Books, Writing

Stephenie Meyer is Everything That’s Wrong with Literature

I really don’t want to be a hater, so this isn’t a post that’s going to be filled with stupid hate comments like “Stephenie Meyer is stupid”. But I am very very annoyed about the whole Twilight phenomenon and how people keep comparing it to Harry Potter.

In the interest of full disclosure, I too, once thought that Twilight was “the next Harry Potter“, but this was before I read the Twilight books. I based this thought simply on the reactions of people to the Twilight saga, that it was similar to people’s reactions to Harry Potter — long lines in the bookstore, throwing themed parties based on the books, big blockbuster movies… I really thought that Twilight was something great because everyone seemed to be raving about it, so at first I was really on Twilight‘s side. Until I actually read it. And then I realized that it was trash. No, actually, some trashy romance novels  are written better, honestly. But here’s what I really don’t like about Stephenie Meyer.

According to her in an interview, she never read about vampires or werewolves or did any research before she wrote the books. She only researched about vampires when she needed to write the part where Bella was researching vampires. But from what I can tell from her interview, it seems that her so-called research was limited to Googling the word “vampire”. Um, can somebody tell her that Googling is not what research for a book makes? But other than that, I just think it’s so arrogant of her to say something like “Part of the fun of writing is getting to create a world and if you’re writing fantasy, why should you be limited by someone else’s world?” as the justification for her having written about “sparkly vampires”. 🙄

It upsets me because yes, you’re allowed to break rules in writing and the more creative you are the better, so go ahead and make up beings that sparkle in the sunlight, but don’t dare call them vampires, because that’s not what they are. If you’re going to change the vampire myth so drastically, then it’s nothing short of arrogance to ride on the popularity of the vampire myth, when what you’ve written isn’t about vampires at all. If you hate so much being so “limited by someone else’s world”, then create a different world entirely, instead of ripping off bits and pieces of a myth such that it destroys said myth, call it your own, and then still think that you actually paid homage to it.

You can break rules, but not the basics. Any real writer will tell you (and these aren’t my words, because I’m not a real writer, these are things I’ve heard and read from real writers like Stephen King, etc.), that in order to be a good writer, you have to read and read and read and read. And then read some more. Because writers are supposed to wield words, and to do that, you have to know words, you have to live and breathe words. If you don’t read, if you don’t do your research, then you’re just writing gibberish.

The only reason Stephenie Meyer is “successful” is because sex sells. I’m not even going to say that “love sells”, because Bella and Edward’s is most definitely not a love story. How can it be a love story if the only reason Edward “loves” her is because she has the kind of blood that he likes?

Anyway, I mentioned Harry Potter earlier because I was watching interviews of J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer on YouTube one after the other and something in particular in the Harry Potter-related interviews caught my attention.

Stephenie Meyer says that the idea for Twilight came to her in a dream. She saw a girl and boy in a meadow, and he was sparkling underneath the sun. And because she wanted to know what happened to that boy and girl, she wrote their story, and continued to write their story based on her dreams and fantasies.

For J.K. Rowling, it was during a train ride that Harry Potter just popped into her head. And then she just couldn’t stop thinking about magic.

But here’s where it gets interesting. Stephen Fry, actor, comedian, journalist, director, voice actor, and just about everything else, said in an interview about Harry Potter:

“It’s the reality [of Harry Potter] that appealed to me. What’s woven into them is a true history of the English folklore and tradition of magic. She (J.K. Rowling) hasn’t made up a magic world, which is simply a great wish list of… “What if she had a dream and it’s gonna come true?” because Harry Potter doesn’t present a world like that.

It’s connected and it comes out of a whole fabric of English history and folklore and mythology. And I’m not in any way trying to push her into a higher literary genre that she herself I’m sure wouldn’t claim to belong to, it’s merely that that’s why it works because things don’t work if they’re a result of feeble-minded fantasy.”

Right. My point exactly.


17 thoughts on “Stephenie Meyer is Everything That’s Wrong with Literature”

  1. i’d say that twilight author is a pretentious idiot. her love story is a plagiarized (and vandalized, i should say) excerpt from the works of Anne Rice <–the REAL author of vampires. "Harry Potter world" is a vast genius idea that has nothing to do with stupid sex fantasies like twilight. i'd say "JK Rowling" and "Stephanie Meyer" should not be used in the same sentence ever again. No connection whatsoever. That twilight crap is insulting to real writers.

    1. i think thats quite a small minded portrayal and statement… is there evidence to suggest that writers have been insulted or annoyed by Meyer’s interpretation of vampires… Literature is forever changing and developing… would you say that Rice coppied Stoker’s Dracula? no its a progression Twilight takes Rice’s and develops it further. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a massive hit when it was produced is that a copy of all vampire fiction that has been released? Rice’s book alongside other gothic fiction re-awekened literature after the furor of eighteenth century and now Meyer has does the same by putting Vampires back on the map it has allowed films such as 30 days of nights, true blood or books like city of bones to be appreciated again- that’s what happenes in literature and throughout genres- stories get remade and re-published it’s not anyone trying to copy anybody it’s a new representation of an idea.

      rowling and meyer haven’t compared themselves to eachother… rowling hasn’t claimed she has been insulted by meyer on the contrary rowling probably appreciates meyer’s story due to her passion for literature and writing…

      The two books are completely different- THAT’S why they shouldn’t be compared!

