“The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you didn’t write.”
—Unknown

The Case Against Twilight

This post was originally published in November 2011.

Joe here. After I posted Confessions of a Guy Who Likes Twilight, Liz asked if she could post her rebuttal. I always enjoy sibling-like sparring with Liz, so I said yes. Here’s Liz with her vampirical rant on all things Stephenie Meyer.

Stephenie MeyerSaying that the Twilight books are a polarizing series is an understatement. As much as Joe enjoyed the books, I can’t stand them. (Full disclosure: I haven’t read them. However, I’ve read enough excerpts from Reasoning With Vampires to feel like I can speak with at least a little bit of confidence.)

I’m just going to say it. Stephenie Meyer is not a good writer. Cue the defensive comments below.

Three Reasons Twilight Isn’t Well Written

I’m not talking about her storytelling. Like I said, I haven’t read the books. I don’t know how Stephenie (good lord, all those e’s) puts together her paragraphs to form a cohesive narrative. I’ve only read excerpts. But you know what? You don’t need to know the storyline to critique poor sentence structure.

Here are my three arguments against Twilight.

1. Misused Semicolons

Stephenie writes some weird sentences. And I don’t mean in the sense of, “Oh, Bella is experiencing vampires for the first time; obviously things are a little weird.” I’m talking about sentences that are like runaway trains that can’t be stopped, with semicolons as period placeholders. No, Stephenie. Finish the thought and be done with it already.

Example:

The dark road was the hardest part; the bright lights at the airport in Florence made it easier, as did the chance to brush my teeth and change into clean clothes; Alice bought Edward new clothes, too, and he left the dark cloak on a pile of trash in an alley.

Don’t get me wrong; you know I love a well-placed semicolon. These are not well-placed semicolons. The smattering of commas thrown in for good measure does not help. Periods are good, everyone. Periods are your friends.

2. Strange Use of Commas

And then there are things like this.

“Stop!” I shrieked, my voice echoing in the silence, jumping forward to put myself between them.

Anyone else think the visual of Bella’s voice leaping from her throat to break up a fight is amusing? It’s okay if you chuckled; I did. There are better ways to write this sentence that keep Bella’s vocal chords comfortably in her throat where they belong.

3. Violation of Verb Tense Agreement

Finally, I present a violation of the most basic verb tense agreement rule.

I couldn’t decide if his face was beautiful or not. I suppose the features were perfect.

First of all, gag me with a spoon. Secondly, who let that present-tense verb (suppose) out past its bedtime? Narrative verb tense needs to be consistent. If you’re in the past tense, stay in the past tense (with the exception of dialogue).

I will say this about Twilight: it gets people reading. For that, I will commend it. That’s about all the praise it’s getting from me.

Do you have a case against Twilight? Share your case in the comments below.

PRACTICE

Well, since we’ve had our own rant today, why don’t you present your own case against about something you find particularly annoying. It could be about Twilight or rap music or bad drivers. Just let ‘er rip.

Write for fifteen minutes, and then post your sparkly practice in the comments so we can watch the fireworks.

About Liz Bureman

Liz Bureman has a more-than-healthy interest in proper grammatical structure, accurate spelling, and the underappreciated semicolon. When she's not diagramming sentences and reading blogs about how terribly written the Twilight series is, she edits for the Write Practice, causes trouble in Denver, and plays guitar very slowly and poorly. You can follow her on Twitter (@epbure), where she tweets more about music of the mid-90s than writing.

  • I sort of agree with Liz, but her “I’m God’s Gift to Grammar” tone has led me toward wanting to read them just to piss her off. 😉

    Is that wrong; I think it is; perhaps; maybe; yes?

    • Ha! Hopefully she doesn’t see this.

      • I know. I’m a little bit terrified now.

        In my defense, I wrote that comment before I had my coffee and after I had my Jack Daniels.

        Accountability is only as strong as one’s sobriety.

        • Unbelievable, Brian. Fortunately, I know you’re joking.

    • epbure

      Oh Brian. The internet has no hiding places.

      Who am I to stop you from reading the Twilight series? Reading is always a good thing! But you have to admit that those are some pretty basic structural errors that shouldn’t have been made. Most people could see that, be they God’s Gift to Grammar or not. 🙂

      And apparently, the copy that went to her editor was worse. I’ve seen excerpts. It’s kind of hilarious.

      • Jo Hannah Mercurio

        Stephanie Meyer uses bad grammar and time travels within the same sentence. But the final product being presented that way is really the fault of the editor and the publisher who allowed it, right?

      • The problem was that it wasn’t just a few errors, it was the entire book, the entire series. It makes me feel embarrassed for her.

  • I sort of agree with Liz, but her “I’m God’s Gift to Grammar” tone has led me toward wanting to read them just to piss her off. 😉

    Is that wrong; I think it is; perhaps; maybe; yes?

    • Ha! Hopefully she doesn’t see this.

      • I know. I’m a little bit terrified now.

        In my defense, I wrote that comment before I had my coffee and after I had my Jack Daniels.

        Accountability is only as strong as one’s sobriety.

        • Unbelievable, Brian. Fortunately, I know you’re joking.

    • Oh Brian. The internet has no hiding places.

      Who am I to stop you from reading the Twilight series? Reading is always a good thing! But you have to admit that those are some pretty basic structural errors that shouldn’t have been made. Most people could see that, be they God’s Gift to Grammar or not. 🙂

      And apparently, the copy that went to her editor was worse. I’ve seen excerpts. It’s kind of hilarious.

  • Guest

    Here’s my rant:
    Why is it assumed that one can post a photo of a beautiful woman on a blog site without a caption, and everyone should know who she is? Or is it “whom”? (Dog gone it, Liz makes me so nervous!)

    I believe unnamed photos should be reserved only for Julia Roberts and the Queen. All other subjects must be labeled!

    Is this beautiful young woman, in her red v-neck and necklace, our Liz, the blogger? Is this the face of someone who can send vampires into hiding with her laser beam tirades about semicolons? Or is this a photo of Belle, the protagonist from the most beloved series of books ever written since the New Testament? Or perhaps it’s the famous author from this highly acclaimed vampire book series, Stephenie with all those e’s? (side note: why do we put an apostrophe s after a letter?) The problem is, none of these three women are as famous as Julia or the Queen, so her picture must include a caption that tells us who-the-heck she is!

    Rant over and out!

    • Don’t be nervous, Tom. Liz is all about bark. She has less bite in her than a vampire in love.

      The photo would be Stephenie. Apologies for the lack of captions. Rant noted.

    • epbure

      Joe’s right, Tom. I talk a big game, but I’m mostly harmless. This blog post is probably some of the worst you’d get from me, and a rant about semicolon use is the nerdiest smack talk you will ever hear.

      Also, in response to your apostrophe question, it’s mostly to eliminate confusion. Best visualization: imagine you have a bucket full of i’s. Now take out the apostrophe.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s my rant:
    Why is it assumed that one can post a photo of a beautiful woman on a blog site without a caption, and everyone should know who she is? Or is it “whom”? (Dog gone it, Liz makes me so nervous!)

    I believe unnamed photos should be reserved only for Julia Roberts and the Queen. All other subjects must be labeled!

    Is this beautiful young woman, in her red v-neck and necklace, our Liz, the blogger? Is this the face of someone who can send vampires into hiding with her laser beam tirades about semicolons? Or is this a photo of Belle, the protagonist from the most beloved series of books ever written since the New Testament? Or perhaps it’s the famous author from this highly acclaimed vampire book series, Stephenie with all those e’s? (side note: why do we put an apostrophe s after a letter?) The problem is, none of these three women are as famous as Julia or the Queen, so her picture must include a caption that tells us who-the-heck she is!

    Rant over and out!

    • Don’t be nervous, Tom. Liz is all about bark. She has less bite in her than a vampire in love.

      The photo would be Stephenie. Apologies for the lack of captions. Rant noted.

    • Joe’s right, Tom. I talk a big game, but I’m mostly harmless. This blog post is probably some of the worst you’d get from me, and a rant about semicolon use is probably the nerdiest smack talk you will ever hear.

  • OK, no long rant here, but I agree with Liz. I’ve not read any of the Twilight series either, but have heard enough about it and read enough reviews and excerpts. If the sentences Liz quoted were posed to a grammar pro, they’d be thrown out in a minute! If we’re going to write, we should do it to encourage others to do the same.

  • OK, no long rant here, but I agree with Liz. I’ve not read any of the Twilight series either, but have heard enough about it and read enough reviews and excerpts. If the sentences Liz quoted were posed to a grammar pro, they’d be thrown out in a minute! If we’re going to write, we should do it to encourage others to do the same.

