Stephenie says she basically wrote the story of Twilight off the top of her head the way her characters wanted to go. But, shallow, non-researched, non-fleshed-out characters can’t tell you anything. The only place Stephenie Meyer was taking her pretty characters is where she wanted them to go...
Yeah, Stephenie Meyer is capable of writing some really pretty stuff. This post is not here as a dis on how well Stephenie Meyer CAN write. She obviously has a knack for detail, words and characters.
This is actually one of the reasons why I, as an adult, have called her out... You would not believe how many bad writers can write purple prose well. She went to college for a literary degree, she should have known better; and even if she didn't - her professional publishers should have before the very first book was ever published.
It is actually really easy to see why that is if you take the time to read through my literary review of the first chapter of the first Twilight Saga book, below.
I haven't read The Twilight Saga all the way through, yet - but I'm picking it up again so that I can see for myself just how badly this manuscript was neglected by the editors of the 'professional' publisher, Little Brown and Company.
I'm also really looking forward to finding out which 'team' I would have been on - Edward or Jacob. ;)
Twilight Movie Fans who never read the books didn't need them to become so obsessed. That's where my anger for The Twilight Franchise kicks in.
I don't mind sharing, this information is a good and healthy exploration for everyone. And besides, I still have ridiculously high-hopes that Twihard brains will start to clear, you'll get a grip, and make Hollywood accountable for all the messes they've made and the tears they've caused.
Why would I take the time to do this? Here's why: Kristen Stewart and the New World of Internet Hatred. It is IMPOSSIBLE for Twihards to be so mean for so long. I refuse to believe that so many of you are naturally this UGLY inside.
If you need help with a stubborn Twilight Obsession, CLICK HERE.
A generic article about why Twilight is so addictive.
Btw, if you want to read Twilight for yourself, here it is online.
Twilight Book Review - Chapter 1: First SightNote: All italicized quotes below are from the
1st Chapter of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Basic Grammar & Editing Errors:
- Plethora of wordy, run-on sentences.
- Thesaurus misuse: Surreptitiously
- Shallow Bella character writing – not enough descriptions of her feelings, just her observations and actions. She tells instead of shows. Because of this, the Reader has no choice but to assume Bella’s feelings – and many times the feelings that naturally come up for each reader don’t match up to what the writer has written. For instance, Bella is sometimes over-the-top angry or bawling about something in this first chapter. But, as the Reader, I have had to build a bridge of sorts during those times to believe that she was so mad or sad because it wasn’t believable from my perspective. Many of the descriptive details that were important for fleshing out the character of Bella in reader's minds are missing. Since the Reader has to ‘help’ write the story in their minds – things become more personal, intimate and potent than they would have if the characters and storyline had been fleshed out. This is the main reason why Twilight is so addictive, as will become more apparent as the story progresses.
- Shallow character writing of Renee & Charlie – very little description, with interactions that mostly annoy Bella.
- Shallow character writing of Bella’s new school friends – all of whom so far seem to be here just to tell Bella about the Cullen’s and/or to fawn over her because she’s apparently more worthy of attention than she realizes for reasons as yet unknown.
- No storyline conflict, yet – aside from Bella not being happy, and some disturbing guy named Edward Cullen making her unhappier.
In the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington State, a small town named Forks exists under a near-constant cover of clouds. It rains on this inconsequential town more than any other place in the United States of America. It was from this town and its gloomy, omnipresent shade that my mother escaped with me when I was only a few months old. It was in this town that I'd been compelled to spend a month every summer until I was fourteen. That was the year I finally put my foot down; these past three summers, my dad, Charlie, vacationed with me in California for two weeks instead.
It was to Forks that I now exiled myself— an action that I took with great horror. I detested Forks.
I loved Phoenix. I loved the sun and the blistering heat. I loved the vigorous, sprawling city.
We can all certainly believe that Bella loves the sun and is going to miss Phoenix. However, she apparently never spent any time in Forks aside from a couple weeks every summer until she was fourteen. She’s never experienced Forks during any other Season.
Northwest summers are relatively sunny just like they are everywhere else. And while we can also believe that her mother has probably told her about the weather and how much she hated it – Bella only has her mother’s word to go on. She doesn’t’ have her own personal experience to disdain it as much as she does throughout this first chapter.
I detested Forks. …I’d already said my goodbyes to the Sun.
— like my mother before me, I hadn't made a secret of my distaste for Forks.
