I finished reading Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (500 pages) in less than 24 hours, lol. Yes, it was that simple. I was skeptical about all the hype, and it turned out to be just that – hype. Simple is a good summary of it. Nothing to sink your teeth into (pardon the pun, lol!). There was no language to slow down and savor, no depth, nothing to think about. I can imagine exactly why thirteen year-old girls adore it though… just not so sure why all the grown-up girls are raving about it?
Regardless, even bad writing can serve as a lesson in how not to write, I think. And it can be a good exercise in knowing what not to do, for writers who already know the difference. No need to mention over and over again how beautiful and statuesque your main character’s love interest is. We got it the first dozen times. And the main character, Bella, is just annoying. I hate main characters who are supposedly beautiful but just don’t know it. She is supposedly so socially inept, but the second she sets foot in her new school, she has hoards of admirers, including the most elusive clique of kids (the vampires) in the school.
The love between the main characters has no base – other than that he’s beautiful? I don’t know why he likes her, as annoying as she is, except for the fact that she has especially delicious blood he wants to drink (eeek! how about that for a come-on line?). And he’s not even nice to her most of the time. She should have just left him alone, when he told her so many times that he was bad for her. I kept thinking she should date that other dude who liked her (Mike?). He seemed nice, cute, doting, friendly, warm-blooded, no sharp blood-thirsty teeth. But then, I guess some girls are just into that bad-boy type.
And speaking of love stories, lol, the couple in my novel are seventeen, going on eighteen, at the start of my novel, and my novel looks damn-near pornographic next to Twilight. I am SO not writing YA, I guess. I mean, chastity is fine and all. It’s admirable to wait, save yourself for marriage if that’s your thing. (One of my almost eighteen year-old main characters is a virgin still, at the start of the novel – she loses it by about chapter five, lol). But to think that none of Twilight’s almost eighteen-year-old characters are doing anything more than having first kisses and hand-holding? A whole high school full of eighteen year-old virgins? No boob-groping? No BJ’s in their cars? They have an unsupervised camp-out on the beach, and none of those couples sneak off into the woods together? Not even hour-long first-base back massages??? (Do you remember those? Those were nice, actually.)
So it’s all a bit far-fetched. I’m sorry, but it just is. I know, it’s YA. Don’t they usually throw in a couple kids who do have sex as a bad example or something? And then there’s the excuse that he’s a vampire, he’s too strong and could hurt her, but the whole time I’m thinking, “Girl, just climb on up there, he doesn’t have to move, he doesn’t have to do anything.”
I can feel my devil horns growing…
Anyway, what I’m taking from this experience, I guess, is that it was a decent example of suspense and pacing and tension. It was a page turner, after all, I did finish it in less than 24 hours, didn’t I? And all stories, even the well-written ones I prefer to read (and hopefully someday write), should make the reader intrigued enough to keep reading.
NaNoWriMo Stats: end of day 23
30915 words (on track = 38333)
I am hopelessly behind after taking a couple much needed days off, indulging myself in Weeds and Twilight. I am okay with this 🙂