  • seth_barnes

    I got a kick out Liz’s comments. Especially liked, “who let that present-tense verb (suppose) out past its bedtime? “

  • I got a kick out Liz’s comments. Especially liked, “who let that present-tense verb (suppose) out past its bedtime? “

  • David Roth

    I suppose it’s not completely fair to write a review of a book you didn’t actually finish, but therein do it lay, the problem. I couldn’t finish it. Oh, it’s not like I had to give it back, or ran out of time, but rather the book itself.
    ***WARNING: SPOLIER ALERT***
    The problem is that this may very well be the most poorly written book I have ever read – or tried to read.
    ***END OF SPOILER***
    The Usurper, ©2010 by Cliff Ball, ISBN 9781452429205 is just plain a badly written book.
    On its best day you could call it the badly written unauthorized biography of Barry Soetoro A.K.A. Barack Hussein Obama. A thinly veiled one at that. It’s the kind of bad press media spin dribble that a closet conspiracy theorist would just eat up. In fact, you could entertain either of two premises regarding the book. It was written by a right wing conspiracy theorist to get the ‘truth’ about the President’s ‘secret’ agenda out there for people clever enough to connect the dots, or on the other hand it was written by an Obama supporter to look like the bad nightmare of a right wing conspiracy theorist.
    Hmmm – it would appear I am over using the term ‘conspiracy theorist’ would it not?
    It’s not even well hidden.
    Quoting from the author’s website: “In this political thriller, Gary Jackson is raised to hate. Hate the United States, and everything it has ever stood for. His mission is to destroy the United States from within, allying himself with America’s enemies to accomplish the deed. He stops at nothing, and a small group of Americans decide they need to stop him. Will they succeed or will the US be relegated to the dustbin of history?”
    With the names of characters like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Janet Reno, and Ann Dunham (Barry’s mother) so underwhelmingly altered from those of their real life counterparts the book becomes more comedic farce or parody than serious political thriller. All the pieces are there for, say Tom Clancy or Stephen Coonts to make for a first class thriller, but I’m sorry to say in Cliff Ball’s hands the best thing about this book is the thing that got my attention to begin with – great cover art. Well, that and the $2.99 Kindle download price.
    Mr. Ball has tried his hand at several genres, and I can’t speak to whether or not they’re better written than this one, but this need another pass through the hands of an experienced content editor and at least another serious rewrite before it’s really ready for prime time.
    An interesting idea just so badly written as to hurt the eyes to read it in any format, I give The Usurper by Cliff Ball two stars out of five, mostly for selling it on Amazon for what it’s worth, and having the tenacity to put it out there.

  • Approaching Twilight from a literary analysis standpoint, and from a cultural standpoint, I find the plot itself the most disturbing. Put plainly, Bella is the most boring and lifeless character I’ve ever read. I don’t want to go all feminist wacko on this topic, but really.

    Bella is so co-dependent, so damsel in distress, so melancholy and willing to drown in her misery, that I am deeply concerned for any teenage girl that finds her behavior admirable (or all those 30-something women out there that are obsessed with it, too!)

    To me, it’s a commentary about the loss of self-worth for women in our society. Bella is not interested in finishing school, going to college, getting a job, having a hobby, making friends with other girls her age, nothing. To see a writer make bank on a character that personifies everything that isn’t right with today’s teenage girls, and see her indulge her character in all her fantasies, and create a world in which her complete lack of self-worth reaps positive results is really sad and disturbing to me. I think it’s a violation of true literature, and all that women writers have worked toward with characters like Elizabeth Bennett and Jane Eyre and Hermione Granger.

    I read all four books, and while they were definitely easy reads, I kept pleading with Meyer to let Bella grow a backbone already! Can’t she be good at something other than wanting sex?

    • I thought she grew some balls in the fourth one, but in general, you’re right. Edward was much more interesting as a character.

      “To me, it’s a commentary about the loss of self-worth for women in our society.” You should tweet that one.

      • Xenia Rose

        Edward was my least favorite character in the book, followed closely by Jacob. I much preferred Jasper, then Carlisle, then Emmet of the Cullens. My fave male character in the books, is actually Garrett, who doesn’t show up to book four, movie 5. I felt sorry for Alistair, but the actor is one of my favorite actors, so, it was fun to see him play, Alistair. Everyone knocks these books, so. But, I see Bella as the socially awkward, uncoordinated, forced to be the adult in the parent-child dynamic, teenaged girl’s heroine. She has no magic, she has no cause or quest, she just has to survive being ordinary and that is not an easy thing at 16, when you are surrounded by people like Jessica and Mike, who are not awkward and socially inept. To me she grows as the series progresses. Timid little mouse in Twilight and New Moon, survives major depression and begins to battle her way out of it, goes to Italy and faces off with Volturi and is willing to die for those she loves. Then she begins to come into her own in the last book and by the battle she is nothing like the timid, little mouse at the beginning. She ends up being the person who saves everyone she loves. She is better at being a vampire than those who are older than she is. Edward says it best, “I have the bad habit of underestimating you. Every time I think you can’t overcome something, you prove me wrong…”(paraphrased). Sometimes, it is best to just view a piece as itself, and not compare it to others in the genre or even to the book of itself. Just enjoy it for the movie it is. Bella is not meant to be anyone but Bella. And Bellas do exist and grow up to be well-adjusted, happy people.

    • She also doesn’t grow or progress as a character whatsoever over the course of the first book (or first two really). Compared to other popular novels among the same age group, it’s pretty pathetic.

      Harry Potter is about an ordinary boy who becomes an extraordinary leader through circumstance.

      The Hunger Games is similar. The main character is an ordinary person who throws herself into a perilous situation and rises to meet the challenge.

      But in Twilight, Bella does absolutely nothing. And to make matters worse, she’s unconscious during the “climax” of the book. So unfulfilling.

    • Alex

      Agree, agree, agree! For everyone who argues the point by saying, “Well don’t all young adults and teenagers have self-esteem issues?” Maybe, but aren’t many teenagers and young adults very narcissistic too? Of course, vanity intertwines with low self-esteem, but there is so much more than just being self-destructive and revolving your world around a man/woman when you are at this prime age, instead of focusing on your own values and your own accomplishments. I just think the story romanticized all the wrong things, given the target audience. When comparing it to other coming-of-age stories, I think it is lacking. From what I understand so far, I think it would have been toxic for me at the age of sixteen, because of how it romanticizes the idea that a woman can gain all of her happiness, all of her self-worth from a good-looking man. And at that age, or any age for that matter, anyone is easily influenced by what they see and what they watch. You have to make yourself happy and not rely on someone else for your happiness. If I was told that she had grown as a character, or that her dysfunctional relationship had caused some inner change, then maybe I wouldn’t think this way. And maybe I should read the book before judging.

      • Ray25Lu

        I really disagree with both comments. Listen, I can understand if people have gripes with Meyer’s writing style or her lack of character development, but it’s unfair to say that this character is a poor “role model” for the “target audience”. What target audience? Stephanie Meyer has clearly said numerous times that she didn’t write this story for teenage girls, she just wrote it. Initially, she didn’t intend for it to really be anything. So it isn’t like this was some kind of character mold designed for little girls to follow. Secondly, who cares if she romanticizes the wrong things? Who cares if she makes poor decisions? Honestly, who cares if she’s dumb? She’s a character. There are characters in so many different fictional universes that are killers and rapists and they’re fun and entertaining to read. If you’re an author, and I believe that there are many writers in here, I believe that you should write a character the way that you see them, not by the effect you think that they’ll have on this generation of girls. And let’s be honest, we’ve all fallen in love, and have been through that process where nothing else has mattered except for that person. So stop with all the hatin’!

        • Sandra D

          good point. truth be told there are a lot of people out there with these traits, so people should be allowed to write it.

      • 709writer

        Yes, the belief that someone can gain all of their happiness and self-worth from the opposite sex is absolutely false. No matter how much attention, or even love, that person gives us, we will never feel complete. As humans, we need so much more. Only Jesus Christ can satisfy the longing for love and affection.

        • Xenia Rose

          Bella states it at the end of Eclipse. She decided on the course she did, not because of Edward, but because she finally figured out where she belonged, where she could be in step and she was ready to begin her life. In the end, she didn’t need the opposite sex to decide the course of her life, she just needed to see herself more clearly. Her love for Edward is a bonus, not how she garners her self-worth. There are people who at the age of 18, just want to get started. To have the family, the children, the life they want without going through more schooling, just to come back to what they knew when they were 18. I wish I had the courage to just do what I wanted. I went through school, a career I never really wanted, let the guy go because my family wanted me to go to school, not get married. Now, I have no children, I am not married. I am starting a career that I want 30 years ago. All because wanting to be Donna Reed was not considered a valid life choice when I was 18.

          • Jo Hannah Mercurio

            And it still isn’t.

    • Xenia Rose

      She does come into her own, when she becomes a vampire. Sorry, spoiler alert, but I think everyone figures that is where the story is headed, all vamp love stories go there. I found it refreshing to read a book about a heroine who doesn’t always pull it together and go on wounded. I think it speaks to those of us,who never really seem to fit in anywhere, who went through puberty thinking we were nothing special, so why would anyone special want to be with us. It is a story were the uncoordinated, socially awkward, bookworm gets the stunning guy and transcends her ordinariness. She fights for her child, she revels when she is finally able to fight for those she loves. I hated KS portrayal of her, but I liked Bella.

