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Title: Getting lost in your points...
Posted: July 05, 2007 (04:18 AM)
In the middle of a review, I'll have a hundred ideas of what I want to write and just as many ways I wish I could relay my thoughts to the reader. Then, somewhere along the lines, I'll get caught up in some small aspect of the game and launch into a sort of long-winded diatribe about how horrible the singular annoying aspect of the game may be. At this point, my concentration breaks and my thoughts just flood through without any kind of filter. I'm just wondering if anyone else has found this to be a problem and what they do when they're review has been derailed by unneeded descriptions. In other words: how can I stay focused and make every word of my review justified by organizing my writing? I hate that I am all over the place, at times and need some ideas on how to stay on track.

At the very least, I'm getting a lot more writing done lately. Within the week, I've written reviews for: Bubbles (Arcade), Metal Slug (Arcade), Dead or Alive 3 (Xbox), and just finished WarioWare: Smooth Moves (Wii) only ten-fifteen minutes ago. It feels good to be in the habit of writing regularly, again.

SuskieUser: Suskie
Posted: July 05, 2007 (07:50 AM)
I run into the same problem all the time, but unfortunately, I really don't have any advice since I haven't found a solution myself. Just remember though, that a review should reflect your honest opinions -- so if you get really worked up over some "small aspect" of the game, it's probably not so small and needs to be addressed. I'm just sayin'.

honestgamerUser: honestgamer
Posted: July 05, 2007 (10:02 AM)
Write what you want to write. Cover the points you want to cover, and don't worry about what's a tangent and what isn't until you've finished your review. Then look at the word count in Microsoft Word or some other text editing program. Make a note of it, then cut at least 10% of the text, maybe 20%. Go back through and find sentences that were worded poorly, with filler words of the sort you learned to use in high school when padding research papers to hit your teacher's minimum word count. Take out things like "in my opinion" and "Of course," unless they are necessary as transitional bits. Read through the paragraphs and ask yourself honestly if the paragraph matters. Once you've cut what you should, go back through and work on your transitions (which is almost always necessary after some prudent trimming). Then go through and read it again and ask yourself how well the piece flows, if you like the organization, if your points are truly supported. Add text back in if you have to and repeat until you have a review you really like. That's what I do these days. It seems to work like a charm.

pupUser: pup
Posted: July 05, 2007 (12:56 PM)
My process:
1. Get out the notebook and jot down about 1-2 pages of points that I really want to bring up, good or bad. I don't worry about clarity or sentence structure here, although sometimes my best lines have come from these off the cuff brainstorms

2. Figure out which points fit together and group them. This way you get a better overall picture and can better see what's important, what can go, and what can be condensed.

3. Now that you have groups of points, write down the order you want to put them in. This will help maintain a consistent flow, instead of the dreaded segmented review.

4. Write it out.

5. Revise, revise, and revise some more. Read it out loud. This will give you the best idea of what works.

6. Print.

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