I didn't see it [the rain] as an omen— just unavoidable. I'd already said my goodbyes to the sun.
It was too green — an alien planet.
The sloshing of my new waterproof boots was unnerving. I missed the normal crunch of gravel as I walked.
Plants grew everywhere in large plastic pots, as if there wasn't enough greenery outside.
Forks was literally my personal hell on Earth.
It [Bella’s new truck] seemed like a haven, already the closest thing to home I had in this damp green hole.
Bella is her Mother’s Savior and Hero:
How could I leave my loving, erratic, harebrained mother to fend for herself? Of course she had Phil now, so the bills would probably get paid, there would be food in the refrigerator, gas in her car, and someone to call when she got lost, but still…
Bella really only feels like she can leave and even feels like she should leave – because Phil is now in her Mother’s life to take care of her, since she’s apparently so helpless. So Bella does the selfless thing and leaves her home in order to take care of her mother even more - by removing the inconvenience for her Mother having to continue to be responsible for her daughter, anymore.
She’s selflessly setting her mother free and stepping into an unknown life with her unfamiliar father to accommodate her mother’s happiness at a sacrifice to her own.
Yes, this would be highly admirable… But, Bella isn’t very happy about it:
"I want to go," I lied. I'd always been a bad liar, but I'd been saying this lie so frequently lately that it sounded almost convincing now.
But it was sure to be awkward with Charlie. Neither of us was what anyone would call verbose, and I didn't know what there was to say regardless. I knew he was more than a little confused by my decision — like my mother before me, I hadn't made a secret of my distaste for Forks.
Bella is not verbose, and she’s shy and selfless – and yet she hasn’t made her distaste for Forks a secret. And also above, she 'puts her foot down' to insist that Charlie spend an inordinate amount of money every year on her having such a 'distain' of Forks during probably it's most beautiful season of the year.
It was nice to be alone, not to have to smile and look pleased; a relief to stare dejectedly out the window at the sheeting rain and let just a few tears escape. I wasn't in the mood to goon a real crying jag. I would save that for bedtime, when I would have to think about the coming morning.
I didn't sleep well that night, even after I was done crying.
No need to add that my being happy in Forks is an impossibility. He [Charlie] didn't need to suffer along with me.
Bella is trying to give us the impression of how selfless she is by not "making" her Father suffer through this torture along with her... It ISN’T a very good sacrifice if you really feel as bad as Bella seems to when you sacrifice something like this for someone else that you love.
Bella should be taking things in stride and feeling good about her decision, even if she is nervous about her new life. But, she’s obviously miserable. That's not sacrificing - that's being passive-aggressive because she is resenting the "sacrifice" she is making; and she's trying to make us all feel sympathetic about her predicament by talking up this sacrifice of hers to us like this.
Bella’s lack of description:
For Her Mother: "Bella," my mom said to me — the last of a thousand times — before I got on the plane. "You don't have to do this." My mom looks like me, except with short hair and laugh lines.
You’re left wondering what Bella’s mom looks like – and with the way the sentence is worded, Bella herself. This would have been the perfect place for Bella to describe both her mother and herself. She could even have elaborated on their differences with how she has her Father’s dark hair & eyes.
What does her mother do? Why does Bella feel a need to leave her mom at this moment in time? This would have been a good place to insert what Phil does, too – who are these people to Bella other than people she’s had to rely on while she’s growing up?
For Her Father: When I landed in Port Angeles, it was raining. I didn't see it as an omen— just unavoidable. I'd already said my goodbyes to the sun.
Charlie was waiting for me with the cruiser. This I was expecting, too.
Charlie is Police Chief Swan to the good people of Forks. My primary motivation behind buying a car, despite the scarcity of my funds, was that I refused to be driven around town in a car with red and blue lights on top. Nothing slows down traffic like a cop.
Charlie gave me an awkward, one-armed hug when I stumbled my way off the plane.
"It's good to see you, Bells," he said, smiling as he automatically caught and steadied me. "You haven't changed much.
How's Renée?" "Mom's fine. It's good to see you, too, Dad." I wasn't allowed to call him Charlie to his face.
This is the extent of Charlie’s intro… After this, they start talking about things and life goes on. Charlie should have had a more fleshed-out description here. What does he look like?
Also, why doesn't Charlie deserve to be called "Dad"? This is a guy who seems to deserve it whether or not he was physically present in her life up to this point.