    • Xenia Rose

      I love all three of those characters but I found them to be exceptions to what being a teen is like. Most of us, would not be able to race off and fight to the death to save our district at 16. The 1980s teen girl, could not have dealt with Elizabeth’s and Jane’s predicaments because society works differently now. And yes, Hermione is quite the heroine, but she lives in a world where magic can help you through the awkwardness, she has a quest to complete, she is not ordinary. Bella is. When I was sixteen, I was anorexic, a bookworm, and a straight A student. I lived in my head. If someone like Edward or Alice had shown interest in me, I would have been waiting for the joke, I would not have believed they actually wanted to be around me. I had no problem taking care of others, talking to the adults, or whipping up a wonderful meal. I, like Bella, struggled with everything else. I think Bella is the heroine for the struggling. She finally finds what is worth fighting for and she fights ferociously for it. For me, my Volturi, was my eating disorder and abusive home life, when I finally fought back, I was a force to be reckoned with, but before then, I was ordinary, maybe even less than ordinary.

    • 709writer

      You made some interesting points. I’d really like to read the books and see for myself.

    • Blackgriffin

      The dialogue between her and the Edward character is so puerile it’s painful and it goes on for pages. I felt like it was a Harlequin Romance with vampires thrown in. Actually, most Harlequin Romances are better written.

  • Approaching Twilight from a literary analysis standpoint, and from a cultural standpoint, I find the plot itself the most disturbing. Put plainly, Bella is the most boring and lifeless character I’ve ever read. I don’t want to go all feminist wacko on this topic, but really.

    Bella is so co-dependent, so damsel in distress, so melancholy and willing to drown in her misery, that I am deeply concerned for any teenage girl that finds her behavior admirable (or all those 30-something women out there that are obsessed with it, too!)

    To me, it’s a commentary about the loss of self-worth for women in our society. Bella is not interested in finishing school, going to college, getting a job, having a hobby, making friends with other girls her age, nothing. To see a writer make bank on a character that personifies everything that isn’t right with today’s teenage girls, and see her indulge her character in all her fantasies, and create a world in which her complete lack of self-worth reaps positive results is really sad and disturbing to me. I think it’s a violation of true literature, and all that women writers have worked toward with characters like Elizabeth Bennett and Jane Eyre and Hermione Granger.

    I read all four books, and while they were definitely easy reads, I kept pleading with Meyer to let Bella grow a backbone already! Can’t she be good at something other than wanting sex?

    • I thought she grew some balls in the fourth one, but in general, you’re right. Edward was much more interesting as a character.

      “To me, it’s a commentary about the loss of self-worth for women in our society.” You should tweet that one.

    • She also doesn’t grow or progress as a character whatsoever over the course of the first book (or first two really). Compared to other popular novels among the same age group, it’s pretty pathetic.

      Harry Potter is about an ordinary boy who becomes an extraordinary leader through circumstance.

      The Hunger Games is similar. The main character is an ordinary person who throws herself into a perilous situation and rises to meet the challenge.

      But in Twilight, Bella does absolutely nothing. And to make matters worse, she’s unconscious during the “climax” of the book. So unfulfilling.

    • Alex

      Agree, agree, agree! For everyone who argues the point by saying, “Well don’t all young adults and teenagers have self-esteem issues?” Maybe, but aren’t many teenagers and young adults very narcissistic too? Of course, vanity intertwines with low self-esteem, but there is so much more than just being self-destructive and revolving your world around a man/woman when you are at this prime age, instead of focusing on your own values and your own accomplishments. I just think the story romanticized all the wrong things, given the target audience. When comparing it to other coming-of-age stories, I think it is lacking. From what I understand so far, I think it would have been toxic for me at the age of sixteen, because of how it romanticizes the idea that a woman can gain all of her happiness, all of her self-worth from a good-looking man. And at that age, or any age for that matter, anyone is easily influenced by what they see and what they watch. You have to make yourself happy and not rely on someone else for your happiness. If I was told that she had grown as a character, or that her dysfunctional relationship had caused some inner change, then maybe I wouldn’t think this way. And maybe I should read the book before judging.

      • Ray25Lu

        I really disagree with both comments. Listen, I can understand if people have gripes with Meyer’s writing style or her lack of character development, but it’s unfair to say that this character is a poor “role model” for the “target audience”. What target audience? Stephanie Meyer has clearly said numerous times that she didn’t write this story for teenage girls, she just wrote it. Initially, she didn’t intend for it to really be anything. So it isn’t like this was some kind of character mold designed for little girls to follow. Secondly, who cares if she romanticizes the wrong things? Who cares if she makes poor decisions? Honestly, who cares if she’s dumb? She’s a character. There are characters in so many different fictional universes that are killers and rapists and they’re fun and entertaining to read. If you’re an author, and I believe that there are many writers in here, I believe that you should write a character the way that you see them, not by the effect you think that they’ll have on this generation of girls. And let’s be honest, we’ve all fallen in love, and have been through that process where nothing else has mattered except for that person. So stop with all the hatin’!

  • Good rant, David. Get it out.

  • I haven’t read the Twilight books either, but I’ve read excerpts of this post, and I couldn’t agree more.

  • I haven’t read the Twilight books either, but I’ve read excerpts of this post, and I couldn’t agree more.

  • Nathansalley

    this post was awesome

  • Nathansalley

    this post was awesome

  • Introv

    I haven’t read the books either. But, from what I can tell, it seems that the whole Twilight series is a hack. Meyer knew what people wanted and exploited it with a fanciful story.

    • I wouldn’t call it a hack, but I would say she taps into what people want in a story. I could go into detail about how she taps into that, but I will save it for another time. It is fairly one dimensional though.

  • Introv

    I haven’t read the books either. But, from what I can tell, it seems that the whole Twilight series is a hack. Meyer knew what people wanted and exploited it with a fanciful story.

    • I wouldn’t call it a hack, but I would say she taps into what people want in a story. I could go into detail about how she taps into that, but I will save it for another time. It is fairly one dimensional though.

  • Reprieve26

    I hate to admit it, but I read this series. (shudder!) I agree with the other comments about Meyer’s writing (not the best!!). The first two books were okay (not great!). The third book was a snooze. But, it was the final book that makes me shudder. It was absolutely horrible! I only finished it because I have this thing where I just have to know the ending– no matter how bad.

    In addition to being poorly written, Meyer’s goes against nearly all of the rules that she’s established for her fictional world. For instance, she told us time after time that newborn vampires are completely consumed by blood lust. Then, in the final book someone gets turned into a vampire (not listing names for those of you that haven’t read the book) but they magically don’t have the blood lust and they behave rationally. You can’t do that! The whole point of creating a fictional world is to create it all– boundaries included. In her world vampires glitter, newborn vampires are blood hungry and irrational, and “special gifts” are rare. Then, along comes the fourth book where she throws her own rules out the window. The vampires still glitter, but now it seems like every other vampire has a “special gift” (ie: reading minds, seeing the future, etc). I had one friend joke that the final book felt like they wandered into a Marvel comic strip– an accurate description of the final conflict.

    Anyway… I just had to add my voice the general negative rant about the Twilight series… 😉

    • You raise some good points, Reprieve. Whereas JK Rowling, clearly spent a lot of time world building, it seems like Meyer could have spent a bit more time at it.

  • Reprieve26

    I hate to admit it, but I read this series. (shudder!) I agree with the other comments about Meyer’s writing (not the best!!). The first two books were okay (not great!). The third book was a snooze. But, it was the final book that makes me shudder. It was absolutely horrible! I only finished it because I have this thing where I just have to know the ending– no matter how bad.

    In addition to being poorly written, Meyer’s goes against nearly all of the rules that she’s established for her fictional world. For instance, she told us time after time that newborn vampires are completely consumed by blood lust. Then, in the final book someone gets turned into a vampire (not listing names for those of you that haven’t read the book) but they magically don’t have the blood lust and they behave rationally. You can’t do that! The whole point of creating a fictional world is to create it all– boundaries included. In her world vampires glitter, newborn vampires are blood hungry and irrational, and “special gifts” are rare. Then, along comes the fourth book where she throws her own rules out the window. The vampires still glitter, but now it seems like every other vampire has a “special gift” (ie: reading minds, seeing the future, etc). I had one friend joke that the final book felt like they wandered into a Marvel comic strip– an accurate description of the final conflict.

    Anyway… I just had to add my voice the general negative rant about the Twilight series… 😉

    • You raise some good points, Reprieve. Whereas JK Rowling, clearly spent a lot of time world building, it seems like Meyer could have spent a bit more time at it.

  • Reprieve26

    Okay, my Twi-hard room mate just corrected me. The vampires don’t glitter, they “sparkle.” 😉

  • Reprieve26

    Okay, my Twi-hard room mate just corrected me. The vampires don’t glitter, they “sparkle.” 😉

  • What really irks me about the Twilight series or any other of the countless sub-par “mega-hits” out there, is that it’s all about making money. Period. It’s not about delivering a quality product. It’s about lining the pockets of the powers that be. In the meantime thousands of quality projects continue to get rejected because there “isn’t a market” for them. Also, like Bethany I have a problem with the misogynistic overtones of the Twilight series. Thankfully my daughters thought the books sucked. Sorry Stephenie.

