Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Teen Girls LOVE Adverbs

*Warning: Rant Ahead*

I'm going to be very honest here—I'm tired of people knocking on Stephenie Meyer. If you're a writer, you've heard it, so I won't repeat what people say about her here. In fact, this goes for every big name writer, but I feel particularly protective over Stephenie because she's the YA Queen and that's my genre.

First off, I'm just going to put myself in her shoes for a second: I wrote a book—a book I loved with characters that were very close to my heart. I worked very hard on my book. I put my heart and soul into it. My hands shook the first time I gave it to a stranger to read. I was elated and humbled when an agent actually wanted to represent it! Even more shocked when a publisher wanted PUBLISH it! All my dreams had come true.

And people LOVED my book! MY book! I was so touched that people found something in my pages that they connected with. I couldn't have imagined this success! The bestseller list? A movie? Really?

But now things have changed. My own community—the writers—say I'm not good. They say my stories have no literary merit and that my prose is terrible. I'm the butt of every other joke. I have success, but it still hurts. I never said I was a literary writer...I had an idea for a story...and I wrote the story I loved.

Stephenie Meyer is a person, guys. And more than that—she's a writer. Her journey, though it may have been faster than some, is our journey. Remember all those insecurities you feel as a writer? (Is this good enough? Will people like me? Will people love my story? My characters?)

I'm going to use the powers of empathy to say that maybe Meyer feels those very same things. I personally have seen some triumphs (still geeking out that I have a for reals agent), but deep down inside I'm terrified for the moment that someone will call me a hack. Because the little doubt monster in my head says that all the time, and my greatest fear is that it's 100% true.

Shouldn't we, as writers, treat our own with more kindness and respect?

Because secondly, Stephenie Meyer's success is good for all of us. Dude, people are READING because of her. More than that, TEENS are reading because of her. In a world where there are dozens of entertainment outlets at our bored fingertips, we should be grateful to any writer who can convince a person to put down the blackberry and pick up a 500-page book.

And when they finish her epic series—a lot of the times they want to read more from other authors! Holy Hannah! People wanting to read more is never a bad thing. There is a good chance, if you're a YA writer with a published book, that Stephanie got that new fan of yours into the bookstore in the first place.

Not only that, but one could argue that Stephenie put YA on the map. Yes, JK Rowling was there too, but Harry Potter technically started as MG and it didn't have that certain brand of "grit" until the later books. And yes, there were many big authors in YA before Stephenie, but she brought the genre into mainstream entertainment. Uh, that's kind of a big deal, and as a YA writer I'm grateful that people are taking notice of how great YA is now.

Thirdly, I don't care how "bad" her writing is—you know you stayed up until three in the morning to finish all her books. I totally did. You cannot deny their addictive quality, and that, whether you like it or not, takes TALENT to write. How many of you can write a book that readers can't put down? That's the goal, isn't it?

Something about her writing works, and I think we'd all do better to learn from Stephenie rather than make fun of her. I loved the post Megan Rebekah did a while ago: How To Mimic Twilight's Success. So. True.

Because you may not personally like adverbs—but teen girls LOVE adverbs. Like Megan said, when a teen girl says, "Tell me everything," they totally, completely mean it. Girls LOVE details. They want to know exactly how a boy looked at you. They want to analyze every single word and decode the mystery as to why that boy is acting like that. They want to recreate the moment over and over again in their minds—and they never get bored of it. They want forever with a guy (seriously, we're programmed like that from the start). And if that guy is hot, dangerous, and willing to sacrifice everything for them—even better.

Guys, Stephenie wrote the perfect book for her audience. And you can knock it all you want, but I admire her. I admire her ability to capture exactly what a lot of girls feel and want. You might be able to write prose so beautiful it makes angels cry, but what does that matter if you can't grasp an audience and keep them turning pages? Not much, that's for sure.

