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Terez
06-22-2009, 12:51 PM
I know some of you like it, and I haven't even read it or watched it so I can't really judge it. But I figured since it was such a big deal when Stephen King said Meyer couldn't write, that maybe this would be a big deal too:

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i111/Terez27/Picture4-13.png

And from the comments:

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i111/Terez27/Picture5-10.png

JSUCamel
06-22-2009, 01:03 PM
I think Sanderson really hit the nail on the head in a blog post he wrote for Borders.com last week. One of the things that we look for when we pick new books is this feeling of familiarity, but we want it to be new, too.

Most of us are sick and tired of elves and dwarves and gnomes and orcs and trolls. They're not bad in and of themselves, but by and large, they're very overused and we just don't see enough new stuff being done with those races to make it worth stopping to read.

Same thing with vampires. They've been done and done and redone and redone and it's really hard to think of those things in a new way. For the rest of us, we know what vampires are SUPPOSED to be like.

These teens don't know any better. For the vast majority of them, this is the first exposure they've had to any sort of fantasy. It's the same reason Harry Potter was so successful -- it's targeted towards young teens and young adults and introducing them to a genre they'd never been exposed to before. And so they think it's awesome.

They're feeling the same things we felt when we read Tolkien and Jordan for the first time. We're just older and wiser and more well-read, so we think it's childish and stupid.

But for them, it's the beginning of a new adventure.

I have no desire to read Twilight, but like Anne Rice, I'm happy for Meyer and her success as an author, but also like Rice, I would hope that these teens would move on to more challenging, more intricate plot lines and more highly developed worlds.

Terez
06-22-2009, 01:23 PM
They're feeling the same things we felt when we read Tolkien and Jordan for the first time. We're just older and wiser and more well-read, so we think it's childish and stupid. Ha, speak for yourself. I find Tolkien to be too dusty for re-reads, but I still love RJ's writing (at least, I think that's what you meant?).

I love Anne Rice's writing, too - there are some things about her style I don't like, but overall, she's an amazing writer. I stopped reading her books mainly because her philosophy changed. Her personal philosophical/religious struggles have always been central to her books, but I related a lot better to her ideas before she re-converted to Catholicism (despite the fact that I considered myself to be a Christian when I was reading her more atheistic books).

But really, I just read her for the boysmut.

JSUCamel
06-22-2009, 01:26 PM
Ha, speak for yourself. I find Tolkien to be too dusty for re-reads, but I still love RJ's writing (at least, I think that's what you meant?).

I love Anne Rice's writing, too - there are some things about her style I don't like, but overall, she's an amazing writer. I stopped reading her books mainly because her philosophy changed. Her personal philosophical/religious struggles have always been central to her books, but I related a lot better to her ideas before she re-converted to Catholicism (despite the fact that I considered myself to be a Christian when I was reading her more atheistic books).

But really, I just read her for the boysmut.

I said first time, not re-reads. And I was speaking generally.

Terez
06-22-2009, 01:27 PM
I seem to remember you bitching a time or two about people who don't trim quotes.

JSUCamel
06-22-2009, 01:40 PM
I seem to remember you bitching a time or two about people who don't trim quotes.

I have a short memory. ;)

Gilshalos Sedai
06-22-2009, 02:22 PM
My beef with Twilight is mostly technical. It fails, to me, in characterization, plotting, and logic.

I obviously don't mind vampire romances. However, when you send your 100 year old + vampires voluntarily back to the hell that is high school, I kinda have to question your methods, if not your sanity. Just to pick another extreme example, Whedon somehow still had Angel fall for Buffy without going to high school, or hanging out anywhere but The Bronze. And Angel was 250 years old. However, arguably, Buffy was a bit more interesting than Bella.

Also, no matter what physiological changes you didn't undergo at the age of 17 when you died, I doubt very seriously you're going to be the same, mentally. So... why would a 16 year old moody, bossy recluse be your ideal whether she smelled like Freesias or last night's Chinese Take-out? And what's so fascinating about watching someone sleep? Really? I love my husband more than life itself and would cheerfully commit murder for him, but I could never watch him sleep for more than five seconds because its BORING. Also, who doesn't wake up when they feel someone watching them? Really? Dunno about y'all, but if even my CAT so much as stares at me, I'm wide awake.

And Bella whines more than the Skywalker boys put together. Tell me how that's fascinating to someone who's lived through two world wars?

Meyers' biggest problem, to me, is that the characters are two dimensional. Edward is paternalistic and moderately controlling. Bella takes care of everyone (by bossing them around), despite wanting to be taken care of herself. Which is where Edward steps in: he takes care of the caretaker without asking for anything in return. Realistic? Not in any universe I'm aware of.

Meyers also fails, as a writer, in her literary devices. In the first book, we're cheated of the chance to see how big of a bad-ass her "vegetarian vampires" could be because Bella FAINTS right before Edward and Jasper lay the smack down on her evil stalker guy. She comes to only knowing she's been rescued. I'm sorry. It's called RESEARCH. USE IT, or hell, take a self defense class. Bella also doesn't even actively participate in her own rescuing. She's the quintessential Damsel-in-Distress. And frankly, the fact that this novel is soooo popular with girls scares the absolute crap out of me for future generations.

In New Moon, we're introduced to another stereotype, the magical Native American. However, Jacob Black is possibly the more interesting of the characters, you still want to slap him and tell him Bella's entirely undeserving of his hottie werewolf self. But hey, every guy needs a hobby. His is apparently feeding the same white-knight complex Edward has. And Bella whines some more. Mostly about how Edward left her ass because she's too good for him. Oh, and took her memories. Because you know, that's healthy.

Really? Too good for him?

However, if this series actually promotes literacy the way Harry Potter did, I'll forgive Meyers. If it produces a generation of little girls expecting men to be like Edward.... Frenzy, you ready with the tar? I'll get the feathers.

Sinistrum
06-22-2009, 03:49 PM
I love it when a thread comes together and allows me to post one of my favorite lols

http://roflrazzi.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/128871364049447678.jpg

Neilbert
06-22-2009, 04:02 PM
I feel like I'm going to regret this...

but does "sparkling" have any special significance in Twilight?

