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Giving it Away: Spoilers as Both Noun & Accusation
(Why Book Reviews Matter & How to Write a Proper One)
Ironically, in response to one review on this essay, i feel I must point out that this is a FREE essay, not a novel; it does not pretend to elucidate completely the subject at hand; it’s about 10 pages on the topic. I am too busy writing full-length novels to give it more time than that & yes, I do advertise my other work in the back of it. Please realize this was a quick share of some information I thought important, & that’s ALL. That’s why I’m GIVING IT AWAY.
Good authors spend a lot of energy and time on constructing a plot and providing surprises to keep the reader engaged and entertained– when you come along and tell those twists and turns and outcomes, you have just spoiled it for anyone else–which is why it’s called a SPOILER. This is one time when you should be vague.
One thing that makes that challenge more formidable is the free-for-all that is the book review. It’s unfortunate that so many book reviewers don’t seem to understand what a review’s purpose is. In simplistic terms, a book review is meant to inform a potential reader of the merits (and sometimes, demerits) of a book, so that they can make an informed decision about whether or not to read it. A review is NOT a soapbox, a torture-chamber, nor an opportunity to elevate yourself above someone who does something you have never done yourself. Also, if you are not reading in a genre you like to begin with, you have no business doing a review.
Thus, when you are writing a review, dear reader, don’t give away plot twists, surprises, nor the ending of a book. Have you ever seen a movie trailer or the blurb on the back of the DVD for a movie? Did you notice that they entice you, but don’t tell you what happens? Think of it like that. It’s a teaser, not an unveiling.