So there, it's out in the open—I like Stephenie Meyer and I'm not afraid to say it. The Twilight Series is wildly addicting and compelling, and I will be seeing New Moon in theaters. And, gasp, I even liked Breaking Dawn. Was everything perfect? Of course not. But I'm not a perfect writer either and I would hate for people to throw out my whole idea just because I was human.


  1. Amen, sister. Any YA writer who doesn't think they owe a debt to Meyer is delusional. And it's just like you said--her audience freaking loves her, that's who she wrote the book for, thus, she's a successful writer. End of story.

  2. You mention very good points, but I'm in the throes of TWILIGHT bitterness right now as my wife devours the books, so I'm only half listening :)

    If SM's a hack (or whatever derogatory term someone wants to use), so are many others (and were they successful, they'd be ranted upon as well).

    From a writing perspective, I think she can slash significantly, but her writing is in no ways cringe-inducing.

    You hit the nail on the head about her reaching her target audience... Unfortunately, her target audience is so not male... I will never understand the hype, hysteria, enthrallment, etc., but that doesn't matter, b/c I'm not the one she was aiming for...

    However, when you're an author, you're open to scrutiny from every angle (even your non-targets).

    I'm all for commercial success and fluff books (heck, that's primarily what I write -- entertaining, nothing too deep), but that doesn't mean that I don't expect criticism, particularly if I hit big.

    You take it for what it is... either an accurate assessment, envy (or something in between) and move on.

    And I'd say she didn't write the perfect book - she wrote a book good enough that was marketed extremely well - b/c, as you intimated, there is no such thing.

  3. Bane, I agree that criticism is part of the gig—heck, it helps us grow. But sometimes it just crosses that line, you know? The line where it's not constructive or even accurate, it's just vicious and over-the-top.

  4. No, definitely -- particularly in Today's society where anonymity reigns -- but I'm sure SM (as would I) takes great solace in the knowledge that she has far more ardent supporters than she has haters (particularly among her target audience).

    And despite my dislike for the books, I appreciate their fairytale-ish nature... as Megan hints at in the post you linked.

  5. Yes yes YES. Every time I comment about the Twilight series, I say the same thing: she got people reading on a massive scale, and that's something worthy of respect.

    I write a lot of Twilight parody, but that doesn't make me a Twilight hater. Except that I do hate Carlyle's makeup in the movie. It really did make him look like Beaker.

  6. I'm so glad you posted this! Critiques of Meyers always sound like sour grapes to me. I did indeed stay up all night reading the Twilight saga, and it's true that getting new readers is amazing and we're all indebted to Stephenie Meyer for the teen fans.

  7. It's the same old story; someone makes it big and everyone just has to knock them off. Everyone I know who read the Twilight series, stayed up into the late hours of the night to finish them. Writing aside, to me that's a sign of a great story.

  8. Well said! She wouldn't have millions upon millions of readers if she couldn't write a good story! I could only DREAM to have her success.


    By the way...ever read the first Harry Potter...WOW HORRIBLE...But my goodness I'll read it over and over and over...Because it's a GREAT story, and the last 3 books...AMAZING!

  9. Absolutely! I agree with your comments almost to a letter. Is the Twilight series literature? No. But it is entertaining and engaging and just what the market wants. Good for Stephanie.

    Why is it that people still think that someone else's success limits their own?

    Thank you for that wonderful reminder that we should be supportive of each other.

  10. You are so (totally) right!

    I'm not ashamed to admit that I loved all of the Twilight books. Even when I was annoyed with them, even Breaking Dawn, I loved them all. Meyer has an amazing ability to entice the reader and draw them in, page after page after page. I can't help but be in awe of her talent.

    (And thanks for the shout out!)

  11. Stephanie Meyer is a story teller (and a darn good one). I agree that maybe she isn't the best writer that ever lived (I don't think her books should be taught in English classes or anything), but she can write a story that is un-put-downable and I can definitely respect that too.

  12. Woo hoo to you and Kiersten for taking on the world to make it a nicer place. :)

    I want to give Stephanie Meyer a big hug and a large Frappaccino (or Diet Coke or Mountain Dew--or any brand of caffeine she deems acceptable) so she can stay up later to write her next book. I, for one, can't wait for it.

