How to Be Spoiler-Proof*

Posted on 18/10/2011 by


Was going to write about this stuff in paragraphs but… Can’t words. Head -> floor. So I present to you and episode of This Totally Made Sense at the Time, I Swear. Starring me and Arkem as… well, our regular rather ludicrous selves.

Me: Tell me I don’t want to spoiler myself for the next Vorkosigan book.
Arkem: You probably don’t want to spoiler yourself for the next Vorkosigan book.
Me: Right? So I will… not read the bootleg first chapters. That are probably first drafty anyway. Will. Not.
Arkem: Not at all.
Me: Okay. Good. *Breathes* The tab is still open. It’s… looking at me.
Arkem: Close it. Now. I’d be more tempted by smaller secondary spoilers.
Me: Like what?
Arkem: When is it set? Is there a break between it and the end of Cryoburn?
Me: Well… Things That I Know Without Having Read Anything. Bujold called it ‘Ivan’s Book’. Ivan’s book. Am not reading. Am. Not.
Arkem: Cool!
Me: I know!
Arkem: Don’t read it.
Me: I’m not. I’m not. It’s just… Ivan!
Arkem: You will be unhappy if you do.
Me: Yes. I will. I will… save them for later. For comparison after I’ve read the published version. It will be okay.
Arkem: Write some Ivan fanfic in the mean time
Me: *snort* Yes. Because if I was going to start writing fanfic that’s where I’d begin 😛
Arkem: There are worse places to begin 🙂
Me: Besides, that would be like the reverse of helpful. I always prefer my own versions of stories over other people’s. If I started to write fanfic I’d stop appreciating the writers I love. Think I’ll stick with not. I am perfectly happy with occasionally dabbling my feet in the fanfic pond so I can stare in fascination at the community.
Arkem: You’d be forever wallowing in your superiority
Me: Exactly. Wouldn’t do at all.
Arkem: It’s sad to be better than everyone.
Me: Besides, I was struck by the entirely demented urge to write an AU of my own book the other day. That’s quite enough of thoughts like that. (Although, to be fair, I then realised I was actually already writing that story just with one tiny massively important detail different.)
Arkem: Clearly you need a visit from the canon police.
Me: I know! Oh, I want to spoiler you all over the place. Not doing it. Not. Doing. It. Wow. I am just masses of self-control today. I should go get drunk to celebrate.
Arkem: That sounded very wrong.
Me: 😛 Which part?
Arkem: Spoilering all over the place.
Me: Oh 🙂 Yeah. Actually… no. Yeah. The metaphor I was going with earlier was ‘pouring hot story lava on people’. Which… yeah. Not helping.
Arkem: 🙂
Me: I’m having a… hm. My words choices are… gah.
Arkem: I read your blog and was deeply conflicted about spoilers.
Me: The other day I realised that I was using the same vocabulary for magic and violence and sex in Wizards. So…. yeah. That.
Arkem: More so now that I know that there is hot story lava to be had.
Me: 😛 Yeah, but you don’t really want to be spoilered. You just want to know what I’m talking about. And I want future-you so I can share!
Arkem: So yeah, please don’t threaten to pour your hot story lava on me, I’m not sure if my self control could handle it. I’m not sure if I want my self control to remain spoiler proof. Also I think I need to stop saying hot story lava.
Me: Mmn. Probably for the best. On all counts.
Arkem: Indubitably
Me: Okay. So we will be both be all about the self-control now.
Arkem: Actually this has disturbing parallels with what two main characters are going through in the book I’m currently reading. Magic, sex and violence may all really be the same but spoilering is a different kind of tension all together. Not the same.
Me: Right. Okay. Good note. Stop using dodgy metaphors for spoilers. Check. Will also stop thinking of it as ‘taking someone’s first read virginity’.
Arkem: That’s the wrong direction Kandace. Emphasis on wrong. I’m thinking of some original sin metaphors though.
Me: Oh. So I should go that way?
Arkem: I think it’s still too close. Snakes, apples, temptation and nudity. Not the right direction.
Me: Er. yeah. Temptation. Um. We are not tempted. Nobody tempted here.
Arkem: Of course not, no temptation here, only us beacons of moral fortitude. Be a beacon. *snicker*
Me: Oh dear. My brain needs a leash. I am not even going to tell you what popped into my head in response to that.
Arkem: Really? That totally doesn’t constitute a spoiler. Unless you’re going to write it in Wizards or Path. Which I bet you won’t.
Me: Heh. Path, no. Wizards… has a number of rather dodgy jokes in it already.
Arkem: Excellent! That means you can share your dodginess without guilt!
Me: But… so I have this straight… it’s okay for me to be appalling as long as it’s not a spoiler? Or… oh no — whole branches of lols are now off limits cause I can use them in the book!
Arkem: Often times. You can use them as long as I don’t know that they’ll be used in the book.

