Spoiler alert! It’s an article about spoilers and my stance on them.
Those of you who know me personally or have read certain of my reviews know that I am quite anti-spoiler when it comes to my stories and media. Why am I this way? I’m glad you asked.
A story won’t change based on how much you know about it before experiencing it. However, said experience can be influenced by this. Imagine if someone was telling you a campfire story, but your buddy had already given away the punchline and synopsis hours before. Would the story still have the same impact? Maybe, if the story is good enough, and more importantly, if the storyteller knows what they’re doing. But I think potentially mitigating someone’s chance to have an optimal experience with a story because of spoilers is a shame and a waste. Surprise is one of the tool’s in a storyteller’s arsenal; to take it away is equivalent to robbing a painter of a prized brush or a color they were intending to use for their next piece. To experience a story, a journey, organically, the way you do your own life events, is to me the optimal way to enjoy a tale. It maximizes immersion.
This is why the very website you are on is constructed as it is, that is, it is meant to provide more world-building and background information for those who enjoy my stories and want to get more invested in the universe they are based in, but it is all written in a way to minimize spoilers for any of the novels as much as possible.
Now, there are those of you out in internet land who might recognize someone’s desire to be unspoiled and decide to be a troll and try to spoil it anyway. There is a place in the world for some mischief, balloon popping and even ball-busting now and then, but one sure sign to me of an immature mind is the troll. Some people are so craven for attention and causing a reaction in their environment that they don’t care if they have to ruin someone else’s fun and enjoyment. This is the behavior of a child who still gets a cheap thrill from affecting their environment and testing how they can make adults react to them.
Sometimes I have to go into spoilers on a story to make a point (such as my recent post The Value of the Living), or am upfront in dealing with stories so old that it’s hard to justify spoiler warnings (such as my reviews on classic Star Trek episodes). In other cases I do leave warnings where applicable. It’s fun sometimes to really dissect a piece of work, especially when it sparks some geeking out and general fun discourse about it with others, but I am always conscious of trying not to ruin someone else’s enjoyment in the process.
So, yeah. There you have it. Spoil me not, spoil my readers not. If you don’t like it, the door is over there, and there are darker corners of the web that may welcome you and your ilk. Just remember that those who spoil have a place in the Special Hell right alongside those who talk in the theater.