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View Full Version : A bit of inspiration for you (Twilight thoughts, moved from Novels to Roundtable)



Michael Parks
09-16-2008, 11:36 PM
Stephenie Meyer's 'Twilight' is currently #1 on the LA Times paperback list. Below is a short story on how the idea for the book came about, and how it made it to where it is today, including a movie being made.

I found it very inspiring, hope you do, too.

http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/twilight.html

Phaeal
09-17-2008, 12:32 AM
Heh, I tried reading Twilight at Borders this weekend, to see if I could feel the magic. Oops, I made it to Chapter 4, then fell asleep. My review of Ch. 1-4. Plodding and pedestrian.

I would have turned this puppy down if I were the agent or editor. I guess I'd be as impoverished an agent or editor as I am a writer. ;)

Shadow_Ferret
09-17-2008, 12:37 AM
I found it very inspiring, hope you do, too.

Inspiring? That's exactly how I've been working for years. I still haven't met with success.

MissingMyMuse
09-17-2008, 01:20 AM
I have read that article before!

I have to agree that I wasn't exactly inspired. I think my first thought was 'luck'.

I, too, tried to read Twilight. I couldn't do it! So...;)

tehuti88
09-17-2008, 01:45 AM
I merely scanned a few sentences of a scene somewhere in the middle of the book in Wal-Mart and shuddered before putting it back. The narrative voice of the main character just didn't appeal to me at all. Based on what I've read of the series plot at Wikipedia, I dislike it even more.

Then again, I'm heavily biased against vampire stories...although I'd heard such raves about the series, that was what made me pick it up in the first place despite knowing that it was about vampires! (I believe in giving things a chance...sometimes.)

I wouldn't say it sucks (sorry about the unintentional pun) as I haven't read it. So I really could not say, in all fairness. But it's not my cup of tea. It obviously inspires a lot of other people, though. I must admit I envy that.

johnzakour
09-17-2008, 01:47 AM
Didn't read the article. So much of success of in this business is timing and luck. That's why persistence is so important.

Ugawa
09-17-2008, 01:49 AM
I tried to read it once. Got to chapter 2 i think, then skipped 100 odd pages. Read another couple of pages, skipped another 50 odd. Read another page, then skipped to the end and read the last 2 pages. Even they sucked.

To be honest i really don't know how it got to where it is today. She shows then tells. There's way to many adverbs and the whole book ( or what i read of it) was just the MC saying how great some vampire was. And it's totally unrealistic.

XX

2Wheels
09-17-2008, 01:54 AM
Even the author admits that had it not been for a green assistant at the publisher who had no idea how long the MS was, she'd most likely have been rejected (again).

I do feel bad for her, having her draft 3rd posted without her authorization. That would sure make me mad as hell.

MaryMumsy
09-17-2008, 02:56 AM
Sometimes luck had a tremendous amount to do with it. I read an article this morning about a first time author. Her name is Kathleen Kent and her book is 'The Heretic's Daughter'. It is about her many greats grandmother, who was hanged as a witch in Salem. One of the agents she sent a query to had done a thesis on the Salem witch trials.

MM

Michael Parks
09-17-2008, 06:57 AM
Not sure about her book, but I reserve the right to be inspired ;)

I suppose give me some time and rejection and I won't be so easily inspired by similar stories. :]

Shweta
09-17-2008, 07:30 AM
Given the comments in thread, I think some of you will like this "work inspired by Twilight" (http://headtripcomics.comicgenesis.com/d/20080505.html) :D

http://headtripcomics.comicgenesis.com/comics/20080505.jpg


PS Head Trip Comics does lots of amusing "book reviews" like this. Well worth looking at.
PPS moving to Roundtable, cause this isn't about novel writing :)

Madison
09-17-2008, 07:34 AM
oh hooray... another twilight thread. i love these. for the record, i agree with the whole luck thing - an insane amount of luck because let's face it, SM isn't the greatest american novelist.

shweta, that link was hilarious! thanks :)

Matera the Mad
09-17-2008, 07:38 AM
I am sure I will never read the book, but I share a few parallel experiences with the author -- obsession-mode writing, characters that won't go away, finding my setting a la Google. Interesting...130K too. Maybe I'll get lucky. lol :)

Mr. Anonymous
09-17-2008, 08:00 AM
Joe Abercrombie had a similar story about being almost universally rejected by agents, and then by chance having a friend mention his book to a Gollancz editor at a workshop. He's now a bestselling author.

TBH, these stories frustrate me more than they inspire. I WANT MY LUCKZ NAO!

