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Stephanie Meyer vs. Ann Rice

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Thursday, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. Elder the Dwarf

    Elder the Dwarf Maester

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    On the first point, I agree with you on all those points except one. There may be well-read people who Twilight, but the vast majority of the Twilight readers that I know (talking about 99% or so) are the same people who are reading the Clique novels. Which is fine, those books just aren't my cup of tea. Now I am not going to insult the novels because I have never read them. I can't say her writing sucks because I have never read her work, mainly because her plots are not something I would enjoy. However, a 30-second commercial spot is enough for me to say that the movies are beyond terrible.

    To the second point, I'm not sure how well the word duh will go over on a writers' forum, but it is applicable here. In any area of life, nothing draws mass hatred unless it is popular. I hate Lebron, I hate dubstep, I hate Lil Wayne, and I hate Justin Bieber. Notice that none of these is a garage band or an average high school athlete from Michigan. Why? Because bad isn't a really strong reason for hate. Neither is terrible. Overrated is. Popular for no reason, or for bad reasons, is a much better catalyst for hate. So don't play that ridiculous card. If her books weren't popular, there would be no chance to hate it. I could write the single worst book in the world and nobody would hate it, or even care, unless a bunch of stupid people went to the stores, bought it, and made me famous. And you have to be more than famous, you have to have a following. Notice that I said I hated Lil Wayne, not Soulja Boy or Waka Flocka. Wayne is clearly better but because, despite their fame, almost everyone I know accepts the fact that both of the latter two are terrible, I just don't care about them. However, I have a lot of friends that love Lil Wayne, and I think he is awful, so his music stirs a passionate hate in me. I personally didn't know Meyer's name before this thread popped up, and I don't care about her writing either way, so I can't hate it.
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    This is all true. My point, however, is that the mere popularity alone is the reason for the bashing you see on internet forums, without any real regard to whether it is deserved or not. It's just a knee-jerk response; people doing what they think it is cool to do. And then follow the rationalizations to explain away, generally in an insulting manner, all of those who like the work.
     
  3. Elder the Dwarf

    Elder the Dwarf Maester

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    Thanks for clarifying, that makes more sense. Sorry, I think I was just feeling a rant. ;)
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    No worries. Feel free to rant away :) I have a thick skin and enjoy a spirited debate. And I also can't stand Lil Wayne, so I am well-disposed toward you!
     
  5. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Steerpike,

    Just to clarify, I don't hate Meyers or Rowling or any other writer who hit it big on the first book. I'm not jealous of popularity.

    Basically, Elder has a good explanation of why feelings tend to be strong. Popularity intensifies people's expressed feelings. Like vs. dislike escalates to love vs. hate. I think that's true for younger people. I'm well into my thirties, so I really tend to ignore things that I'm not into.

    I was being objective when I said Twilight was brilliantly marketed. I like the black/white/red cover art. But I'm not big on vampires, and the genre isn't something I'd encourage my kids to read either. (This is not to say I'd discourage vampire novels.) I also don't like Harry Potter, but think it's an appropriate YA series, so I probably will encourage my kids to read it when they get older.

    Simply put, when a book/series is popular, I hear things and make judgement calls. Game of Thrones = my cup of tea, so Martin wins another reader. Rice and Meyers don't have a chance with me, but if other people love their work that's okay with me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Legendary Sidekick: Thanks for clarifying. I think I did misread your post. I agree that the marketing was excellent; I'm just saying that marketing alone doesnt' explain the success and the editor would never have paid that kind of money for something she thought was bad but marketable. I won't belabor the point further - sorry :) I just start from the premise that I know well-educated professionals and academics, ranging in age from their 20s into their 50s, in addition to teens, who love the books. And since I know these people, and know they are not stupid, I reject out of hand any argument for the success of Twilight that hinges on the stupidity of the readers.
     
  7. That doesn't really make sense; there are loads of popular things that don't get one percent of the vitriol directed at them that Twilight does. Twilight gets mass-bashed because it's popular and awful. Yes, there's no doubt some me-tooism there, but you could say the exact same thing about Twilight itself: some people only like it because it's already popular to like it.
     
    Shadoe likes this.
  8. Kit

    Kit Maester

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    Hell, I would, if I was an editor. If I thought, "This is the worst piece of crap I ever read, but I know I can peddle a bazillion copies of it," I'd blush all the way to the bank. Nobody's forcing people to buy it. There's all kinds of horrible garbage out there that is wildly popular for some weird reason(s).

    Glad to hear that, since I (middle-aged bachelor's-degree-holding professional) have already admitted to reading them. :rolleyes:They're not anything to rave about, but good enough to finish, and I've read plenty worse.
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Let me rephrase :)

    A publisher is not going to pay 3/4 of a million dollars, in advance, for a book that is terrible, on the chance that they can market it sufficiently to make hundreds of millions of dollars. The editor clearly saw something of merit in the work, and turned out, in fact, to be correct in seeing whatever it was that made her pay that much.
     
  10. Masronyx

    Masronyx Minstrel

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    I've read Anne Rice. I cannot get through her rich writing. Somehow, I made it through Interview With the Vampire. I loved it. Her writing, for me, is way too rich, way too detailed, way too much for me. But she is one of the best writers out there.

    Stephanie Meyer? not so much. I TRIED to read Twilight. Poor poor writing. It's called an editing process for a reason, and she appeared to not use it. Not to mention VAMPIRES DO NOT SPARKLE!!!!

    Meyer totally ruined vampires as a genre. As a friend once told me: "Vampires live to eat and eat to live".