Terez
06-22-2009, 04:05 PM
Yeah, supposedly the vampire dude sparkles at twilight.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-22-2009, 04:07 PM
The vampires in Twilight avoid the sunlight not because they burst into flame, like EVERY OTHER VAMPIRE EVER INVENTED, they sparkle in the sunlight so blindingly, it only LOOKS like they're flaming (thanks for setting up the pun, Sini).

Now, had she explained it better, she could have run with the whole death changed their chemical make up so that instead of being carbon based, now they're silicon based life forms (they're cold and very hard to the touch, they're described much like marble) and the crystalization is what allows them to continue on. Heck, she could have run with it even more and said something like Michaelangelo's David, for instance, wasn't a statue at all, but rather a very old vampire that had simply given up on "living."

Guess that would have been too creative.

Sei'taer
06-22-2009, 04:28 PM
I read the first 100 pages and then returned it to the supposed friend that told me it was a great book. I'd rather eat raw, stinky, old, rotten pork while reading Goodkind than watch the movie or read any more of the book.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-22-2009, 04:37 PM
I would be interested to hear why some women DO like it. I mean, I couldn't find the good points, but perhaps her fans here could tell us what they liked about the series?

Neilbert
06-22-2009, 04:38 PM
Because they are teenagers, and teenagers mostly read trash.

Yeah, supposedly the vampire dude sparkles at twilight.

I've got nothing to say about that that Sini's image didn't already.

JSUCamel
06-22-2009, 04:42 PM
There are Twilight fans here? Wow.

I think the reasons it is so popular are the ones I listed above. The fanbase is comprised primarily young teens and other people who have never really delved into fantasy. Nearly everyone I know that loves Twilight either hates to read, has read only Harry Potter, or only read them because everyone else was. It all boils down to the fact that they've all had limited or no exposure to fantasy and it's DIFFERENT than anything they've ever read before.

I would be very surprised if anyone here who is a serious fantasy reader (and c'mon, who of us isn't?) actually enjoys Twilight as anything more than one might enjoy a trashy tabloid or cheesy romance novel. There's nothing wrong with either of those (at least not intrinsically) and they're very entertaining, but they're not exactly the pinnacle of quality either.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-22-2009, 04:42 PM
Uh... careful, Neil. The people I'm talking about on this board are grown ups.

Terez
06-22-2009, 04:49 PM
I'm thinking I should try to find some torrents so I can read this stuff and see what all the hype is about...

Gilshalos Sedai
06-22-2009, 05:04 PM
I am ashamed to say I bought the first two (heavily discounted), but I've loaned the first one out to a girl, like me, who wanted to read them for curiousity's sake.


She's yet to make herself open it.

Mort
06-22-2009, 05:06 PM
Saw the movie, thought it was a little meh. Decent enough I guess, not my taste and the sparkling made me cringe a little. A girl I know (over 20) adores the books. I think mainly of the love story. Reasons about the writing and other things that could be taken as negative about the books are more or less thrown out of the window.

I can't really understand the obsession... I guess it's some kind of Romeo and Juliet syndrome where all the girls are mooning over Romeo or some such.

Terez
06-22-2009, 05:11 PM
I got the files (first 4 books, and an extra? and the bit of the 5th book that leaked on the web), in case anyone else is curious.

Jalyn
06-22-2009, 05:13 PM
I can't really understand the obsession... I guess it's some kind of Romeo and Juliet syndrome where all the girls are mooning over Romeo or some such.

Maybe that's it. I never could stand Romeo. An obnoxious idiot that flits between "true loves" that he can't live without just isn't my idea of a romantic partner - and that was true at 15 or whenever I read that drivel.

(Side note to forestall the haters, I majored in English Literature mostly because I love Shakespeare, that's not the point. Romeo & Juliet was trite nonsense for adolescents and Titus Andronicus was shock without a comprehensible plot.)

Gilshalos Sedai
06-22-2009, 05:14 PM
I might see if I can read the next two, but I don't want to pay for them. Maybe she improves?

Jalyn
06-22-2009, 05:15 PM
I might see if I can read the next two, but I don't want to pay for them. Maybe she improves?

According to my niece, who loved the first book and hated the second, the others are AWESOME.
I've only read the second and was very, very glad that she hated it.

Mort
06-22-2009, 05:16 PM
Thought of these funnies I found a while a go: Graphjam is awesome btw :)

http://graphjam.com/2009/01/14/song-chart-memes-reasons-people-hate-twilight/

http://graphjam.com/2009/06/19/song-chart-memes-books-with/

http://graphjam.com/2009/06/10/song-chart-memes-girls-sleep/

The last one is the best one imo :)

Terez
06-22-2009, 05:32 PM
I might see if I can read the next two, but I don't want to pay for them. Maybe she improves?
Here you go (direct download). (http://www.mediafire.com/?zjtymzm0ua2)

Oh, and good stuff, Mort. :)

Zaela Sedai
06-22-2009, 05:44 PM
I <3 Twilight, and I know Cary does too.

I'll tell you again Gil, 3 and 4 are far better than the others for adults, especially 4. In fact most of the teens don't like Breaking Dawn (4) because it deals with more adult matter.

I like to think myself well read in the fantasy Genre. It's pretty much all I read. I loved Twilight's story, it's a simple story and has an uncomplicated happy ending. Getting to the end was complicated, but it was worth it. Sometimes its nice not to have all the people you love in a book die. ~cough~ Martin ~cough~

I also enjoyed reading in the 1st person for a change. She wrote the book after dreaming the meadow scene, she wasn't sure about using vampires, she even says she didn't know any background when she started writing. Then she figured. 'hey it's my story my rules" and she's right, good for her. She did do a lot of research on the tribes and on vampire lore, but for the vampires took the known stories and twisted them to fit her story. She explains it in the books too I think, how things twist around over time, just like in the real world. i.e. the bible, i.e fairy tails. etc etc

If you can get through the 2nd one you will enjoy the 3rd and 4th. Especially the 4th. Its an easy read just like Harry Potter.