  13. Great post! Stephanie Meyer definitely isn't my favorite writer, but I'm glad she could open the door for the rest of us. I will be eternally grateful for that!

    I often dream of reaching the level of success Stephanie has achieved, and I know it's not as easy as she makes it look.

  14. I stayed up late reading twilight, but I also stay up late reading most books. I think twilight may have started that trend for me though, because I get distracted easily and the sheer thickness of the book necessitated that I stay up late and knock it down in a few nights else I would never finish the book. I think of Meyer's books more as a drug. Get hooked on the first book, and then even if I didn't like the second book, I had to keep reading because I already read 500+ pages of the first volume. By books three and four it was a little irrelevant, I was so addicted that it wasn't really my choice by that time, because I had to see it through.

    Harry Potter, though, I was able to drop after reading the first four books and the first ten pages of book five. So I think Meyer succeeded.

  15. I stayed up Most of the Night New Year's eve hiding out in the bathroom (every room in the house was full of sleeping guests) just so I could finish Twilight. When I first heard about it I had zero desire to read it. It sounded so silly to me. But they I read it and I was utterly enthralled with the story. I actually remember thinking when I picked it up that the first few chapters weren't that well written, but then I stopped caring. So, I can understand why a well read reader might criticize her prose a bit.

    As writers however, I think we should have a greater appreciation for what she accomplished. She had next to no time and no experience in the industry when her book came out. She had almost instant success. I think it's a tribute to her talent that she was as good as she was with so little time.

    How many of us would love to see an early draft of our first books put forth as all we are capable of? Not me. I've been guilty from time to time of saying something negative about her writing. So your post is a good reminder for me too. I don't want to be part of the horrible habit our society has gotten into of trying to tear down other's successes. Especially in a mean-spirited way.

    One the other hand, I don't think there's anything wrong with an honest book review. I'm not talking about the aforementioned mean spirited type. I simply mean from friend to friend. I would never try and demean what Stephenie Meyer accomplished, but I would without hesitation tell someone who asked that I did not enjoy Breaking Dawn. But I would also tell that same person that I thought the Host was fabulous!

    Anyway, very thought provoking.

  16. The movie was just laughable.

    But the book was good. And it's because of the intimacy. It's a romance, foremost. And I think Edward Cullen is why people love the book, in my opinion. And I thought a lot was repeating, but so what? We all obsess. Who can't relate to that?

    I loved Twilight. I was not a fan of the following books, however, because I was ready for something to happen already.

    But I don't understand why Stephen King had to bash her. Stephen King! A PROFESSIONAL author! I was stunned! Readers can criticize. Why not? Part of the gig. Part of the subjective business. But a fellow writer? OUCH.

    But I'm glad she is so successful. She puts attention on books. J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown do the same thing. We WANT to see these blockbuster authors! Why tear, then, tear them down?

    That's just part of it. Stephanie Myer is not a terrible writer. She is a storyteller. I know that I owe her.

  17. Candi, I agree, honest book reviews are fine! I just think we sometimes forget that there are living breathing people behind books, ones that might be very much like ourselves.

    It is completely possible to critique/give opinions without being cruel.

  18. And my mother once said to me (I believe she was quoting) that you either want to be an Author or a Writer.

    Stephanie Myer is an author.

  19. This really got me to much so that I posted on my blog about it. Feel free to check it out.

  20. In all honesty, I have not read one word of twilight but I am thankful for what it's done for the industry. It is getting kids, and adults, to pick up a book and read...many of whom never would have to begin with...AND getting them to want to read more when they're done.

    What irked me about Stephenie Meyer was that I read an article a while back...don't ask..I cannot remember where...that said she never wanted to be an just kinda happened and that she didn't send her work into an agent...her husband did. If you read her site and her story about her journey to's completely different.

    I have no clue what's correct and what's fabricated..... but it left a bad impression with me.

    Vampires are not my thing.....kudos to everyone else though.

