All right, fronds, Tor has announced that starting August 22, they’ll be posting Oathbringer chapters! This is terribly exciting for people who want to read the preview chapters, but for people like me, who want to wait and savor (and liveblog) the whole book at once as opposed to piecemeal and spread out over several months, it’s kind of a source of anxiety…
I know that I’m going to be dodging spoilers for almost three months now
(thanks, tor). And while I would never want to dampen people’s enjoyment of the preview novel chapters, I’m adding my request to the pile of people saying, yo please please please tag your spoilers!!!
Aaaaand as much as I love tumblr, it can be kind of…a complicated endeavor making sure that posts end up where you want them–or don’t. So here’s a friendly review of how to make sure spoilers don’t end up where people who don’t want to see them…won’t.
- Read mores are your friends. That little line makes everything so, so much easier to avoid. Read mores are your friends.
- Wait until the fifth tag. Here’s one of tumblr’s less well-known features: only the first five tags on a post will show up in the public tag. So if the FIRST tag you put on a post is #brandon sanderson, that shit’s showing up in the #brandon sanderson tag. BUT if you put #one #two #three #four #five #brandon sanderson, (or similar “junk tags”–I tend to use // marks), then we’re all safe. It won’t end up in the tracked tag and it’ll be easier to avoid spoilers in the public, tracked tags. You still maintain organization on your personal blog, because it’s still in YOUR #brandon sanderson tag, but you won’t ruin someone else’s day by having it show up in the public tag with spoilers attached.
- The first five tags work the other way, too! No one wants to scream into the void and not get a response–I’m on board with that. So somewhere in your first five tags, put #oathbringer or #oathbringer spoilers or even #stormlight archive spoilers. That way, people reading the preview chapters have a place to go to interact with other people reading the preview chapters, and people who want to go into November fresh and clean and unspoiled can still check the regular SA and Bsandy tags without fearing they’ll get spoiled.
- Don’t put reactions in the tags. A lot of people have blacklist settings so that even if a post is blocked, the tags still show up as readable–this makes it easier to see why things were blocked, but it also runs the risk of tags like “#omg and then JASNAH did the THING and I DIED” spoiling even tiny things. Keep tags for…well, tags for a few months, and add additional screaming or reactions to the bottom of your actual post.
- Discord and Mibbit are your friends. The nice thing about both messaging services is that you can set up different chats and servers that are subsets of the regular ones. So make a spoiler chat separate from the regular, spoiler-free chat, and go wild.
- TAG EVERYTHING! Even if it’s a meme or a stupid shitpost or a vagueblog or something that doesn’t seem like it’s spoilers–TAG IT ANYWAY. If it’s even tangentially related to Oathbringer, TAG IT. Especially memes, tbh. Memes are insidious, and often innocent, but with a closer look, they reveal more than they might have intended. Tag literally everything, even if you don’t think it’s spoilers, even if you think it’s annoying. Those of us avoiding shit will thank you.
- KEEP tagging stuff, even after the book is released! Maybe you read the preview chapters and so you’ve got a 300-page headstart, or maybe you speed-read, or maybe you took time off from work just to read, and maybe you finish two days after the book comes out. Keep tagging spoilers. Some people read slower, or have time commitments or work keeping them away from the book, or simply read a few chapters a day to savor it, or want to read faster but can’t because they’re liveblogging it (hello, fronds!). But just because you are finished doesn’t mean everyone else is, and continuing to tag for spoilers is super necessary, even six months–or longer–out from the release date.
All right, I hope that didn’t come out as patronizing or anything. I’ve just found that an occasional reminder of the ins and outs of tumblr’s more useful systems can be super helpful, especially if it’s stuff that newer users might not have encountered yet, like the fifth-tag-rule.
ANYWAY, for everyone starting with the preview chapters, ONLY SEVEN DAYS UNTIL OATHBRINGER!!!! Those of us waiting the remaining 90 days until November 14 thank you in advance for tagging your shit. <3
….shit, 90 days? that’s closer than I thought it was…..guess, I need to get a jump on my WoR reread!!