Zaela Sedai
06-22-2009, 05:47 PM
oh and come on, who wouldn't want an edward or a jacob, LOL

JSUCamel
06-22-2009, 05:55 PM
Am I the only person who thinks Robert Pattenson looks like a total dipshit?

There is something to be said for simple stories. That's why I made the reference to trashy romance novels -- that's all they really are, love stories in some sort of fantastical situation. I recently read what basically amounts to a fantasy soap opera (the Medalon series by Jennifer Fallon) and it was incredibly entertaining. Very simple, very easy to read, but very addictive. I would also lump the first book of Eddings' Belgariad in here -- it's simple, easy to read, follow along.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.

DahLliA
06-22-2009, 06:08 PM
I've got nothing to say about that that Sini's image didn't already.

it pretty much summed it up yeah.

as for Twilight, I'm never, ever touching that. now I know I shouldn't judge a book by it's cover and all that, but the few things I've read and heard about screams "emo" in such a way I just felt my brain recoil :p

PS: if anyone wonder what I mean with "emo" it's the second definiton: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=emo

EDIT: forgot to say that I saw True Blood mentioned in the first post and I can recommend that series. I might even check out the books it's based on.

Terez
06-22-2009, 06:33 PM
Yeah, Anne said later that she had ordered the novels. I gather she was on the O'Reilly show the other night talking about vampire books/movies/shows, since she essentially the one who made vampires cool rather than scary.

Neilbert
06-22-2009, 10:25 PM
Maybe that's it. I never could stand Romeo. An obnoxious idiot that flits between "true loves" that he can't live without just isn't my idea of a romantic partner - and that was true at 15 or whenever I read that drivel.

It's been a while since I read any Shakespeare, but I recall Romeo and Juliet having a lot more depth once you think of Romeo and Juliet as young idiots in "love" and not some sort of "true love" story.

Gil, I don't think anyone is going to defend Twilight as high art, and saying that teenagers like it because they typically read trash isn't exactly calling Twilight trash, it's saying they are likely to be a lot more forgiving of novels that are only decent.

An alternate answer more geared for adults might be for the same reason romance novels sell so well. If you look at Twilight from the perspective of a fantasy romance novel it might well indeed be high quality.

Of course I have no intention of ever reading it, so this is just speculation based mostly on what you have written about it.

That being said, I don't think your silicon based life form idea would have any appeal to the target audience, which was teenagers. The idea itself isn't exactly bad, but I think teenage brains shut down (for the most part) when they hear or read things like "silicon based life form".
(The statue idea might, depending how it was done, esp if there was some sort of tragic story attached.)

DeiwosTheSkyGod
06-22-2009, 10:27 PM
Does Anne Rice's stuff start at Interview with the Vampire? My aunt keeps telling me to read AR's stuff, but I couldn't get through the first 50 pages of IwtV.

Terez
06-22-2009, 10:32 PM
Yeah, that's the first book of the vampire series. I remember it being rather difficult to get into, though (it was my first Rice book). It definitely picks up through the book, as Lestat's character is developed more. That's the weakness of the beginning of that book - the whole book is in Louis' point of view, and Anne Rice didn't like him really (she's admitted to that). Lestat is her star, and she is able to sell him through Louis' point of view in the book, but it takes her a while to really get there.

All of the rest of the vampire books are mostly in Lestat's point of view (through which she is able to sell Louis better than Louis did). Lestat has a much less depressing outlook on life.

ETA: book 2, The Vampire Lestat, actually gives Lestat's life story, which started I think a century or so before he bit Louis, so you could start there instead. It doesn't get to the part that happens in book 1 till the end.

yks 6nnetu hing
06-23-2009, 02:39 AM
http://cheezburger.com/TemplateView.aspx?ciid=4415704

so for us (the old enough to remember Buffy crowd) Twilight is a bit "meh". but do you remember when the Vampire (S)layer first hit the airwaves and we were all, like, wow, that's hot :p

Note: my sister talked me into reading it and I found it a little like Harry Potter (the first two books, at least): juvenile but entertaining. But then, with LOADS of sexual tension all over the place. and I haven't read the sequels of the vampire saga so for all I know it might actually mature some... later...

DahLliA
06-23-2009, 07:35 AM
http://cheezburger.com/TemplateView.aspx?ciid=4415704

so for us (the old enough to remember Buffy crowd) Twilight is a bit "meh". but do you remember when the Vampire (S)layer first hit the airwaves and we were all, like, wow, that's hot :p

lol. love those pics :D

Gilshalos Sedai
06-23-2009, 07:52 AM
I tried all sorts of mental gymnastics to stay only on the surface of Twilight and accept it for the mindless fluff it was. I really really did. That's why I read New Moon, as well and why I am still open to reading the last two/three. But either my lovely degree is getting in the way, or I can no longer suspend my disbelief from the neck until dead.


It's been a while since I read any Shakespeare, but I recall Romeo and Juliet having a lot more depth once you think of Romeo and Juliet as young idiots in "love" and not some sort of "true love" story.

That's actually how you have to look at it (you kinda have to look at Hamlet that way, too -- the young idiot part). However, Edward is not a "young" idiot.


Gil, I don't think anyone is going to defend Twilight as high art, and saying that teenagers like it because they typically read trash isn't exactly calling Twilight trash, it's saying they are likely to be a lot more forgiving of novels that are only decent.

Perhaps that's my problem. I'm not as forgiving as I used to be.

An alternate answer more geared for adults might be for the same reason romance novels sell so well. If you look at Twilight from the perspective of a fantasy romance novel it might well indeed be high quality.

Perhaps, but I usually hate those where the romance takes over. And don't get me started on Horequin Romances.

That being said, I don't think your silicon based life form idea would have any appeal to the target audience, which was teenagers. The idea itself isn't exactly bad, but I think teenage brains shut down (for the most part) when they hear or read things like "silicon based life form". (The statue idea might, depending how it was done, esp if there was some sort of tragic story attached.)

Well there is a way to explain it so it doesn't sound so Star Trekkish. How she did it was fine, for the most part. The statue thing would just be a way of thoroughly illustrating it.

Damn it. I'm getting a story idea.

