In a recent survey, 45 percent of respondents said that before watching a movie, television show, or sporting event, they specifically look for details related to the ending of that program.
These are people who actively seek spoilers.
The reasons vary. Of the adults who admit to seeking out spoilers:
- 27 percent said knowing helps them decide if they want to watch something
- 21 percent said the knowledge of how it ends relaxes them
- 21 percent admitted to liking knowing more than other people with whom they watch
- 18 percent said they enjoy the look on people’s faces when at key moments
This is insanity. People want to know the ending of a movie or a sporting event prior to watching it?
Isn’t suspense and surprise kind of the point? Or at least one of the points?
Even humor relies upon surprise. Know the joke and it’s no longer a joke.
As an author, I am appalled by this survey. Every one of my novels ends with some kind of surprise, and on a handful of occasions, the ending of my novels even surprised me.
I try like hell to build suspense for the reader. I spend enormous amounts of time trying to ensure that the ending of every book is that brilliant combination of both surprising and inevitable.
Now I find out that nearly half of my readers might want to know the ending before reading?
I’ve decided to treat this survey the same way I wish I could treat the Trump presidency:
Pretend it never happened.
I know that in the case of Trump, that is not possible. Probably not even advisable.
But in the case of this survey, I’ll assume that the folks conducting the survey somehow find a group of respondents who spent too much time living beneath power lines or crazy cat people who became infected with that toxoplasmosis parasite from the poop of their cats.
It can’t be true. Right?