Defending Stephanie Meyer


Give a Girl a Break!

Give a Girl a Break!

Apparently a large number of Stephanie Meyer fans are not happy about her latest installment in the Twilight series. They are so incensed that they are returning the books in droves. Whether it’s small droves or big droves remains to be seen. But the fact is there are unhappy campers in the Twilight world. And their plight and decided mode of protest bring up a couple of interesting points.

1. Does the author have more of an obligation to the characters he or she creates or the readers that purchase his or her book(s)? Meyer did what she felt as the creator of the series was best for the story. Most readers agreed with her it seems until the 4th book. Are fans more than interested spectators? Do they have a right to demand that an author write the book as they see fit? This is where the world of art and commerce collide. Sometimes the artist isn’t always going to do the popular thing. Does that make him or her wrong? I have to side with Stephanie Meyer on this one. She is at the helm. It’s her book that she publishes through Little, Brown. Together, they made the decision this was the way to go with the story.

2. When is a book returnable? I’m all for returning a product that is defective. But what constitutes a defective book? Does bad writing and a bad story really qualify as being defective? If you read a book from beginning to end, hasn’t the product fulfilled its purpose? Does not enjoying a book really allow the customer to return the book with a clear conscience? I’ve eaten in restaurants in which I didn’t enjoy the meal, but I’ve never refused to pay the bill because I didn’t enjoy it. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m an author with books on the market, but I’m kind of bothered by this trend. It doesn’t seem appropriate to me to read a book and then return it. It’s like buying an expensive shirt, wearing it out on the town and then returning it the next day because of buyer’s remorse. Not a fan.

I’m may be totally off base here. Tell me I’m crazy. What do you think? You can visit this discussion group on Amazon to see what all the disgruntled Twilight fans are saying: Unhappy with Breaking Dawn? Don’t burn it–RETURN it!

BTW – I haven’t read Breaking Dawn so I’m not passing judgment on Ms. Meyer’s writing. I’m merely passing along what I’ve read in various articles and discussion groups.

20 Comments

  1. I have to agree. I love Breaking Dawn and the entire twilight series. I am most excited about the fact that Stephenie finished the book with what she wanted to finish it with. My reading buddies and I are all of varying ages (from 16 to 45) and we all love it. I will continue to buy her books and enjoy reading them as well. Everyone needs to back off, Stephenie is a great writer!!!! Her stories are very descriptive and lovely ( and this is coming from a 39 year old professional woman with 1 child that hasn’t read a love story since 12 th grade). However I do like horror!!!! The Twilight series was a big change for me and I love them.

  2. While the author can do whatever he or she wants with a book they do in fact have to keep in mind what the fans want. If you write something and the fans hate it then they won’t buy your book and thus you will make no money and therefore will be unable to write another book. You shouldn’t listen to what they say verbatim but you should take their opinions into consideration when you write.

    If you write and don’t make money then I say do whatever you want but if you want fans and you want to keep them you do need to think about them.

    As for Twilight I’ve always felt it was poorly written trash so I won’t be picking up Breaking Dawn. However, if those same fans that use to defend the series so vehemently are now turning against it, I think she really does need to re-evaluate her work. When your enemies hate it, no big deal but when the fans hate it? You really do need to take a second look because they are what makes an author.

  3. If you’ve ever read King’s Dark Tower series, he does an interesting thing along these lines. HE, the author, interupts with maybe 25-50 pages or so to go and says I’d like to end it here, but I know I’ll get killed by all of you for that, so here’s YOUR ending. I think he actually advises against reading on, but of course no one’s going to do that. His ending ended up being better (I still wish I stopped).

  4. Odin: Interesting. King strikes me as a guy who wouldn’t really give a damn about what’s expected of him and just do what he wants. I’m still trying to pick the Dark Tower series back up. I read the first book and enjoyed it, but stalled on the second book. So little time. So many books.

    Khellamendra: I agree to a point, but you don’t want commerce to get in the way of story. You have to keep it organic. I’m really curious to know how much she strayed from the first three books to make these fans so mad.

    Jennifer: I really do think that the number of people who dislike the book is a small minority. I would say you are probably the norm.