He doesn't seem like an absentee Dad. If he was, then Stephenie should have written the story that way. Being a Dad who does not live with you is DIFFERENT from being a Dad who is not interested in you or your life. Charlie never seemed like the ‘send you $5 on your birthday and never call you’ kind of Dad.
Conversation Missing Tags & Bella’s Thought Processes:
An Example – Most of her extended conversations are like this in this first chapter.
"What kind of car?" I was suspicious of the way he said "good car for you" as opposed to just "good car."
"Well, it's a truck actually, a Chevy."
"Where did you find it?"
"Do you remember Billy Black down at La Push?"
La Push is the tiny Indian reservation on the coast.
"He used to go fishing with us during the summer," Charlie prompted.
That would explain why I didn't remember him. I do a good job of blocking painful, unnecessary things from my memory.
I REALLY doubt going fishing with her Father and Billy – and probably Jacob – was a memory SO painful to be forgotten. It’s not like Bella would have had to participate. She could have read a book or something. She likes to read, right? She and Charlie AND Billy and Jake would still have formed a bond during those times even if she doesn’t like to fish.
"He's in a wheelchair now," Charlie continued when I didn't respond, "so he can't drive anymore, and he offered to sell me his truck cheap."
"What year is it?" I could see from his change of expression that this was the question he was hoping I wouldn't ask.
"Well, Billy's done a lot of work on the engine — it's only a few years old, really."
I hoped he didn't think so little of me as to believe I would give up that easily. "When did he buy it?"
"He bought it in 1984, I think."
"Did he buy it new?"
"Well, no. I think it was new in the early sixties — or late fifties at the earliest," he admitted sheepishly.
This is the conversation between Bella & Charlie after he comes into the story – where a description of him should be. But, they go on and on about the truck, instead. And Bella is just shooting questions at him and he’s answering – like they’re shooting blanks at each other.
Also, she doesn’t seem to have very much respect for Charlie… She seems awfully suspicious of him, this early, for a shy girl who doesn’t spend very much time with her Dad. One wonders what Charlie has ever done to her to cause her to be so suspicious of him. Maybe if she explained her reasoning a little more for the reader during this conversation.
(Continuing) "Ch — Dad, I don't really know anything about cars. I wouldn't be able to fix it if anything went wrong, and I couldn't afford a mechanic…"
"Really, Bella, the thing runs great. They don't build them like that anymore.
"The thing, I thought to myself… it had possibilities — as a nickname, at the very least.
"How cheap is cheap?" After all, that was the part I couldn't compromise on.
"Well, honey, I kind of already bought it for you. As a homecoming gift." Charlie peeked sideways at me with a hopeful expression.
"You didn't need to do that, Dad. I was going to buy myself a car."
"I don't mind. I want you to be happy here."
He was looking ahead at the road when he said this. Charlie wasn't comfortable with expressing his emotions out loud. I inherited that from him. So I was looking straight ahead as I responded.
"That's really nice, Dad. Thanks. I really appreciate it." No need to add that my being happy in Forks is an impossibility. He didn't need to suffer along with me. And I never looked a free truck in the mouth — or engine.
“Well, now, you're welcome," he mumbled, embarrassed by my thanks.
We exchanged a few more comments on the weather, which was wet, and that was pretty much it for Conversation. We stared out the windows in silence.
Because of this conversation, the Reader is left with this as Bella’s impression of her Father: He’s a typically out-of-touch, insensitive guy - just the adult she has to spend the next year with because she isn’t old enough to be on her own, yet. Bella & Charlie basically just have to tolerate each other for awhile. She doesn't seem to have much of a bond with him.
Perhaps if Bella had taken the time to introduce him properly and describe him for readers, there would be more of a balance - because Readers would see a bond between them by reading how she sees him and what she thinks of him before this conversation starts.
There, parked on the street in front of the house that never changed, was my new — well, new to me — truck. It was a faded red color, with big, rounded fenders and a bulbous cab. To my intense surprise, I loved it. I didn't know if it would run, but I could see myself in it.
More description is needed… WHY does Bella fall in love with the truck? She doesn’t explain her sudden change of emotions about it except to describe its appearance a little more – an appearance that [the idea of] turned her off, earlier.
"I'm glad you like it," Charlie said gruffly, embarrassed again. (Dialog tag, the entire conversation above could have used a few more descriptive ones like this.)