Darzian
09-17-2008, 09:04 AM
I enjoyed reading most of Twilight, though there is one problem with the entire series: the endings are very unsatisfactory. She builds suspense and then its a big let down.

The last book's ending couldn't be any worse.

The story itself is interesting but the MC needs more character. However, I enjoyed reading the story overall.

Cassiopeia
09-17-2008, 09:11 AM
As I read the first bit of that article my first thought was, Oh another Buffy and Angel story. She must do a very good job of telling the story. People around here are nuts about it. But then she is a Utah author so that might have something to do with it. Though most of the people I talk to don't know she is.

I'm not so inclined to read her books. I saw them when they first came out and I gave them a miss. I'm sure she won't miss me. ;)

tehuti88
09-17-2008, 06:38 PM
Sometimes luck had a tremendous amount to do with it. I read an article this morning about a first time author. Her name is Kathleen Kent and her book is 'The Heretic's Daughter'. It is about her many greats grandmother, who was hanged as a witch in Salem. One of the agents she sent a query to had done a thesis on the Salem witch trials.

I would kill for that kind of luck!

I keep hoping and praying some person way interested/knowledgeable in my particular subject matter will stumble upon my work someday! (Though I'm also worried that they won't like the artistic license I take with it and will just think I'm an ignoramus.)

Based on my luck I take it most people into Ojibwa mythology aren't online. o_o

Still, I keep trying...*sigh.*

Alpha Echo
09-17-2008, 06:46 PM
I read the first few pages on Amazon.com, and blah. It was so...jerky. The sentences were jerky. I was glad I didn't jump on the bandwagon and buy the book.

However, the story is inspirational even if it IS luck and timing.

Because, hey, you dont' even have to be the best writer to land an agent if you've got a little luck and the right timing!

blacbird
09-17-2008, 10:29 PM
However, the story is inspirational even if it IS luck and timing.

I hate that word.

I hate that word.

I hate that word.

I HATE that word.

I effing HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE that word.

caw

wordmonkey
09-18-2008, 01:36 AM
I forget who said it first, but I concur with the message.

The harder I work, the luckier I get.

Ugawa
09-18-2008, 01:55 AM
I think the Darren Shan serious was much better than the twilight ones. t

Edit: WOAH, what happened there? this post wasn't meant to be here

Ugawa
09-18-2008, 01:56 AM
I think the Darren Shan serious was much better than the twilight ones. To be honest i think they should of been bigger than stephanies book.

XX

geardrops
09-18-2008, 02:38 AM
I'm going to take a break from all the knocking about of the Twilight series and say that while the success story may be inspiring to the OP, these kinds of stories have never really inspired me.

And actually, it's not really that, er, "inspiring" of a story at all. She was doing her thing with the kids, got it in her head to write a book, and fifteen submissions later, off she goes to publishing land. The whole thing took six months. There's no hardship to overcome, no perseverance to admire.

But well, perhaps this is me. I'm not bagging on Meyer's success. But it really didn't take her a whole heck of a lot of work to get there.

ChaosTitan
09-18-2008, 02:55 AM
The whole thing took six months. There's no hardship to overcome, no perseverance to admire.

But well, perhaps this is me. I'm not bagging on Meyer's success. But it really didn't take her a whole heck of a lot of work to get there.

Actually, I'm right there with you. And it just keeps proving that there is no magic formula to getting publishing and/or being successful. The only constant is to write a good story Not a great story, not a literary story, heck not necessarily a story that everyone likes [cuz let's face it, not everyone likes every successful book]. Just a good story.

Cassiopeia
09-18-2008, 03:45 AM
yep, I'm with Chaos and dempsey here. It seems that we spend too much time obsessing over the details of sentence structures and what not and forget that you have to write a good story. Hold their attention and it gets published.

:D Chaos got published by the way in case ya'll didn't know. I'm just sayin'.

Kim, extremely proud of her friend.

rosepddle
09-18-2008, 07:59 AM
I too read the post by SM as well as Twilight. She says the "transcript" of her dream was demonstrated in chapter 13 and she finished from there and then went back and filled in chapters 1-12...okay is it just me or did chp 1-12 read like filler? I won't say all of them but I found at least 6 chapters that could lift right out and not disturb the story. When I read it, I felt something different in chapter 13...it actually kept my attention so when I read that it was the inspiration for the book, it made sense. I know when I read her story on the site I was bumed more than inspired. Hell, I can work on mechanics but being in the right place at the right time is a mystery to me!

