Reviewing the dining experience isn’t just about breaking down ingredients or listing out menu items or prices; it goes beyond explaining whether service was good or bad—it’s being able to take someone with you through the experience. A well-written review by a non-professional can easily ring truer than that of a professional food critic, and oftentimes, I find them to be more accurate. The endorsement of a food critic may carry more weight—but as a potential diner, a good food review should be equally compelling, if not more. After all, most of us are regular food lovers; not all of us work in the food industry, write about food, and certainly, most of us are not world-renowned chefs!
Just as there’s a checklist when anything is about to take off, be it a plane or an event—there are some basics that need a little attention in a good review. What’s the ambiance like? Knowing this tells me the occasion this restaurant is ideal for as well as the dress code. How is the service? Is it comparable to the world-class service of French Laundry? Or do they treat you like family like an old Italian restaurant in a hidden corner of North Beach? What about parking? How much planning and lead time do I have to include getting to my reservation on time? And where is it? Is it hard to find? Are they open all 7 days and until what time?
Examples of book reviews and review essays can be foundin various historical journals or by consulting the Book Review Digestor Current Book Review Citations.Also, there are numerous websites that are devoted exclusively to theworks of Art Spiegelman and Eli Wiesel. These "sample" reviews andwebsites are to be used only for general guidance; theyare not to be employed as a source for specific ideas to be included in yourreview.
There will be occasions when you are forced to use the specialized vocabulary that people who really like this kind of art are used to using. Reading the CD booklets of jazz albums is sometimes like reading a foreign language if you're not hip. That's to be expected. If it is written well, your reader will go along with you. You can't be expected to review a rock concert with the same language that you'd use to review the performance of a string quartet. The environment and special effects of a rock performance are a big part of your enjoyment of it; on the other hand, you would remark on the environment of a string quartet performance only if it were particularly inappropriate for careful listening. Critics who write about art sometimes have their own vocabulary for doing so, and you need to be at least somewhat familiar with that vocabulary before writing seriously about art.
We consulted professional food writer , author of “” and the managing editor of “” at to get her tips on how you can write a restaurant review like a pro. Check out her advice below, then to try your hand at a Verified Diner Review!
One reason a lot of writers tell me they’ve never tried , the annual November challenge to write 50,000 words in a month is that they can’t fit in long writing sessions; they work and have other commitments, or they don’t have a portable computer and can’t write at home because there are too many distractions.
You work as a teacher, and you’ve got a young children. What advice do you have for parents who want to write regarding time management?
For me, the key part of any writing is this: keep the inner editor & the inner writer separate. Even when you’re drafting new material, draft it cold. While the inner writer drafts, send the editor off for a (mental) drink. While the editor stitches things together and trims them, let the writer go for a (mental) walk. They cannot work in the same (mental) room together.
Journaling is a great way to start your writing day, and . You might want to keep a journal to remind yourself of the good things in your life (). Journaling is a one way to freewrite and start your writer brain, especially if you’re struggling with writers’ block or your well of inspiration is temporarily dry. If you’re in front of a keyboard and screen for much of the day, or working on your WIP on your computer, to work on your story while you write differently.
As a way of prepping for NaNoWriMo, consider starting a NaNo journal. Starting a NaNoWriMo journal now allows you to plan, plot and work on characters and backstory without actually drafting. Consider the NaNoWriMo journal a sandbox for your writerly imagination. A journal can not only be really helpful in terms of concentrating on writing during NaNo November, it can be a great deal of fun.
, used by many writers in the past and increasingly popular today. can be a conventional “dear diary” journal, of the sort kept, or it can be a record of where you are in a writing project, where you need to go, what plot points and character traits you want to remember and emphasize — even your emotional response and impressions about your writing.
I write on my MacBook using , although when I need to loosen up a little I’ll work in Pages (weirdly, it feels like less pressure). I use Word when I have to exchange files with someone; it’s an industry standard, and they’ve made some real improvements lately, but I’m never all that comfortable in it.
As to the plot — more than once I’ve had a small plot point grow and wind itself inextricably into the rest of the story, and that’s what happened here. And I can’t tell you what that plot point is! (I’m not trying to be coy — is a tough book to talk about without spoilers.) But it’s a wonderful experience for me as a writer when that happens. Generally it means the book has taken on a life of its own, and it gets much easier to write after that.
Did you have a playlist for ? (I usually ask writers this question, but you are the first to have already answered the question. I notice that you have on your Website.