  5. Like I said, you shouldn’t go word for word but you do need to keep them in mind. Don’t let commerce ruin the fun of writing for you but don’t think yourself so ‘superior’ that you don’t have to listen to anyone. That’s why we ask for constructive criticism and discussion so that we can get feedback. It would be silly to ask for it and then completely ignore it, they offer perspectives and comments that could be very important to making a great story.

    Now that isn’t to say when you listen to much that you can’t ruin a good story. While it is a video game I like to use Final Fantasy X and X-2 as an example of listening too much. FFX had a very good storyline and had an original ending that you never saw coming but it wasn’t a ‘happy’ ending so to speak. Not the typical prince gets the princess kind of ending we see so much of. Some of the fans weren’t happy so they made X-2 to kind of ‘fix’ it. Even though they shouldn’t have been able to, they ignored their original story in favor of giving the fans what they wanted and in doing so basically destroyed what had been a great ending.

    I think where Meyer went wrong is that she destroyed her characters and turned them into something that they weren’t. I read Twilight and the second one but I skipped the third (I couldn’t stomach anymore of her writing) and from what I know of BD that’s what she did. The message it gave off and some of the details in the second part were just too much for the kind of story it was suppose to be. Despite not liking Twilight if I had a teenage daughter I would have let her read up to BD because then it just gets to be too much. The sex and gore factor is just…not appropriate to me. If it was made into a movie it would surely be R rated, that’s just how bad it got.

    I guess it’s just something you should read and judge for yourself.

  6. The twisted thing is the outcry from these fans is really driving me to read the books. I have Twilight. I think i’ll give it a go.

  7. Mr. Ridley I think I’m with you in that I now may just have to read these books. Wasn’t there something before the last Harry Potter came out about the author planning to kill Harry? I seem to remember people (including authors like King) petitioning her to let him live.

  8. What happened to authors like E.B. White who weren’t afraid to kill their main character? RIP Charlotte.

  9. You know, I have to admit it’s very, very tough to kill a character…you sort of fall in love with the bastards. I wanted Tim to die for a while, but just couldn’t resist the miraculous comeback. Think Oz will die???

  10. Well, I’ll put it this way – Oz is going to have to make a lot of sacrifices by the time he completes his journey. He’s got a lot of wrongs to make up for.

  11. Like Roland sacrifices Jake?

  12. I’ve all ready said too much. :)

  13. I think killing your characters if used right is a great way to make a story memorable. They certainly stand out in your mind longer if you build up a character and then take them away. Think of one beloved character in Harry Potter that died, people certainly didn’t (and probably won’t soon) forget him.

  14. True. Let’s face it. We watched the Sapranos ever week to see which character was going to get killed. Authors could learn a lot from David Chase.

  15. I’ve heard that in the Sopranos movie, they’re going to tweak it so Silvio lives – bringing characters back from the obviously dead is another great way to dance emotional lines with your readers, though this, of course, runs the risk of being cheesy :)

  16. They can’t bring Silvio back. They should borrow a trick from Days of Our Lives and bring in Silvio’s evil twin or in this case more evil twin.

  17. I loved all of the twilight books…..so much that I really, really, want her to finish midnight sun. It’s killing me. I would buy it today. I’m glad that Stephenie wrote the books the way she did….the only thing she didn’t do was to let there be a war between the Volturi and the Cullens. I think this is great because she can always go back and add to the Saga. I will be waiting!!!!!

  18. I agree… Its her vision and she needs to do it the way she sees it. Indeed she is at the helm. She has to do what she feels right for her own creation and she did just that. I will be totally honest and say that there were certain parts i did not like, but all in all it was a great book and tied everything up.

    As far Midnight Sun, I Agree with Cindy, It killing me that i may never see it and I too would buy it the second it goes on sale. I have read the chapters she posted on the web and it made me understand what Edward was going through. But, the only thing I can do as a loyal fan is support her decision and hope that one day she will decide enough time has passed and her emotional wounds are healed enough to finish it. I already have a space reserved on my bookshelf for it. SIGH!

  19. I think you can rest easy. She’ll publish Midnight Sun. I have no inside information. I just know writers.

  20. it doesnt matter how she wrote the last book bc if you rid if twilllight then there will be alot of unhappy twilight fans including me i will get my revinge if they are taken away. instead of trying to get rid of them because they ended the way they did write her and convince her to continue the books.


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