Samantha's_Song
09-18-2008, 12:33 PM
What a bugger! If I'd have known that writing novels, because of dreams I'd had, would have got me a publishing deal, I would have done it years ago!
I've been having nightmares on and off ever snce I was tiny: In one of them, my dad was a mad professor and had installed me into a machine like a giant wasp. In another, I looked out of the window and saw the three wise men coming down a big green hill, then they were trying to make me eat Brillo pads? :D

When I got older, in my 20's, I was having dreams about the end of the world; the weird thing is, the dreams were beautiful and that's a little scary, isn't it.
I had a dream where I fell out of my bedroom window and hit the ground (you're supposed to really die doing that, aren't you?). I hit the ground in my dream, and in the next scene I was lying in a coffin. There was another coffin in the room, all of a sudden an old man sat up in it and told me I wouldn't like being dead because t was boring LOL.

In my thirties, I had a dream where vampires were roaming the world and taking over; I got caught by one whilst I was in a shopping mall, when he bit into me, it was the most beautiful feeling I'd ever had, like the best orgasm ever! :D

It's such a shame that I write thriller-romances and not horror eh :tongue

Samantha's_Song
09-18-2008, 01:05 PM
After reading the whole of the article, I am coming back on here to say, good for her! She comes across as humble and can hardly believe her luck that her book got published; she wrote it because she loves her characters and that's exactly the same reason why I write what I do.
Whilst I may never actually read her book, because I have so many others to read, and write, I am very happy for the woman and I think she deserves her luck/break. To me, she does give hope and inspiration to those of us who have never had the breaks in life to show our true potential.

Virector
09-18-2008, 01:20 PM
What a bugger! If I'd have known that writing novels, because of dreams I'd had, would have got me a publishing deal, I would have done it years ago!
I've been having nightmares on and off ever snce I was tiny: In one of them, my dad was a mad professor and had installed me into a machine like a giant wasp. In another, I looked out of the window and saw the three wise men coming down a big green hill, then they were trying to make me eat Brillo pads? :D

When I got older, in my 20's, I was having dreams about the end of the world; the weird thing is, the dreams were beautiful and that's a little scary, isn't it.
I had a dream where I fell out of my bedroom window and hit the ground (you're supposed to really die doing that, aren't you?). I hit the ground in my dream, and in the next scene I was lying in a coffin. There was another coffin in the room, all of a sudden an old man sat up in it and told me I wouldn't like being dead because t was boring LOL.

In my thirties, I had a dream where vampires were roaming the world and taking over; I got caught by one whilst I was in a shopping mall, when he bit into me, it was the most beautiful feeling I'd ever had, like the best orgasm ever! :D

It's such a shame that I write thriller-romances and not horror eh :tongue

Lol! You sure have some crazy dreams!

GLAZE_by_KyrstinMc
09-18-2008, 02:38 PM
I haven't even picked up a Twilight book yet, all my friends rave about it. Maybe one of these days...

...And then maybe I should try reading Harry Potter too...

JJ Cooper
09-18-2008, 02:45 PM
After reading the whole of the article, I am coming back on here to say, good for her! She comes across as humble and can hardly believe her luck that her book got published; she wrote it because she loves her characters and that's exactly the same reason why I write what I do.
Whilst I may never actually read her book, because I have so many others to read, and write, I am very happy for the woman and I think she deserves her luck/break. To me, she does give hope and inspiration to those of us who have never had the breaks in life to show our true potential.

Agreed.

JJ

Darzian
09-18-2008, 05:05 PM
...And then maybe I should try reading Harry Potter too...

Yes, you should.

*nods seriously*

Phaeal
09-18-2008, 06:17 PM
Harry Potter 1 hooked me in the first paragraph. It has voice and humor and quirky interest. I couldn't for the literary life of me find any hook in the start of Twilight, and things just got worse as I plowed on. This isn't because I'm "above" YA vamp romance -- I've read plenty of it with pleasure.

Grrr. I really want to understand what made this book and series take off. Does anyone know how the publishers supported Twilight -- did it get a big send-off, or did it grow by word of mouth?

I didn't like The DaVinci Code or The Celestine Prophecy either, but I could figure out their special appeal. I kind of get the Eragon thing. This one has me stumped.

My friend says it's all about the [teenage girl's] psychic conflict between fear of and desire for sex, which is a mainstay vampire theme. I guess so, but, man, I've seen this one done way more compellingly.