    I think sometimes people forget that Twilight is YA and it is simplistic in has to be. It's meant for a younger audience.

  21. Natalie,

    There's a lot of merit in what you said and the points you made. A co-worker and I got into a discussion about SM and she, essentially, said the same thing. She was like, "Dude, you've never been a 14-year-old girl. You don't get it."

    Guilty as charged!

    I've only listened to Twilight and I actually did enjoy the book. I'm a SUCKER for a good vampire story. I just thought it could have been tightened up a tad.

    Ultimately, the reader decides as they should. Really, most readers don't give a whit about style or if you write like freaking Hemingway: they just want a good story. Tell it however you will, just entertain them.

  22. This is so true. Twilight is not just for women either. Say what you want, but my husband read me ever one of those books aloud over a week during a summer. He was just as addicted as I was. If another one came out he'd be the one telling me to pick it up at the store. Yes we laughed at the stupid "smoldering eyes" thing over and over again. But teen love is just that... It reminds us all of a time when we were goofy teens. There's a blog out there called, something like..."Every Man Should Read Twilight" because it opens a mans eyes to how powerful men are in a womans life. If I find it, I'll post the link.

  23. Great post Natalie! I find myself giving these same arguments to people who bag on Meyer all the time. I have thought about writing my own blog post on this same topic, but haven't yet. When I get around to it, you better believe I will be linking to this post!

    As a YA writer, I am forever grateful to Stephenie Meyer and her success.

    Though, for the record, I do get a little peeved when people, upon hearing I write YA, ask things like, "Oh, trying to be the next Stephenie Meyer?" and, "Were you inspired by Twilight?"

    Also, for the people talking about Stephen King bashing her:

    What he said (that she can't write worth a darn) was not nice. But the other thing he said (that she was a good storyteller) is a HUGE complement coming from someone with a mind like King's. Also, if you read past interviews with him, he says that he writes "drugstore fiction" and that he KNOWS his stuff is not great literature. His goal is to tell great stories, not write great literature, and he admits to that. In a way, he is much like Meyer. So, I don't think his comment was meant to be the major bash so many people have turned it into.

  24. Stephanie, I'd like to respectfully disagree about you saying YA lit must be written in a "simplistic" style because it's for a younger audience. Teens are smart—they read THE SCARLET LETTER in class. They don't need dumbed down prose.

    Just take a look at THE BOOK THIEF or OCTAVIAN NOTHING as proof. YA books run the gamut of style, just like every other genre out there.

  25. I'm sorry, I just wanted to appologize for my comment on Stephenie Meyers yesterday. I must admit that I did love the books, read through everyone of them in four consecutive days. She is absolutely one of the best STORYTELLERS I've ever had the fortune to read. But, I do not believe that her writing has merit. That is all I meant.

  26. Thank you for saying all the things I've been thinking. I've read Stephenie's books numerous times. There's a magic there for sure. You're right on!

  27. I ain't gonna lie. I devoured the SM books. But for a long time I was scared to admit it. Thank you Natalie for making me feel ok about it.

    I'm writing YA as well and sometimes you can feel a bit disconnected from teenage life. That's when I read my old journals from highschool, re-read some SM or April Lynne Pike's debut novel Wings, and pop in some Taylor Swift and then voila- you're back in teenage land.

    BTW someone posted earlier that guys can't get into the Twilight Series. I know 3 heterosexual guys that LOVED them.

  28. Ryan, it's okay. I think we've all said something to that effect (even me, when I was afflicted with jealousy). We often forget that good writing is to be applauded, storytelling sells the books. Of course you want both, but being a "storyteller" shouldn't be looked down on like it sometimes is in the writing world.

    Anita, hehe, it's the vampire superpowers! Nick (my hubby) spent many an evening with me discussing who would win in a battle, teehee.

  29. I'm standing up and cheering, girl!!

    I've been meaning to make this post for MONTHS. Well spoken, and I agree with everything you said, 100%.