Jokeslayer
06-23-2009, 08:27 AM
The vampires in Twilight avoid the sunlight not because they burst into flame, like EVERY OTHER VAMPIRE EVER INVENTED, they sparkle in the sunlight so blindingly, it only LOOKS like they're flaming (thanks for setting up the pun, Sini).

Like Dracula

Gilshalos Sedai
06-23-2009, 09:22 AM
Uh, what?

Jokeslayer
06-23-2009, 09:55 AM
Dracula didn't burst into flame in sunlight. Seems to me he might be an important part of every other vampire ever created.

Though I don't really understand the point you were making before. I'm not aware of any other vampires that sparkle in sunlight (or perhaps I should add "when it's not convenient to ignore that aspect"), and wouldn't having her vampires be exactly the same as every other vampire ever created (except Dracula) be even less creative? Given that it wouldn't need any.

Neilbert
06-23-2009, 10:01 AM
Something can be creative and stupid at the same time. This website should be ample evidence of that.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-23-2009, 10:37 AM
I think Neil said it best.


Also, Yaga, I did say that if she was trying to go another route, she didn't a) go far enough, b) do it well. I don't require vampires to follow Dracula's example. After all, Dracula was a mishmash of every Western myth Brahm Stoker could find. I do require some logic behind them, however. How would something that resembled marble and diamonds utilize stolen blood? At least with other vampire myths, that blood is used to power their bodies and to mimic life so that they might better hunt. Why would something that resembles a statue and sparkles like diamonds trapped in coal need blood at all? Why the hell do they sparkle?

Neilbert
06-23-2009, 11:16 AM
Magic. The answer to all your questions is magic.

You're overthinking it. It's like asking why nobody in Harry Potter busts out a sniper rifle and picks off wizzards from a mile away, or why nobody uses shotguns against Jedi in Star Wars.

Not every reader wants everything explained. Some are more than happy suspending disbelief.

You're sounding like someone who really likes hard scifi. There's a reason it's a fairly niche genre. (most people don't)

Terez
06-23-2009, 11:24 AM
lol. love those pics :D
There's one that says "only gay vampires sparkle". And I'm thinking, well, Louis and Lestat were seriously gay. But they didn't sparkle.

Terez
06-23-2009, 12:47 PM
Dracula didn't burst into flame in sunlight. Seems to me he might be an important part of every other vampire ever created. Anne Rice's vampires burn to ash in the sunlight, but the older a vampire gets (and it also depends on how much strong/old vampire blood said vampires have feasted on), the more resistance to the sun they have. In her third book, the original vampires (who were created by a mishap with a demon) could be left out in the sun for a very long time without burning up. In the fourth book, I think, Lestat flies into the sun, ends up passing out and lying in the sun for a day or two (don't remember exactly how long), and then he painfully digs his way into the earth to sleep and recover for a while. When he comes up, he's got a nice tan that lasts for at least a year or two.

Oh, and when the original vampires were left in the sun, most of the vampires of that time were killed, and the few who were strong enough to survive it mostly remained scarred for centuries. So it turns out that the existence of all vampires is dependent on the originals, and there's always an emo vampire or three who is searching for them to try to put an end to it all.

How's that for originality? The ending of book 3 (The Queen of the Damned) is even better, cause they find a way around it. Sort of.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-23-2009, 01:18 PM
You're sounding like someone who really likes hard scifi. There's a reason it's a fairly niche genre. (most people don't)

Not really. I just want consistency within the rules you make up, and some logical justification for those rules. If you're going to tell me the sky is purple, you'd better tell me why. It doesn't have to be scientifically correct, just somewhat logical and consistent. If I liked hard sci-fi, why would I be frequenting a board for The Wheel of Time?

Neilbert
06-23-2009, 02:21 PM
Because WoT is closer to hard scifi than say, the Lord of the Rings. (compare the magic systems)

I'm not saying you like hard scifi the genre, I'm saying you like the the elements in hard scifi (the explanations, rules, and logical consistancy) that get taken to the extreme to make hard scifi more than most, especially teenagers.

I just want consistency within the rules you make up, and some logical justification for those rules.

Taken to the extreme that is hard scifi. Imagine normal scifi written by a Vulcan.

GonzoTheGreat
06-23-2009, 02:31 PM
Because WoT is closer to hard scifi than say, the Lord of the Rings. (compare the magic systems)Does the LotR have a magic system? I thought there were simply a number of apparently magical things and beings, with no system to it at all.

For a while, that bugged me. Then I noticed that it still worked very consistently, despite the lack of anything to be consistent with. That's quite an achievement, and may be one of the reasons why it to JRRT so long.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-23-2009, 03:08 PM
Exactly, thank you, Gonzo.


I think you're misunderstanding what I mean, Neil. I mean, your world should be internally consistent within your own rules. If all flugles have jams and all jams have ruffles, and only flugles can have those things, don't suddenly introduce an opitus with a ruffle and say it makes sense without explaining why this opitus has a ruffle when previously only flugles had ruffles.

She took a well known myth and played with it. Wonderful! That's a great idea. However, she didn't go far enough in explaining her differences, she touched on a few (the sparkling as an explanation for why humans think they burst into flame) but not all and certainly not the big ones. At least not as far as New Moon.

This doesn't have anything to do with Sci-Fi versus Fantasy, it has everything to do with the fact that every world has laws, even the ones you make up.

Neilbert
06-23-2009, 04:02 PM
Exactly, thank you, Gonzo.

I'm not sure Gonzo was defending you.

Cus this: I thought there were simply a number of apparently magical things and beings, with no system to it at all.

Sounds very similar to your complaints about sparkly vampires.

But yeah, I think we are both over complicating things.

Here's simple: Lots of people find explanations boring.

If all flugles have jams and all jams have ruffles, and only flugles can have those things, don't suddenly introduce an opitus with a ruffle and say it makes sense without explaining why this opitus has a ruffle when previously only flugles had ruffles.

Why are only flugles capable of having jams and ruffles? Can you give a real example of this sort of thing?