More incomplete descriptions:
It was impossible, being in this house, not to realize that Charlie had never gotten over my mom. It made me uncomfortable.
Bella is expressing discomfort, but she doesn’t go into why things are uncomfortable for her – the Reader is left to assume that she’s a lonely kid from a divorced set of parents. But, what makes her personally uncomfortable about being in a house that reminds her of that?
Bella Doesn’t Act Like a Teenager
Inside the truck, it was nice and dry. Either Billy or Charlie had obviously cleaned it up, but the tan upholstered seats still smelled faintly of tobacco, gasoline, and peppermint. The engine started quickly, to my relief, but loudly, roaring to life and then idling at top volume. (Btw, this is a seriously-fragmented sentence.)
Bella is a teenager… She’s just now trying the truck out for the first time just before heading for school the day after receiving it? I can’t imagine any teenager resisting the urge to take their first vehicle out for a spin to at least try it out.
Bella isn’t as familiar with Forks as she should be
Finding the school wasn't difficult, though I'd never been there before.
She’s been to Forks to visit her Father several times in the past, but she’s never driven past the school that is only a couple miles from the house?
We sat at the end of a full table with several of her friends, who she introduced to me. I forgot all their names as soon as she spoke them. They seemed to be impressed by her bravery in speaking to me.
Does Bella not seem really full of herself, or what? For someone who is supposed to be so observant and smart and selfless, she’s SO uninterested that she doesn’t remember any of their names? She hasn’t even laid her eyes on Edward, yet – although she is about to!
"Yes!" Jessica agreed with another giggle. "They're all together though —Emmett and Rosalie, and Jasper and Alice, I mean. And they live together." Her voice held all the shock and condemnation of the small town, I thought critically. But, if I was being honest, I had to admit that even in Phoenix, it would cause gossip.
Bella can’t remember any of the people’s names she just met; BUT she is honed in on the descriptive details of the Cullen’s for fivish paragraphs – giving them more attention than any other important person in her life, so far. And she notices Edward’s reactions (whom she has just become aware of) to the extent that she notices the most unusually-detailed expressions on his face and gives them her supposedly-teenage interpretations:
As I examined them, the youngest, one of the Cullens, looked up and met my gaze, this time with evident curiosity in his expression. As I looked swiftly away, it seemed to me that his glance held some kind of unmet expectation.
"Which one is the boy with the reddish brown hair?" I asked. I peeked at him from the corner of my eye, and he was still staring at me, but not gawking like the other students had today — he had a slightly frustrated expression. I looked down again.
"That's Edward. He's gorgeous, of course, but don't waste your time. He doesn't date. Apparently none of the girls here are good-looking enough for him." She sniffed, a clear case of sour grapes. I wondered when he'd turned her down.
I bit my lip to hide my smile. Then I glanced at him again. His face was turned away, but I thought his cheek appeared lifted, as if he were smiling, too.
The only reason Bella seems to be meeting these new kids at school is to introduce her to the Cullen’s and Edward. They serve no other purpose, for Bella – her attitude towards them is nothing but condescending.
Generic Editing Errors:
I took the slip up to the teacher, a tall, balding man whose desk had a nameplate identifying him as Mr. Mason.
Edward Cullen’s original last name is “Mason”… THIS name thrown in here, while it IS a perfectly normal sounding name for a teacher or anyone; seems like Stephenie just thought up some bland-teacher-name on the spot and then never went back and changed it after she decided that it would also make a good last name for Edward. Unrelated, duplicate names like this are strange in a story that you’re reading. It isn’t very professional.
When she enters the classroom after lunch, Bella “recognized Edward Cullen by his unusual hair” – really?! She couldn’t recognize him by his FACE at that point? And Bella uses this tactic to identify Edward again later: Edward Cullen stood at the desk in front of me. I recognized again that tousled bronze hair.
I watched him SURREPTITIOUSLY – I had to look this word up. I’ve never heard of it; and I’m willing to bet that most young adults have never heard of it much less used it OR thought it! It means “secretively” – what was wrong with using THAT word, Stephenie – or clandestine or stealthy? You know, a word that we’re FAMILIAR with.
I couldn't stop myself from peeking occasionally through the screen of my hair at the strange boy next to me. During the whole class, he never relaxed his stiff position on the edge of his chair, sitting as far from me as possible.
