Some people when they write utilize an outline, are orderly writing from introduction to conclusion. I suppose I used to be that way a long time ago. I mean a long time ago. That’s how we are taught to write in school. How boring. I wrote a novel back when I was 12 or so. The age, with aging, escapes me. But it was an absolutely fabulous experience because I wrote it with a typewriter. One of the few Christmas gifts I ever got when I was young. We were too poor, often, for gifts. That typewriter meant everything to me. I sat and typed and typed. I think it took me a week or less. It was a silly romance novel for which I also created the art cover. Point was I had no outline. I just wrote. I still do that. Case in point. Hence, I tend to have digression after digression.
While I write a lot, I get mostly paid to talk. Well, in some respects. And now when I give a presentation, I start with the conclusion. We are in the age of ADD, bulleted points, and Instagram. Even when I write letters of recommendation, I start with the conclusion. I figure that the reader just wants to know whether this person is a clown or reliable and smart. Mind you while I start with the conclusion I then go back into meandering storytelling mode. I like to keep people on their toes.
Now where am I going with this? You got me. I kid.
I saw a research synopsis that made me pause and I wanted to share that with you. In this research study, they found that even if possible people didn’t want the power to see the future. Apparently, such a projected power caused anxiety and took away from the enjoyment of suspense. Go figure. Well, not really.
I will note, however, that the proliferation of spoiler websites -those that spoil television shows would seem to indicate that there are some elements of surprise we are willing to forgo. We like to know what will happen to our favorite character- will he die in a red wedding? I love reading the ending of books as I start a new book. I love reading spoilers and trying to figure out what will happen on my favorite -and even my not-so-favorite-shows. So, many of us want to know what will happen to Oliver and Felicity but they may not want to know what is going to happen overall to the wolrd in the future.
I suppose there isn’t much at stake in knowing how a book ends or whether a couple will break up on a show. But there is a lot more at stake if we were to find out how loved ones may die and how may win the presidency.
I love spoilers and I think I can take a dose of real-world future events. Would I try to change things? The question would be can we? By knowing the future do we inevitably change it?