I'm trying to connect your analogy there to this:

The vampires in Twilight avoid the sunlight not because they burst into flame, like EVERY OTHER VAMPIRE EVER INVENTED, they sparkle in the sunlight so blindingly, it only LOOKS like they're flaming

And failing miserably.

(Keep in mind I haven't read twilight, so if there are easily pointed out glaring logical inconsistencies then I wouldn't be aware of them.)

This doesn't have anything to do with Sci-Fi versus Fantasy, it has everything to do with the fact that every world has laws, even the ones you make up.

The point I was trying to make is that some books care a lot about those laws, and some books don't, and you seem to favor more the former.

I thought I had made that clear, but if there is still confusion I will try again to clarify.

I'm not saying you like hard scifi the genre, I'm saying you like the the elements in hard scifi (the explanations, rules, and logical consistancy) that get taken to the extreme to make hard scifi more than most, especially teenagers.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-23-2009, 04:20 PM
Neil, all I'm trying to say, is that no matter your subject, no matter your world and its rules, you shouldn't break them for the reader just because you can.

Meyers did that often.

Neilbert
06-23-2009, 04:25 PM
Discussion over then, because I am not qualified to argue that I'll just have to take your word for it. :o

Though of note, there are no rules to writing. Break whatever rule you want whenever you want. If people are entertained by it, it was a success. It's not as uncommon or as poor a writing style as you might think.

GonzoTheGreat
06-23-2009, 04:42 PM
If you break the rule, then you have to do it in a very good (ie. entertaining) way. If you botch that, then you've just killed your story. That is apparently what this author is accused of doing.

JSUCamel
06-23-2009, 04:45 PM
Generally speaking, the one rule of writing is to not allow your readers to lose their suspension of disbelief. In other words, you want them to believe everything in the story, and the second they say "That could never happen", you've lost them (and, the way I see it, failed).

One of the reasons the Wheel of Time is successful is because Jordan spent a lot of time world building. His world is incredibly developed, much more so than Harry Potter or Twilight. Jordan's world is internally consistent (first book notwithstanding). Things may not make sense to us, but when you consider that the vast majority of the notes that RJ and his assistants took never actually made it into the books, then you can imagine how they might be internally consistent from a limited point of view.

If I were to write a novel about elves, you enter this world with preconceived notions of what elves look like and the way they behave. If, instead of being tall, slender with pointy ears and living virtually forever, my elves were tall, hulking warriors with three eyes and ate only aardvark meat, you'd expect an explanation for the differences -- and soon. If no explanation is forthcoming, then your suspension of disbelief is unsuspended, and you think "Well, that's a stupid idea" and you're no longer immersed in my world.

Jordan managed to avoid this by using very few, if any, archetypes from fantasy. That is, there are no elves, per se, nor dwarves or gnomes or kender. We have no preconceived notions about what Aiel are or what the Seanchan are. He gets to build that for us.

But when you choose something that is firmly established and then show up with something completely different than what is expected.. it throws the reader off and they no longer believe in your world.

Meyer chose to use vampires, which are very heavily established in the fantasy/horror genre. There are certain rules that the vast majority of vampires follow -- those that don't have special cases applied or have the rules established very early on.

Gil's chief complaint is that most of the differences aren't explained -- they're simply shown. Why do these vampires sparkle? Why is this vampire stalking high school girls? Why can they suddenly walk in daylight? These traits clash with the archetypal vampire, and there's no explanation for why. "Because I thought it would be cool" isn't really good enough -- it's not enough to make me buy into her world.

Brandon Sanderson spoke at JordanCon about world building for fantasy. One of the things he talked about was magic.

How much do you explain magic? Do you go the Tolkien route and just say "There's magic, but it's not important why"? (Think about it: is magic really important in Tolkien's world? No. It's about the little guy persevering on a Quest.) Or do you go the Jordan route and explain much, much more? (Think about how important magic is in the Wheel of Time -- it's pretty damn important. It's the central focus of the series -- without magic, there's no point.)

The key, Sanderson said, was whether or not the magic was integral to the main conflict. If the main conflict revolved around the magic, then you really kind of have to explain it a lot more. If it revolves around something else, and magic is just a tool or gimmick (i.e. Raistlin's stories about power and ambition, not about the specifics on the magic he uses), then you don't have to explain it.

The same thing applies to vampires. I'm like you, Neilbert -- I haven't read Twilight, but it appears to me that the fact that these guys are vampires are integral to the main conflict. I feel like, from what I've heard, these vampiric traits should be explained more.

However, like I've said before, the vast majority of the people who are reading and enjoying Twilight are younger readers who haven't had much, if any, to vampire mythology, and so they can buy into this world a lot more readily. They'll be in for a treat when they read Rice's novels.

Mort
06-23-2009, 05:23 PM
At the same time, it seems to be working even if the author is "breaking the rules". The books are definetly written for young people. Young people seem to like them, maybe especially girls who dreams of finding an Edward next to their bed in the morning. The writing, even if it doesn't explain everything the way that an adult might want, is a success for the target group.

The question then becomes: Did the author really do anything wrong? As long as it catches the attention of the target group, I can't really blame the author for screwing up the story. Who knows, maybe it could be improved further by adding the logical steps as Gil said but I think this book series is more focused on the relationship/drama than what a vampire is or should be. Just like the discussion with magic systems may or may not be explained.

People have the right to dislike the way of writing, and it's their right to choose not to read the book based on it. :)

Personally I didn't care to read the books, not because of the way the vampires sparkles, but because I'm not a 16 year old girl.

Neilbert
06-23-2009, 05:26 PM
Why do these vampires sparkle? Why is this vampire stalking high school girls? Why can they suddenly walk in daylight? These traits clash with the archetypal vampire, and there's no explanation for why.

And my point was that her intended audience wouldn't care about the answers to any of these questions.

Nobody gets upset like this when someone introduces a new breed of elf. Why is this so different? Why is the "archetypal vampire" (as if there is such a thing) so important that any modification requires explanation?

(Think about it: is magic really important in Tolkien's world? No. It's about the little guy persevering on a Quest.)

Is the fact that this is a different breed of vampire really important in Twilight? I would bet the answer is a resounding "no". It's a love story. The fact that they don't burst into flames has no bearing on the story. The only important things are that they have supernatural abilities, and feed off blood.

