Readers & authors…let’s talk spoilers

Spoiler, n. information about the plot of a motion picture or TV program [or novel] that can spoil the viewer’ sense of surprise or suspense.

Reader/veteran reviewer Meredith Gurr had asked in a Facebook group if mentioning a story contained a “twist” in reviews would lead readers to anticipate/look for the twist and would spoil the story. So, she inspired this post, but I’d like to discuss spoilers in general.

First, a caveat: In a romance, it’s no surprise that the hero and heroine end up together at the conclusion. There has to be a Happily Ever After or a Happy For Now. That’s the pretty much the definition of a romance. So revealing the hero/heroine got their HEA is not considered a spoiler.

What is a spoiler is revealing what brought the H/h back together so they could have their HEA. Or who the villain turned out to be,  or what the the deep, dark secret was that the author withheld until the end.

I try to write my stories with little surprises throughout (in addition to the surprise ending). I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the little surprises being revealed in reviews.

But lately, I’ve been seeing more BIG spoilers, i.e. readers actually giving away the ending. That happened recently with Krinar’s Desire, my latest release. A reviewer recounted the entire plot.

Maybe people love a book so much–and the ending is the best part–that they want to share it. However, revealing what happens ruins the story for other readers. This is like telling someone the ending of the movie before they see it. You can say you loved the end, you hated it, it surprised you, it made you laugh or cry, but please don’t say what actually happened!

How do you feel about spoilers? Does it ruin a story for you if you read a review that tells the ending?

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Speaking of spoilers…

I’m in a quandary about how much to say in the blurb of Hunted by the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-if Romance 6). This is Carter Aymes’ story, to be released Jan. 2018. I’ve created a very special heroine for Carter. One of the mysteries at the start is who she is. Her identity is not revealed for several chapters and was initially intended to be a surprise. Carter doesn’t find out until several chapters after the reader does. So…do I mention who she is in the blurb with the idea that readers will find it really interesting and want to know more about her? Or…do I withhold that info and let readers discover it when they read the book?

Initially, I was going to omit her identity from the blurb, but then I realized as soon as the book is published and reviews start to appear, the secret will be out anyway. I’m 100 percent certain reviewers will say who she is.

What do you think?


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2 Responses to Readers & authors…let’s talk spoilers

  1. Jodie says:

    I believe what you stated about a series is correct. If you purchase the next book in a series you are already invested in the world as well as the authors style and predisposed to like it. Also reviews are only helpful to new readers of a series or those on the fence of liking it. There’s no reason to read them if your already going to buy the book. I think that as a respect to the author you still leave a review or star rating for others to find the author you appreciate but most of your fans wont read them after the first book in the series. It would totally be doable for a suprise character and inspire more hype for the release. Lets be honest everyone knows if you reveal spoilers without spoiler alert your in trouble lol. But not everyone is as good at synopsis as the author so im sure some things will be revealed but i doubt it would do much harm that late in the series where the people who want to read will auto buy not look to reviews.

  2. Cara Bristol says:

    That’s a good point. I think you’re right that series’ fans probably don’t read the reviews.

    If previous reviewers have already written a synopsis, I think later reviewers can skip that part, and focus on what they liked or disliked about the story.

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