Thursday, March 30, 2017
March Discussion Post: What If The Synopsis Spoils The Book
Don’t worry, I’m purely sharing my thoughts about this topic, but I will not name or reveal any spoilers pertaining to the books that prompted this post.
As I stated above, this has happened to me on multiple occasions. Usually, I don’t immediately take notice of this until I’ve finished the book and started to write my review—then I finally get that “Aha!” moment. While this doesn’t seem like it can be much of a problem, it does have an impact on me. I’ve noticed that this is especially the case when it’s the first book in a series. That first book is often the deciding factor of whether I want or don’t want to continue on to later books in a series. It doesn’t have to be the most literary thing in the sea, as long as I end up enjoying the story for what it is. However, knowing certain things about the plot can have a couple of different effects.
Let me explain. If the synopsis happens to spoil something important, and I either know or am unconsciously expecting it, then when I actually get to that part it might not have the impact that was intended. I find that this is especially the case when that reveal happens pretty late into the story. Simply put, that element of surprise just isn’t there. While this might not ruin a story—especially, if there’s more surprising twists and development left to the plot—it’s still something to think about.
So, what to do about it?
As a reader, it's hard to say, because it would be impossible to avoid synopses entirely. However, I still dislike when this happens, because I always think, “Would this book have had a lasting impression if I hadn’t been expecting a specific thing to haappen [insert spoiler here]? Would I have reacted differently?” Which always leads me to the same conclusion: possibly.
Has this ever happened to you?