Several people I worked with read the Twilight series, and not a single one ever mentioned anything about the vampire mythos while talking about the series. For them it was 100% the story.

If, instead of being tall, slender with pointy ears and living virtually forever, my elves were tall, hulking warriors with three eyes and ate only aardvark meat, you'd expect an explanation for the differences -- and soon.

I would expect an explanation for the aardvark meat thing, simply because that's oddly specific, but everything else wouldn't bother me in the slightest. If you want your elves to be giant hulk creatures and told a good story without ever explaining why they are giant hulk creatures I wouldn't care.

Would you demand an explanation if my elves were short stubby guys who lived in a frozen tundra and made toys?

(Since I've been asked to do this: FOREWARNING, I EDITED THE HECK OUT OF THIS POST, BUT I THINK I'M DONE NOW)

E: Haha not quite:
Gil's chief complaint is that most of the differences aren't explained -- they're simply shown.

And my response is a big "so what". Followed by: How on earth does that mesh with this?

If all flugles have jams and all jams have ruffles, and only flugles can have those things, don't suddenly introduce an opitus with a ruffle and say it makes sense without explaining why this opitus has a ruffle when previously only flugles had ruffles.

E2: I'm a habitual liar.
The key, Sanderson said, was whether or not the magic was integral to the main conflict.

Bursting into flames in sunlight is integral to the main conflict somehow?

Matoyak
06-23-2009, 09:11 PM
(Edited)
My girlfriend loves the series...and she reads WoT, and generally everything I throw her way. (she actually reads a wider variety of things than me...)
She likes it purely because it's an action/love story. That, and she has what is very close to a fetish for vampires.

That right there is what makes most girls like the series. Most teen girls (at least around here) find vampires (lemme remember how it was told to me by another friend) "undeniably, irresistablly (sp), delicious" Meyer just tapped into that, and BOOM, instabestseller.

Also, apparently the sparkling makes them "even hotter". Also, a lot of people like it BECAUSE it goes against typical vampire lore.

(In other news, my sister managed to get my mom to read it. She read it, finished it, and literally threw it across the hotel we were living in at the time (due to parental divorce))

EDIT - basically, what Nielbert said. It's all story-focus that sells it. The fact that it is a Vampire love story modernized. It has action. It has love. And the most important part: It has Vampires. This equates to instatopseller.

JSUCamel
06-23-2009, 11:01 PM
Neilbert, you're right on all counts for the intended audience. My post (and Sandersons points) only apply to things that we have prior experience to.

I wouldn't call a giant hulking figure an elf -- I'd call it a giant or a troll or a barbarian, based on my past experiences in physical archetypes. But for an audience who has no past experience, you're absolutely right -- it doesn't matter.

I haven't read the Twilight novels, so I can't lay any order of significance to any of the above criteria. I can't tell you if the fact that they're vampires has anything to do with the actual story and main conflict.

Jalyn
06-23-2009, 11:14 PM
(In other news, my sister managed to get my mom to read it. She read it, finished it, and literally threw it across the hotel we were living in at the time (due to parental divorce))



That's what I would have done with New Moon had it not been an audio book on my MP3 player.

Seriously, for me the smallest problem with the book was that it was a bad book. I mean, it was a bad book. I enjoy a good series, but there was no actual finish, it just ended on a climax that had nothing to do with anything that was happening in the first 3/4 of the book. Not that anything was really happening in the first 3/4 of the book.

No, the horrific badness of the book wasn't my problem. It horrified me that my 14 yo niece was asking me to read this treatise on what a teenage romance (or ANY romance, for that matter) shouldn't be. I don't want to read about an overbearing, emotionally controlling and overly-invested man as a romantic lead. And I certainly don't want to read about a teenage girl who's invested her entire being into a man, to the point of being suicidal over his having left her.

The most relieving moment of my entire reading life was when the niece told me that she also hated the book.

She's also told me I'd should read the others because they aren't as bad. I'm not sure my sanity can take it.

Neilbert
06-23-2009, 11:26 PM
But for an audience who has no past experience, you're absolutely right -- it doesn't matter.

Even with some experience it might not matter. It really depends how invested into the mythos you are.

I'm sure twilight fans are aware that Vampires normally burst into flames in sunlight, they just don't care because the vampire mythos isn't that important to them.

Also, the comparison isn't that great. The Twilight things are still casually recognizable as vampires, it's just details that have changed. Calling a hulk creature an elf would probably confuse people, because of physical archetypes like you said.

VV Being a child forever would suck... that's all I can think of. And a compulsion to feed on blood might be irritating... Can her vampires choose to eat normal food? I could see really missing the taste.

DeiwosTheSkyGod
06-23-2009, 11:27 PM
I only read the first Twilight book, so for people who read further, I have a question -

What was BAD about being a vampire? That's what I didn't buy about Meyer's twist on it. I couldn't understand why everyone wouldn't want to be a vampire like that.

Isabel
06-23-2009, 11:47 PM
Gil's chief complaint is that most of the differences aren't explained -- they're simply shown. Why do these vampires sparkle? Why is this vampire stalking high school girls? Why can they suddenly walk in daylight? These traits clash with the archetypal vampire, and there's no explanation for why. "Because I thought it would be cool" isn't really good enough -- it's not enough to make me buy into her world.

What I have against the sparkling is that it's not established in that world. When Bela looks up vampire myths there is nothing about sparkling.
Do you really believe in thousand years, no one has seen a vampire shine? I find it quite unrealistic. Even with Edward. ONly one time the sun has to break through and he shines.
But no that doesn't happen because it's the most rainiest place on earth........
Sure........... If vampire shine, than they would have been long ago discovered by humans.

Frenzy
06-24-2009, 02:36 AM
Sparkly vampires: i haven't read the series, so i don't know if diverging from the archetype serves a plot purpose. If it doesn't, and it's just there to be different, then that's kinda lame. To me, that's breaking the Checkov's Gun rule.

