Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bloggy Brilliance: Lizzie Stark's "If Famous Writers Had Written 'Twilight'"

The best thing I've read on the Internet today is "If Famous Writers Had Written Twilight," posted by Lizzie Stark. (Thanks, Kel, for the link!)

For example, if Jane Austen had written "Twilight:"
Basically the same as the original, except that Bella is socially apt and incredibly witty. Her distrust of Edward is initially bourne out of a tragic misunderstanding of his character, but after a fling with Jacob during which he sexually assaults her (amusing to no one in this version) she and Edward live happily ever after.
Not only are her blurbs amusing, but the commenters on her blog and over on io9 have done a great job coming up with even more. The Dr. Seuss one at io9 is especially inspired.

Reading all these today started making me think about "Twilight." There is a LOT of "Twilight" hate out there on the Internet ... some very clever and some just sour grapes. I enjoyed George Takei's call for "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" fans to unite against the book, and I've enjoyed a lot of the biting commentary I've seen ... including another thing I read on Lizzie Stark's blog, How To Read Twilight. (Hint, it has to do with word substitution, which leads to this hella-amusing sentence: “Her brilliant obsidian doodlewickets were unreadable, but her fingerbang was friendly.”)

The thing is, "Twilight" is not a well-written novel. It really reads like a first draft. Trust me ... I just finished a first draft of a novel and some of my prose is as awful and repetitive as some of Stephanie Meyer's prose. It happens. When you're getting your ideas down on paper, sometimes you keep harping on the same stuff over and over (for Meyer, it's eyes). But then, you and an editor or two need to go over it and make it more readable. It's too bad Meyer didn't have someone to bounce ideas off like I have - Kel is perfectly willing to read what I write and be brutally honest.

Even if the prose were better, I don't think "Twilight" would become a classic. I still have problems with the way that the vampires are neutered and sparkly and not at all dangerous (I like my vampires more like Eric Northman, thank you very much). I also have some real problems with the way women are portrayed, and how Edward is a creepy stalking abuser who Bella should run from without looking back. But, you know what? There's a reason that these books have become so popular ... because there's a lot of entertainment value there, too. Besides, it's not like Meyer is the first writer to get insanely popular writing clunky prose and derivative plots in their books. I read clunky, predictable fiction a lot. Maybe not as clunky as "Twilight," but, hey, it's easy and fun.

So, I guess what I'm really trying to say here is: I hate saurkraut! Oh no, wait, that's not it. I'm trying to say that it's fun to make fun of "Twilight," but let's not judge people who read it and enjoy it anyway. Although, if your teenage girl is reading it, you might want to talk to her about NOT dating someone who is an abuser. Just saying.

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