Monday, March 24, 2014

Spoilers - Love them or hate them

All readers have a different stance on spoilers. For some it is annoying and pesky while for some it is essential.
Usually I’ve seen two types of people when it comes to spoilers.
  1. Spoiler Avoider – Someone, who wants to enjoy the story in the entirety of the narrative as the author intends. It’s especially true for readers who enjoy thrillers, crime, adventure and more recently with the influx of angst-y romance, we see a number of ‘twists' and back stories which suck the whole fun out of the experience. The Avoiders usually are passionate fans of books and really enjoy the ‘WTF’ moment in a plot.
  2. Spoiler Seekers- There type of readers tend to look for spoilers before reading or whilst reading. It may be brought upon by intense anxiety as to what happens in the end and the temptation to simply give in and flip the pages to read the epilogue. Others, like me, simply like the predictability of a plot. No surprises or sudden twists to turn your guts.

Now, you’d be wondering why I’m telling you something you already know. Well, I used to belong to the second category. I called myself a spoiler whore. I’d seek out spoilers before I’d even started the book.  I believe that this was brought on by the limited amount of time I had for reading, so before I started a book, I wanted to make sure, I won’t encounter anything I won’t like, that may compel me halt my reading and waste the few hours I had put in before.

However, over the years, this habit of mine has drastically changed. Since I have more time to read, I started to fully immerse myself in what the author wanted me to experience.  The inconvenience of not being able to turn to the last page quickly on a Kindle may also have contributed to this habit but I digress. I loved picking up new authors and a variety of genres not knowing what to expect and coming out of the experience with fulfilment and sometimes scared.

So, recently I came across a Chinese novel which was being translated by a fan on the internet. (Can I add, we must have more C-novels translated to English? They are amazing) It was big project and after reading a few chapters I was hooked. The writing (even if it was translated) was understated and subtle but strong nevertheless. The characters were so layer and intriguing that I was absolutely fascinated.  The novel, in essence, is a fantasy romance, with the world setting based on Chinese mythology, It was already agreed by everyone on the site, that those who have already completed in book should refrain from giving out spoilers.  Henceforth, the fun stared. I really enjoyed how every few days, after an agonising wait, a new chapter would be translated and I’d be scrambling to read it. 

Then the discussion would start as to what happened in the above chapters.  It was a story of a girl who had three guys around her whom she could possibly chose for herself. I don’t make it sound very appealing from my description but believe me, the plot, story, narrative and the characters are top notch.

So a few months in, someone decides to drop a few innocent lines and then the myriad of spoilers began. Before the author of the blog could do anything, it was too late. I was spoiled and angry. I was very angry.

It all started from one small slightly spoilery comment and then everybody started. Without any consideration for other readers, they pounced upon the chance to discuss the ending to lengths.

I was livid. Partly because now I knew the guy I loved had a tragic ending, the discussions, the ideas and the comments were things of the past. I felt betrayed and angry at them as I felt robbed of the experience I was promised.

I wanted my character to win the girl’s heart. I wanted him to get her against all odds that were stacked against him. He was a convoluted and layered character which was a delight to read and rarely seen in the traditional reading materials I come across.

Now, that I know the ending, I have no interest in the book or the story. Yes, I know, I should enjoy the process of my heart being broken, but I feel betrayed by the people, whom I considered part of a respected community. I have been bitch slapped into reality to face the fact that it’s something is too good to be true, it usually is.

I would probably continue reading the translations but at this moment in time, I have no interest. This incident happened last week but I’m still reeling from the events and in no shape to do a read-along.
So please show respect and consideration for other readers. Tag your reviews or comments with spoiler tags and give the reader a choice , to choose to read spoilers or not.

What do YOU think of spoilers? Are you a spoiler avoider or a seeker? Do you have a story to tell? Please share.


Addicted2Heroines on March 24, 2014 at 10:56 PM said...

I used to love reading spoilers but now I avoid them. I was really unhappy when Shadow Kiss was spoiled for me. I would much rather be surprised =)

decembi c on March 30, 2014 at 1:43 PM said...

Hello! Visited your blog when you left a comment saying you are a blogger too. Wow, your blog looks amazing. Shall read the other entries when I have more time! I have not read english books in a while haha. I'm so sorry to hear about the spoiler experience again, will try my best to have spoiler tags on my blog but sometimes I just forget!

Escapism Fanatic on March 30, 2014 at 11:21 PM said...

I'm pleased I'm not the only one.
Cat @ I was still a spoiler whore when I read read Shadow Kiss, which was fine by me, Not so anymore.

Decembi @ Thanks for visiting my blog. I didn't realise, the incident left such an impact on me. I HAD to vent somewhere, right? There is only so much you as an author of a blog can control. It's just the blasé attitude of other people that annoys me.

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