Rock-hard abs: Anne Rice's vampires kinda went down the ossification route mentioned in this thread. i doubt they went silicon, but they did structurally change over time. Terez mentioned this, i think. i liked the Anne Rice Vampire books, until i red book 4. That book killed the series for me. i stopped reading it shortly after the body switch. Horrible.

Whiny lovesick girls: the tar is boiling, Gil.

Jalyn: i'm glad i'm not the only one who thought Titus Andronicus made no sense.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-24-2009, 08:11 AM
Sparkly vampires: i haven't read the series, so i don't know if diverging from the archetype serves a plot purpose. If it doesn't, and it's just there to be different, then that's kinda lame. To me, that's breaking the Checkov's Gun rule.

And yes, it was because it "sounded cool."

Rock-hard abs: Anne Rice's vampires kinda went down the ossification route mentioned in this thread. i doubt they went silicon, but they did structurally change over time. Terez mentioned this, i think. i liked the Anne Rice Vampire books, until i red book 4. That book killed the series for me. i stopped reading it shortly after the body switch. Horrible.


I remember that now. (Anne Rice isn't one of my favorites.) But yeah, weren't the Eldest or whatever practically statues?


Whiny lovesick girls: the tar is boiling, Gil.

That and what Jalyn said about Edward is probably my biggest problem with this story. I could have lived with the inconsistent vampires and stupid "twist." But these little girls are going to grow up with the "princess rescuing" crap in their heads, that a man will save them (an emotionally controlling and stalkerish one at that). How the hell can Bella even exist in the same plane of imagination as say: Elizabeth Swan, Warrant Officer Ripley, Buffy Sommers, Leia Organa, Hermione Granger, etc.?

Neilbert
06-24-2009, 11:43 AM
Sparkly vampires: i haven't read the series, so i don't know if diverging from the archetype serves a plot purpose. If it doesn't, and it's just there to be different, then that's kinda lame. To me, that's breaking the Checkov's Gun rule.

If I had to guess I would say it allows them to go to High School without being terrified for their lives.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-24-2009, 11:46 AM
Yeah.... but why would you go to high school if you're 100 years old?

Brita
06-24-2009, 12:02 PM
Yeah.... but why would you go to high school if you're 100 years old?

There was no explanation given? None? I haven't read the books or watched the movie, but if this wasn't at least explained somewhat, then I agree with Gil, too big of a hole in plot for me. But if teenage girls don't care (which apparently they don't) then what does the author care? She's making her billions.

GonzoTheGreat
06-24-2009, 12:07 PM
Yeah.... but why would you go to high school if you're 100 years old?To get the necessary education for winning a Miss America contest, naturally.

I do assume they have special courses for that. I would hate to think that level of vapidity came naturally to those girls. :eek:

Gilshalos Sedai
06-24-2009, 12:11 PM
Brita: the only explanation was it was part of their cover. Which I consider rather lame. Doomed to perpetual high school-dom forever????

Uno
06-24-2009, 12:57 PM
I'm completely unfamiliar with this author's work, but if you're writing for people who'll have no familiarity with fantasy archetypes, I'd say you can throw these cliches as far as you can. After all, it's not like the vampire of fiction has very much to do with the vampire of folklore. They're completely different characters altogether, from what I understand.

If anyone's interested in folkloric vampires, Paul Barber's Vampires, Burial, and Death is a rather interesting (if somewhat morbid) anthropological study of the phenomenon. From what I gather, it's pretty universal that vampires are recently deceased people, not immortals going on for centuries. You probably knew the vampire personally, because he or she died not that long ago, and you helped dig up the grave to put an end to the haunting. Rather than a handsome aristocrat or romantic poet type, the vampire is almost universally a somewhat ghastly bloated corpse, which Barber suggests simply mirrors the natural decomposition of the body in the grave. "It is only to be expected that the people of Europe knew what a vampire looked like: they were digging them up on a fairly regular basis."

Brita
06-24-2009, 02:19 PM
Brita: the only explanation was it was part of their cover. Which I consider rather lame. Doomed to perpetual high school-dom forever????

Pfff! Not too smart, creative or adventurous are they?

So, does he transfer high schools every four years?

Gilshalos Sedai
06-24-2009, 02:39 PM
They leave the area about the time people start noticing that the Cullens never age, so about 10-20 years or so.

Jokeslayer
06-24-2009, 02:43 PM
I only read the first Twilight book, so for people who read further, I have a question -

What was BAD about being a vampire? That's what I didn't buy about Meyer's twist on it. I couldn't understand why everyone wouldn't want to be a vampire like that.

You mean apart from spending your entire life in high school?

Brita
06-24-2009, 02:45 PM
They leave the area about the time people start noticing that the Cullens never age, so about 10-20 years or so.

So he keeps attending the same classes for 10-20 years? Boy, way to blend in. Not supicious at all. :rolleyes:

Hmmm, ya, I think I'll skip the books. Not that I really had any intention of reading them anyway.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-24-2009, 02:47 PM
No, they pretend to be 20 somethings or whatever. They have a pair of older vampires that (Dr. & Mrs. Cullen) that pretend to be their parents.

Brita
06-24-2009, 02:49 PM
No, they pretend to be 20 somethings or whatever. They have a pair of older vampires that (Dr. & Mrs. Cullen) that pretend to be their parents.

Ah- still gonna pass ;)

Ishara
06-24-2009, 03:48 PM
It's NOT a good series. The writing is amateur, and clearly the delusions of a mormon soccer mom. The fans who love Edward and Bella's "clear, simple love" are delusional fangirls who haven't an ounce of common sense among them. Please.

I wrote an awesome diatribe against Meyer a while back (if I do say so myself), but can't find it. It sums up my feelings for this ridiculous untalented, unimaginative woman who fooled a horde of similarly untalented and unimaginative women into thinking that they too could be writers of the next big romance novel.

Please.

Neilbert
06-24-2009, 05:28 PM
Yeah.... but why would you go to high school if you're 100 years old?

Well if you still have the body of a child there is only one possible answer, and that one possible answer should be incredibly obvious. So much so that I'm not even going to say it.

But I'll give you a hint: Meow.

Brita
06-24-2009, 05:51 PM
I wrote an awesome diatribe against Meyer a while back (if I do say so myself), but can't find it.


