Disclaimer: This post is written from the perspective of a writer, and not the average reader or even a reviewer.
One thing storytellers are asked a lot is how they deal with Writer’s block. In order to keep writing our stories, we each need to figure out what works for us. My way is to work on two different stories from two completely different genres at the same time. If one gets too emotionally overwhelming, I switch to the other one. I’ve narrowed this down to one story being Fantasy genre related and one being Contemporary. Right now, I’ve switched to Young Adult Fantasy and all subgenres thereof in my book reviewing because I’m focused on my Elven Princesses series. Specifically, I’m radically revising the second book in the series for re-release under the new title, The Ice Princess & the Immortal Protector. Yes, there’s vampires, but the main supernatural creatures are elves. Also, there’s bear-shifters and bigfoot.
One way of getting my imagination working on the new story is through music, puts me right into the new fictional universe. But, to get my writerly mind thinking on proper delivery, I read books by authors who are very good at something I need to better myself at.
Which brings me to TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer.
4 Things I Love
Sorry if you’re a Steven King fan (I like some of his stories too) but I disagree with him on Stephenie’s writing abilities. Like Mr. King and all writers, she has strengths and weaknesses. Because she’s human. Like all writers. So far as we know. And even then, what I consider Stephenie’s strengths another reader might simply hate, because she doesn’t do it the way they like. This is all okay.
It’s not okay to hate on someone simply because they believe or do something differently, even if it’s trendy to do so.
At any rate, I like how Stephenie does the following writerly things.
- Setting. How can anyone not love Forks, Washington? Okay, I get it. Not everyone loves rain and cooler temperatures. But, I adore them. It was brilliant having Bella come from Arizona, a real fish out of water aspect there. Alaska, well, you know how I love Alaska. And that whole Volterra, Italy thing? Very creepy. Loved it. A writer friend once told me to think of Setting as another character in the story. It must be significant, add something to it, make the story richer, help define the characters and the plot.
- Characterization. The first time around, I didn’t really find Edward and Bella interesting. Sorry. Didn’t dislike them. Simply…not interested. I found Dr. Cullen and Alice extremely interesting though. This time, I have more time to dig deeper as I read the book without the movie in recent memory to distract me. I love that Bella is not a Kick-Butt Knock-Off. The Romance Genre is rampant with Alpha Clones and, right now, the YA Genre is rampant with Kick-Butt Knock-Offs. Ridiculous, if you ask me. Bella is quiet and attentive to details, these strengths serve her well throughout the entire story. Guess they’re just not exciting enough for some people. I love how she steps up and takes over her share of the household chores when she moves in with her dad. Doesn’t need to be asked or made to do it in any way. She simply sees that it needs to be done and does it, with no absurd notion that it is somehow beneath her. As a parent of teens, I can tell you it is really wonderful when you have a kid like this!
- First Person Point of View. I love 1st Person POV and I keep trying to write it, but so far I am no where near confident. It seems the key is to find the character’s voice that enjoy. I have one, Bianca from the Elven Tales. I still need tons of exposure and practice though.
- Descriptions. I think in pictures. This seriously trips me up when it comes to writing descriptions. I can see the story, why can’t the readers? Very hard for me to make that leap. I have to really work at it. Stephenie writes in a way which easily generates the picture in my imagination.
- Family Loyalty. Many wondered what the masses could possibly love about the Cullen Family. Well, think about it, half of American children grow up in broken families and many of them don’t have dads at home. To deny a child’s need for families and fathers is to deny human nature. The Cullens are a family with a loving father who automatically sets about helping Bella when the bad vamp wants to kill her, just because Edward loves her and even though she’s a human who could expose their secrets.
- Edward is a Gentleman. He does all the nice little things to demonstrate his respect and care of Bella, like open doors and make sure she has time to eat dinner. He charges to her rescue. Much more than that, he controls his own incredible lusts, because her safety is more important to him. That’s true love, baby. I’ve read what the haters say about him, but I think they’re simply taking his character out of context. He’s a hundred year old vampire. Not a 17 year old boy in modern society. Why do you think so many women love to read Historical Romance? Because some of us still love being treated like a lady.
2 Things I Don’t
- The Good Vampires don’t help people except Bella and sometimes her parents. Okay, I accept that Dr. Cullen does in his capacity as a medical professional. And, yes, I understand they must keep their true identities secret. But, still, couldn’t they find ways and maybe a calling as super heroes to stop the local thugs?
- Love Triangles. This could be my middle-aged self, really. I must admit Love Triangles are common among teenagers, so a bit of realism there. The thing is most grown-ups forget what it feels like to be adolescents.
I’m starting Chapter Three of my reread of Twilight, just so you know. I’ll be Tweeting my random thoughts on each chapter each day with the hashtag #TwilightByChapter. Pop over to Twitter if you want to follow along. After The End, I’ll write another post explaining what I learned, as a writer and storyteller, from the experience.
Once I’m done with Twilight, I may do the same thing with other older books I’ve been meaning to reread, like Percy Jackson & the Lightening Thief, as well as books from older series I haven’t read yet, like The Clockwork Prince.
Be kind to one another.