There's not going to be a break from the insanity this time around, so today I'm going to attempt to make it through Stephenie Meyer's commentary on New Moon from her website. Will I use ALL CAPS? How man glitter text blocks will show up? Which macros will make an appearance? How many times will I call bullshit on Meyer? But, most importantly, is Meyer's commentary on New Moon worse than the book itself? If you're intrigued, then it's time for Mark to read Stephenie Meyer's website.
I AM IN UNEXPLORED TERRITORY, GUYS. I've been on her site once, but it was too weird for me. I've since stayed away. But I thought it would, at the very least, be entertaining to read about how New Moon came into existence straight from the horse's mouth. AMIRITE?
So I haven't read anything yet and I'm not going to do what I normally do with chapter reviews. (Which is to read the chapter, take notes, and then review it afterwards.) I'm writing this live. WE'RE DOING IT LIVE! FUCK IT!
Originally,Twilight had a more defined ending. But, when it was ended, I started writing epilogues. After I'd written three epilogues, all of them over a hundred pages long, I realized I wasn't ready to stop writing about Bella and Edward.
WHY ARE YOU WRITING EPILOGUES IN THE FIRST PLACE? I've always, always hated epilogues. They don't make sense. JUST WRITE ANOTHER CHAPTER IF YOU AREN'T DONE WITH THE BOOK. Epilogues always feel like those stupid scenes in movies where there's a giant flashback monologue that explains the whole movie to you because you are clearly way too dumb to understand it.
(People often ask me if I'm ever going to make Forever Dawn public. The answer is no. For one thing, it's not great—it's downright embarrassing in some places. However, some of the content will work as a loose outline for book four, so I can't tell you what happened, either.)
WHAT. If you believe that your own work is so embarrassing that you can't release it publicly, imagine how we feel.
Someone stop this woman.
Unintentionally, I'd written a young adult novel.
BULLSHIT. Twilight contains only teenagers and simplified language. BULL. FUCKING. SHIT.
I swiftly regretted asking them for the story. Because they gave me a story I wasn't expecting. More specifically, Edward told me something I didn't want to hear.
Um. What. What. What. What. These are characters. They are not sentient beings. What the fuck.
I should probably mention here that I am not crazy (that I know of), it's just that I am a character writer. I write my stories because of my characters; they are the motivation and the reward. The difficulty with strong, defined characters, though, is that you can't make them do something that is out of character. They have to be who they are and, as a writer, they're often out of your control.
WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. There are few times you have ever kept your characters consistent. May I remind you of the bizarre, unnatural things you've made Jacob do? You are ABSOLUTELY in control of your characters! THEY ARE NOT REAL PEOPLE.
This is so so so so so so bad, guys. :(
NO! I didn't want Edward to leave. I pitched a fit every bit as violent and tearful as those I've seen in New Moon discussion forums. I tried to talk him out of it. I presented him with other plot options. I begged. Edward remained unmoved.
YOU ARE INSANE.
WHAT IF... What if true love left you? Not some ordinary high school romance, not some random jock boyfriend, not anyone at all replaceable. True love. The real deal. Your other half, your true soul's match. What happens if he leaves?
The answer is different for everyone. Juliet had her version, Marianne Dashwood had hers, Isolde and Catherine Earnshaw and Scarlett O'Hara and Anne Shirley all had their ways of coping.
Wait a second. This seems painfully familiar. Didn't I read this before?
YEP. I DID. Check the end of that journal. OH GOD I'VE BECOME A SOD WHO REPEATS HIMSELF OVER AND OVER AGAIN. But I didn't read the rest of this before because IT MADE ME SO ANGRY, so let's move on from this bit of insanity.
There are those who think my stories are misogynistic—the damsel in distress must be rescued by strong hero.
HI STEPHENIE MEYER. HOW ARE YOU TODAY.
I am all about girl power—look at Alice and Jane if you doubt that. I am not anti-female, I am anti-human. I wrote this story from the perspective of a female human because that came most naturally, as you might imagine. But if the narrator had been a male human, it would not have changed the events. When a human being is totally surrounded by creatures with supernatural strength, speed, senses, and various other uncanny powers, he or she is not going to be able to hold his or her own. Sorry. That's just the way it is. We can't all be slayers. Bella does pretty well I think, all things considered. She saves Edward, after all.
I don't think Meyer understands my problem (and other feminists' problem) with the story. First of all, I'm not sure I understand what it's means to be "anti-human" and how that it is any better than being "anti-female." It doesn't address the strong misogynistic overtones of these books at all. In fact, it's as if she is saying, "Misogyny means that I have a hatred or contempt for women. That's not true. I actually have a hatred and contempt for all people. I just happen to have a women as the main character."
That's called "misanthropy," Meyer. Also, there is little to no misandry in your books, so I don't buy the whole "anti-human" nonsense.
But this is all about a larger problem: feminism does not mean "girl power." Having one character be self-sufficient or strong does not erase the deeply detrimental things you've written into all of your other characters. Additionally, it doesn't erase the misogynistic actions of people like Edward either.
She simply does not get it.
Without this painful separation, Bella might never have realized that Edward really is hers to keep. No matter how perfect she thinks he is, or how imperfect she thinks she is, he belongs to her. Words can't quite capture the life-changing nature of this knowledge for Bella.
