TWILIGHT - thoughts?

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FK7
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by FK7 » February 21st, 2010, 2:49 pm

I read the first three and found them very interesting... it has an enticing story, but I realized I wanted more mythology and less romance...

I haven't read BREAKING DAWN yet and I'm not sure I want to.

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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by PaulWoodlin » February 21st, 2010, 4:32 pm

I've told romance writers in workshops that just because the woman is the point of view character doesn't make her a heroine, she has to be the hero of her own story. If the man is the hero of the story, for me it would be like trying to watch a James Bond movie from the POV of the Bond girl instead of Bond. But it seems that women don't want to be the hero of their own story, they want to marry or just have sex with him. Was my advice wrong?

Years ago I published an article about mixed sexual messages in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" for "Leading Edge," about the difficulty an actual heroine had in finding a worthy man, and you can see it in Ayn Rand's novels, too, the striving of women for a man to look up to, instead of for their equal. And for Buffy, heroism is something thrust upon her that she doesn't really want, while a guy like James Kirk will bend the rules and accept demotion to get back into the game.

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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by Sanchez » February 21st, 2010, 5:36 pm

Twilight Saga, hmm. If only I could erase the part of my memory during the two weeks I read the four books! Then, I would be able to have the ecstasy of reading them for the first time again :) After reading them in English, I listened the audio-books in German and man, they are ADDICTIVE!

Here are some reasons why I loved the books and even forced my uninterested husband to watch the movies with me - Btw, he did actually like the two movies :)

1- She had plenty of story to tell about each character; the members of the Cullen family, Quileutes, Volturis and several other vampires. Almost each character stands out and is difficult to forget or ignore from the very beginning. Who doesn't want to read about beautiful people who by the way have great personalities and humility like Cullens :)

2 - Somehow, X-Men style super-hero stories, such as a weak girl or a boy who is learning to control her/his super powers, attack people. I love movies where the person is not aware of her powers (abilities), or just a beginner and trying to master them (even Avatar had such as story incorporated).

3- Another very, very important reason for the success of the Twilight Saga is that she described very clearly the motivation behind the each action of each individual. Respect!

As a final word, I should say that I got disappointed when I read her other book, the Host. I could hardly force myself to read until page 200 something and left it without finishing. It was just not Twilight :(

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wilderness
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by wilderness » February 21st, 2010, 6:35 pm

I'm surprised at all the analysis. It seems pretty simple to me: Twilight is a fairy tale, and Bella is our very own damsel in distress. Since it is set in school, young readers can easily identify and fantasize their very own Edward will come and sweep them off their feet. The fact that he is a vampire simply adds an element of excitement and danger to the mix, and Meyers plays the innocent teen angst bit pretty well. The first book sets the stage, and once you are hooked on the characters you feel compelled to see it through (even though the last book *is* craptastic).

Also I think the fact that the writing is simple is in fact part of the draw; most kids wouldn't make it through one chapter of Pride and Prejudice or Wuthering Heights without falling asleep.

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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by gigilala » February 21st, 2010, 7:51 pm

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This applies not only to physics, but to people's opinions of Twilight. Some people love Twilight and some people love to rip it apart. I am in the former group, and, frankly (sorry for the use of an adverb - they are apparently really offensive; we must notify English-speakers everywhere to stop using them immediately. Oops, there I go again.), I am tired of being embarrassed of being a fan. Let us remember when we call Stephenie Meyer's writing "craptastic" that she got a contract with the first agent she queried and received an unprecedented $750,000 three-book deal. Literary tastes are subjective, but for some reason people who don't like Twilight feel justified in slandering it in extreme degrees. (I was going to say "severely slander" but I thought better of it...with the adverb and all.)

I will echo the sentiments that others have expressed so eloquently (oops, another adverb) and say that I think the stories appeal to that co-dependent part of us that longs to be loved by someone who vows to love us forever and protect us and all that. Oh yeah, and that someone is rich and smoking hot. With that said, I must admit that I have a love/hate relationship with the books because, as a 38 year old woman, I can read them and know that they are a co-dependent fantasy. But when I learned that my eleven-year old niece had read all four books, I felt compelled to tell her that having a boyfriend isn't really that big of a deal and your self-worth shouldn't be wrapped up in the state of your relationship. (Unless your boyfriend sparkles in the sun, then, of course, it's okay to throw yourself off a cliff for him.)
Last edited by gigilala on February 21st, 2010, 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FK7
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by FK7 » February 21st, 2010, 8:12 pm

gigilala wrote:Awesome post.
Sorry guys, gigilala owned all of you and she won the thread.

/endThread.

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Lorelei Armstrong
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by Lorelei Armstrong » February 21st, 2010, 10:33 pm

FK7 wrote:
gigilala wrote:Awesome post.
Sorry guys, gigilala owned all of you and she won the thread.

/endThread.
And McDonald's is the most popular restaurant in the world. Sorry, epic fail

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FK7
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by FK7 » February 22nd, 2010, 12:41 am

It's not an epic fail if it made me laugh. She or he portrayed a sense of humor in that post, while speaking the truth.