I could see his hand on his left leg was clenched into a fist, tendons standing out under his pale skin. This, too, he never relaxed. He had the long sleeves of his white shirt pushed up to his elbows, and his forearm was surprisingly hard and muscular beneath his light skin. He wasn't nearly as slight as he'd looked next to his burly brother.
The class seemed to drag on longer than the others. Was it because the day was finally coming to a close, or because I was waiting for his tight fist to loosen? It never did; he continued to sit so still it looked like he wasn't breathing. What was wrong with him? Was this his normal behavior?
I questioned my judgment on Jessica's bitterness at lunch today. Maybe she was not as resentful as I'd thought.
It couldn't have anything to do with me. He didn't know me from Eve.
I peeked up at him one more time, and regretted it. He was glaring down at me again, his black eyes full of revulsion. As I flinched away from him, shrinking against my chair, the phrase if looks could kill suddenly ran through my mind.
Bella describes Edward’s actions in detail as well as her own – but, what is going through her mind and why is she thinking like she is? She’s not describing the way he is making her feel – she’s just reacting to it and telling us about it.
Why does Stephenie Meyer write like this? Have you ever read a penthouse letter? What about 50 Shades of Grey? Her silly sexual fantasy is floating all throughout The Twilight Saga buried in clever (and intoxicating) purple prose such as this. Everyone knows her writing gets worse/BETTER from here, ha! ;)
We [Bella & Mike] walked to class together; he was a chatterer — he supplied most of the conversation, which made it easy for me. He'd lived in California till he was ten, so he knew how I felt about the sun. It turned out he was in my English class also. He was the nicest person I'd met today.
But as we were entering the gym, he asked, "So, did you stab Edward Cullen with a pencil or what? I've never seen him act like that." I cringed. So I wasn't the only one who had noticed. And, apparently, that wasn't Edward Cullen's usual behavior. I decided to play dumb.
"Was that the boy I sat next to in Biology?" I asked artlessly. (artlessly?)
Bella’s conversations with others are very shallow until they get to the subject of Edward Cullen – then we get some dialog. Again, she’s only using these school friends as a way to talk about Edward and get information about him. They appear to be nothing but ‘tools’ for Stephenie Meyer to ‘get to the good parts' that she was interested in writing.
This is yet another typically-amateur writing mistake within Twilight – the author rushed her story, and yet got hung up on too many unnecessary and/or erroneous details – including her characters. She didn’t seem to get to know them very well – none of them, really (maybe Jacob, I’ll find that out when I get that far).
Stephenie says she basically wrote the story of Twilight off the top of her head the way her characters wanted to go. But, shallow, non-researched, non-fleshed-out characters can’t tell you anything. The only place Stephenie Meyer was taking her pretty characters is where she wanted them to go.
Bella talks & thinks in an older woman's voice:
Plus, it was one of those solid iron affairs that never gets damaged —the kind you see at the scene of an accident, paint unscratched, surrounded by the pieces of the foreign car it had destroyed.
"You don't look very tan." "My mother is part albino." He studied my face apprehensively, and I sighed. It looked like clouds and a sense of humor didn't mix. A few months of this and I'd forget how to use sarcasm.
"That's Edward. He's gorgeous, of course, but don't waste your time. He doesn't date. Apparently none of the girls here are good-looking enough for him." She sniffed, a clear case of sour grapes.
Charlie left first, off to the police station that was his wife and family. This sounds like the judgment of an older woman. Again, Charlie doesn’t seem to act like this. If his character is meant to be this way, it doesn’t come across very well.
How many times Bella refers to herself as pale and/or different
Maybe, if I looked like a girl from Phoenix should, I could work this to my advantage. But physically, I'd never fit in anywhere. I should be tan, sporty, blond — a volleyball player, or a cheerleader, perhaps — all the things that go with living in the valley of the sun. Instead, I was ivory-skinned, without even the excuse of blue eyes or redhair, despite the constant sunshine..
Maybe it was the light, but already I looked sallower, unhealthy. My skin could be pretty — it was very clear, almost translucent-looking — but it all depended on color. I had no color here.
Facing my pallid reflection in the mirror, I was forced to admit that I was lying to myself. It wasn't just physically that I'd never fit in. And if I couldn't find a niche in a school with three thousand people, what were my chances here?
