyreal wrote:
I write the reviews I would want to read. I start off with an introduction before kicking into some musical description, telling certain things that are good or bad about the album, or just what it makes me feel like. Sometimes I can't think of an introduction, so I just kind of jump in...either that or I make a really witty or scathing introduction by asking questions and posing metaphors to give a starting portrait of the album in question.

I like to end with a bang, finishing off with the most memorable sentences I can think of to either praise or destroy the album in question. I believe there is an art to doing this - remaining memorable long after the review is done with. I like to sum everything up with a laundry list of what was done well or poorly, and then finish off with some over-exaggerated jokes for a negative review, or a statement of why it is good for a positive review.

Sometimes my reviews are pretty short - usually they are, actually. But I always enjoy digging into a really long review. I like elaborating on things and going over different aspects in detail. I just don't always have the inspiration to do it.


I tend to enjoy reading through reviews that I would personally desire to read, as you do Empyreal. Unfortunately, since I have a taste for writing that is dense, abstract, or perhaps metaphorical, my own writing follows in-step. I understand that this quirk could potentially detract readers from my writing, however, I am certain that there are those select crowd of readers who would enjoy inhaling attempts at complexity (or complexity, itself) while reading. Notwithstanding, beginning any piece of objective writing with a concrete assertion is always a tactical choice. It enables the reader to acquire a clear, no-strings-attached understanding of what the writer is attempting to convey, rather, than confusing the reader in a muddle of contradictory verbiage.

I tend to view the composing of a review as conducting a symphony. I aim at sullenly luring the reader in, snaring and enthralling him/her in a linguistic trance, while invoking my arguments and opinions all the while. I then, as how the climax of a symphony progresses and erupts (Richard Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries springs to mind), begin to assert my arguments in a clear light through metaphors, alliterations, and the occasional cultural or literary allusion. However, this process is prone to failure if one neglects to pay careful and close observation to the most minuscule of details. Hence is why I try to limit that technique, as of late.

Writing that concludes with a memorable statement (witty, humorous, scathing, etc.) often leaves a favorable taste in my (and I am sure of several others') mouth. If one can constructs memorable phrases and insert them at the proper intervals throughout the writing, then they certainly possess an either unsung or apparent talent with the pen.

Lengthwise, it generally depends on the aim of the writing. Of course, for a graduate-thesis essay, one should write with a sense of clarity, cohesion, and unity, while organizing their arguments with note to detail, elaboration, and accuracy. For reviewing purposes, the length is not as important as it is to professional, scholarly writing, however, it is critical to a fair degree. The review should, at least, be long enough to properly assess the music as a whole, and explaining how the music sounds. If one can complete the mentioned tasks in two paragraphs, then all the better. However for those writers that either cannot or choose not, then the length becomes a lurking mandate that the writer must fulfill. I tend to leave the length of my reviews with, at most, five-to-seven paragraphs as I enjoy elaborating and progressing into the detail(s) of the music. The length depends on the time and effort that the reviewer wishes to spend on composing the given review.

Actually, I was musing over this thought the other day. Which writing techniques do you (from the point-of-view of a reader, mind you) enjoy reading? I tend to relish the moments when a clever wit is immersed throughout the writing. Wit tends to enliven the words that partake within the composition, while leaving a memorable impact on the reader. In addition, I also cherish skillfully-construed strings of alliterations, as it produces a unique, often-charming cadence to the writing as a whole. Again, this grants memorability to the writing as a whole.

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FasterDisaster
OMG WAT DOES THIS CAPS LOCK KEY DO

Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:08 pm
Posts: 6341
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:33 pm 
 

I apologize, but I'm going to tl;dr your opening post, and instead contribute to the discussion of people talking about how they structure their reviews.