What amused me was that SM remarked that one inspiration for the name "Edward" came to her from Jane Eyre. Madam, I KNOW Mr. Rochester, and this is no Mr. Rochester. ;)

Virector
09-18-2008, 10:57 PM
Potter is awesome!! (IMHO) Some people dare to say Twilight is better than the Potter books...*cough*cough*... er, I don't think so.

Cassiopeia
09-19-2008, 12:00 AM
I can't get past page eight of Harry Potter. I love the movies and can not abide her writing style.

selkn.asrai
09-19-2008, 12:35 AM
Twilight was always relatively popular, but it skyrocketed when Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows was released--they needed a new teen series with a supernatural twist. The Twilight series also had v. striking covers. People judge covers more than they'd ever admit.

The night HP7 came out, we had stands full of Stephenie Meyer's books scattered throughout the store (I work in a BN).

While I don't disagree with the fear and simultaneous desire for sex thing (though as Phaeal wrote, that's a v. common theme, especially in vampire lore), I think it boils down to timing. HP readers, after a decade of clinging to its fantasy/reality world, were desperate for another series to cloy to. The community really felt a loss....... which is why JK Rowling nows milks it with statements about Dumbledore's homosexuality and Beedle the Bard (which was so maniacal, by the way--they announced its release date the V. DAY of Breaking Dawn. Meyers was muscled out of the picture, at least as far as publicity went.)

I don't mean to be snotty or anything. But in my opinion, Twilight just filled the Potter void.

geardrops
09-19-2008, 01:50 AM
To me, she does give hope and inspiration to those of us who have never had the breaks in life to show our true potential.

Lightning never strikes in the same place twice. Statistically, if this kind of luck happened to her, it's not due for another few years. And even when the time is ripe the odds are against you.

This is why I don't gamble.

Darzian
09-19-2008, 06:03 AM
I can't get past page eight of Harry Potter. I love the movies and can not abide her writing style.

It gets better. The first time I read it, I lost interest after page 25. I was later forced to read it by my English teacher. It was awesome. The plot is so interesting!

I have since read the last 4 books over 20 times each, especially when waiting for book 7. Rowling's style shifted a little more towards YA then children in the latter books. I liked that. Book 1 was almost definitely on the children/YA border but after universal sales, she shifted ever so slightly. That, I suppose, was important because all the kids who read Book 1 must've been teens by the time the last 4 books came out.

Meyer's story proves that anything's possible. The main issue I have with her is that she builds up, builds up, and builds up (did I mention builds up?) suspense.......and then nothing. Everything's resolved peacefully. I feel like I've already mentioned this.:tongue

Samantha's_Song
09-19-2008, 11:48 AM
The same goes for the Lottery, but how many millions still do that a week, and all because they live in hope that one day it might be them...


Lightning never strikes in the same place twice. Statistically, if this kind of luck happened to her, it's not due for another few years. And even when the time is ripe the odds are against you.

This is why I don't gamble.

geardrops
09-19-2008, 10:45 PM
The same goes for the Lottery, but how many millions still do that a week, and all because they live in hope that one day it might be them...

Case in point. Add up the dollars they spend on the lotto, they could have really done something with that cash. Instead it's frittered away on a dream of hitting a big patch of luck.

Put your cash in the money market. Work hard at improving your craft. Yeah, it requires hard work, but the payoff is a bit more likely at that point.

TrickyFiction
09-19-2008, 11:20 PM
Given the comments in thread, I think some of you will like this "work inspired by Twilight" (http://headtripcomics.comicgenesis.com/d/20080505.html) :D

PS Head Trip Comics does lots of amusing "book reviews" like this. Well worth looking at.
PPS moving to Roundtable, cause this isn't about novel writing :)

Also...
"Head Trip on Breaking Dawn" (http://headtripcomics.comicgenesis.com/d/20080915.html)

Love that comic. :)

Talkatoast
09-20-2008, 05:18 PM
I'm not inspired either. It just fell in her lap...all in six months. And frankly, it's just the worst stuff I've ever read. What saddens me is how young, aspiring writers are using this as an example of "great writing." They can use it as an example of perserverance--yeah, she hardly had any to deal with. I mean, I published an article about this book and why it shouldn't be used as an example of great writing. Got great raves, actually. Even got a couple of letters from English teachers appreciating my appreciation for the english language.

lm728
09-20-2008, 10:55 PM
When I read it, the beginning was way boring. I skip-skimmed, just as I do with other books. And then the middle and end got interesting.

The book is popular because of the perfect Edward character, not because of the writing. The plot is pretty random, too. What was that about with the baseball game in the rain?

and to the person who asked,
"The harder I work, the luckier I get." --Thomas Jefferson for you.