    • Janice Kelly

      Thank you for pointing out the crassness of the current publishing world. I suppose that the element of crassness has always existed. But Jane Austen, a real writer (unlike Stephenie, who is a hack) was published, for which I am thankful. The Brontes, much? Modern women writers, such as Joyce Carol Oates, who put genuine thought into their work, deserve our adoration and our dollars. Stephenie, with all her success, casts a bad light on women (no pun intended). Not sorry, Stephenie.

  • Grace Peterson

    What really irks me about the Twilight series or any other of the countless sub-par “mega-hits” out there, is that it’s all about making money. Period. It’s not about delivering a quality product. It’s about lining the pockets of the powers that be. In the meantime thousands of quality projects continue to get rejected because there “isn’t a market” for them. Also, like Bethany I have a problem with the misogynistic overtones of the Twilight series. Thankfully my daughters thought the books sucked. Sorry Stephenie.

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  • I loved this. Consider me Team Liz on this one. Sorry Joe. The proliferation of vampire pulp fiction can be a bit of a pain in the neck, as I facetiously argue at: http://www.clintarcher.com/vampire-pulp-pop-gnosticism/

  • I loved this. Consider me Team Liz on this one. Sorry Joe. The proliferation of vampire pulp fiction can be a bit of a pain in the neck, as I facetiously argue at: http://www.clintarcher.com/vampire-pulp-pop-gnosticism/

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  • I don’t really have a problem with the writing style of Twilight. Generally, I give a lot of leeway to style. What I do have a problem with is the pathetic narrative of the book. It goes almost nowhere. You could easily cut 100 pages out of it and not effect the story one bit.

    Then there’s the fact that the “antagonist” doesn’t show up till the last fifth of the book. It feels so shoehorned, it’s pathetic. And it doesn’t help that the character is even more two dimensional than Bella.

    The final problem is the climax of the book, or I should say, the lack of a climax. Bella is kidnapped, passes out, wakes up, and everything is fine. That’s it. Hundreds of pages lead to this. Sad. Very sad.

  • I don’t really have a problem with the writing style of Twilight. Generally, I give a lot of leeway to style. What I do have a problem with is the pathetic narrative of the book. It goes almost nowhere. You could easily cut 100 pages out of it and not effect the story one bit.

    Then there’s the fact that the “antagonist” doesn’t show up till the last fifth of the book. It feels so shoehorned, it’s pathetic. And it doesn’t help that the character is even more two dimensional than Bella.

    The final problem is the climax of the book, or I should say, the lack of a climax. Bella is kidnapped, passes out, wakes up, and everything is fine. That’s it. Hundreds of pages lead to this. Sad. Very sad.

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  • Comma Kinda Guy

    If the photo accompanying this blog is Stephanie it doesn’t matter how she writes (here insert period or semicolon, your choice; this is an interactive sentence; if however you chose the period please capitalize the first letter of the next sentence; if you noticed the excessive use of semicolon and the missing commas perhaps you should be reading Stephanie.) if the photo is Liz, then, I say, to heck with Stephanie, Joe, and the whole lot of youse; I’ll use commas everywhere, because the lady in the photo, as it were, makes it difficult, to say the least, for a guy, one like me anyway, to focus on the text….

  • Comma Kinda Guy

    If the photo accompanying this blog is Stephanie it doesn’t matter how she writes (here insert period or semicolon, your choice; this is an interactive sentence; if however you chose the period please capitalize the first letter of the next sentence; if you noticed the excessive use of semicolon and the missing commas perhaps you should be reading Stephanie.) if the photo is Liz, then, I say, to heck with Stephanie, Joe, and the whole lot of youse; I’ll use commas everywhere, because the lady in the photo, as it were, makes it difficult, to say the least, for a guy, one like me anyway, to focus on the text….

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  • Spredo

    I may be a year late, when I see the dates on the posts here, but is it true that “50 shades” started out as Twilight fan fiction?

    If so, that would explain a lot…

    • Yep, that’s what I hear, Spredo. Obviously, it evolved past fan fiction, but that’s how Ms. James began.

      • Not much past. Edward and Bella have their names changed, he’s a billionaire, not a sparklefairy, there’s a lot more sex, but those are the only differences…

  • Spredo

    I may be a year late, when I see the dates on the posts here, but is it true that “50 shades” started out as Twilight fan fiction?

    If so, that would explain a lot…

    • Yep, that’s what I hear, Spredo. Obviously, it evolved past fan fiction, but that’s how Ms. James began.

  • My name is Renee… I have three e’s in my name and less consonants than Stephenie has in hers. What’s wrong with the letter e? I think it’s an intriguing letter (and btw, that is three periods and not an ellipsis. I put them there just for your benefit since you like periods so much 😉 ).

    1) I think the first semicolon was well placed, but I’ll agree the second one should have been a period.

    2) I would have not written that sentence the same way either, but I didn’t get a chuckle out of it because at the time I was actually reading the story and quite involved in what was happening. It didn’t slow down my reading at all, either.

    3) I’ve seen that verb tense rule broken in more books than I care to count recently. It seems to be something that is quite common in first person views, and is looked over by more and more editors for whatever reason. Perhaps a new verb tense rule is evolving? I don’t put too much energy into worrying about such things.

    I’ve read the novels and found them quite enjoyable despite the fact that they are not what I would normally read. What I find amazing is how many people are criticizing her work without having ever read anything she’s written (and I don’t feel reading snippets or excerpts is the same as reading the novel).

    And some other comments on comments:

    I don’t feel Bella’s character was lifeless at all. She reminded me a lot of myself. She didn’t have many friends because she was above all the petty nonsense that high school kids generally thrive on. She couldn’t related to people her own age. There are actually quite a few people like that in the world, and while many people might view them as boring and lifeless, they view others as being quite shallow.

    I also don’t see how she is a “damsel in distress”. She fights Edwards over-protectiveness throughout the entire story. She is clumsy and somewhat blind to her own mortality, but I don’t think that is the same thing. I also didn’t see how she was drowning in her own misery, except after Edward left her. However she was not totally emo through the entire series. Just very serious in nature.

    Who said she wasn’t interested in finishing school or going to college? I don’t remember reading about that anywhere. I do recall she made plans to become a vampire and decided she had all the time in the world to do those things since she would be immortal. I’d put off school to become immortal too!

    And as far as her lack of self worth? What teen doesn’t have some sort of self-esteem issues? In fact, what adult doesn’t have some sort of self-esteem issues? A character without these kinds of problems would be lifeless and boring. Who would be able to relate to a character who is perfect?

    And once she becomes a vampire, she does end up being good at many things (including sex, unless you were to ask Emmett).

    • All we know about a character is what the author tells us. And if the author never tells us that Bella wants to go to college, then Bella doesn’t want to go to college.

  • My name is Renee… I have three e’s in my name and less consonants than Stephenie has in hers. What’s wrong with the letter e? I think it’s an intriguing letter (and btw, that is three periods and not an ellipsis. I put them there just for your benefit since you like periods so much 😉 ).

    1) I think the first semicolon was well placed, but I’ll agree the second one should have been a period.

    2) I would have not written that sentence the same way either, but I didn’t get a chuckle out of it because at the time I was actually reading the story and quite involved in what was happening. It didn’t slow down my reading at all, either.

    3) I’ve seen that verb tense rule broken in more books than I care to count recently. It seems to be something that is quite common in first person views, and is looked over by more and more editors for whatever reason. Perhaps a new verb tense rule is evolving? I don’t put too much energy into worrying about such things.

    I’ve read the novels and found them quite enjoyable despite the fact that they are not what I would normally read. What I find amazing is how many people are criticizing her work without having ever read anything she’s written (and I don’t feel reading snippets or excerpts is the same as reading the novel).

    And some other comments on comments:

    I don’t feel Bella’s character was lifeless at all. She reminded me a lot of myself. She didn’t have many friends because she was above all the petty nonsense that high school kids generally thrive on. She couldn’t related to people her own age. There are actually quite a few people like that in the world, and while many people might view them as boring and lifeless, they view others as being quite shallow.

    I also don’t see how she is “damsel in distress”. She fights Edwards over-protectiveness throughout the entire story. She is clumsy and somewhat blind to her own mortality, but I don’t think that is the same thing. I also didn’t see how she was drowning in her own misery, except after Edward left her. However she was not totally emo through the entire series. Just very serious in nature.

    Who said she wasn’t interested in finishing school or going to college? I don’t remember reading about that anywhere. I do recall she made plans to become a vampire and decided she had all the time in the world to do those things since she would be immortal. I’d put off school to become immortal too!

    And as far as her lack of self worth? What teen doesn’t have some sort of self-esteem issues? In fact, what adult doesn’t have some sort of self-esteem issues. A character without these kinds of problems would be lifeless and boring. Who would be able to relate to someone who is perfect?