  2. Right okay i understand how you may have come to that conclusion and don’t get me wrong I absolutely love Harry Potter- I have read it about fifty times and won’t let anyone speak negatively of it. I also don’t believe that Harry Potter and Twilight should be compared to eachother but for different reasons- a) its a different genre, gothic fiction and fantasy require different techniques and characteristics. b) the story line is different and the characters are different and as you can see where I am going with this everything is different lol.

    I am doing my dissertatioin on how vampires have been domesticated and humanised through literature starting with the concept of Dracula to our modern Twilight. If you appreciate the gothic then you’ll appreciate Twilight. It has been proven that our image of vampires has changed and instead of being threatened by the vampire we admire them instead. Interview with the vampire is one of the first novels that show this progression of the vampire with Lestat showing his emotions through the interview- it had never been thought of that vampires felt and reflected upon things.

    Your points about her not having researched the topic of vampires never stopped shelley producing frankenstein or polidori publishing one of the first vampire novels The Vampyre- a group of writers where in Switzerland talking and they all came up with it there…

    Meyer has used some background knowledge with her mormon reigious beliefs and whilst she claims that she didn’t do it consciously- theorists believe that all creative writing come from some past experience etc.

    Meyer has tapped into the modern form of vampire by domesticating edward- allowing him to walk in the daylight and not tapping into the old folkore garlic, mirrors and crosses etc. She allows Edward to ponder on the question of his soul and whilst she allows to keep the blood drinking she provides another form of living… through animals twilight and philosophy questions humans and what characteristics you need to be a human… that’s a good read for understanding Twilight and the vampire to a better extent.

    Different writers get inspiration from different aspects of life- we shouldn’t question how they are inspired we should just appreciate the story that they create. and meyer links wonderfuly to the idea of necrophelia, love and the difficulties of balancing life and growing up.
    I read your love comment and i beg to differ… the blood is not the only reason the saga goes on to demonstrate that he belives their soul mates, he cares about her well being, her future (he ran away to try and give her a normal life, he wants her to graduate and experience college, he doesn’t want her to damn her soul and turn into a vampire etc.) he’s always frightened of hurting her and he shows he would do anything for her by putting his own family in danger to protect her.

    and its a very big statement to claim that the only reason meyer is a good author is due to sex… she hints at it through her books to demonstrate the love that bella and edward share for eachother… meyer is successful due to her insight of gothic fiction, due to her story being attracting to not only teens but grown ups all around the world.

    1. P.S i would give you quotes and references but at the moment I am doing research for dissertation so if you want to read more let me know and I will give it to you after my dissertation is done 🙂

    2. YOU know that’s BS, right, everything you said. Modern form? NO! She has NOT! She has created something completely different and attached the name “Vampire” to it. These are not vampires at all. They don’t need to be affected by garlic or silver, or even turned to ashes by sunlight, BUT they MUST HAVE limitations to how good their life is. In the entire story, Meyer neglects to mention how crazy it must be to lose all interest in human food. I mean, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING A VAMPIRE OTHER THAN IMMORTALITY. And somehow, Meyer doesn’t even acknowledge the downside in that! So what, were just supposed to believe Edward and Bella live happily after? Nothing bad happens after that? Except WAIT, Bella has to live while all family members die and everyone she knew as well. That includes Jacob BTW, because he ain’t immortal. And that seems that she doesn’t care, because her own daughter is half-vampire. You talk about how he doesn’t want to “damn her soul” but that is not what happens, because when he “does” it, she’s perfectly fine. No regrets. BS

      The Wolves are also crap. Better than Vampires, but crap all the same. They don’t turn at every full moon, they just turn whenever they f****ing like, and it’s not even painful. They’re also ridiculously large and look the same as wolves. And are we not going to mention that fact that Jacob imprinted on Bella’s daughter? You know how sick that is right? Renesmee–which is a stupid name, I mean she was named after the f****ing Loch Ness monster!– is not going to get older, which means Jacob is either going to stuck in the first stage, or is going to get impatient and…. you get my drift, right?

      And no, pal, her writing storywise is CRAP. She doesn’t have it in her to kill off any of her main characters. ANY OF THEM. And no, I’m not talking about the antagonists, because that’s nothing. But none of the Cullens died, none of the Quileute Pack, HELL, nobody on their side died on at all, during the entire sodding series! And the so-called Love Triangle, which is not at all complicated by Jacob being a Wolf himself, is resolved without any heartbreak or any real conflict. Bella doesn’t have to give up anything to be happy. She doesn’t even do anything noteworthy period. She just stands around while everyone else does everything. Even her transition changes nothing. I mean they already had sex before that.

