Thursday, December 4, 2008

the great spoiler caper

Hey! You've watched television before, right? Seen a movie or three? Maybe even skimmed yourself a novella, perchance? Sure you have. Has anyone ever ruined an ending for you or given you the answer to a question you didn't want to know until it was revealed within the confines of the story? Darth Vader is Luke's dad, Bruce Willis is dead, it was all just a dream, the butler did it, what have you. Chances are you've been spoiled for something. Continue Reading...

Like many of you, my gut instinct is to thwack the they who doth did the spoiling over the head and declare "What the heck, person of variable or abstract gender? I wanted to be surprised!" We avoid spoilers to varying degrees. Some don't like seeing previews, some won't want to know a writer or actor involved, and some don't want to know anything down to the smallest detail but one thing holds true: we all like to leave at least something unknown.

Which brings us to what people do when they don't know what is the proverbial what: they speculate. It's probably one of the main reasons internet forums exist. When people aren't busy saying "Character X is sucktastic and totally not as cool as Character Y" they are actively engaging each other in the grand old tradition of "What do you think will happen next?". Sometimes we analyze things to death and sometimes we just have pipedreams but we always have our giant magnifying glasses out playing at our best Agatha Christie.

Things have changed though in recent years. More and more writers are reaching out to their viewership and that invariably involves talking about plot. I've known occasions where a fan will post their speculation and, in response, a writer will tell them if they are right or not. That's brand new territory.

My question is this: what do you make of the ever expanding author/fan dynamic? Do you like when writers confirm or deny fan speculation? Or is it still more fun not to know? If you were in the writer's shoes, what would you do?


Nickstime said...

GooD question, yes...

I think it depends...

Sometimes, knowing what is going to happen makes you want read it soon. Other times it's just annoying knowing things that you suppose to know in its time before but it has good and bad things so if i would have to choose i'd say... knowing things (spoilers)... Maybe because i'm curious or just stupid... xDDD

Who knows?

Sorry my english! I'm from Spain!


P.S: I love the blog's tittle! About x-mas and vampires i mean :)

Tara said...

Oh thanks about the holiday title. That's from the episode "Amends", actually. Buffy bumps into Angel during shopping for gifts. That scene is kind of sad.

Jayunderscorezero said...

On paper I don't mind spoilers. After all, if not knowing the ending were so important, things like The Sixth Sense wouldn't stand up to a second viewing. Even if you know the ending, it's still fascinating watching how they attempt to hide the twist from the audience with ambiguous scenes.

In reality though, it depends upon one's level of attachment to certain things. I still remember being frustrated when someone let slip to me a certain mid-season-four plot twist that I hadn't gotten around to seeing yet.

Michelle said...

Jayunderscorezero makes a good point. We know the ending of Romeo and Juliet from the chorus' dialogue in the Prologue, but it doesn't take away from the play. In a sense, we also know how Buffy ends due to Fray, but it's the journey that's intriguing right now. I don't mind knowing the ending as long as I can be surprised by each plot point along the way.

My biggest problem is when speculation is squashed because of spoilers. It's nice to be able to discuss what we think might happen, even if it's wrong. It's the whole point of sites like this.