Michael Parks
09-24-2008, 11:44 PM
I can't help but think that some writers here are laying down too much critical judgement on the author and miscategorizing her work. And, perhaps, missing the changes in the readership.

Her work is not supposed to be in the category of literary greatness. It's fiction, its a story. It is what it is. It's different than what you write. It doesn't move you. Okay. But what were you expecting? Pick up any book with preconceptions, and I'll bet 93% of the time you'll find reason to be disappointed. Pick up any book with zero preconceptions, and you'll be far less likely to.

Changing readership? Think how different the youth and young adults are today from ourselves. They aren't demanding high literary standards, or even quality story plots, etc. They are children of the 24/7 cartoon channels, the internet, and texting. Everything is abbreviated, morphed, and far more abstract than the world we grew up in. Structure is often more uncomfortable than not, and anything that satisfies the visual/emotional/physical centers of the brain is "IN", no matter it's disregard for convention.

I haven't even skimmed this author's work, but from reading the "previews" here, I get the feeling it doesn't "add up", and isn't worthy of the rewards she is reaping from it. The same can be said of movies, and even though I can't believe what passes for a movie these days, I can't bring myself to criticize the creator's success. They are creating for a market that appreciates that level/form of work.

And apparently, so is this author, else it wouldn't have left the editor's office and made it to where it is today. Argue that ad nauseum, but the facts stand alone.

Should we learn from it? If so, what? That we need to write more like her? I don't think that's ever been the answer for a successful writer. What I take away from it is that you should write what you know/love, and stick to it. Only from that will you possibly make your dreams come true.

Does luck play a part? For her, for us? Absolutely. It does in everything, to some degree. She inspires me in the same way many of you here inspire me. You go after it. You write. You rewrite. You dream, you create. Her story of success inspires me because she did the same thing and it worked for her. What she did worked for her. I'm inspired to try myself.

MrWrite
09-24-2008, 11:48 PM
My wife loves the Twilight series. She's read them all and is eagerly awaiting the movie. She's going to drag me along lol.
Me, I prefer the old fashioned vampire stories a la Dracula. Creepy setting, creepy vampire. All this modern vampire and werewolf stuff just leaves me cold.

rosepddle
09-25-2008, 03:39 AM
I can't help but think that some writers here are laying down too much critical judgement on the author and miscategorizing her work. And, perhaps, missing the changes in the readership.

Her work is not supposed to be in the category of literary greatness. It's fiction, its a story. It is what it is. It's different than what you write. It doesn't move you. Okay. But what were you expecting? Pick up any book with preconceptions, and I'll bet 93% of the time you'll find reason to be disappointed. Pick up any book with zero preconceptions, and you'll be far less likely to.

Changing readership? Think how different the youth and young adults are today from ourselves. They aren't demanding high literary standards, or even quality story plots, etc. They are children of the 24/7 cartoon channels, the internet, and texting. Everything is abbreviated, morphed, and far more abstract than the world we grew up in. Structure is often more uncomfortable than not, and anything that satisfies the visual/emotional/physical centers of the brain is "IN", no matter it's disregard for convention.

I haven't even skimmed this author's work, but from reading the "previews" here, I get the feeling it doesn't "add up", and isn't worthy of the rewards she is reaping from it. The same can be said of movies, and even though I can't believe what passes for a movie these days, I can't bring myself to criticize the creator's success. They are creating for a market that appreciates that level/form of work.

And apparently, so is this author, else it wouldn't have left the editor's office and made it to where it is today. Argue that ad nauseum, but the facts stand alone.

Should we learn from it? If so, what? That we need to write more like her? I don't think that's ever been the answer for a successful writer. What I take away from it is that you should write what you know/love, and stick to it. Only from that will you possibly make your dreams come true.

Does luck play a part? For her, for us? Absolutely. It does in everything, to some degree. She inspires me in the same way many of you here inspire me. You go after it. You write. You rewrite. You dream, you create. Her story of success inspires me because she did the same thing and it worked for her. What she did worked for her. I'm inspired to try myself.

Well said! I went into reading Twilight without knowing anything about the book, only that my friend thought it was the greatest thing she had ever read and that I would utterly fall in love with it and with Edward. I didn't on either account. What I do gain inspiration from is that her success proves that JK Rowling wasn't the only one to get people up in a frenzy (although Meyer's numbers weren't nearly as high) and that gives me hope that it could happen for me. I know the stats point to otherwise but it still gives me hope. :D