I don't have a set rule for how I structure my reviews, but I usually lead off with some opening facts, or interesting tidbits regarding the formation of the album, key players and feed it directly into a sentence or two regarding the album, then I go into the meat of the music and talk about the general sound and influences, interesting dynamics and how the music flows overall. This can generally lead into two paragraphs if necessary. The final paragraph closes up my thoughts and sums up the first two paragraphs. After my review and grade, I offer a "parting shot", where I, in a sentence or two, summarize the main content of my review for those who don't want to read it. It usually relates directly as to why I scored it a certain way (without being overt about it), and then that's pretty much it.
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lord_ghengis
Metal freak

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
Posts: 5371
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:27 pm 
 

I tend to be really formulaic, which really annoys me. I try to not be formulaic at times, but I always fall back into my standard. Most of my stuff is laid out as:

Intro paragraph, usually a sort of conversational piece on some randomly selected element of the band (Location, style, other bands members have been in, something unique about the band, it doesn't really matter)
General summary of music
[The next three can be switched around in order, or ignored/combined with each other depending on importance]
Specific paragraph on guitars
Specific paragraph on rhythm sections (Drums, bass)
Specifc paragraph on vocals
Closing statement paragraph

I can add some colour to the first two and the last paragraphs, but I can't find away of doing my analysis parts with any sort of flair. My attempts at semi-gimmick stuff (Usually for those quality review contests, see my In Battle There is No Law or Saint Vitus reviews for examples) always have a bit of clash, as I'm sort of playful and silly for the summaries, and then really dry and procedural for the real content. I can't really figure out a way of getting around this without resorting to simple cheap metaphor jokes (Such as my Unspoken King review), and even then it only works on negative reviews. I really can't figure out a way around this and it kind of led to me losing interest in writing much a few years ago.
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Naught
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:49 am
Posts: 44
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:22 pm 
 

lord_ghengis wrote:
I can add some colour to the first two and the last paragraphs, but I can't find away of doing my analysis parts with any sort of flair. My attempts at semi-gimmick stuff (Usually for those quality review contests, see my In Battle There is No Law or Saint Vitus reviews for examples) always have a bit of clash, as I'm sort of playful and silly for the summaries, and then really dry and procedural for the real content. I can't really figure out a way of getting around this without resorting to simple cheap metaphor jokes (Such as my Unspoken King review), and even then it only works on negative reviews. I really can't figure out a way around this and it kind of led to me losing interest in writing much a few years ago.


Often that is such the case pertaining to writing a musical analysis of a given piece of music. Analyzing is, in general, a dry and occasionally stale business. Most outsiders whom I have spoken with view analytical writing with the perspective of a pre-pubescent high school lad: holding the staunch opinion that writing is an oppressive, immeasurable chore which will lead to frustration and despair. Now, I doubt that you personally hold a similar conviction lord_ghengis, however, your dilemma might reside within how you approach analytical writing.

Foremost, I read your review of Bolt Thrower's debut, In Battle There Is No Law (1988), and I found your opening paragraph quite consuming.

lord_ghengis' Bolt Thrower - In Battle There Is No Law (1988) review wrote:
Let's face it, Metal and geeks go together like heart attacks and obese people. From the earliest days of metal to the coldest of black metal bands, nerds have helped shape the way our genre is. Whether it’s an unhealthy knowledge of history, or the ability to write pages of Tolkien fan fiction, many of the bands which helped progress the genre have had some kind of geek side to them. In Bolt Thrower, I present you with the Warhammer Nerd, not dissimilar to a Dungeons and Dragons nerd, just with a little less role-playing and little more arts and craft. Warhammer geeks typically involve grown men who play with small plastic toys, mainly because the talent to paint in a detailed and skilful way takes years to develop. While they and D&D nerds have many similarities (living in basements, general lack of tans), there has always been a large difference between them; The Dungeons and Dragons nerd has been fully welcomed into the metal community, where the resilient painters and gluers of this fine genre simply haven't managed to get themselves noticed. Here, on Bolt Thrower's debut, we are shown in full force the folly of our ways.


