The wrapper of Dove's Promises individually wrapped dark chocolate pieces feature random little sayings inside of them. At some point, I will devote an entry to the worst of these. Because wow. But last night I ran into one that really touched a nerve, so that one comes first:
"Read the last page first."
I grew up reading a lot - mostly sci-fi and fantasy, plus some occasional horror. I spent lots of the summer on a blanket under a tree with books. This contributed a whole lot to the illustrative direction of my earlier art, as well as becoming a storyteller in both comic book and prose form. But as a young reader, when something particularly suspenseful put a character or characters in terrible terrible danger, I would sometimes flip to the end and take a peek to make sure things turned out ok.
For the most part, I didn't spoil things too too badly. I just wanted to see that particular character's name doing something near the end. Then I could go back and go on. I'm sure with great thought and insight, I could elaborate on certain circumstances and theorize why I was the sort of kid who needed to do this, but that's besides the point and a whole other not-here kind of story.
I broke this flip-ahead habit pretty much permanently when my brother bought for me the Chronicles of Narnia set… and somewhere in the second book, I took a look at the last pages of the last book.
Um. If you haven't read them, and have no idea what I'm talking about… I have no idea how to convey just what a terrible terrible terrible thing that was. If you have read them, your jaw probably hit the floor at the thought.
Yeah. Chocolate wrappers are really stupid.
I don't do that anymore, and haven't for years and years. Having the wrapper remind me of that terrible mistake has made think about the stories I get into these days, as well as the ones I write. I consume most books these days on audiobook, while I paint or design or do stuff around the house. It's way harder to skip to the end casually with an audiobook! As a writer with lots of writer friends, I have more appreciation these days of the journey an author builds and how that's critical to the story experience. So I try to imagine, what would an author think if I told them I had to peek at the end to make sure so-an-so survived that battle? I dunno, every author's different. But I will say one of my beta-readers said they did so, and I took it as a compliment. Regardless, it's not a habit I'll ever pick up again.
I'm not inclined to make life decisions or really any decisions with the input of chocolate wrappers in mind, anyway. But I consider this the worst advice I ever heard.
Luckily the chocolate inside is pretty consistent, regardless of what the wrapper has to say.
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author / artist rambles on about painting, writing, cats, punk rock, vampires, ska-core, mTBI, comics, and life in general.