    (But my favorite parts: "Stephenie Meyer is a person, guys." and "They want to know exactly how a boy looked at you. They want to analyze every single word and decode the mystery as to why that boy is acting like that. They want to recreate the moment over and over again in their minds—and they never get bored of it. They want forever with a guy." — I'd comment more on upon these, but you said everything perfectly yourself!)

  30. I believe the gist of your post is that you feel criticism should be constructive and not mired in undercurrents of jealousy. Another's success is not your failure.

    I totally agree.

    I have talked to published authors, authors I respect greatly and I think write circles around SM, who flat out told me their books never would have seen the light of day unless Twighlight and Harry Potter expanded the market first.

    Thus, as someone interested in YA, I owe her a debt of gratitude and indeed, I bought all of her books in hardcover for my wife, who enjoyed them.

    They were not for me though. I think these books have problems, and not just with their prose. I know many people who feel the same way.

  31. I stayed up all night reading them, that's for sure. I was upset, actually, that I didn't absolutely loathe them. I really enjoyed them, and Stephanie Meyer is one of the best storytellers I've read in a long time. That takes talent. A lot of talent!

    Great post, Natalie!

  32. What a great little rant. No, I didn't stay up reading her books, but I do appreciate the effect her books have had. I've called it the twilight effect, and just like the Harry potter effect, it gets people to read as well as rejuvenating a genre.


  33. Yippee! What an awesome cheerleader you are!!!

    Why on earth to people bag on her??? Jealousy? Insecurity? Heavens! Ahh!!

  34. And Carrie, totally with you on the Carlyle make-up thing! Yikes!

  35. I loved all of SM's books. I also love Charlaine Harris' series for the same reasons: escape, entertainment, and joy! SM and authors like her fuel my desire to write a novel, which is what I'm doing right now!

  36. I think the overwhelmingly positive response to this post says something. Personally, I think the loudest criticizers of Twilight (and note, I say the loudest, not every one) are just bitter.

    They're the ones that slavishly follow every writing "rule." So when they see Meyer's less than perfect prose, they get steaming mad. But they fail to grasp, in Meyer's writing and in their own, the subtle art of telling a great story. That's all the reader cares about.

    In the end, the title to this post really says it all. :)

  37. I completely agree with you.

    First off... whatever gets kids reading is a good book. I'm really sorry to those people who wish it was their book, but they will just have to get over it. Teenagers LOVE that book because of the story. It's so simple and so fabulous.

    Girls want to BE Bella and date Edward--is that not what all the YA writers out there hope for?

    Some thing with JK... I don't care what people have to say about her story--she got kids to read, and that makes her a good writer.

  38. I feel like this is Twilights Anonymous. LOL Hello, my name is Kasie, I love Twillight. I read the first three books in 4 days, lost 5 pounds and a lot of sleep. I had a slumber party at my house when the fourth book came out and didn't go to sleep until I had read the whole thing. I will forever be grateful that SM made teens want to read again. She is an inspiration.

  39. HA, Kasie! Twilights Anonymous! I'm laughing so hard.

  40. I completely agree. I'm 31 years old and am just now getting into Twilight. I've only read one other YA book and that was at the prompting of a good friend. I was surprised at how good it was. This same friend got me to read Twilight, as well. I've been completely shocked by just how obsessed I am with it. It is absolutely insane. The only thing you're missing is the fact that not only do teen girls love details, but so do WOMEN! And, normally, I'm not even a "romance girl". I, generally, HATE romantic anything, so for me to love Twilight is kind of a big deal. Thanks for being "brave" enough to say it!

  41. A-FRICKIN-MEN! I'm not a huge fan of Twilight and I still have a HUGE amount of respect for what Stephanie Myers is doing for teenagers and adults everywhere. My 30 year-old GUY friend LOVES her series and hadn't picked up a book in I don't know how long. The fact that she could get HIM to read and to love it is enough for me! Hoo-rah, Stephanie. Really!

  42. Yes, there are things about her writing that irk me. But there are things that irk me about a lot of my all time favorites included.It's the story she told thatI love.