    And once she becomes a vampire, she does end up good at many things (including sex, unless you ask Emmett).

    • All we know about a character is what the author tells us. And if the author never tells us that Bella wants to go to college, then Bella doesn’t want to go to college.

  • Doug Glassford

    Wowsers! What a rant-fest. But, that is okay because I read through most of the comments and most make valid points. I agree with Liz, at least with the Twilight series, the writing was poorly edited and at times so boring that I could not finish the series. I will say though, Ms. Meyers book: The Host, impressed me. It is superior to her Twilight series in so many ways. I wrote her off as a lucky hack with Twilight, but The Host elevated her to a writer worth reading status for me.

    • Hmm… that’s interesting, Doug. I’ll have to check it out.

    • Debra Rose Childers

      I agree. The Host is a far superior book. Though it still shares some disturbing things with Twilight. Again, you have an older man with a teenage girl. You have a theme of violence against women in relation to love. And you have very controlling men trying to “keep their women safe.” After reading all the Twilight books and The Host, I honestly have concern for Stephenie Meyer. Does she have a much older, controlling, abusive husband? That seems to the ideal that she plays in all her books.

      But The Host is at least well-written and doesn’t pretend like all that isn’t happening.

  • Doug Glassford

    Wowsers! What a rant-fest. But, that is okay because I read through most of the comments and most make valid points. I agree with Liz, at least with the Twilight series, the writing was poorly edited and at times so boring that I could not finish the series. I will say though, Ms. Meyers book: The Host, impressed me. It is superior to her Twilight series in so many ways. I wrote her off as a lucky hack with Twilight, but The Host elevated her to a writer worth reading status for me.

    • Hmm… that’s interesting, Doug. I’ll have to check it out.

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  • Alex

    Dear Stephenie: I am only writing this because I know you will never read it. I am not a mean person. Well, at least I try not to be. Most of the time, I do not judge a book by the cover. With that being said, do you want to know what really ticks me off? Why were you ever, EVER, E.V.E.R compared to J.K. Rowling in the first place? Who started that? You give a thesaurus a bad name. No, you have slandered the beautiful thesaurus, raped it, time and time again, over and over and over again. “The alabaster dog vivaciously ambled across the room.” PLEEEASE NO, Stephenie! I can’t take it. Oh, God! Really, really, I can’t take it. Judge me too–go ahead. I haven’t read your books. I wanted to. But I screwed up (I’ll admit it) and read the reviews first. And then the reviews led me to excerpts. Yes. I know I have no right to judge. But you know what really gets me going? That there are perfectly capable, intelligent, articulate, “sparkling” storytellers out there who write incredible stories and will still never be given a chance to publish anything at all in this competitive world. These “sparkling” geniuses will succumb to the working class by flipping burgers, hanging chickens, waiting tables, and living day by day, week by week, if they are lucky. Meanwhile, Stephenie Meyer sits on a big $170,000,000 dollars. What has the world come to? Anybody who thinks that the word brilliant can be interchanged with sparkling (even though, yes, they are synonyms) when speaking of someone’s intelligence should be waiting tables, not me. And if your stories are that good, and you are that filthy, freaking rich, would you please hire an editor, so that critical people like me can read your books without having a mental breakdown? And for everyone who wishes to defend Stephenie Meyer, you must ask yourself this one simple question: why was this article ever written? Why are we here today ranting about Stephenie Meyer? You don’t have websites dedicated to describing the hundred reasons why they hate The Brothers of Karamazov, Stephen King’s The Dome, or Lolita? There has to be something here. And you don’t have a ten million people trying to defend their love for these books either. And you ask someone, anyone at all, to say that the Twilight books are better than these three examples, and if they say yes, give me their contact information, so I can verbally harass them.

    • alex

      I realize I have errors in that rant above. Please don’t rant about me too. Thanks! 🙂 (First draft material)

  • Alex

    Dear Stephenie: I am only writing this because I know you will never read it. I am not a mean person. Well, at least I try not to be. Most of the time, I do not judge a book by the cover. With that being said, do you want to know what really ticks me off? Why were you ever, EVER, E.V.E.R compared to J.K. Rowling in the first place? Who started that? You give a thesaurus a bad name. No, you have slandered the beautiful thesaurus, raped it, time and time again, over and over and over again. “The alabaster dog vivaciously ambled across the room.” PLEEEASE NO, Stephenie! I can’t take it. Oh, God! Really, really, I can’t take it. Judge me too–go ahead. I haven’t read your books. I wanted to. But I screwed up (I’ll admit it) and read the reviews first. And then the reviews led me to excerpts. Yes. I know I have no right to judge. But you know what really gets me going? That there are perfectly capable, intelligent, articulate, “sparkling” storytellers out there who write incredible stories and will still never be given a chance to publish anything at all in this competitive world. These “sparkling” geniuses will succumb to the working class by flipping burgers, hanging chickens, waiting tables, and living day by day, week by week, if they are lucky. Meanwhile, Stephenie Meyer sits on a big $170,000,000 dollars. What has the world come to? Anybody who thinks that the word brilliant can be interchanged with sparkling (even though, yes, they are synonyms) when speaking of someone’s intelligence should be waiting tables, not me. And if your stories are that good, and you are that filthy, freaking rich, would you please hire an editor, so that critical people like me can read your books without having a mental breakdown? And for everyone who wishes to defend Stephenie Meyer, you must ask yourself this one simple question: why was this article ever written? Why are we here today ranting about Stephenie Meyer? You don’t have websites dedicated to describing the hundred reasons why they hate The Brothers of Karamazov, Stephen King’s The Dome, or Lolita? There has to be something here. And you don’t have a ten million people trying to defend their love for these books either. And you ask someone, anyone at all, to say that the Twilight books are better than these three examples, and if they say yes, give me their contact information, so I can verbally harass them.

    • alex

      I realize I have errors in that rant above. Please don’t rant about me too. Thanks! 🙂 (First draft material)

  • Kyle

    Looks to be more of a problem with poor editing (a responsibility of her publisher).

    The thing about fiction is, the sell-factor boils down to how the story makes the reader feel. You can write a successful novel with grammar faux pas on every page, as long as the story gets the job done.

    Given her tremendous success, I’d say Meyer’s storytelling gets the job done much better than the majority of writers out there (as much as they would hate to admit it).

  • Kyle

    Looks to be more of a problem with poor editing (a responsibility of her publisher).

    The thing about fiction is, the sell-factor boils down to how the story makes the reader feel. You can write a successful novel with grammar faux pas on every page, as long as the story gets the job done.

    Given her tremendous success, I’d say Meyer’s storytelling gets the job done much better than the majority of writers out there (as much as they would hate to admit it).

  • The thing is, from all the excerpts I’ve read, why is Stephenie Meyer allowed to make these basic mistakes? Why is it that striving writers like us have to follow the rules? She gets to use adverbs and misplaced commas. She gets to say “His eyes were like black coals.” If I were to write something like that it would get thrown out. I think what might have happened is that Stephenie Meyer touched on the vampire craze at its peak, and the right person at the right time said, “Yep. This will sell millions.” That’s what I think happened.
    Vampires have lost tons of credit in the horror community thanks to the romanticizing of the lifestyle. The craze focused less the actual horror of what they do to stay alive, and more on the aspect of who they have sex with.
    Maybe I should write about a young person who falls in love with a zombie. No one has done that yet, right?

    • Zergman

      Sorry, but the zombie love thing was done before you wrote your post.

  • The thing is, from all the excerpts I’ve read, why is Stephenie Meyer allowed to make these basic mistakes? Why is it that striving writers like us have to follow the rules? She gets to use adverbs and misplaced commas. She gets to say “His eyes were like black coals.” If I were to write something like that it would get thrown out. I think what might have happened is that Stephenie Meyer touched on the vampire craze at its peak, and the right person at the right time said, “Yep. This will sell millions.” That’s what I think happened.
    Vampires have lost tons of credit in the horror community thanks to the romanticizing of the lifestyle. The craze focused less the actual horror of what they do to stay alive, and more on the aspect of who they have sex with.
    Maybe I should write about a young person who falls in love with a zombie. No one has done that yet, right?

  • The one thing I did not like about Twilight was that every dam time Edward talked–at least in the first book–Stephenie Meyer had to describe something about his “angelic face.”

  • The one thing I did not like about Twilight was that every dam time Edward talked–at least in the first book–Stephenie Meyer had to describe something about his “angelic face.”

  • Jennifer

    “Secondly, who let that present-tense verb (suppose) out past its bedtime? Narrative verb tense needs to be consistent. If you’re in the past tense, stay in the past tense (with the exception of dialogue).”

    She actually did stay in the correct tense. When she says, “I suppose the features were perfect,” she is remembering. “Suppose” is present-tense because she is “supposing” in the present moment. The word “were” makes it clear that she’s looking into the past, and that his features “were” perfect in said past.

  • Guest

    The Twilight series is amateurish and not a fun read, but seriously, reading them first before slamming them is always a good idea simply because there are FAR WORSE examples that are in there that were never mentioned in your rant.

