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How long is a spoiler a spoiler?

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I was just wondering, how long does a story need to be out before we no longer need to write SPOILER before it?

(Just in case, there are SPOILERS in the questions coming up.)

Do I need to write SPOILER if I talk about Huck and Tom making it out of the cave?
Or if I write that Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit are really stars who sacrificed themselves fighting the Black Thing?
Or that Leslie dies on her way to Terabithia?
Or that Snape is actually good?
How long before anyone writing about Bella and Edward has to warn the others about a plot twist?

Just wondering.

keep writing,
dave r
#1 - August 01, 2008, 02:10 PM
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Leslie drowns!!!!!  Oh Horrors!!!!  Now I'll never be ablt to read that book again without seeing it coming! :mob

At least there's still a chance for Romeo and Juliet...  I know the friar will help them get together in the end! =)

I'd say give it at least 2-3 months, so people on library waiting lists get into the action.

I just tend to avoid ANY threads about a book I plan to read, so as not to have it ruined.

Now....  time to see if Hector manages to save Troy... =) :old
#2 - August 01, 2008, 02:21 PM

Glad you brought this up, dave r.

I'm anticipating a big uproar about the Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyers book, which it seems half the board is determined to read tomorrow.  But if a Blueboarder doesn't want their reading experience spoiled, then it is the BLUEBOARDER's responsibility to NOT click onto and READ the posts, right?

I mean, what do you expect from a post about the book, but for the posters to discuss the details of it?  :eh2

#3 - August 01, 2008, 02:44 PM

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I think it's the reader's responsibility not to click, BUT I think it's the kind thing to do to warn of spoilers.

When one of the HPs came out a few years ago (maybe 5?), we had someone get on and post a bunch of spoilers in topics that weren't HP-related.  That's part of why we make people register (along with the porn spam).
#4 - August 01, 2008, 02:53 PM
VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series (Disney-Hyperion)
GROUNDHUG DAY (Disney-Hyperion, 2017)
among others


OMG, Dave just ruined, like, 5 classics in one post!

In the case of HP, didn't we restrict the talk about that particular book to one thread, marked "SPOILERS!" etc. and people who hadn't read it yet didn't go there?  I mean, come on--we can't very well police all the threads for talk about X book's plot for X number of days.  ("Okay, moderators--until Nov. 1st, it is your job to keep all spoilers from Breaking Dawn off these boards!").  In some cases, we, the mods, may not want the book spoiled ourselves (I know I read the HP thread for someone else when that was going on . . .).  And in other cases, we may not know a spoiler when we see one.  I don't know Bella and Edward from . . . well, all those other characters I don't know.

Like AM says, I'd click at your own risk, and in the meantime let's try nicely to keep the spoiler chat to one discussion thread in book talk, marked "Breaking Dawn *Includes Spoilers*" or some such.

**Edited out the spoiler I put here, just being silly.  Aren't I sweet?**
#5 - August 01, 2008, 03:16 PM
« Last Edit: August 01, 2008, 04:54 PM by Jaina »


I am most definitely one of those people who hates spoilers. I clap my hands over my ears to avoid hearing anything about ANY book (that I haven't read). I even sing "lalalala" for good measure. I change radio stations if they're discussing an episode of a show I haven't seen. I get very angry when people are discussing a movie's ending LOUDLY as they come out of the theater and I'm waiting in line to go in.
 :hairpull You get the idea.

It's not that I think these things shouldn't be discussed. The more book discussions the better. But, I don't care if the book is from 2008 or 1808, it's still polite to put a SPOILER WARNING at the top of a post if one is giving away plot twists or the ending of a book. It doesn't matter HOW LONG the information has been available. It matters that not everyone has had a chance to read the book. It doesn't take much effort, and it could keep a person like me from this fate:
 :hairpull :bwa :banghead :grrr :boxing :! :flamethrower :guns

I like surprises. So sue me.
P.S. I don't get mad at the people who give away endings of books/movies that have been out for quite some time, and I do rush to get the books & see the movies I REALLY care about before anyone gets the chance to spoil the endings for me. I do understand where you're coming from. I'm just offering the flip side of the argument, and saying "thanks for going the extra mile, even if you don't like it."
#6 - August 01, 2008, 03:27 PM
« Last Edit: August 01, 2008, 03:39 PM by JMPrince »

I just need to get one of those anti-spoiler mice.  Whenever I see a thread with SPOILER in the subject line, my mouse is magnetically drawn to click on it.

Now, when someone finds an anti-spoiler mouse, we need to move on next to anti-spoiler books.  Somehow, the last few pages of just about any great read I hold in my hands fly open before I get halfway through.  :bwa

#7 - August 01, 2008, 04:39 PM


I hate having movies I really care about spoiled.  That includes watching the trailer, these days.  AND just loading the DVD, sometimes!  So many DVD menus spoil the movie for those who haven't seen it yet.  ARGH.

