The topic for this week’s Tuesday Talks is ”Statute of limitations on spoilers? What is and what is not a spoiler?”. Tuesday Talks is a Goodreads group where you get a new topic every Tuesday, discussing the topic on your blog or in your youtube channel or likewise, and post the link in the group and discuss in the posts and in the comments the specific topic for the week.
When I do reviews of books I try not to spoil anything at all. I don’t want to be spoiled. Neither in written reviews nor in video reviews of books (or films or other media as well for that matter).
I even tend to avoid reading the back of books sometimes, and I hate it when they give away too much of the plot on the back, especially if there are things that happens towards the end of the book. Then you’re reading like half of the book thinking ”when will that happen?” and get somewhat disappointed when it happens towards the end or you even get the ending spoiled.
Talking of that, a couple of years ago when Mo Yen won the Nobel Prize in Literature, I watched a tv show in Sweden called Babel, a tv show about books, and there a man recited some of one of Mo Yen’s books. So far so good – but(!) – he read the ending(!) of the book! The actual last two pages of one of Mo Yen’s books! How could he? What was the producer or whoever decided such a idiotic thing thinking about? Talk about disappointing and talk about spoiling things!
The back of the book, or the review if it’s a common one, should make the reader/listener curious about the book/film and make him/her wanting to read/watch it. Nothing more, nothing less. If it’s not a critizising reveiw – then you could tell someone not to watch/read, but still – avoid spoilers!
In circumstances you want to discuss something that include a spoiler – warn the reader/viewer and make him/her easily avoid the spoiler should s/he not want to be spoiled.
And I think this is the case no matter how old a book or how old a film. There are new born people every second – you cannot possible demand that they all know everything about old things, just because you do.
What is a spoiler?
Mayor things happening – things that differ to the plot and change characters (or make them hurt or dead or such).
Things you should have rather not known on beforehand when reading a book or watching a movie.
Talking about movies – I think trailers of today spoil far too much of the plot. It’s just like with the back of books. Sometimes the producer/editor doesn’t know when to stop. It’s better to say too little and make the reader/watcher curious, rather than say too much – you just make the audience disappointed instead.
So, when making a review – think about what you should rather not be spoiled about, and keep in mind that less is more, also in the case of reviews.