This introductory paragraph begins with a set theme, concerning role-playing past-times, and the differences between Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) participants and Warhammer enthusiasts and how they relate to the heavy metal genre of music. There is an immense fountain of potential held within this paragraph, which can potentially be included within your musical analysis to gradually optimize your style of writing. Improvement might develop through elaborating more upon any ideas/themes/motifs that you happen to introduce within your opening paragraph. This issue is comparable to writing a standard, five-paragraph essay for a standard, North American, high school English course. Throughout your essay, it is fitting to flaunt your stylistic flair, however, you must stay focused on the task at hand: establishing your thesis statement and supporting your argument(s). The process of writing a music review is more-or-less similar to your case. Instead of encountering difficulties pertaining to being focused on the musical analysis, you are straying away from your individual, creative touch. I suggest in your future writing endeavors, that you try to establish a theme or idea that appropriately compliments the music which you are reviewing, and elaborate more upon that said thesis (e.g. any given theme, motif, idea, image, etc.) all while you construct your arguments and opinions. That suggestion might prove to be viable in your situation, but always strive to formulate your style in an original, unique aura. Often when a writer provides an all-too-common phrase, aphorism, and/or joke within their writing, the whole composition suffers as a result. Rehashing old statements often leaves a residue of one who is starving from a lack of ingenuity and originality; an artistic scarcity if you will. As such, the writing follows a quite similar yet repulsive path, as well.


Last edited by Naught on Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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lord_ghengis
Metal freak

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:12 pm 
 

Thanks for looking into that with such detail, and it appears you share my viewpoint. I took that viewpoint because it was a fairly unique and different idea to the usual "Describe Bolt Thrower as an act of war!" gimmick. I was quite pleased with the way that first paragraph turned out, but for whatever reason (lack of effort, lack of thought) I wasn't able to really keep it up. In fact, the fact I wasn't able to keep flowing on with that theme or idea is the reason why I didn't get it finished in time for the contest, and in it's current form is not what I would deem 'complete'. I snuck in a couple of lines relating to the theme here and there, but by and large I feel disappointed by the whole, and merely submitted it because I'd given up.
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Naught
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:49 am
Posts: 44
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:10 am 
 

lord_ghengis wrote:
Thanks for looking into that with such detail, and it appears you share my viewpoint. I took that viewpoint because it was a fairly unique and different idea to the usual "Describe Bolt Thrower as an act of war!" gimmick. I was quite pleased with the way that first paragraph turned out, but for whatever reason (lack of effort, lack of thought) I wasn't able to really keep it up. In fact, the fact I wasn't able to keep flowing on with that theme or idea is the reason why I didn't get it finished in time for the contest, and in it's current form is not what I would deem 'complete'. I snuck in a couple of lines relating to the theme here and there, but by and large I feel disappointed by the whole, and merely submitted it because I'd given up.


You're welcome. I hope that the suggestions and examples which I mentioned further aid the task of improving your style of writing. Generating and including fresh and unique ideas often invigorates one's writing, while allowing it to stand out on the forefront as an individual entity. In general, I tend to take my time writing a review (however, this habit might change if I decide to participate in any "review-composing challenge"), and usually the end-product is finished quite well, albeit containing a few stylistic mistakes which I notice later on.

When writing, you should abstain from giving up (that same could be said about life, too, but that is meant for another discussion at another outlet), and simply strive to finish your writing as best as you can. I know for a fact, that there are a few unfinished pieces of writing which I have begun, which I happen to loathe for one reason or another. Yet I still attempt to improve and attempt to finish the said pieces. I suppose the task of avoiding relinquishing the task at-hand is a matter of will, time, and/or interest.

Nevertheless, I anticipate your upcoming reviews to naturally improve over time, lord_ghengis.

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orionmetalhead
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:54 am
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:49 pm 
 

I have found that the most necessary tool for writing for me, is the great big old dictionary I have next to me at all times when I am writing, whether it be a review or whatever. Often times, I find myself at a crossroad in my review where I just can not pull the next word from my brain even though I think I know what word I am trying to reel in. I would wager that many have this problem. I find my dictionary is a great help. I commonly just browse through it while listening to music that I plan on reviewing to help seek out words that really seem to fit with my feelings of what I am listening to.

I have tried using dictionary.com, which is useful, but nothing seems to spur my interest like looking through my giant ancient word-tome.