She forgot to mention the annoying arrogance and snobbery of some writers as a factor that boosts the popularity of those angry Twilight destructo posts, but I think that was meant to be a "read between the lines" thing, which could also be construed as pure jealousy.

There's certainly a difference between a great writer and a great storyteller, and while Meyer is more the latter, her writing isn't as bad as some people make it to be, even if Stephen King says so. Ludlum once wrote something like "I repeat," he repeated.

Now if that doesn't make you cringe I don't know what will, and I don't remember seeing much debates about Ludlum's writing skills on forums. He's a great storyteller though!

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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by hartprairie » February 22nd, 2010, 1:38 am

Give the woman (Ms. Meyer) her due--she has achieved what we all want. But I will say this--she has ruined it for anyone who EVER wanted to write a paranormal book that has even the faintest suggestion of a vampire in it. All those "Twilight" wannabees, leaping from the windows, manically waving a manuscript.... Yikes.

In October of 2008, I blithely began to re-write a vampire story from a manuscript that I'd had in my closet for over 20 years. The writing flowed. As an English major, I polished it, tightened it, nurtured it, cut parts, added parts, wrote and wrote and obsessively edited until I couldn't see straight (sound familiar?), trying for perfection and I think I got as close as I can without a professional editor to guide me. I learned how to write a query letter. Then, how to submit to an agent. I truly worked like a demon (no pun intended) and enjoyed every second of it.

My protagonist was not the vampire. The story has peril, intrigue, romance. There is no teen angst or hand-wringing involved. It is not written in first person. And by gosh, it's good.

Three-quarters of the way through, I heard about "Twilight". I thought, "Uh-oh." Then I began hearing about ALL THIS VAMPIRE STUFF. Agents in their blogs made fun of the deluge. I gulped. I read "Twilight." (No, it wasn't my thing but a lot of things aren't so no biggy.) I researched this massive trend that I stupidly knew nothing about. Wow. Did my timing ever suck because suddenly there seemed to be glut of books about blood-suckers and here I sit with this manuscript that I have labored over that is NOTHING like Twilight but...it DOES has a vampire in it.

I have had some marginal querying success with my manuscript but I have a sneaking suspicion that as soon as an agent sees the word "vampire" in the query, they wad the letter into a tiny paper basketball and play a little one-on-one with the trash can. I often wonder if Anne Rice were to query "Interview with the Vampire" today, would she be taken seriously? But I'm still going to keep
trying--I HAVE to. I believe in my book, the book's premise and my characters. And I love it. But hey, I am starting another book (vampire-free) in the meanwhile.

Thanks, Twilight! But congrats to Ms. Meyers all the same. I can only hope for such a response as she's had!

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Lorelei Armstrong
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by Lorelei Armstrong » February 22nd, 2010, 1:46 am

Sorry, some of us envy Doris Lessing and would quit writing tomorrow if they were guaranteed Ms. Meyer's career.

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Ishta
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by Ishta » February 22nd, 2010, 4:11 am

Re: what gigilala said: Right On!

I am an as yet unpublished, 31-year-old woman who started writing seriously (with a view to publication) for children just over a year ago, and I started reading the Twilight series this week because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I also considered it important research, since I'd LOVE to write a book that sells so many copies that my husband can quit his job. I am now halfway through the first book (hey, I have two young kids, people - time is in short supply!). Did I notice the repetitive adjectives and the abundance of adverbs? You betcha. Did I read phrases and paragraphs and think, "Man, my crit group would have been all OVER this!"? Hell, yes. Have I been able to put it down since I picked it up? HELL, NO. I was reading it this morning while I was making pancakes, folks. My 6-year-old complained that his batch was overcooked.

I'm taking this as a learning opportunity, since most of what I've been reading lately falls within the picture book genre. I wanted to know what popular YA is like. And based on this series and other popular series I've been reading, it seems that it is littered with adverbs and unnecessary, repetitive over-descriptions. People complain that it isn't literary enough, but I believe that this is exactly why it has done so well. Everybody who can remember high school English knows that literary is not popular. You might have liked it, (yes, I liked Jane Austen too), but you were probably the only one in your class, right? There is a distinction to be made between literary fiction and commercial fiction. Too often, I think we get hung up on creating something literary, then get bent out of shape when it doesn't turn out to be a commercial blockbuster. I think that, in a twisted way, "the rules" lead us to create well-crafted works of literary art that will bomb because most people are just not looking for that.