    I used to write vampire stories. I stopped after the Twilight craze started. It's hard to get back into it because I wonder if I'm 'humanizing' them like Meyer did. But at the same time, she created a market for it, and she was followed by these other vampire series such as "Vampire Academy" and "The Vampire Diaries". Unfortunately, writers have to look at the market and see what's flying off the shelves.
     
  11. Nyx

    Nyx Scribe

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    The Vampire Diaries was out long before Twilight, it's just recently that it got a TV Show.
     
  12. Masronyx

    Masronyx Minstrel

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    Really? Huh. That just shows you how well I keep up with what's popular these days...:rolleyes:
     
  13. Shadoe

    Shadoe Sage

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    Sorry, Steerpike, but you're wrong, and should certainly be, as you say, discarded out of hand.

    The fact that the books have fans isn't enough to make Meyer a good writer, the stories good stories, or the movies good movies. I've read a lot of bad fiction at fanfiction.net, and I would say that an eighth of that is better than the drivel Meyer put out. No, I'm not exaggerating. I've seen some great characterization and very original ideas there - neither of which is present in the Meyer books I've seen.

    The character Bella is... just stupid. She's not interesting, she's not attractive, she's not admirable. She's just stupid. I've raised three teenage girls with more sense than she displays in the books or movies. The only contribution she makes to the world is to provide an example of what not to be to my youngest teenage girl, and as the butt of jokes. Both of which she excels at.

    Amazingly, they made the movie Bella even worse. They could not have chosen a worse actress for the role. Or perhaps they chose a perfect one, because the girl simply cannot convey emotion on the screen. I'm sure Chris Weitz wanted to shoot himself in the head trying to get some kind of emotion out of her. Or wanted to shoot Catherine Hardwicke in the face for casting her in the first place. Catherine Hardwicke can't be faulted too much - she has no experience at casting or directing. Can't imagine why they let her deal with the movie in the first place.

    Are the fans of the series idiots? Well, I can't say they all are, but I can say that my four well-read daughters didn't like it. I have two friends with teenage daughters and they just LOVED the books - they are idiots. Not because they loved the books, but because they were idiots to begin with, st is not surprising that they loved the books. Everyone I've seen who liked the books didn't strike me as particularly discerning or well-read. I'm not saying that everyone who likes the books is an idiot, but all the idiots I know who've read them sure like them.

    I don't know why the books are popular or why the movies are. The books are not well written, plotted or characterized. The story is ridiculous, amateur, and cliche. The movies are neither well-written nor well-acted.

    The offensive thing about the books and the movies is that it's aimed at children and it's immoral. By "immoral," I don't mean "it's not based on the bible," I mean it's geared toward making children believe that being stupid is acceptable. I wouldn't encourage a teen to read this book for the same reason I don't allow my son to play games like Grand Theft Auto.

    Having been around a while and seen the tricks, I think the series is popular not in spite of being stupid, but because it's stupid. Our society has been dumbing down for decades and this is what comes of it. The story features characters who do the dumbest things for nonexistent reasons - kind of like a great many Americans, and certainly the majority of American teenage girls. This book allows them to look at someone who is even stupider than they are and think, "Hey, if she can be loved in spite of how horrible she is, then maybe I can too." This offends me as much as the popularity of "reality" shows and Kim Kardashian.

    You may pretend that I hold this opinion from jealously alone, and that may give you a warm and fuzzy feeling toward your own superiority. You would, however, be wrong. I base my opinion on forty years of reading both good and bad works, and being a huge movie fan. It doesn't make me jealous that a writer makes it big - that means I get to read more books. Though I'll admit I only read books that have something to recommend them. It doesn't make me jealous that a movie makes it big, even if it's bad. I judge a movie first on how much I like it, but then I judge it on how well it's made. I've been known to enjoy many movies that were not well made, and many that were not popular. But putting a poor story with poor characters and poor script together with a poor cast is inexcusable outside of the SyFy Channel's Saturday night lineup.

    Go ahead, call me "jealous" if it makes you feel better about yourself. But I'm not wrong.
     
  14. Nyx

    Nyx Scribe

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  15. Elder the Dwarf

    Elder the Dwarf Maester

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    Hahaha sorry that was really funny. Very well thought out rant, I commend you Shadoe. I think the SyFy channel part was my favorite (I think they played a movie called Sharktopus the other night).
     
  16. Elder the Dwarf

    Elder the Dwarf Maester

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    Hahaha sorry that was really funny. Very well thought out rant, I commend you Shadoe. I think the SyFy channel part was my favorite (I think they played a movie called Sharktopus the other night).
     
  17. Masronyx

    Masronyx Minstrel

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    I've got another:

    Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. Her first book "In the Forests of the Night" was the first vampire novel I ever read at the age of 13. She was 14 when she wrote that novel. She is 2 years my senior. Her writing then is way better and surpasses any of Meyer's Twilight. Atwater-Rhodes was the one who inspired me to keep writing and to pursue the craft through high school and beyond. It was her that got me into vampires. I even had this imaginary contest between me and her in my head at one point. I still read her works as a guilty pleasure even though it's written for the young adult crowd.

    I just wanted to add that. :cool:
     
  18. Masronyx

    Masronyx Minstrel

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    You know what? As soon as I read that article, I remembered seeing a couple of those books at my local library...I just now made the connection... *face palm* :p
     
  19. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    You are wrong, but do not come across as particularly open-minded so I won't belabor the point. The gist is that you're smart, the others are stupid, yadda yadda. Got it. :rolleyes:
     
  20. Shadoe

    Shadoe Sage

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    SyFy has some of the most awful programming in their movies. They all come from just a handful of production houses where they are written and produced in house. Notice that their programming is aimed primarily at teenage boys and you'll see the common thread.

    Though, being a fan of B-movies, I can get into them sometimes. Oh hell, I'm a fan of just about all movies. :)
     

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