I do find I have a problem with discovering new and interesting ways to describe common issues with much of the music I listen to.
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FasterDisaster
OMG WAT DOES THIS CAPS LOCK KEY DO

Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:08 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:41 pm 
 

You should check out Thesaurus.com. It's good for helping you to find new words to use, or help formulate a sentence around a specific idea that you are trying to convey.
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:34 pm 
 

Byrgan wrote:
On one hand, I've gone ahead to improve my writing by reading up on how to potentially do so. It has saved some time and prevented myself from walking into the usual pitfalls. Yet, on the other, I don't want to get to a level of "know how" that will set up possible diagrams, blue prints or rules, because some of those can be hard to break or undo, especially if it pertains or has the potential to impede the juices of your brain from flowing down a certain taboo or blocked direction.

That's a common myth. Just because you know about "diagrams, blue prints or rules" doesn't mean you're forced to follow them. It would be like saying a painter understanding anatomy and perspective and composition has the potential to impede the juices of his brain. Rather, I would say it's the other way around; there are certainly some genius writers who, by sheer intuition, are able to make the best use of technique. For everyone else, learning about technique can only be a good thing.

Byrgan wrote:
And in the worse case scenario, it might lead one to think they've made it or can now settle, or have rights to pride or get cocky.

This part is a little confusing. You don't want to read too much about writing because it might change your style, yet you're afraid of being too proud and cocky?

I think I have to make a distinction between technique and style here. Technique is the larger strategy you use to arrange your ideas, present the "message" of your review (or novel, or short story, or whatever). Style is the individual word choice, your penchant for alliteration, your habit of using long, complex sentences or short, punchy ones. That's not going to change through learning about technique anymore than your personality does, because that's exactly what style is: your personality.

Now, as for myself, lately I've had less time to review than usual (spending more time writing other stuff). As such I've been trying to figure out how to write good reviews that are short. I'm not sure I've been very successful.
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Naught
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:49 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:38 pm 
 

failsafeman wrote:
I think I have to make a distinction between technique and style here. Technique is the larger strategy you use to arrange your ideas, present the "message" of your review (or novel, or short story, or whatever). Style is the individual word choice, your penchant for alliteration, your habit of using long, complex sentences or short, punchy ones. That's not going to change through learning about technique anymore than your personality does, because that's exactly what style is: your personality.


I agree with this statement for the most part. However, would one's technique also apply to the various techniques for writing, such as similes, alliterations, metaphors, or perhaps even consonance? On the other hand, I understand the generalization which you have presented, as one's writing is, indeed, an example of their personality. Assuming that is the case, it is understandable how authors often hone and improve their craft as they age, as they continue to experience life's wondrous yet hideous scenery. It is often agreed upon that Fyodor Dostoevsky's later novels--Notes from Underground (1864), Crime and Punishment (1866), and The Brothers Karamazov (1880)--are much more fluent, in-depth, and insightful than his earlier, more simple (e.g. novice) pieces: Poor Folk (1846) and The Double (1846). Hence, your definition of technique and style stands correct in the above case.

Otherwise, your concluding statement is certainly true. One's individual, unique style of writing is a reflection of their personality; invoked within writing, that is. A current example is the messages/posts/replies which the users of this forum make. One can often derive bits and pieces of a given user's personality through the style of writing which is interwoven throughout their posts. It is fairly interesting, actually--being able to construe a persona to a given user based upon perusing through their posting catalog.

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Byrgan
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 5:35 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:15 am 
 

failsafeman wrote:
Byrgan wrote:
On one hand, I've gone ahead to improve my writing by reading up on how to potentially do so. It has saved some time and prevented myself from walking into the usual pitfalls. Yet, on the other, I don't want to get to a level of "know how" that will set up possible diagrams, blue prints or rules, because some of those can be hard to break or undo, especially if it pertains or has the potential to impede the juices of your brain from flowing down a certain taboo or blocked direction.

That's a common myth. Just because you know about "diagrams, blue prints or rules" doesn't mean you're forced to follow them. It would be like saying a painter understanding anatomy and perspective and composition has the potential to impede the juices of his brain. Rather, I would say it's the other way around; there are certainly some genius writers who, by sheer intuition, are able to make the best use of technique. For everyone else, learning about technique can only be a good thing.


Oh, that's somethin' you tell all the boys. I'm not going by someone else's words here. Anotherwords, it would be bizarre to state that if I didn't think it applied to myself in one way, shape or form. I'm not saying that I'm "forced," but rather they're "hard to break" or "undo" like the quote said. Now replace your words with mine and maybe you'll see what I meant.