I can't put Twilight down because I am drawn to Edward - he is a well-drawn (if cliche'd) character who is as fascinating as he is dangerous, and if I'm honest, I wish I could be Bella. And as a non-writer friend of mine reminded me, we should remember that he won't seem cliche'd to most teenaged girls, because teenaged girls haven't read as many books as we have. What will become cliche's to them in another ten years are fresh and new now. Those repetitive adverbs that everyone else uses too are still new to these kids. I think Meyer (and her editor) really tuned in to their audience in that respect. Additionally, the "forbidden love" angle is a definite hook. And I like that there is no outright sex (at least, so far there isn't); good romance (in my opinion) is all about smokin' hot tension, and this book has plenty of that. And I don't care that it is more about lust than love, because a) that's what teenagers are mostly thinking about anyway; and b) mature marital-style love is just boring. I've been married for 11 years, and we talk about money and the kids and where we're going to go on vacation and what color to paint the house, and when we disagree it is always calmly and respectfully and with caveats, and we know that at the end of the day, the other one will be right there waiting, and it's just not interesting to read about that. Teenaged girls don't want to read about that, nor do they need to. The excitement is in the tension of feeling the lust, but not being able to fulfill it.

And now I'm going to go and finish reading my copy. :-)

-Ishta

P.S. If anyone can tell me how to get the accent thingy to appear above the "e" in "cliche", I'd be obliged. :-)

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E McD
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by E McD » February 22nd, 2010, 6:44 am

Ishta wrote:Re: what gigilala said: Right On!

I am an as yet unpublished, 31-year-old woman who started writing seriously (with a view to publication) for children just over a year ago, and I started reading the Twilight series this week because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I also considered it important research, since I'd LOVE to write a book that sells so many copies that my husband can quit his job. I am now halfway through the first book (hey, I have two young kids, people - time is in short supply!). Did I notice the repetitive adjectives and the abundance of adverbs? You betcha. Did I read phrases and paragraphs and think, "Man, my crit group would have been all OVER this!"? Hell, yes. Have I been able to put it down since I picked it up? HELL, NO. I was reading it this morning while I was making pancakes, folks. My 6-year-old complained that his batch was overcooked.

I'm taking this as a learning opportunity, since most of what I've been reading lately falls within the picture book genre. I wanted to know what popular YA is like. And based on this series and other popular series I've been reading, it seems that it is littered with adverbs and unnecessary, repetitive over-descriptions. People complain that it isn't literary enough, but I believe that this is exactly why it has done so well. Everybody who can remember high school English knows that literary is not popular. You might have liked it, (yes, I liked Jane Austen too), but you were probably the only one in your class, right? There is a distinction to be made between literary fiction and commercial fiction. Too often, I think we get hung up on creating something literary, then get bent out of shape when it doesn't turn out to be a commercial blockbuster. I think that, in a twisted way, "the rules" lead us to create well-crafted works of literary art that will bomb because most people are just not looking for that.

I can't put Twilight down because I am drawn to Edward - he is a well-drawn (if cliche'd) character who is as fascinating as he is dangerous, and if I'm honest, I wish I could be Bella. And as a non-writer friend of mine reminded me, we should remember that he won't seem cliche'd to most teenaged girls, because teenaged girls haven't read as many books as we have. What will become cliche's to them in another ten years are fresh and new now. Those repetitive adverbs that everyone else uses too are still new to these kids. I think Meyer (and her editor) really tuned in to their audience in that respect. Additionally, the "forbidden love" angle is a definite hook. And I like that there is no outright sex (at least, so far there isn't); good romance (in my opinion) is all about smokin' hot tension, and this book has plenty of that. And I don't care that it is more about lust than love, because a) that's what teenagers are mostly thinking about anyway; and b) mature marital-style love is just boring. I've been married for 11 years, and we talk about money and the kids and where we're going to go on vacation and what color to paint the house, and when we disagree it is always calmly and respectfully and with caveats, and we know that at the end of the day, the other one will be right there waiting, and it's just not interesting to read about that. Teenaged girls don't want to read about that, nor do they need to. The excitement is in the tension of feeling the lust, but not being able to fulfill it.

And now I'm going to go and finish reading my copy. :-)

-Ishta

P.S. If anyone can tell me how to get the accent thingy to appear above the "e" in "cliche", I'd be obliged. :-)
Ishta,
I don't know you, but I love you. :) Everything you said was spot-on, and until I started writing, I had nothing to discuss but paint colors and my kids either. LOL Well said!

And no, I have no idea how to do that "e" thingy.

Best, Emily
-Emily McDaniel

gigilala
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by gigilala » February 22nd, 2010, 8:37 am

Sorry Lorelei, but "the lady doth protest too much, methinks."

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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by cassandrabonmot » February 22nd, 2010, 10:13 am

Characters. Teenage girls fell in love with the characters. Many related to female lead.

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Lorelei Armstrong
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Re: TWILIGHT - thoughts?

Post by Lorelei Armstrong » February 22nd, 2010, 11:37 am

gigilala wrote:Sorry Lorelei, but "the lady doth protest too much, methinks."
Hey, I'm old, I've read almost nothing but literary fiction for twenty years, I've got the graduate degree in writing, and I don't like Ms. Meyer's work. As a reader I don't like poor writing, I don't like average writing, and nothing about a pile of money makes that kind of writing appealing to me as a writer. I'll write the kind of thing I admire, or try to, and Ms. Meyer's efforts do not fall into that category.

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