  • PoPiPoPiPoNoTwiLight

    I just finished reading the first book and had read half of New Moon before that (and skipped onto the ending). It was so… *shudder* I dunno what it was! Everytime Stephanie Swan (face it. Bella’s a Mary Sue. A self insert even) mentioned how “PERFECTLY GORGEOUS” he was, I just wanted to gag and thought /we get it already! Can we move on?/. Also, does anyone want anyone watching them while they sleep? That’s just plain creepy! And Edward didn’t let Bella make her own choices! And since when do vampires sparkle “like a thousand diamonds”? I could go on but I’ll wait til I read all the books.

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  • I’m a dude and I like the Twilight series.

  • Debra johnson

    After reading all the comments here I am more careful about what I write, I don’t want the period police to get me, it might be the end of my own world……. I have always had an issue with semicolons and colons and all that stuff.If one is going to tell a story then tell a story, Any way, reading comments such as this just about the writing craft itself keeps me focused when I write my stories.

    As for the book,I have not read it, nor do I plan on it just because of the reviews I have read about it. For me Stephen King and J.K. Rowlings are in the same boat- they are very good at what they do,

    When I took an English class a while back we got into Disney movies, while some are entertaining and I watch them, they also depict woman as being skinny and “in need of a man”Is that all women should strive to acquire, a man to take care of her? Hello, we women are not all like that nor should we be. What about more stories of woman who are strong intelligent and work to make a life for herself not having to rely on being some man( sorry guys) to be some body! .. Like my mom who worked 2 jobs just to make sure there was food in the fridge and a roof over our heads when my dad left. Or the woman who works out in the farm to help plant crops … Or the woman who doesn’t let the rules of society dictate where she can and can’t work. While there are things men can do that women can’t there are also things women can do men can’t. Don’t get me wrong marriage is great, I’m married But young girls and women shouldn’t think they aren’t fulfilled or strong because they don’t have a man.

    Not sure that was a rant or mere comment, I’m sure if I wrote long enough it would be a rant.

    Okay ready for the slings and arrows that may be heading my way.

    • 709writer

      You made some good points. We should never find our ultimate fulfillment in a man, in a woman, in our jobs, even in our church. All of those things can bring great joy, but if we build our identity in them, we’ll always feel empty. We can search and search for fulfillment but I promise you nothing will ever be enough: except Jesus Christ.

      • Debra johnson

        Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Debra johnson

        Amen.

  • Candi

    Whatever the opinions on this post, Twilight was apparently good enough to become a bestseller and a blockbuster movie series. I’m sure Stephenie Meyer or whatever her name, is laughing all the way to the bank!

    • There’s no accounting for taste. How else to explain the appeal of the Macarena, Barbie Girl, Carrot Top, etc.?

  • A

    I’ve read the first book and stopped there. I think Stephanie Meyer had an exciting idea but her writing was not that strong in my opinion. She is a fairly new author and I don’t think she really wrote that much before Twilight, so it’s understandable that her writing would need to improve and she would need to grow as a writer. I also didn’t like the redundancy of certain passages, the Mary Sue vibe of Bella and the unnecessary fillers that added nothing to the story.
    This is just my opinion and because I come from a writing/communications background, I notice these things. There are people who will argue that her writing is fine and that the story’s great, that’s fine too. I still stand by my opinion though.

  • Oh, I enjoyed this! I haven’t read Twilight either 🙂 I refuse to spend money on it, so someone would have to give it to me for free, and even then I might need to be paid for my time.

    But I’ve heard the writing is awful and the love story (Bella and Edward’s romance) icky, so I definitely got a laugh from your post.
    -Dana

  • Emily Stone Davis

    I love the Write Wractice. However, it feels like sour grapes when we (folks who want to be successful, published authors) harp on the gramatical shortcomings of a best-selling author. If anyone should be ranting about Twilight’s poor sentence structure, it’s Meyer; clearly her editors let her down.(Crap, I hope I used that semi-colon right! )

    Whether or not we like Meyer’s writing style is irrelevant to our own careers. I plead the 5th on my own feelings about the books. What I like about Meyer is her moxy. She said herself that she had not written anything in so long, she didn’t know why she bothered. She set aside her self-doubt and, with smug disregard for the proper use of the comma, got it done.

    Here are take-aways from the Twilight phenomenon? 1. Just write. Do your job and write the words. Craft the story that consumes you.
    2) Don’t allow self-doubt to dictate your actions.
    3) Lack of skill, experience or training is not a barrier to the practice of writing, if you have a story to tell.
    4) Take a break when your fingers cramp up and google grammar rules so you can know, as you sit a top your pile of money when you are a best-selling author, that your sentence structure is faultless.

    Love to all.

    • Amen, Emily.
      (Exclamation point. Semi-colon. Forward slash. Happy face.)

  • Robin

    I’m sorry, but most books I have read are so vastly different from the submitted manuscript as far as puncuation goes that placing blame on the author is just not fair. Editing is not limited to puncuation either. On top of that, a story written in England seems to have different verbiage than that produced by an American.

  • K. Starr

    I agree with Liz! I do not consider myself well-read, yet, I’m catching up. And, I am working on my first novel. I read the texts Liz referred to and immediately found them skewed. I don’t think a good story over-rides poor grammar and syntax. I thought that is what an editor is for! Once I finish my own novel I will remember this topic and scrutinize my choice of editor. After simultaneously finishing three of Truman Capote’s books I understood the beauty of well thought-out writing and prose. Or: After simultaneously finishing three of Truman Capote’s books, I understood the beauty of well thought-out writing and prose.

    Kevin
    ps. great website

  • Robin

    Before anyone jumps on my comment and points out that she is from Utah, I am sorry. My mind was distracted during my post.

  • Thanks Liz, valid points.

    But I’m with you, Joe–I’m a Twilight fan. I’m positive this story is widely and sadly misunderstood for a variety of reasons.

  • George McNeese

    Seeing how I haven’t read any of the Twilight books, it would be unfair for me to comment on how bad or good the books are. Instead, I will make a case against something that is prevalent in my culture: rap music.

    Now, being African-American, the assumed reaction would be, “You don’t like rap music? Why?” And that’s expected. I’ve been asked that question by a family member or two and by African-American friends. But, that’s not to say I hate all rap music. One cannot ignore its place among pop culture and its influence with people of my generation. That being said, I have two main issues with rap music.

    Number one: the subject matter and the message it delivers. In the African-American community, there are so many negative stereotypes. Stereotypes such as black men are angry or all black gravitate to violence or all black men are sex-crazed egomaniacs. (The last one is a bad example, I know.) As with most assumptions, they wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t a ring of truth. Some men may have reason to be angry and music can be a way to express that emotion. But, it becomes problematic when those lyrics and the message being sent glorify or condone said stereotypes; the same stereotypes black men claim to have rose against.

    Speaking of lyrics, that brings me to the second point: the language used in the lyrics. Now, I’m not saying all rappers have to be like Will Smith and not curse. However, if you curse just to curse, it perpetuates the stereotypes black men strive to break free from. And to be more specific, the use of the n-word. Some black men make the argument that they’re taking back this word, using it as a term of endearment. I don’t care. It is offensive, no matter who says it, and it has no place in our culture’s lexicon.

    That’s my piece. If anyone wants to add or if anyone disagrees with me, feel free to comment.

    • I agree with you on many of those points. However, my comments are usually dismissed as, “You’re white. You don’t get it.” To which I can only stare at them (the ones I’m trying to discuss this with) in slack-jawed amazement.

    • 709writer

      You made a lot of really good points. Thank you so much for pointing out how ridiculous it is to swear just to do it. It’s stupid and extremely unattractive, in a man or a woman. Also, like you said, the n-word is not a term of endearment. It’s degrading and disrespectful.

      I wish I could high five you for your common sense. God bless!

    • George,
      I agree with you about cursing just for the shock value or because you can get away with it. It serves no purpose and sets a bad example for the youngsters who listen to rap music.
      Now, perhaps you can tell me why “rap music” is called “music?” I don’t hear any music; I just hear a bunch of words, usually mumbled or said so fast as to be unintelligible, often with some noise in the background which is supposed to pass for music. Music is lyrical. Music is flowing; Music has melody. Rap music has none of that. It has lyrics, as does poetry, and the artists would be better heard, I think, if they called themselves rap poets and forgot about the “music.” Years ago some poets actually recorded their poems on 78’s. There was a market for the spoken word. There could be again if done right.

  • Lora Covrett

    I agree with your Twilight assessment, but I don’t think it’s fair to criticize something you haven’t even read.
    I read the first book and found it to be quite annoying. You couldn’t pay me to read the others.
    I do like the movies though.