I'll bite, I guess that all depends what your painter wants to paint, does he want to completely break the box and draw abstractions, which aren't solidified in reality, or does he want to go for realism? It's not my example, but I'm using what I've got.

failsafeman wrote:
Byrgan wrote:
And in the worse case scenario, it might lead one to think they've made it or can now settle, or have rights to pride or get cocky.

This part is a little confusing. You don't want to read too much about writing because it might change your style, yet you're afraid of being too proud and cocky?

I think I have to make a distinction between technique and style here. Technique is the larger strategy you use to arrange your ideas, present the "message" of your review (or novel, or short story, or whatever). Style is the individual word choice, your penchant for alliteration, your habit of using long, complex sentences or short, punchy ones. That's not going to change through learning about technique anymore than your personality does, because that's exactly what style is: your personality.

Now, as for myself, lately I've had less time to review than usual (spending more time writing other stuff). As such I've been trying to figure out how to write good reviews that are short. I'm not sure I've been very successful.

I'm speaking generally with that one, trying to be helpful. Why it's most likely confusing is it need not apply to you. That's good actually.

I'm a little thrown off, now. Your distinction, while it may be beneficial information for the informed, I'm just not seeing where I posted the word "style" anywhere. Or that I need another review of how style and technique correlate directed right at me. While we're both on the same map, you're like way over here, friend---------------------------------------------------> Yeah, keep on going, okay, stop.

I guess you'll have to do what you'll have to do with the shorter review foray.

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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:20 am 
 

Byrgan wrote:
Oh, that's somethin' you tell all the boys. I'm not going by someone else's words here. Anotherwords, it would be bizarre to state that if I didn't think it applied to myself in one way, shape or form. I'm not saying that I'm "forced," but rather they're "hard to break" or "undo" like the quote said. Now replace your words with mine and maybe you'll see what I meant.

Just because you learn about some "diagrams, blue prints, or rules" doesn't mean you necessarily have to follow them at all. Do you believe everything you read? People have been writing for a few years now, and there's a good chance that some of them might have come up with a few good ideas about how to write well. It's like you're imagining yourself hunched over a textbook, feverishly scribbling out exercises into a notebook, while a tutor watches over your shoulder and rams a yardstick up your ass every time you deviate in the slightest from the instructions.

Byrgan wrote:
I'll bite, I guess that all depends what your painter wants to paint, does he want to completely break the box and draw abstractions, which aren't solidified in reality, or does he want to go for realism? It's not my example, but I'm using what I've got.

There's a difference between painting disproportionate people because you want to, and painting disproportionate people because you have to. Picasso was perfectly capable of realism, he just chose to paint weird shit most of the time.

Byrgan wrote:
I'm a little thrown off, now. Your distinction, while it may be beneficial information for the informed, I'm just not seeing where I posted the word "style" anywhere. Or that I need another review of how style and technique correlate directed right at me. While we're both on the same map, you're like way over here, friend---------------------------------------------------> Yeah, keep on going, okay, stop.

While I didn't spell out the connection, it's definitely there. You seem to be afraid that learning about technique will lead to your "thinking inside the box" or discourage you from writing things commonly considered "taboo". That isn't the case, because those sorts of choices come from your personality (i.e. style) rather than your technique. Technique is essentially a writer's toolbox; you don't have to use all of the tools, you don't even have to use them in conventional ways, but the larger your selection, the greater the chance you'll have the most suitable one at your disposal.

While we've been talking generalities here, I can give you some more specific examples. Right now I'm reading Thomas Uzzell's Narrative Technique, which so far has been very interesting (can't say how useful it's been at this point, because I haven't finished it or applied anything from it so far). I chose it on the recommendation of A. E. van Vogt, far and away one of the fucking weirdest sci-fi authors out there. He was as much "out of the box" as you could get back then. Apparently learning about technique didn't hinder him from writing taboo stuff in the least.
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WhiteBoyFunk
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:52 pm
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Location: Germany
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:12 am 
 

I quote -

My writing is far from brilliant either. Managing to keep your writing held within a formula often helps. For myself, I tend to include an introductory paragraph which often evokes an image/scene that corresponds to the music being reviewed.