    The thing is, as writers, I agree that we should all be incredibly grateful to SM. She's got kids so hungry to read they're devouring anything with a cover that looks similar to Twilight and put Wuthering Heights on the best seller list. More power to her.

    I agree about what Teenage girls love too, trouble is, if you present a manuscript like that to an agent, will you get signed? Or published?

    I have nothing but respect for SM and JK Rowling and the rest who get blasted when they outstrip us all for success. Go them!

  43. I'm not a Twilight fan. I skimmed the first two books and didn't read the rest. I just couldn't handle the writing. I'm too much of an editor (small-time editor, for an LDS womens' writing journal, but still) to really enjoy it. I also suffered from Twilight-hype, meaning that I picked up the book after hearing everyone rave about it, and therefore I had higher expectations than I would have had if I had just stumbled across it in the library. It's possible I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I hadn't heard everyone telling me how much I'd love it.

    But more than anything, I blame the EDITORS for the things I didn't like about Twilight. Big time. She's a great storyteller, and that's a gift, and a good editor is supposed to help you fix your writing to do justice to the story. The story was there, the writing needed more editing, and I can't blame Stephenie Meyer for that. It was her first book--how could she know?

    For me, the difference between the first Twilight book and the Host boils down to editing. The Host is a great book--interesting premise, good story, and writing that's much more controlled and readable than her earlier books. And sure, she must have gotten better at writing by the time she wrote it, but I would also bet that she had a more thorough, more effective editing experience with The Host.

    I don't think it's fair to bash Stephenie Meyer. I think the demands of her instant success must be much more challenging than anyone can really empathize with, and I wish her only the best. I love that people who wouldn't read are starting to read more because of her. For that she deserves much praise.

  44. Oh, Emily, you just opened another can of worms, hehe. I will say for now that I agree with you. Editors, good people. If only the industry could afford more.


    Here is that link.

  46. I feel the same way about Stephenie Meyer. I'm a big fan. I find her inspiring, and seeing the characters SHE dreamed up on the big screen makes me want to write awesome characters, too. I was just telling a fellow writer at the SCBWI conference this weekend how I think other writers not liking Stephenie Meyer is a case of sour grapes, and we both agreed she is wonderful. I am so on the same page as you. I devoured each book in a couple of days. Wildly addicting and wildly successful. She is it.

  47. I agree!

    I don't write YA, and I don't usually read YA, but a writer friend told me to read the Twilight series, basically daring me not to like it. My reaction was pretty much as follows:

    "Yeah, I can see some flaws in the writing here, it's clearly her first novel... and WHO THE HECK CARES OMG I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!!"

    Is there room for her to grow as a writer, from a craft perspective? Of course, just like the rest of us. But she tapped into something powerful and should be lauded for that.

  48. Ok, deep breath here. I saw your comment on our blog today and a number of things ran through my head:

    1. OMG, has she figured out that we blog stalk her? Um...because we totally do. We sort of subscribe to your blog via google reader and read it religiously. We've been reading ever since we read your winning first line entry with a ninja. I mean that was a KICK ASS first line.

    2. Oh man, why haven't we ever commented on her blog? It's not like we're shy, but you have like a million followers and loads of comments, and yeah, I guess maybe we are a little shy. Just a little.

    3. Holy crap, someone actually got our little Hilton sisters schtick! Awesome!

    So, maybe we're destined to be blog friends??

    Anyways, I feel like I have a lot of commenting to catch up on, so here it goes:

    - Your pictures rock. All of them.
    -Congrats on landing Nathan as your agent. We're kinda sort of related a little because Nathan is represented by our agent. Is that 3 degrees of separation? Either way I feel like it's another sign we're destined to be friends.
    -Love. This. Post. We don't have to love Stephenie's work, but the hate has got to stop. As far as I'm concerned the woman is a literary genius. I mean look at what she's created! Books, movies, rabid fans, R-Patz, K-Stew, it's insane. And she did it all with ADVERBS. Dude, she's my hero. Doesn't mean that I love all of her books, but it does mean I respect and appreciate what she's accomplished.