  • Xenia Rose

    I love the story told by Twilight. Grammar has never affected my ability to get out of a story what the author saw in their mind when trying to share it on paper. We had an exercise in school, where we were presented a story with no punctuation. The object was to write what we felt the story was about. We handed it in then we got copies with punctuation. I was one of three students who came up with what the writer was trying to tell us. I admit, I had to go back and look for the semi-colons that were mentioned in the article above. My problem with Ms. Meyer is no loyalty to her characters. She has stated that she will be glad when she can move on to other things, as though she is bothered by Twihards. I cannot see, Rowling or whoever wrote The Hunger Games saying that. No one would know who Meyer is without that story. My book has only sold three copies, but I cannot move on until I have done my best for those characters. After all, they lived with me for ten years, they are family. 🙂

  • Marcy Mason McKay

    I read the entire series when it came out because my middle-school daughter was CRAZED with Twilight, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Her prose didn’t wow me, but she can tell a story. I did want to know what happens next.

  • JustSayin

    A book review where the reviewer states:

    “Full disclosure: I haven’t read them.

    Like I said, I haven’t read the books.

    Stephenie Meyer is not a good writer.

    Full disclosure: I haven’t read them.

    Like I said, I haven’t read the books.”

    Ummm…

  • Cedric Allen

    As far as fiction authors go, I have nothing
    against Stephenie Meyer. I wouldn’t exactly include her in my top ten favourite
    authors but I still admire her work (at least some of them). I have nothing
    against her writing style or her books. What I can’t handle is Twilight’ s horrible
    take on the whole werewolves and vampires genre. I just cannot stomach the horrendous
    way vampires and werewolves (especially werewolves) were portrayed in the books
    and film. My overall impression of the franchise is just another crowd-pleaser
    for hormonal teenage girls. And I’m pretty sure a lot of fantasy and science
    fiction fans out there would agree with me with that statement.

    Let’s start with the
    vampires. Vampires used to be an awesome
    staple of the horror genre. Their lore has been built up over the years along
    with some cool variants. Take the Underworld
    franchise for example. So yeah, it’s vampires versus werewolves again. But at
    least in the franchise, their origins and portrayal are intelligently designed.
    It’s pretty cool to look back at the history of the war between the two “species”,
    which began sometime in the 5th century with a Hungarian warlord
    called Alexander Corvinus. A deadly virus ravaged his village, wiping out most
    of the people. But instead of killing him, his body “transformed” the virus, and
    changed him, turning him into the very first Immortal. His two sons, William and Marcus, would inherit this
    trait, and became the very first werewolf (William) and vampire (Marcus).

    As the legend goes, they were “the sons of the
    Corvinus clan-one bitten by wolf, one by bat and the other destined to tread
    the lonely road of mortality as a human. I still can’t get that out of my head!
    But you see how the vampires (and werewolves) are unique and original in this universe? Twilight
    doesn’t have that! They’re too generic! The only difference they have from
    vampires of other genres is their individual abilities, which makes them seem
    like undead X-men. Oh and there was
    one vampire in the last film instalment that could water-bend! He could control
    the elements or something. Where have we seen that before? (ahem…The Last Airbender…the anime not the
    movie…that was awful)

    As with the werewolves, they’re not
    werewolves! At least Jacob and his pack aren’t. They’re technically shape-shifters
    who could assume wolf form to protect their villages. Actually, there were real
    werewolves in the series. They were called the “Children of the Moon”. They
    were the classic werewolves, who were more humanoid and transformed under the
    light of the full moon. The books (for me it was the wiki page) say that that
    long-haired, red-eyed guy who could read your mind from the Volturi had them
    all hunted to extinction. And one more
    thing, the werewolves (ahem…shapes-shifters) in the series are already bad
    enough without having them take off their shirts for most of their screen time!
    You see them shirtless more than you see them as wolves. So that’s basically
    it. Good luck Meyer!

  • 709writer

    I haven’t read Stephenie Meyer’s books, but the whole idea of a woman falling in love with a vampire is just weird. I’m really not drawn to that kind of thing. Don’t get me wrong, vampire/zombie stories can be interesting (like the zombie book I read a few weeks ago called “Red Harvest” by Joe Schreiber : ) ), but…a woman and a vampire “falling in love” is just not my style.

    I’m glad Liz brought up bad drivers. Because bad drivers, well, drive me crazy. If I’m riding in the right lane, and the left lane is completely open, why do whacko drivers have to ride so close behind me that if I jumped off the back of my car, I could land on the hood of theirs?

    Thanks for allowing me to vent! : )

  • Callie

    http://das-sporking.livejournal.com/77053.html

    I realize the front page may look like the reviewer is prejudiced, but please don’t let that deter you. This person really does do an excellent in-depth recap of everything, and she goes into not just the writing aspects but also things like ‘unfortunate implications’ and science and so forth. Reading these actually helped me with my own writing, so Twilight fan or not, I would definitely check it out.

  • Callie

    http://das-sporking.livejournal.com/77053.html

    I realize this probably looks like the reviewer is prejudiced from the start, but don’t let that deter you. This person does excellent, very in-depth recaps of the books, and she doesn’t just deal with the obvious issues either. Reading these has actually helped my own writing as well, so Twilight fan or no, I would definitely check it out!

    • 709writer

      I followed your link and read some of that guy’s posts about Twilight. I’m still laughing over him describing how Edward got distracted by “Bella’s bacony goodness.” I rarely see such hilarity in a book critique! He absolutely hits the nail on the head! : )

  • What I have against Twilight is that everyone jumped on the bandwagon of writing vampire stories. UGH. Come on, people – enough already. Is original thought dead?

  • I read the first book of Blood Haze, a trade with my wife. She read my suggestion of Homeland (RA Salvatore). The writing was so horrid and the guys in the story acted more like girls. I got the short end of that deal!

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  • 709writer

    I took the plunge and started reading Twilight for myself about a month and a half ago. I got a little over halfway through the book and put it down. I couldn’t take the drama. Call Edward and Bella’s relationship what you will; it’s lust, and it’s obsession. It is most certainly not love. Love is sacrificing over and over and over, giving up what we desire so that others can be happy and have what they desire. Much like what Jesus did for every human being that ever was or ever will be. He sacrificed everything so that we don’t have to go to hell, so that if we choose to believe and accept Jesus as our Savior, we can spend eternity with Him. Edward and Bella are obsessed with each other, which is the same as idol worship, not love.

    Also, if a man ever said to me, “What if I’m the bad guy?”, like Edward told Bella, I would cut him off immediately. I will not subject myself to someone untrustworthy, or someone who enjoys thinking he’s a “bad boy”.

    That’s what I gleaned from Twilight. What not to do in a relationship, and the kind of man not to get involved with.

  • Kerrie

    Amen! I (unfortunately) read the first Twilight book. Dear god. It was awful. And so long. Does she even have an editor?

    • 709writer

      I don’t know, but it did seem to go on forever…

  • With all of it’s flaws, I don’t hold Stephenie Meyer responsible for the cancer that is Twilight. That may seem conflicting, since she wrote it, but she never intended it for publication. She wrote the first book simply for her own enjoyment, and that should be the number one goal of anyone who puts pen to paper — or in this day and age, fingers to keyboard. Her sister actually talked her into submitting it, so she sent out 15 query letters. Five got no response, nine received outright rejections, but one, Jodi Reamer of Writers House, was interested enough to look at the manuscript. After editing — what was sent in was a disaster from an editing standpoint, and in my opinion not enough was done to make it even passable — the manuscript went to auction in early fall of 2003. Eight publishers bid for the rights, with Little, Brown and Company signing her to a $750,000 three book deal. Who among us — the writers on this site — would wave that offer off with “I’m sorry, but I just don’t think I’m good enough.”? Bookstore shelves are overflowing with garbage; Garbage which has been published. Stephen King said it best during a talk he gave at Yale in 2003, when he remarked “There’s a magic moment, a really magic moment, that will always come to you if you want to be a writer, where you put down some book and say ‘This really sucks. I can do better than this, and this got published!’ ”

    Every author who has tackled the Vampire genre, from Stoker to Meyer, has tried to put their own touch on it, to try and show, in their own way, that these were once human beings. Some have succeeded far better than others. If Stephenie Meyer had tried to publish Twilight around the time that Anne Rice’s bloodsuckers were all the rage, we would never have known who Edward Cullen was. The timing — again, not really hers, but the publishing worlds — was perfect. They saw the potential, not in the writing, but in the story. They aimed it at a specific market, and they were dead on. Brian Epstein, when he shopped The Beatles around trying to get them a record deal, was turned down by every music mogul in the business at the time. Only George Martin, hearing something no one else did, took a chance on them. In the beginning they were sloppy. Their songs were fluff, their lyrics trite, but they struck a chord. As badly as Twilight is written, it did the same. Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason to success. It just happens. *cough* Justin Bieber Miley Cyrus *cough*

    Do I like Twilight? No. I don’t even like the premise, but I’m thankful it got published. To paraphrase Robin Williams on Golf….Twilight is that little flag, put there to give ya hope!

    • 709writer

      Sadly, indeed, sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to success.

