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State of the Blog: Moving Forward and In Need of Help

Posted by travizzt on April 6, 2010

I think I may be in need of some advice on a few things. Care to help me out?

Hey everyone!

This may not be as coherent as I would like but, whatever.

I’ve had this site for close to six months, and I think it’s time for a change. Oh, don’t worry… I’m still going to do my text reviews of books, that’s staying, of course. By a change I mean a few things and I would like some input on these changes.

The first thing is the title of my review site/ blog. “Travizzt’s Reviews” is just boring sounding. I still like it, but I may change it to something… else. The problem is I don’t know what to change it to. I’m taking some ideas! So if you have any original or unique titles, I’d love to hear them! Of course, I won’t take them from you, but if I get in the mindset, I may just come up with a good one.

The second thing is my reviews. I love writing these reviews. It’s nice to share my opinion with the masses. The problem is I seemed to have hit a wall. For the past few reviews, I’ve noticed that I’ve been repeating the same things and ideas over and over. It’s growing stale to me. It’s easy to praise or tear a book apart, but for those mediocre and average books… It’s hard to pick out the negatives and positives. I really started to notice this while reading When Night Falls by Parker DeWolf. It’s just so average that I had to scrape up something from almost nothing. Even now, in my read through of Dreaming Again edited by Jack Dann, I’m finding it hard to pin point these things. I can do it, it just is getting harder and repetitive to do so. I’m not going to stop anytime soon (I still have a lot of books to read and review on deck), I just am thinking I need to try something new.

And that’s where the third thing comes in. This is one of the reasons why I’m posting this… I’m thinking of doing a video review at least twice a month (or once every other week) on the best book I’ve read in those two weeks or the worst book I’ve read. The problem is, I have no idea how to do this. It could just be a straight up vlog, but that would get old (I would think). Then at the pace I’m going lately (about a book a week), it wouldn’t be all that great. Now, I could do a book every three days (I was able to do that early on), but the reviewing process is what’s taking a while. Then it would be either a negative rant session or a praise session, which could get old fast. I’ve had other ideas, but they aways seem to be too big or too generic. I’m definitely in need of some help!

Finally, the last thing I’ve been thinking about and in need of an opinion is I want to try to do a “Let’s Play”. For those of you who do not know what a “Let’s Play” is, it’s when I would play through a video game given you my commentary during my play through. It’s not a tips or tricks guide, or a walkthrough… It’s just a play through. I’ve been watching a lot of those lately, and have been getting interesting in trying it out. So with this… two questions arise: What game? And how do I do it?
– The game I have an idea of what I want to try. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3, Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn, Baldur’s Gate 2: Throne of Bhaal, Icewind Dale, or Icewind Dale 2. That’s want I would want to try out at some point. But I’m open for ideas (as long as it’s reasonable). So if you would like to see any of those games, or any other games played, comment and let me know!
– The other question is I have no idea how to do this. I have heard of FRAPS.. but I know nothing about this. And I need some tips on how to do this. It’s worth a try.

Okay, so that’s what been on my mind for the past few weeks. To go over everything one more time:
1) Should I change the site name from “Travizzt’s Reviews” to something else? And what should it be called?
2) The book reviews, I feel, are getting repetitive… Yet I’m still going to do them. Any helpful ideas would be welcome!
3) Thinking about doing a bi-weekly vlog-type show that showcases the best or worst books I’ve read in those weeks, how does that sound? Or would that get old? I would like to hear any other video type review ideas!
4) Let’s Play idea. What should be the Let’s Play game and how to you capture the footage?

Comments and questions are welcome and needed! I want to make this site a little better and more fun. So please, comment.


– Travizzt

3 Responses to “State of the Blog: Moving Forward and In Need of Help”

  1. Doing book reviews is going to be a lot easier if you have a background in literature. I don’t know how old you are or what your educational background is, but personally, I’m about to get an MFA and I’m a published author working with Pulitzer nominees and other authors at VCFA, where I’m required to write professional-level lectures on the craft of fiction. I don’t mean any of this to sound super-impressive, but there is a certain amount you need to learn about the craft and how to read critically (not interpretively) and that there is more than just deciding what is “positive” and “negative” (because those are based completely on opinion, especially if it concerns specific narrative events, i.e. stuff that happens in the story).
    That said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what you’re doing now, especially if you’re enjoying it. However, if you would really like to spice things up and do real commentary on the writing craft of the books you read, I can recommend some excellent resources: I strongly suggest Doug Glover’s essay, “Short Story Structure: Notes and an Exercise,” as well as Julie Marden’s lecture on Chekhov. Domenic Stansberry’s “Dialogue in Fiction” is also a nice one, as well as Crystal Mandler’s “Establishing Novel Unity,” which would be nice if you’re reviewing novels.
    You can also check out a professional literary blog I’m part of, “Numero Cinq,” where Glover, myself and others contribute articles. It’s packed with resources as well:

    Just my two cents.

    • travizzt said

      Hum, interesting. Yeah, I don’t have a background in literature and most of what I review is just broad generalizations that I make. Then the negatives and positives I list are just my opinion, but are no way set in stone.
      I don’t want to delve to deep into the mechanics of the story, most readers wouldn’t even notice them. Basically, I’m looking at it from an everyday Joe perspective and what I notice is what I would think that other readers would notice. Granted, yes I do want to be more critical on the mechanics, and I may just check out those books you listed… Maybe then I can comment on exactly why I dislike such and such or adore this and that.
      And it doesn’t help that the past three or four books I’ve read have just been about average reads. And with average reads it’s hard to really pinpoint any criticisms I have along with any praise I can give. But when I get a book I can gush over, it’s simple. The same goes with books I loathe. It’s just those dang mediocre and average books that give me a problem! But like I said, I do enjoy doing it and will continue… I just think I’m in need of a break or a great book to read (which may be my next foray). And I definitely will be checking out those resources sometime, probably after I finish with the current anthology I’m on…

      Thanks for the input! I really do appreciate it!

  2. […] I’m still looking for other ideas and suggestions that I mentioned in the previous post “Moving Forwards and In Need of Help”. So that’s all for […]

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