I didn't relate well to people my age. Maybe the truth was that I didn't relate well to people, period. Even my mother, who I was closer to than anyone else on the planet, was never in harmony with me, never on exactly the same page. Sometimes I wondered if I was seeing the same things through my eyes that the rest of the world was seeing through theirs. Maybe there was a glitch in my brain. But the cause didn't matter. All that mattered was the effect. And tomorrow would be just the beginning.
They were two girls, one a porcelain-colored blonde, the other also pale, with light brown hair. At least my skin wouldn't be a standout here.
"You don't look very tan." "My mother is part albino."
Every one of them was chalky pale, the palest of all the students living in this sunless town. Paler than me, the albino.
How many times Bella points out that people are fascinated with her:
It was harder for my new classmates to stare at me in the back, but somehow, they managed.
When the bell rang, a nasal buzzing sound, a gangly boy with skin problems and hair black as an oil slick leaned across the aisle to talk to me. "You're Isabella Swan, aren't you?" He looked like the overly helpful, chess club type. "Bella," I corrected. Everyone within a three-seat radius turned to look at me.
"I'm headed toward building four, I could show you the way…" Definitely over-helpful. "I'm Eric," he added. I could have sworn several people behind us were walking close enough to eavesdrop. I hoped I wasn't getting paranoid.
Eric walked me right to the door, though it was clearly marked. "Well, good luck," he said as I touched the handle. "Maybe we'll have some other classes together." He sounded hopeful. I smiled at him vaguely and went inside.
After two classes, I started to recognize several of the faces in each class. There was always someone braver than the others who would introduce themselves and ask me questions about how I was liking Forks. I tried to be diplomatic, but mostly I just lied a lot. At least I never needed the map.
The boy from English, Eric, waved at me from across the room.
"I'm Mike." "Hi, Mike." "Do you need any help finding your next class?" "I'm headed to the gym, actually. I think I can find it." "That's my next class, too." He seemed thrilled, though it wasn't that big of a coincidence in a school this small.
Mike lingered by me instead of heading to the dressing room. "If I were lucky enough to sit by you, I would have talked to you. " I smiled at him before walking through the girls' locker room door. He was friendly and clearly admiring. But it wasn't enough to ease my irritation.
Vampire Storyline Errors
Edward Cullen stood at the desk in front of me. I recognized again that tousled bronze hair. He didn't appear to notice the sound of my entrance.
If Edward were actually a real-make-believe Vampire - even a Twilight one - he would have smelled Bella coming. Plus she's standing in the same room with him, plus HEAR her enter the office.
Questions raised after Ch 1 that leave an expectation for an answer or resolution:
Last Sentence of Chapter 1: But soon I was cold enough to need the heater, so I turned the key and the engine roared to life. I headed back to Charlie's house, fighting tears the whole way there.
Bella obviously had a super-sh*tty day at school, with numerous people interested in her and irritating her self-conscious, loner nature. With the exception of the most beautiful boy in school who appears to absolutely HATE her in the extreme. Of course, Bella doesn't know why.
And since she is (probably, but again left unsaid) feeling that 'she' is somehow the inexplicable cause of his obviously erroneous opinions of her (even though her head knows that isn’t true) - she's feeling even more out of place than she would be without him in the picture. And that would have been crappy, enough.
So, I can see the tears here even if I couldn't see her with them in earlier places within this chapter.
At the end of this first chapter... Honestly, if I didn't already know that Edward Cullen was a Vampire; I probably wouldn't be interested in him nor care why he doesn't like Bella. But, because I’ve been told that he is a Vampire - my interest is peaked.
He is obviously having a difficult time resisting her... And don't we girls love men to find us irresistible, especially perfect ones!
However, you can't tell that by Edward's actions alone within the writing, yet - readers already 'just know' it because Stephenie told us ahead of time that he was supposed to be a Vampire.
Bella has no clue at all that he is anyone remotely interesting to her beyond the fact that he seems mean and rude to her. There is nothing for her to feel good about Edward to draw her to him, yet.
She's not attracted to him beyond his pretty face - the same kind his siblings have. The only thing Edward accomplishes in this chapter is to make Bella feel worse than she already does.
Of course, Bella doesn't know about Edward, yet... So, at the end of this chapter, *I*, as a long-time Vampire Fangirl, am left curious about how Bella and Edward's relationship is going to progress. What will their first conversation be about? How will she find out 'what he is'?
Yeah, we're pulled in and curious - just because we know that Edward Cullen is a Vampire. Again, if we didn't know that... The reader would definitely need more to be pulled in.