I don't even get this. I don't understand people who speak of loving relationships in terms that imply ownership. It's weird, creepy, and, again, supports this bizarre notion of inequality in relationships. Please stop.
Something else he learns (not quite as important, but still good to know) is that, despite all his knowledge, he is fully able to make hideous mistakes in judgment.
BUT YOU JUST COMPARED EDWARD TO MANY OF THE GREAT LITERARY LOVES AND DIRECTLY SAID THAT EDWARD WAS UNLIKE THEM BECAUSE HE WAS PERFECT. WHAT THE FUCK.
Something happened then that I didn't expect. Jacob was my first experience with a character taking over—a minor character developing such roundness and life that I couldn't keep him locked inside a tiny role. (Since Jacob, this has reoccurred with several other meant-to-be-minor characters. I really love it when this happens, though it often destroys my outlines.) From the very beginning, even when Jacob only appeared in chapter six of Twilight, he was so alive. I liked him. More than I should for such a small part. Bella liked him. Her instinctive trust and affection came without my intervention.
Holy god. No, it absolutely came with your intervention, because they are fictional characters that you created.
Lots of people give me more credit than I deserve; they think I knew Jacob was a werewolf from the very beginning. This is not the case. Twilight was supposed to be a stand alone novel, remember. There was no thought of werewolves in my mind as I wrote it. The Quileute (Quill-yoot) legends Jacob tells Bella in chapter six of Twilight are all genuine Quileute stories that I learned when I was researching the tribe (which is a real tribe with a truly fascinating and mystical history). All actual Quileute legends, except for the vampire myth about the 'cold ones.' I latched onto the wolf story (the actual Quileute legend claims that the tribe descended from wolves transformed by a sorcerer) because it fit with my sketchy knowledge of vampires and werewolves always being at each others' throats (ha ha, pun intended). The dream Bella had of Jacob transforming into a wolf to protect her had no foreshadowing significance at the time. It was just my way of letting Bella's subconscious articulate the situation.
Oh my god, so much shitteous wankery in one paragraph. Does this mean that Meyer poorly foreshadowed/spoiled her own book without even knowing it? That is so horrible.
Also, I haven't commented on it much, but perhaps this is the time. How does the Quileute tribe feel about Meyer appropriating their culture for her shitty series? I mean, half the time I read anything involving Jacob and his family, I feel like it's all a cheesy bastardization of someone else's entire experience.
It's hard to explain how joyous the writing process was for me when I was creating Twilight. It was something I did for fun and excitement, with no concern for what anyone else might think, because no one else was ever going to read it. With New Moon, I knew people were going to read it. And some of those people were going to have bright red pens in hand while reading. I knew enough about the editing process to know that there were painful changes ahead; the parts I loved now might not make the final cut. I was going to have to rethink and revise and rework. This made it very hard to put the words down, and I had a horrible feeling much like stage fright the whole time I was writing.
I cannot imagine what didn't make it into the book. Oh god.
It took about five months, but the editing process was much longer and more difficult than the same process with Twilight. New Moon was a very hard story to tell, not only emotionally, but also functionally. It needed a lot of work. The New Moon outtakes I posted explain some of the bigger renovations that I had to make.
Wait, what? Outtakes??? SHALL WE??
I covered my mouth to muffle the laughter so Charlie wouldn’t hear.
“Bella, have you ever had P e r c o c 3 t before?”
“I don’t think so,” I giggled. “Why?”
He rolled his eyes, and I couldn’t stop laughing.
“How’s your arm?”
“I can’t feel it. Is it still there?”
He sighed as I giggled on. “Try to sleep, Bella.”
“No, I want you to kiss me again.”
“You’re overestimating my self-control.”
I snickered. “Which is bothering you more, my blood or my body?” My question made me laugh.
“It’s a tie.” He grinned in spite of himself. “I’ve never seen you high. You’re very entertaining.”
“I’m not high.” I tried to choke back the giggles to prove it.
“Sleep it off,” he suggested.
I realized that I was making a fool of myself, which wasn’t uncommon, but it was still embarrassing, so I tried to follow his advice. I put my head on his shoulder again and closed my eyes. Every now and then another giggle would escape. But that became more infrequent as the drugs lulled me toward unconsciousness.
Oh. My. God.
I can't post the entirety of the "Scholarship" plot, but if you want to read an entire section of the book that Meyer removed that involves Bella being an entitled, idiotic moron, open that PDF file. It's fun! Because there is nothing worse than getting TONS OF FREE MONEY. Oh god, how annoying!
The section called "If Jacob Didn't Break The Rules" is...abysmal. At best. It's really long and involves Jacob not even explaining that he's a werewolf and has a completely different epilogue full of more stupid, controlling bullshit from both Jacob and Edward. Gross.
Well, try to "enjoy" all that. I'll have some more fun tomorrow and then begin Eclipse on Monday. Boo.
Frank Iero fans, we asked you to submit your questions for the former My Chemical Romance guitarist, and you did not disappoint, leaving us hundreds of inquiries for the musician. Before heading on tour with Taking Back Sunday and the Used, Frank popped into our HQ to sit down for a PV Fan Q&A.