I've shared my honest opinions of Stephenie Meyer and her Twilight series as I've finished each one and as promised, here is my final opinion on her last book in the series.
A word of warning though...
- This is my OPINION - I don't want hate mail. Although all comments are welcomed, please know, I am not bashing Stephenie Meyer. I respect her success and her ability to do what I still dream of - becoming published.
- There WILL be spoilers.
- I might not agree with Meyer but that does not mean you are not allowed to still love this book. That would be your opinion and we are all entitled to that.
So, if you are a true die-hard Meyer fan, you might not want to read further. If , however, you are opened to a writer's debate - one writer trying to learn from a published writer - then read on; this posting is for you!
What I've Learned Top Three Count Down
3. Pacing. Don't have one day span over 100 pages (give or take)
2. Don't start from your MC's voice, get the reader completely going, set a fast, intense pace, and then BOOM kill it with a switch of POV and then let that new POV span the entire mid section of the novel. For me, this was "whiplash reading." I was jolted and disturbed and didn't want to read from Jacob's POV. Maybe I could have handled it better if it switched back and forth more frequently right from the start. But for me, the sudden switch in POV and then its lasting effect, was jarring and I had a hard time wanting to read after that. I did eventually get used to Jacob's POV. But the damage was done.
On a side here - Don't think for one minute that I don't like books that switch POVs. I do. The first to come to mind is "My Sister's Keeper," by Jodi Picoult. Or any of her books for that matter. She is the master of switching POV's and I find this technique powerful and fascinating both as a reader AND a writer. Maybe Meyer just didn't - for me - produce that technique well enough.
1. But the number 1 problem for me (cue drum roll please...) is NEVER and I mean NEVER promise your reader something and then don't deliver it. UGH!!!!!! Harrumph! *blowing bangs up in an angry huff* I think my exact angry, frustrated words when I was finished reading was "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????????? I DON'T GET IT! HOW DID NO ONE, NOT ONE EDITOR, NOT HER AGENT, NOT ONE PERSON SAY.... You know, you did promise the ultimate batter scene, and well, er... um... You really have only had "kind of sort of" battle scenes in your books. Maybe, just maybe, just this once you should really deliver a true battle scene to your readers. Ya know, just this once... NO ONE SAID THIS TO HER? NO ONE?" *growl*
So, in case you couldn't tell, this was infuriating for me, to say the least. What... since like book 2 we were PROMISED a battle scene between the Cullens and the Vulturi and this promise was echoed through-out ALL of the books.
Sorry to bring up JK Rowling again here folks for the umpteenth time, BUT JK promised for 7 books, not 4, not 3, but 7, a fight between Harry - a mere child and Voldemort - the ultimate evil prince of darkness. Did she have Voldemort cowardly back away? Did she set the stage and then tear it down? Was it hard for us, the reader, to imagine how JK would be able to deliver this promise and how Harry would hopefully triumph? WOULD Harry Triumph??? The world held its breath in anticipation.
THIS IS THE JOB OF A WRITER PEOPLE!!!!!!! To figure this out! To set the stage and then DELIVER! JK did it. And JK did it in a way I never imagined. She tied up every loose end, our hero remained triumphant, fought evil and won, and we, the reader, were satisfied!
But Meyer did not do this. Finally, the long, awaited ultimate battle scene was upon us. The Cullens were lined up with their friends and witnesses. The Volturi were lined up with their witnesses. Characters were taking dibs on enemies... "Leave her. She's mine..." etc. WE WERE READY! We were good fans. We stuck with book. We trusted the writer. We went along with her (most of the time). We earned our right for the final battle scene. We EARNED it! But did she deliver? NO. Sadly, she did not. Now, we've talked about this here before. And we've concluded that:
- She got away without a battle scene in book 1 because it was written in first person so if Bella was unconscious, we the reader had to be unconscious too.
- We realized these books were written based on a fairy tale paradigm and not a hero's journey.
But here's my beef! If you don't write battle scenes well, or you don't believe in violence because you're... I don't know... say, a Mormon... then don't write a book where battle scenes are called for!!!
I, for one, could NEVER write about harm coming to a child. I mean serious harm. Now that I am a mother, I just could not, would not, want to get in touch with those stories of kidnapped children or children who are killed. Maybe one day, maybe I will want to write a story like that, but for now I know I can't. To me, this is like if I started writing a story about a child being kidnapped and killed, but never really got to the telling of that part.
It would be like if I don't want to write racy love scenes but write a romance novel.
If I can't write a mystery, but set one up with no resolution.
A sci-fi novel taking place here and now with nothing sci-fi about it.
These are vampires, people. Vampires. The Volturi are blood-thirsty, murderous vampires who show no mercy and the Cullens are "vegetarian" vampires who have been known to show mercy. The Cullens were willing to fight, but the Volturi back away???? OK, OK, OK! I know what you are saying... The Volturi had never before faced a group of vampires that they couldn't out right defeat... OK. I hear you. I see that. BUT STILL!!!!!! I thought there would be a changing of the guards. The Cullens would be the new power in the vampire world. But maybe they wouldn't want that title. Perhaps they'd give it away... There was literally no battle scene. AGAIN.
Clearly, Meyer does not write battle scenes. She does not believe in violence and she does not want her beloved Cullens to rise to power through violence. That's all fine. I completely agree. But why then, why, ever seed and promise one???? Her story, her premise, her vision of vampires were new and fresh and existed fine on their own. She never needed to make such a promise. Teen age girls would have still loved the story. They would have still loved Edward and would have still wanted to be Bella. The Volturi, or at least a promised battle between them, was not necessary at all!
So, I am going to add a new number to my list of what I learned....
Write what you write well.