  • b

    Have u considered the fact that its success comes from its being weird and bad!?
    ofcurse not. U bitches are too busy trying to be PERFECT. fuck off

  • Annie

    I was a bit daunted by the age of these first posts but as I scrolled through I could see more recent posts appeared. I read the first Twilight book and saw the first movie and I wanted two hours of my life back. My daughter read all the books hoping something would happen and was ultimately disappointed. I did however appreciate the dialogue the book sparked between us. We talked a great deal about the cowardly easy road of developing the relationship which amounted to “I like the way she smells”. And the villian? “I have to kill her because she smells good!” Not a sound basis for a friendship in my book(s). My daughter and I currently scan Pinterest for humourous comments comparing the HP series with this one. (HP wins every time).

    The author wrote from her heart and from her religions roots which shaped how she sees the role of women and the concept of being eternally linked to one spouse/husband/soul. One can’t hate her for that. One can admit that we don’t have the same vision for our daughters. That being said, OMG, what drivel!

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  • Natasha K

    I like the story itself to some extent, but I’ve outgrown it, I think… When I first read it, I loved it. I mean, it was like the most amazing, beautiful story I’d ever read. Now, going back… Really, the story is a bit ethically disturbing, and some the characters a bit… flat, and not likeable.

    I’ve never much cared necessarily about how well-written a story is, as far as grammar goes, so long as it’s still readable. Twilight reads – or at least it did the first two times I read it, which was quite awhile ago – fairly easy. Mostly I’ve only cared about the storytelling itself, and whether the author could keep me turning the pages. Obviously, it worked.

    However, I’m not nearly as fascinated by the story as I once was. I like to think I’ve grown up a bit, and the highly romanticised plot can just make me cringe.

  • nicoleanna

    I agree with Bethany, and I always thought the saga would have been so much better and likable if it didn’t have Bella in it to begin with. She’s what ruined for me. I honestly don’t know how I managed to finish all 4 books with her obsessessive and clingy story-telling. Characters like the Voluri clan, Alice, Emmet and the rest of the “additional Cullens” had way more potential than what they got from Meyer. They were the most interesting parts and only had moderate to very slim roles in the plot.

  • Jon Smed

    It’s a bit unfortunate that the title is ‘Three reasons Twilight isn’t well written’. “Reasons” imply that you answer why it’s poorly written, rather than how, which is what the article is actually about. Hardly a big deal, but something that should be considered when criticizing writing. And now we wait for someone to pick apart my writing.

  • reneeroseholland

    Twilight was pulled out of a slush pile and purchased after 14 rejections. How do you publish a book without a professional editor going through it? I also hate the dozens and dozens of incorrect semi colons. I don’t think she really knows what they are. However, I guarantee she doesn’t care. Last I heard, she ditched writing completely for movie producer. I guess she was a pro after getting movie credits as a producer during the Twilight Saga. Isn’t that more of an honorary thing?
    She wasn’t even a writer before this series. It was a “dream” she’d had.
    In all of my adult life, I admit……..I’ve never had a dream about high school kids where some are vampires, werewolves and Italian style mafia vampires called the Volturi were after me.
    Maybe she took cold meds that night. You’d have to be on cold med drugs or worse to come up with the name Renesmee.

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  • Steve Ogden

    You’re points are rock solid, but why blame her for grammatical errors? Isn’t that part of what an editor is there for?

  • Xenia Rose

    My Rant About People Ranting About Twilight

    I am endeavoring to go back and undo damage done to me by a
    well-meaning teacher who taught me to punctuate a sentence like I speak. She
    told our defenseless class that we should put a period when out thought stopped.
    We should use a comma for when we would pause for emphasis or to take a breath.
    And a semi-colon should be used rarely and only when we needed to connect two
    partially formed thoughts on a similar thing together because neither one could
    stand on its own. This may have made sense to her, but it confused the heck out
    of me. Take that confusing week of my young life and add to it that I have a
    breathing problem, talk very fast and switch topics midstream with regularity.

    This week happened at the beginning of my seventh grade
    year. I had been writing down my stories for 9 years by then, (Yes, I am aware
    that would have made me 4. I learned to write early and the first thing I wrote
    were the stories I had been telling people and dolls for a while.) My writing
    had won awards in school, which I am sure my Grandmother kept buried in a trunk
    somewhere that my great-grandnieces will find. So, while she kept dinging me on
    writing assignments for my grammar, she kept praising my writing. She
    eventually is the reason I was published. She took a story I wrote for class
    and sent it into a children’s literary magazine. I finished the year hating
    anything having to do with punctuation and sentence structure, with the first
    less than perfect grade of my school career and had a published story.

    I have struggled with grammar ever since that long ago time.
    I have continued to have my writing praised and the occasional story or poem
    published. I now have written two books and am currently working on another.
    And what the one agent I could get to talk to me, because I write horror novels
    without vampires and zombies and no one wants to read them right now,
    criticized was my grammar and punctuation. She praised my descriptive
    paragraphs and my character depth and said a grammar course would be of great
    benefit to me. So, I settled here at The Write Practice and I love it. I am
    continually frustrated at the idea that people might not be allowing themselves
    to enter my world because I put a comma where I shouldn’t have.

    Where I am going with my rant is, I have read everyone of
    Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books,
    multiple times, and I was never once distracted by her sentence structure or
    her grammar. I was absorbed in the tale of an ordinary girl who is suddenly
    surrounded by the extraordinary. She is not a warrior fighting for her cause
    who has skills and moxie to spare. She is not a brilliant witch in a magical
    world. She is an average, clumsy teenage girl from a broken home, who has been
    raising her mother and wakes up to find out that all the fairy tales and
    legends are true. And the chance to be Juliet to someone’s Romeo is something
    she has, which she never figured she would. The books are about family,
    courage, love, honor, right and wrong, etc. They are not about sentence
    structure.

    Sentence structure may be an important part of telling a
    story, but if you are reading a book for a story and not for its grammar, it
    really is not an obstacle. If you can allow yourself to step into the world
    that the author is creating, just step in and become immersed, you hear the
    voices of the characters and most people today, especially sixteen year old
    girls do not speak with or think with perfect grammar. Bella sounds exactly
    like a shy, awkward, too old for her chronological age, sixteen-year-old girl
    would sound. And that is where the magic of the series is found.

    I do not like Stephenie Meyer’s attitude now that the books
    have become popular, she wants to be left alone to create other works and
    wishes her fans would be quiet about Twilight.
    And I can think of no greater crime for an author to commit than to not be
    grateful to her fans for making her story a part of our lives. However, in the
    case of these five books, I think she did an incredible job.

    • I’m glad that you were able to follow the books but, I couldn’t. I tried but I often found myself rereading parts of it, too make sense of what she had said. Grammar helps to make it easier for people to read. We need grammar.

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  • J Rob

    I am almost afraid to comment because I feel like you’ll catch all of my grammatical mistakes. I’m terrible with punctuation.
    This post was so enjoyable that I just had to comment. I am not a Twilight fan, so I can agree with the points you make without bias. The sentences are pretty funky. And although I suffer from a similar affliction, regarding punctuation. I can recognize poor writing.

    I am a storyteller, and I try to be mindful about the way I compose my thoughts so that the reader can easily digest the information. But honey, I don’t know where to put a comma, semicolon, etc. And I don’t want to kill my writing with a bunch of periods either, so I just sprinkle commas everywhere. I know it’s ridiculous. I need help. Lol

    My English professor would add a minus to my grade because of the misuse of punctuations, or a lack thereof. And I would always tell her that it doesn’t matter, so long as I can craft a beautiful story. One day I’ll have an editor. Cut to 7 years later… Yeah right!

    I haven’t shared any of my work, but I want to.
    It is why I signed up for your email tips.

    My question is how do you correctly punctuate an inner monologue, like the first example. Where the characters thoughts are erratic and all over the place? How do you write complete sentences, when the character is not thinking in complete sentences? How do you maintain the quality of the moment, while making it an enjoyable read?

    I’m sure there is a way, and I want to learn it.
    Please teach me the ways!

  • Cauê Moraes

    Gob-raptors are annoying. Dog-sized, club-armed, feathered opportunists, they are a pest here in Brazil. Those little monsters use teleport to infiltrate society’s infrastructure, and apply optic laser beams to destroy public services. Moreover, gobs hack inside citizen brains turning its hosts into militants of some saloon ideology and force them to complaint about bad public services. Recent advances in paleo-biology revealed that gob-raptors are the missing link in the evolutionary tree where velociraptors and goblins have split apart from each other. God save us all.

  • One thing I can say for Meyer is….drum role please…. (Writing on my phone so there may be errors) she has proven that anyone can be a writer. I watched the first movie before reading the books, and as a writer myself, it about killed me. The grammar was horrible! The story was all over the place, which made it very hard to follow. I like the idea of a world made with vampirea, and werewolves but, I keep wondering how this all got past the publishers. I have written things and later realized that it didn’t glow well so I kindly rewrote them and hoped no one noticed, but she doesn’t even care. I guess she doesn’t because movies have been made, and I may not know what I’m talking since I’m just another writer. I wish she would republish them, making them readable.

  • I also forgot to add, if you watched the movies, don’t read the books. It would be a total hit to how you felt for any of the characters and knowing that they evolved from Meyer.