Because so far, Bella is egotistical, passive-aggressive, constantly feels sorry for herself and is even somewhat bitter inside. I seriously wonder if this isn't one of the main reasons WHY so many fans and anti-fans don't like the character of Bella (and many times, Kristen Stewart, also) - because Steph didn't really introduce her in a positive, heroic way to begin with.
She talks about the girls at the lunch table like they're infatuated by her presence, but she can't show enough of an interest in them to remember a couple names?
And she's inconsistent... In the same sentence she'll tell you that she's shy, and then that she's 'made it known' that she despises Forks. She 'acts' shy in front of people, but her thoughts are not shy – she’s actually very forward and judgmental in her descriptions.
I’m not even sort of identifying with Bella, yet… Her character seems erratic and all of her “problems” seem forced - like she’s making them up and making them into a big deal as she goes.
Then again, I guess that’s how it would be if that’s how it was written.
It feels like the Readers thoughts are being “herded” – I don’t really know how to explain it. With all of the ‘telling’ that Stephenie does – it’s as if she is trying to control where she wants our thoughts to go, instead of just letting the story take us to the conclusions she’s trying to get us to.
If I didn't know any better, I'd say one of two things were happening (and maybe both) when Stephenie Meyer was originally writing these first chapters.
- Stephenie hadn't "found Bella's voice", yet (although she obviously had Edward's down pat, ha!). I've read where she says that Bella & Edward's conversations were pretty incessant in her head for awhile - but interactive conversations are not personalities. A character's "voice" needs both or their words are "just words" without much intent or meaning behind them. Bella's character should have been pretty solidified for us by the end of this first chapter. She’s not, she’s way too shallow - and it should have been easy for any ‘professional’ editor to be able to read it and determine that to be the case. This kind of amateur writing should have been corrected and fleshed-out before it was ever published for anyone – much less for young adults.
- Since chapters 1-12 were the last chapters that Stephenie wrote – with chapter 13 essentially being the ‘transcript’ of the sparkling dream that inspired this saga; she might have already written Bella out to be more fleshed-out in later chapters, and is neglecting to bring those things into the beginning of her story – or she was starting to get bored with the story by that time, and didn’t feel like taking the time to introduce her beloved Heroine to Readers, properly. That’s another place where a good editor would have been helpful. If she did most of the editing herself, then she might not have been able to see what was missing in these first chapters very clearly for herself – because she had so much history of them in her head by that time. It’s hard to edit your own writing – really hard. You read and write sentences over and over again until things start to become a blur.
Again, here's my corrective rewrite SUMMARY (just the 1st chapter is complete to show what a more 'fleshed out' and less addictive Twilight beginning might have looked like - takes me about three hours to read through it all): Twilight ReVamped & ReWolfed if you want to see what this first chapter would look like fleshed out. Careful, there's been some good things said about this rewrite. ;)
EJC November 29, 2012
I have so very many things to say where to start..... Firstly I love your blog and the rewrite, I felt like you have given the characters depth and a new life. If I were a judge I would totally give you custody!.. I am so happy I found your blog and I cannot wait to finish reading the rewrite! I am even letting my daughter read it with me because its a good story that is appropriate for kids to read and she LOVES LOVES LOVES IT! Just as much as I do! I think what you have written is loving and responsible to the characters and fans, it is well though out, relevant, and I am more than sure (although I'm not there yet) in the reWolfed version you will be more respectful of the Quilette tribe. As a woman of Native American decent (Crow Indians) I was totally appalled by what SM did to their stories and history and her portrayal of them. SHAME ON YOU STEPHANIE MEYER! I hope she does see your blog and rewrite and is ashamed of herself and apologizes to us all and then does the right thing and gives the Quilette Tribe compensation for the movies success and additional compensation for defamation of character, because legally that's what she did she took a beautiful and rich history and culture and turned it into shirtless meathead living in shacks! Its deplorable! Again thank you so much for your blog and your rewrite! On an unrelated note your rewrite has inspired my own creativity and I am finally picking up in finishing an old storie I had started (come to think of it I last wrote in 2009 which was around the time I started reading the Twilight saga..... wonder if that explains it. .... lol) Thanks your the best!!
The rest of these chapters are coming. I've been busy, sorry. :) If you want to check out what I've had to say about the first five chapters of Twilight previous to this new undertaking - here is my earlier Twilight book review.