[Firefox implodes]

Dramatic spillage of lava out of the lava lake of the Nyiragongo Crater

This is not a representation of Firefox exploding OR of hot story lava. This image in fact has no business being here at all except that it is pretty. Isn't lava pretty? Wouldn't you like to walk in it?

Me: Wow. So apparently Firefox objected so much to the potential spoilers it crashed.
Arkem: You’ve neatly avoided enlightening me. I’m impressed but still curious.
Me: Excellent! Now I just need to maintain that level of interest for the ridiculous amount of time between now and book = published.
Arkem: I’m standing waiting for food and having nothing distracting me from contemplating the dodginess lurking in the depths of your mind.
Me: Oh. Yay?
Arkem: Maybe, I’m still trying not to snicker.
Me: Well that’s… actually, that’s probably a good response. I mean, when you read Wizards I want you to snicker. Snickering is like the best response.
Arkem: Snickering at the conversation is like snickering at your writing.
Me: …in the good way, right?
Arkem: Sure.
Me: Wow, that didn’t sound at all unconvincing.
Arkem: Good!
Me: Aw, the bad snickering! That’s, that’s… okay, not at all new.
Arkem: So Wizards with its bickering and sexy violent magic is still an indeterminate amount of time away right?
Me: Oh totally. There’s about… 15 000 words in order. and maybe 5000 more sort of flailing about. I don’t even really know what the plot is yet. Plus, Wizards is not my priority right now. Which is why it’s going fairly slowly. The focus is book two of Path.
Arkem: I understand
Me: Once that’s squared away, a complete first draft of three. Then Wizards might get top billing for a bit. Depending.
Arkem: I’m happy knowing that Path is progressing
Me: It is. It is. New stuff coming out of nowhere, old stuff being swept and tidied. I hope I’ll have it done by the end of the year.
Arkem: Yay
Me: I mean, I will if I don’t get distracted. but… you know, Wizards… distracting delinquents…
Arkem: It sounds intriguing
Me: Wizards or Two?
Arkem: Wizards.
Me: Cool. I am very fond of it
Arkem: I am already excited by Path 2
Me: Also cool. It’s weird to be writing something where I kind of don’t know what it’s about though. Especially as this has so far been my most linearly created novel I’m really at the beginning going What’s going on? But I’m sure I’ll figure it out. At some point. Eventually.
Arkem: An adventure!
Me: Oh definitely an adventure. Just what kind? And who’s the bad guy? Okay, there doesn’t have to be a bad guy. There could be a… challenging event. A mystery. A… thing… Yeah, I have no idea.
Arkem: 🙂
Me: Even… you remember I was looking for petty villains for the opening? I have one.
Arkem: Yay.
Me: Only turns out he’s not petty. He’s…
Arkem: Less yay?
Me: He’s like the ‘there but for the grace of god’ parallel to my main character. Which is kinda awesome, and let’s me slide in some world building stuff.
Arkem: God’s grace sure is fickle.
Me: But yeah. Suck at creating non-entity bad guys. Oh well. Not that upset about it. But do need to figure out some kind of larger plot that’s not just character. Oh plot, why do you hate me so?
Arkem: I guess so.
Me: (Paul M just finished reading the first Path book and he’s all, “Um… you know nothing happens, right? I mean, it’s fine just…”) head -> wall
Arkem: Hilarious
Me: It’s fine. It is. I write character. That’s what I do. And there’s plot. There is! Just… now it doesn’t really happen till the second book. And erk plot. There should be plot. From the beginning. Also all the characters should be introduced near the beginning of the book and… I should have some idea what I’m doing. Maybe
Arkem: Possibly
Me: *sigh* Okay. Path turned out fine without those things. I do not need to know what I’m doing.
Arkem: It’ll all work out fabulously.
Me: 🙂 Totally. Going to happen.
Arkem: Yep!
Me: I enjoy your confidence.
Arkem: I don’t give it lightly. I just know that you are awesome
Me: 🙂 *does the awesome dance*
Arkem: Your dances are particularly awesome
Me: I think it’s possible they’re better when you can’t see them.
Arkem: Only possibly. I’m pretty sure that your dances are spectacular even when they are visible
Me: Of course they are.

* Although if ‘spoiler-proof’ is like ‘alcohol-proof’ it has an entirely different meaning. This conversation is a 100 percent spoiler proof. It has spoilers all over the place. Wait, that is a lie. There are no spoilers. Well, okay, some. But only tangentially. I am going to stop talking now.