- endquote.

You're not fooling me, kid. I beg you to take it upon yourself and write at your level. I do respect the fact that you've decided to take your writing a step further and attempt to better yourself and your work. That's just kickass.

HOWEVER: do it in steps and don't rush it. Your diction comes across to me as very unnatural and forced. If I knew you better I might accuse you of writing a thesaurus macro you use three times per sentence. All that is unnecessary - a natural, smooth and flowing tone is what you need to develop first. Later on you can focus on improving your vocabulary.

Cheers,
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NecroFile
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:01 am
Posts: 785
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:40 pm 
 

Holy shit, what's wrong with you people? These are fucking free reviews written for a site dedicated to bands that sing about killing babies and worshipping the devil. Everyone, turn off your goddamn computers and go outside.

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droneriot
RETIRED

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:17 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:45 pm 
 

Going outside is for nerds. All that nature and being sociable stuff is like a bad addiction that's keeping you from sitting down at your computer and having a proper life writing about music dedicated to killing babies and worshipping the devil.
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Naught
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:49 am
Posts: 44
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:20 pm 
 

WhiteBoyFunk wrote:
HOWEVER: do it in steps and don't rush it. Your diction comes across to me as very unnatural and forced. If I knew you better I might accuse you of writing a thesaurus macro you use three times per sentence. All that is unnecessary - a natural, smooth and flowing tone is what you need to develop first. Later on you can focus on improving your vocabulary.


That is the approach that I am currently striving after, concerning my style of writing. The flow of any particular piece of writing is crucial to the overall reading and comprehension of the work, and as such, my writing could very well improve in that respect.

NecroFile wrote:
Holy shit, what's wrong with you people? These are fucking free reviews written for a site dedicated to bands that sing about killing babies and worshipping the devil. Everyone, turn off your goddamn computers and go outside.


The forte of this thread is to discuss the approach(es), technique(s), and difficulties which are prevalent throughout the writing process. It just so happens that the underlying topic throughout this thread's discussion(s) is the process (as well as factors inherent to) of composing a music review. If you happen to have any kindle for discussion or debate, I urge you to aptly contribute to the discussion. I would appreciate hearing your opinions on the aforementioned manner.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 18746
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:21 pm 
 

NecroFile wrote:
Holy shit, what's wrong with you people? These are fucking free reviews written for a site dedicated to bands that sing about killing babies and worshipping the devil. Everyone, turn off your goddamn computers and go outside.


What exactly is wrong with talking about writing? It's a skill that will take you far in life and well beyond this site. I think maybe you're the one who needs to turn off your goddamn computer if you're going to blow a gasket over this.
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vincentcarter
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 6:28 pm
Posts: 21
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:57 pm 
 

droneriot wrote:
All that nature and being sociable stuff is like a bad addiction that's keeping you from sitting down at your computer and having a proper life writing about music dedicated to killing babies and worshipping the devil.
Is writing 37 straight words without any punctuation grammatically cool? Oh yeah, in German you'd merge them all into one word to make things even clearer.

But seriously, you could help me out a little bit in "general reviews" thread. I wish I could become a reliable reviewer, just need to know what I'm doing wrong.

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Naught
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:49 am
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:15 pm 
 

vincentcarter wrote:
But seriously, you could help me out a little bit in "general reviews" thread. I wish I could become a reliable reviewer, just need to know what I'm doing wrong.


Before asking anyone for advice within this thread, I recommend presenting one of your reviews which best embodies your given style of writing in this thread. The sole purpose of the mentioned thread is to offer a sanctuary where fellow contributors can critique, evaluate, and potentially improve your writing. Once you receive feedback on your composition(s), I suggest re-reading your reviews (or your attempts thereof), observing the remarks that might be stated about your writing, and then apply the effort to improve your writing in lieu of the said suggestions.

Furthermore, it would be for your benefit if you were to set aside the time to read and analyze the reviews which other users have posted onto the Encyclopaedia Metallum. In particular, this thread compiles a user-submitted list of writers who are well revered and admired with their individual styles of writing. Perusing through that given thread might very well contribute to the gradual improvement of your writing.

