Stephanie Meyer

Just like clockwork, after a new Twilight movie or book comes out, there’s a frenzy of Twilight-centric pop culture critiques that spread all over the internet. They mostly focus on these ideas: a) Twilight is a piece of shit, and b) it sends awful messages to the people who read it. What I find interesting is that most of these articles, opinion pieces, and blog posts focus on the relation between the material and the fan base, and don’t spend a whole lot of time on the author, Stephanie Meyer, herself. Personally, I didn’t know anything about her, and it was a shock to me to realize that I had never checked her Wikipedia page.
It was also shocking to me that she’s 36. I don’t know why I thought that she would be older, but I guess that I thought that the only reason that anybody would write books the way that she does is for cynical commercial reasons. Even more, she talks about the books and their inspiration, both literary and personal, as an expression of herself. This made me really uncomfortable. Even though I think it’s awful, I can understand and accept a person who writes vapid novels that are calculated to appeal to the pre- and teen demographic. But to accept Twilight as a work of art created by Stephanie Meyer suggests that the reason that the novels are so clumsy is that she is that unskilled writer, that the themes are so tacky because she is so superficial.
Reading her also made me aware of the parallels between Meyer and J.K. Rowling. Both Twilight and Sorceror’s Stone were their first novels. Both were inspired to write by a vision of their protagonists.
But their differences are telling. Rowling may not be the world’s best writer, but she is nowhere near as bad as Meyer. Even when her technique fails her, her settings are imaginative and her characters authentic. Meyer never shows when she can tell, and (here I’ll cop to not reading the whole series) in the two books I’ve read, not one character interaction has felt plausible as a human (or non-human) intereaction.

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