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I've been creative writing all my life, though with various haitus(es) along the way. IFrom 2010 I started this blog and enjoyed sharing writing and other information with everyone. illness and bereavement supplied the more recent hiatus.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Suckie Spoilers

I just read a brilliant article 'Everyone Wants to be a Critic' by Joanne Harris
in Writing Magazine
about those who write book reviews about novels they've read and that tragically some of them add spoilers. I have seen this myself online, too.

While some plot breakdown is useful, it seems that being told the key elements of a story, by others who did not spend long hours crafting that novel, seems absolutely appalling. 

By revealing the crucial plot twists, these reviewers spoil the experience for others who have yet to read it. It also spoils it for the author who has carefully crafted their words so that these elements of their plot are eagerly anticipated and enjoyed by their readers.

It is certainly much easier to destroy someone else's work than it is to produce something of one's own that is worthwhile. It's a case of remembering to the share the love a little more,
I guess.

I will leave you with this youtube clip of a different kind of spoiler.
It resulted in
Wanderlei De Lima losing his chance at a Gold medal in the Athens 2004 Olympic Marathon, because of a spoiler.
Imagine all those hours of training and hard work, shattered forever...

So what do you think of spoilers?

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  1. What happened to that poor marathoner is deplorable. I can't believe they didn't have security nearby.

    As for book spoilers: It doesn't bother me in the least. I often read a few pages of the ending before I buy a book anyway. It's not the ending that makes a good story for me, it's the journey--how the characters persevered.

  2. Hi Maria. Ah but it's not just the ending they reveal but all the little twists and turns within.

  3. The marathon 'spoiler' should be made to run the marathon until he absolutely finished it. Grrr.

    Book spoilers? In some books, I cannot take the pressure, so to speak. Movies are the same. That is when I am reminded "this is only a story/movie".

  4. Thank goodness it looked like some of the people helped stop that marathon 'spoiler'.

    When it comes to me writing reviews, I try to keep things vague and as unspoiler-ish as I can (and hopefully make it sound intriguing). Not sure how well I'm doing.
    No one can spoil a book for me though, I tend to read scenes part way in when I've just started, including the end.

  5. Oh yes! I saw this on the Olympic's Most Amazing Moments over at BBC3 and they interviewed the crazy fella in green and boy he was totally short of a few brain cells....

    But despite this crazy person - De Lima carried on and won bronze - a total mark of a true athlete!

    Now I'm racking my brain trying to think if I've ever read a review with spoilers but usually the reviewer does (or should!!) say something like "spoiler alert" or some kind of warning like that!

    I am liking the book reviews feature of the Metro newspaper of all things, btw!

    Take care

  6. No doubt we'll be seeing some heartbreak as well as some inspirational moments in the London Olympics, only a week away.

    Spoilers in book reviews don't worry me as I know as a book reviewer how hard it is to review and not give away a little too much. Sometimes you end up saying too little. Difficult.

  7. I really admire any writer who can do a good plot twist. I don't have that art down myself yet.

  8. I don't mind spoilers unless it's something I really want to be kept secret, but these days, I find myself caring more for how it gets there, rather than having the surprise ruined. :)

  9. I don't like spoilers - if the reviewer feels it's important to mention plot points or the ending then they should at least warn people they're going to do so first.

    Revealing all the plot twists and turns seems very wrong - that's a condensed book not a review!

  10. I agree with the commentator of the video--atrocious.

    If someone writes "spoiler alert" in their review I'll skip over it. I want to be surprised when I read. I don't like it when those alerts aren't there. I believe it's unfair to both the writer who took care in constructing plots twists and the reader who looks forward to them.

  11. I'm careful to leave spoilers out of my reviews. I don't want to ruin it for anyone else. Most of the time, I don't mind spoilers. It never affects my own experience, because if I want to read something, I will read it no matter what I've heard.

  12. I've never liked spoilers. I never read a review with a spoiler alert.

  13. Spoilers are terrible. They really do ruin the experience.

  14. I hate finding out critical plot elements ahead of time, unless it might be a book I'm just not getting into, need to return to the library, and want to skip ahead to see if it ends how I predicted. I don't even like to read the last page or line of a book till the very end, and cover it up and move the cover down slowly so the last line is saved for the end.

    A number of the book reviews at my old Angelfire site contained significant plot elements and were more like summaries than reviews. I put an asterisk by the titles on my master page of reviews, to denote reviews containing potential spoilers. I was trying to make it so that people who hadn't read those books yet would know not to click on those links.

  15. Sounds like most of us don't enjoy spoilers. I don't read the end of a novel unless it is pretty dire and I've tried and failed to get into it. Even then I often don't.
    Often people don't write spoiler alert on their reviews and I've read it before I've realised!
    I agree with Denise it can be hard to review without describing what is happening, but it seems that giving away all the plot twists is not acceptable.

  16. I don't like spoilers, it takes the enjoyment out of the reading for me, if all the twists and turns are revealed.

    As for the poor runner. One word. SHOCKING!


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