      And WHY is it all about this one girl? Why can’t it be also about how much it sucks to live forever? Sure the first couple centuries you enjoy yourself, but then….

      My point is, Stephanie ignores that. There are no stakes worth caring about. And no characters caring about either.

  3. I personally believe Harry Potter is a better than reason is because it has a better plot and it actually has a point.bella is so whiny and stupid and a mary sue.also jk rowling does not ruin mythology like meyer did. Harry potter has a good message. Twilight teaches girls that they should jump off cliffs when their boyfriend leaves them. Hermione doesnt try to kill herself when Ron leaves.Plus Harry Potter has a more believable plot.Also Meyer copied several names.Edward and Bellas love is not love its an obsession.If you havent noticed Bella fell in love with Edward in a ridiculously short amount of time.Plus she is always saying how ugly she looks next to him.Also there are more books tn read.there are many more reasons why its better.

  4. But everything that you have pointed out about Twilight links back to its genre… Harry Potter is a fantasy so all the magical beasts, the use of magic, the plotline is all based around an adventure… it’s a brilliant plot and it will go down in history as a classic but Meyer portrays everything that’s in Gothic literature!! the desperate heroine… the enchanting ‘beast’ and it links to modern day society but in a more exaggerated way… girls do get obsessive about guys trust me i know- I’m at university and the talks you overhear are riddiculous! i dont personally see how Harry Potter is more ‘believable’ but thats a personal opinion. I’m not asking you to like Twilight more I’m asking you to appreciate it for the literature that it is… It’s dark and intising and obsessive plotline is traditional of its kind of story… the ugly statement bella makes it to portray the beauty of edward- to help the reader understand his inhumanity- his incredible powers and lure that appeal to normal people- he represents disorder and ‘no boundaries’! What’s your point about there being more books? Harry Potter’s storyline is not about love or relationships its about Harry conquering evil and helping his magical community and about his schooling life- Twilight saga is about Bella and her relationship to Edward- two different storylines HENCE my point they shouldnt be compared to begin with as they are two different books! The name thing is also riddiculous- Names are common are reused throughout literature who’s to say she used that name conscioulsy- authors don’t intend to copy other authors because of media scandal!

    1. Genre has everything to do with it when you are comparing the similarities of storylines. You are getting the concept of ‘weakness’ mixed up with the characteristics of a love story and what defines the saga.

  5. You have to admit that Twilight is a really messed-up story. Okay, so you’re a human. Are you REALLY going to believe that this guy who is hitting on you is a vampire just because you heard a story from someone about vampires that sounds even remotely like him? Are you REALLY going to keep begging him to become a vampire even when you have been told how much it sucks? Are you REALLY going to throw your ENTIRE LIFE away with all of the possibilities a human life has? Are you REALLY going to marry when you just got out of high school to some vampire, ESPECIALLY when you see what that did to your parents? No, no, no, and no.
    Freaking Rosaline is a better character than Bella. She might seem like a ditsy blonde sometimes, but at least she has two sides to her. She had a terrible past, she hates being a vampire because it was forced upon her, and she tries to convince Bella, over and over again, how much it sucks.
    Okay, so when a ditsy blonde who is never really considered a huge character is a better character than the main character, that’s when you know you’ve got a problem.

  6. How is Bella a weak character? She is more than happy to give up her family, her normal human life for the man who she loves, even if that means changing into a vampire (a blood sucking creature). If you are saying she is weak because she allows her love for Edward weaken her at the beginning of New Moon, she is the one who saves Edward in the end. She is an extremely strong vampire when she is changed, she manages to give birth to a vampire, she puts herself on the line at the end of Twilight when she believes her family’s life is endangered. She doesn’t want people putting their lives on the line for her and is on the front line in Breaking Dawn. Do not mistake a love story and acts of compassion and protection for weakness- love is what defines their storyline. The female characters in the saga play stong femine roles- Victoria who is powerful, fast and dangerous, Alice who is clever witted, consistently saves her family (all the woman in Cullen’s family).

    So I am not really sure what you all mean?!

  7. You are all mean bullies. I love JK and agree with Stephen but there is absolutely NO need for you to be nasty to Meyer. She put her time and effort into that book so she deserves credit for that at least. And as much as JK would be happy that you liked her books I am sure she would hate the fact that you are slagging off other writers. Shame on you all!

    1. That’s exactly the point. She is getting too much credit for the amount of work that she did. She didn’t even do her research properly. There are a lot of other writers who are way more deserving of the credit and attention that she’s getting, which is why I have a problem with her.

      1. She wrote a series of books aimed directly at soccer moms whose lives didn’t exactly meet expectations… They loved living in this fantasy world that couldn’t possibly exist and so far out of kilter that ANY author would laugh themselves silly and would NEVER consider writing such tripe. The characters were unbelievable and the story really never made any sense.

        1. but look how much money there is in writing “vampire tripe”. i’m sure that appeals to some authors. meyer didn’t research vampires, but she must have researched “supply and demand” — and hollywood connections. it almost didn’t matter what she wrote.

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