I remember that tirade, and it was awesome. If you had your rep turned on, I am sure that post would have received tons, and then you would be able find it through your rep history.

Lesson: turn on your rep.

Davian93
06-24-2009, 06:40 PM
Perhaps they are perpetual sex offenders that prey on underage girls...that would explain a lot. Considering it derives its ideas from the sexually deprived mind of a Mormon housewife (~tips cap to Ishara~), I wouldn't be too surprised.

Neilbert
06-24-2009, 06:56 PM
If they aren't there for the girls (or boys) then there is no reason to be there at all. However, if you are looking for girls your own (physical) age then High School would be the place to go.

JSUCamel
06-24-2009, 08:27 PM
sexually deprived mind of a Mormon housewife

Maybe instead of writing crappy novels, she should make her husband a nice, hot grilled cheese.

Davian93
06-24-2009, 08:29 PM
Maybe instead of writing crappy novels, she should make her husband a nice, hot grilled cheese.

Win! Though do Mormons believe in grilled cheese?

Firseal
06-24-2009, 08:38 PM
To keep it short?

My feelings about Twilight is that the sun can't set fast enough.

Its fine for its target audience, so long as they actually don't read it and stop. Its a tragedy if teens and younger read those novels, and then nothing else, and think that is as good as it gets.

Zaela Sedai
06-24-2009, 09:11 PM
you guys are mean.

Ishara
06-25-2009, 07:25 AM
Zae, honestly? Come ON! Her characters never "said" anything in the first book. They all "breathed" their words. Ugh.

I'll be honest I read them all. But beyond entertainment of the shadenfraude persuasion, I just didn't get it.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-25-2009, 08:24 AM
And Neil, they don't go to school to pick up the opposite sex. As a matter of fact, they are introduced in the novel as being cliquish and standoffish to the point where everyone avoids them and thinks they're wierd.


Except, of course, Little Miss Obsessed.

Matoyak
06-25-2009, 09:04 AM
It sums up my feelings for this ridiculous untalented, unimaginative woman who fooled a horde of similarly untalented and unimaginative women into thinking that they too could be writers of the next big romance novel.
The bolded part is the important bit.

Not everyone shares them.

Neilbert
06-25-2009, 09:05 AM
And Neil, they don't go to school to pick up the opposite sex.

They are masochists then. They hate living, and can not die, therefore they want to suffer.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-25-2009, 09:06 AM
Exactly.

Ishara
06-25-2009, 09:46 AM
Mato, I'm not saying everyone has to agree, but I think everyone should try to be objective. It's very hard, objectively speaking, to say that Meyer is a good writer, or that the books are "good" in any sense of the word.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-25-2009, 10:21 AM
Which is why I say my problems with her are technical.

Neilbert
06-25-2009, 10:49 AM
Technical implies a lot of things that a lot of your problems with her books aren't.

Matoyak
06-25-2009, 10:54 AM
Mato, I'm not saying everyone has to agree, but I think everyone should try to be objective. It's very hard, objectively speaking, to say that Meyer is a good writer, or that the books are "good" in any sense of the word.
Aye. But I do not see the need to bash those that read them to the extent that you have been. That's the only point I was making.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-25-2009, 11:01 AM
*sigh* Really Neil? Characterization is technical. Plot advancement is technical. World-building is technical. The fact that every character "breathes" their words is a technical foul.

I don't have a problem with the actual story. After all, Laurell K. Hamilton has a similar overall plot. There's just more violence in it. ;)

Ishara
06-25-2009, 11:20 AM
I don't mean to bah, I just have trouble with people claiming that the books are "good". They're not good. Entertaining, maybe. Arguably. but not good.

Matoyak
06-25-2009, 11:40 AM
I don't mean to bah, I just have trouble with people claiming that the books are "good". They're not good. Entertaining, maybe. Arguably. but not good.
Oh, I agree...I personally wouldn't read them unless someone paid me to. It just seemed like you were being excessively rude to those that do read them, is all.

Gilshalos Sedai
06-25-2009, 12:19 PM
Ishara, you need to turn on your rep. Otherwise, I'm just going to post ad nauseum that I agree with you.

Neilbert
06-25-2009, 02:33 PM
Characterization is technical. Plot advancement is technical. World-building is technical. The fact that every character "breathes" their words is a technical foul.

If world building is technical then the definition has been stretched to meaninglessness.

Technical implies an objective wrong. It's an impossibility in literature, so it's really a judgment call, but the insinuation is that she is writing in a way that a high school teacher would find fault with. You have been as critical of "style" as of anything else. That's all I'm saying.

GonzoTheGreat
06-25-2009, 02:52 PM
World building can be done in a consistent or a non-consistent way. Or, for those few authors outside the fantasy/science fiction field, it can be left out entirely. But if it is done, then it should not be done on an ad hoc basis, with new rules and new laws of nature popping up whenever the author can use them to push the story line along.

Enigma
06-25-2009, 03:20 PM
I only read the first Twilight book, so for people who read further, I have a question -

What was BAD about being a vampire? That's what I didn't buy about Meyer's twist on it. I couldn't understand why everyone wouldn't want to be a vampire like that.

Don't Twilight vampires still have a very strong blood lust that is very hard to control? The Cullen clan are very rare in their ability to contor their blood lust. Even if you are super beautiful, strong immortal etc its a bit of problem if you go to the movies or are out on the town and someone cuts their finger and you are charging in for their blood before you can control yourself.

Ishara
06-25-2009, 03:21 PM
Even if you are super beautiful, strong immortal etc its a bit of problem if you go to the movies or are out on the town and someone cuts their finger and you are charging in for their blood before you can control yourself.What, like Jasper at Bella's birthday party? Ugh.

Sinistrum
06-25-2009, 04:23 PM
Ok, 100 posts, we can close this down now. Er...wait...wrong board. Damnit! Do we really have 100 posts worth of things to say about Twilight? I thought my post back at the start of this thread summed it up nicely. :p

Terez
06-25-2009, 04:42 PM
I just wanted to share the Anne Rice news, anyway. News has been shared. Moving on now.