April 2nd- Spoilers in reviews: Do you read them, do you include them? How do you describe (or avoid describing) spoilery parts of a book?
I work really hard to avoid spoilers in my reviews, and to be honest that can be very difficult. For me it’s hardest when I love the book. I’m so anxious to share the good stuff and convey my passion for it that I have to be extra careful. I never write a review in one sitting tho. I usually take several days to get it to the point where I’m happy with it. I write…edit…write…edit and preview, preview, preview.
I think one way to avoid spoilers is to take your cue from the book synopsis that the publisher puts out. Sometimes I’ve found that there was something I wasn’t going to include but it’s stated or inferred in the synopsis, so I know it’s ok to include it. I think we run a very fine line between revealing too much or not revealing enough.
I don’t have a formula for how I write a review, so I think mine are fairly varied. I also don’t write what would be termed a traditional review, in that I add in my emotional responses to the book rather than just writing a critical analysis. If anything I would say that tends to make staying spoiler free more difficult. However, I wouldn’t be interested in reviewing any other way and I don’t think that my readers would be either. Something I find interesting is that when I do additional features on a book I sometimes find that to be more challenging in staying spoiler free than the review itself was.
As a reader I don’t like spoilers, and I avoid them whenever possible. Any good reviewer always puts a spoiler warning well in advance so the reader can choose whether or not to continue. I’ve come across a few that haven’t been clearly marked and I gotta tell you that it really pisses me off.
I think there are definite ways to allude to something without giving away too much, and for me that’s how I avoid spoilers. I think one of the hardest times I ever had in doing this was in describing my favorite chapter in Gabriel’s Inferno…Yup…for those that know me…
Shout it out Say it with me…Chapter 15.
OMG! I loved it so much and I wanted to describe the whole thing in a very detailed manor…too detailed…I struggled mightily with trying to convey the brilliance of it while remaining unspoilerish. Dood! That wasn’t easy at all. Looking back at it now I really believe I could have gone farther than I did, but I was really new to reviewing and I didn’t want to mess it up. I think I managed it tho…
So peeps…tell me what YOUR thoughts are on spoilers…