- Posted by Johanna on February 24, 2010 at 7:50 am
- Category: LinkBlogging
“If a review contains more than one paragraph of plot synopsis, then the reviewer is most likely trying to pad the word count because he/she doesn’t have much to say about anything else.”
— Jim Emerson, in a piece about Shutter Island spoilers.
I try to keep plot/premise description to one sentence, myself, although that’s per story — so an anthology will have several, and a manga with distinct story chapters will as well.
Sometimes you do want to discuss the ending, but that should be a separate, clearly labeled piece from a review, I think. Emerson goes on to say that you can write about such things in a way that those who know the secret can get the point without ruining the experience for those who haven’t read/seen it yet. I agree, although it takes some skill and practice.
But remember the secret: if you’re reading a review that sounds like a book report — “and then this happened” — the reviewer needs to be challenged to engage the material in more depth, or they should have passed it by for something else they did have something to say about.