    Thanks for stopping over at our blog. You totally made our day.

  49. Hey, L&L! So I don't think it was me who commented on your blog, but I DO visit sometimes and stalk as well!

    Dude, we're totally related-ish! (I've actually been watching y'all since I had a partial out with your agent once upon a time;P)

    Please keep commenting! I think you two are fab.

  50. I'm a fan of SM and her books too. They got my oldest (who does not like reading) reading and loving it. When she finished them she was looking for others to enjoy. I think they let her know that if she looked she could find books that she loved.

    I'm excited for SM's success. The way you described it it is pretty much how it was for her. When she sold that first book she was just hoping for enough money to buy a new van. I think she'd be a fabulous friend. She sounds like the rest of us, you know.

    So what if her prose isn't flawless and textured and literary. If it were, my oldest would have never made it past the first couple of pages. It's not the sort of thing she likes. Stephenie can tell stories in such a way that you hardly know you're reading. They are addictive, and that's a good thing when we are all trying to get people out there reading and buying books.

  51. Awesome post, Natalie! I totally agree. I love Twilight and while writing is SO important... amazing storytelling talent takes the cake for me--and Stephenie has it in spades. :)

  52. I could not stop reading the Twilight books.

    (They reminded me of what it was like to be seventeen and in love for the first time....)



  53. I'm a dude and I enjoyed Twilight but since I'm a dude it wasn't the best thing ever.

    I will, however, be eternally grateful to Stephenie Meyer because she got my younger sister to read.

    My younger sister saw reading as a very nerdy thing that only nerds like me could ever possibly enjoy. She pointed this out to me a lot. Twilight showed her that not only nerds read (though nerds tend to read more than others :P ) and she devoured those books and still does on a regular basis. I only hope that should I ever get a book deal that she will read my books, and if she does it will be thanks to SM.

  54. Meh I'm a guy and I liked twilight, I think it's a copout to say that you can't like twilight based solely on gender. No one is going to challenge your maleness if you admit twilight was good. But if they do, they're just trying to affirm their own.

  55. Also, teen boys overthink stuff plenty too, they might just not talk everything over with their friends. That could be a sign of weakness.

  56. Great post. I know I read Twilight in under two days. The following ones took longer and they all sort of blend together for me, but I did finish them. The first was the best of the series. Didn't care for the second one because of Bella's whining most of the book,

    BUT that being said, I won't knock Meyer as a writer. I may not have liked all of her books, but I would never call her a hack. Even writers that I think are hack writers, I keep that to myself. There's always going to be someone who hates your book, but I think there's a line between being graceful about it and being just plain mean (Amazon reviews are notorious for their cruelty).

    I know how writers struggle with confidence--even the best-seller writers like Meyer--and I'd hate to be someone who would ever make them quit their passion.

    BTW, I know this is late, but I just found your blog. Congrats on getting the ever-coveted Nathan Bransford for your agent! Definitely well-deserved! :)

  57. I know I'm late hitting this blogwagon, but REJOICING AND FELICITATIONS!
    (This is me being dramatic)
    We are better in this world lifting each other up.
    She never claimed to be a literary icon for her flowery prose and her politically correct characters.
    She wrote a story. People loved it (me included, so there). End of story.

  58. It seems to me that a lot of people hated Twilight for not being anything other than what it was—a sappy teen girl romance with possible Mary Sue-ness.

    I enjoyed the books. I enjoyed reading them to laugh, because I found them highly ironic. It was only later that I found out that not everyone read them with the layer of irony that I did.

    Does Edward creep me out with his stalkerish tendencies? Yeah. Do I find Jacob annoying and immature? Yeah. Do I admire SM's willingness to have the plot take an unpopular turn when that turn would best suit the characters involved? Yes.

    Do I want my writing style to resemble hers? No.

    But then, I don't write amusingly sappy teen romance. So my style should be different.


    You are so awesome, Natalie. I hope Stephenie knows about this post.