Thursday, March 30, 2017

March Discussion Post: What If The Synopsis Spoils The Book

Spoilers is the topic of my March discussion post. Spoilers, well, it isn’t really a topic that I would normally have a lot to say about. At the end of the day, spoilers are still spoilers no matter which way you put it. My thoughts on this particular subject stemmed from some of the books I’ve recently read. Lately, I’ve gotten a couple of them that have made me think about what happens when and if the synopsis of a book accidentally ruins an integral part of the plot.

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?

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