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NecroFile
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:01 am
Posts: 785
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:45 am 
 

Naught wrote:
NecroFile wrote:
Holy shit, what's wrong with you people? These are fucking free reviews written for a site dedicated to bands that sing about killing babies and worshipping the devil. Everyone, turn off your goddamn computers and go outside.


The forte of this thread is to discuss the approach(es), technique(s), and difficulties which are prevalent throughout the writing process. It just so happens that the underlying topic throughout this thread's discussion(s) is the process (as well as factors inherent to) of composing a music review. If you happen to have any kindle for discussion or debate, I urge you to aptly contribute to the discussion. I would appreciate hearing your opinions on the aforementioned manner.


Heh, sorry if I sounded overreactional. Rest assured I was more amused than anything. This is a good thread.

I don't pretend to know anything in particular about writing, but here are my feelings about structuring reviews (they're probably more about technique than writing, sorry if that wasn't what you were looking for).

-- It's bad writing to say "in my opinion...", "I believe..." "others might disagree but..." et cetera. We already know it's your opinion.

-- Don't over-explain yourself, or linger on one point for too long. It's irritating to read a review, think "yep, yep, he thinks the album is repetitive" and then the review continues pontificating about the repetition for another three paragraphs. We're not stupid, we're perfectly capable of grasping simple points without taking a three week college course on the subject. Make your reviews fast and lean, jumping from point to point quickly.

-- Balance is key. Don't spend half your review talking about one song, unless that song is special and deserves the extra attention. Don't spend an entire paragraph joking about how the singer mispronounces a word. Nobody gives a crap. Nothing's worse than reading a review that doesn't really review the album at all, just a few parts of it here and there.

-- Having an idiosyncratic and unique writing style is cool, but only so long as it doesn't get in the way of the review. Obviously you're there to review an album, not to create a wacky/cool/mysterious online persona for yourself. Don't adopt a heavy-handed tone of "I AM THE MIGHTY WISE REVIEWER. COME SIT AT MY KNEE, CHILDREN, SO THAT YOU MIGHT LEARN." The best reviews are written in a conversational style, like one friend talking to another.

-- I'm going to catch some heat for saying this, but the English language only exists so that we can communicate. If you think you articulate yourself better by breaking one of its rules (like splitting an infinitive, or starting a sentence with "and"), go ahead!

-- Generally the length of a review should be dictated by its content. A review of a three minute black metal demo will always be shorter than a review of a multi-CD progressive metal co. Don't write with word goals in mind. Let the length of the review reveal itself naturally while you're writing.

-- Be real in your writing. Don't try to sound like UltraBoris, believe me, it's VERY obvious. Write in your natural style.

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RapeTheDead
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:48 pm
Posts: 460
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:44 pm 
 

NecroFile wrote:
-- Balance is key. Don't spend half your review talking about one song, unless that song is special and deserves the extra attention. Don't spend an entire paragraph joking about how the singer mispronounces a word. Nobody gives a crap. Nothing's worse than reading a review that doesn't really review the album at all, just a few parts of it here and there.


To me, when this is done right (e.g. you dwell on one insignificant point for a while but you manage to be funny and entertaining throughout) it can actually make a good review even better. Obviously you still have to talk about other aspects of the music in order for the review to have any merit, but those kind of things can make for a really good read if utilized properly.

Also, even though I'm replying a little late, I'd like to thank Naught for giving me the advice he did concerning my earlier post in this thread. Now I have an excuse to read more! (as if I really needed one)

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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
Posts: 9550
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:54 pm 
 

NecroFile wrote:
-- I'm going to catch some heat for saying this, but the English language only exists so that we can communicate. If you think you articulate yourself better by breaking one of its rules (like splitting an infinitive, or starting a sentence with "and"), go ahead!

Those aren't even real rules, though. Nothing necessarily wrong with splitting infinitives or starting sentences with "and". I wouldn't say that you absolutely have to follow every grammatical rule 100%, but I would say that I think there are very few instances in which following the rules wouldn't convey your point just as well if not better than breaking them. Spelling and grammar aren't some kind of oppressive fascist regime here, people.
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