So I can totally see where you guys are coming from.  It's been a long time since I've been THAT excited about a book sequel, but I can absolutely relate.
#8 - August 01, 2008, 04:56 PM


I read a Harry Potter 6 spoiler probably 2 years after the book was published, and was so frustrated! I had managed to keep away from spoilers so well when the book first came out, knowing I'd want to read it someday, and didn't expect to have it spoiled so much later.

I was reading a newspaper article about a local restaurant, and the article mentioned that the restaurant was notorious for its sign board outside, where they posted snarky comments for commuters to see. Apparently, the very day HP6 came out, the restaurant posted a spoiler on their outdoor sign, causing hundreds of angry motorists who hadn't read the book yet to protest! And in this newspaper article about the restaurant, they gave the content of the message on the board. Argh! I'm sure they thought it wouldn't bother anyone by then, but I still think they could have just said "a major spoiler" and not said what it was! (And note I'm not saying what it is here, even though I suspect you all know already! And I have read the book now, by the way.)
#9 - August 01, 2008, 05:31 PM

I know some of the current releases have a shelf life for spoilers. Isn't there a time when it's expected that if you are in this business and serious about it, you will have read the book or don't plan to?

Shouldn't people who are serious about writing KNOW what happened to Old Dan and Little Ann? Doesn't everyone know what a tesseract is?
By now, shouldn't you know who the half-blood prince is? And even with the Twilight series-- seriously folks -- by now you should know the secrets Edward and Jacob harbor.

When does it move from being a current event to part of the cultural lexicon? Is Harry there yet? 

keep writing,
dave r
#10 - August 01, 2008, 07:29 PM
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To add on to your questions, Dave, should we know all about every age group, just because X book is so wildly popular?  Does it matter if X book is considered literary or commercial? 

I'm asking because I'm fairly MG all the way, with an interest in PB, but I read very few YA.  And I've really no interest at all in vampire stories.  So should I read the Twilight series because it's soooo terribly popular or because it's incredibly well-written (Is it?  I've no idea, but I had a student tell me it was)?  Or because it's "What's Hot" in the books-for-young-people so, as an author of such books, I "should" know all about it.?

Ditto Harry Potter.  Should I know who the half-blood prince is because it's part of the literacy of my culture--books for young people?  Do I really need to read the books or is it enough for me to look this sort of thing up online?  The content of the books just isn't my thing.  Shall I struggle through it anyhow out of a sense of duty to my . . .  community, culture, career, co-authors?

I'm in agreement with you that there are things we really ought to know as children's authors.  I'm just wondering who is going to make the "required" list.  Will the E.D. Hirsch of children's books please step forward?
#11 - August 01, 2008, 07:47 PM

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Yeah...I accidentally posted a spoiler about HP7 on my blog last the book had been out for over a week, and I stupidly assumed everyone who was going to read it already had.  Oops.  I learned my lesson!!

But I don't generally post a spoiler warning unless it's a recent release.  I too assume that people have read things if they're truly interested -- and it's not that I don't care, it's just that it doesn't even occur to me.  So I probably need to be more spoiler-aware :)

P.S.  You can probably guess that I love spoilers!  I'm the one who always reads the end of the book first -- ALWAYS.  I guess that's why it doesn't occur to me.  Sigh.
#12 - August 01, 2008, 07:58 PM
Unspun: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales:

Just this morning I heard a "spoiler" about Anne of Green Gables!  Because of the 100th anniversary, the books were being discussed on NPR radio and I was just thinking I really ought to read them some time, as I never had when growing up, when the person talking mentioned a character who dies!  I should've stopped listening to the program before it got to that point, I guess, as it has been 100 years... 
#13 - August 02, 2008, 08:30 AM


My sister had that happen when I stupidly said in front of a family friend that I'd loaned her (my sister) Little Women because she'd never read it.  The family friend immediately said "Oh, I love that book.  I just cried so hard when--" 

Well, you know.

My sister didn't even want to read it after that.  But I tried to convince her that the book would be enjoyable and that you don't read a book like Little Women for the shocking twist.  It ain't M. Night Shyamalan.

I'd say the same about Anne, so go ahead and enjoy.

I also feel like--if you mean to read a book, do what you can to just go ahead and read it.  If it's just one of these things that's on a list of "someday, maybe" then--delay at your own risk.  Like recycling and dental care and paying your taxes, reading the good stuff isn't something that should be a "I'm thinkin' about starting . . ."  Don't think--do!  You'll feel better for it.  :)

#14 - August 02, 2008, 09:47 AM

I will read them some time, probably soon, but I know I'll be paying more attention to a certain character than I might have otherwise!
#15 - August 02, 2008, 10:29 AM


Actually, if you're thinking of the character I'm thinking of..... It's not really a SHOCK when the person dies, and you won't have to work to pay attention to the character......

LM's books always struck me as pretty true tp life...  big plot twists follow pretty naturally and are kind of expected, but the little, day to day misadventures are always a shock! =)
#16 - August 02, 2008, 06:39 PM


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