Well, it finally happened. I saw Breaking Dawn part two and…I really liked it.
This may be surprising to you non-writers but most writers HATE Twilight.
When one spends their time writing, they develop grandiose ideas of what is good and what is bad. We adhere to rules that beloved authors routinely break and call them ‘exceptions,’ blindly plunging over the cliff to do what we are told like fat little lemmings.
When I saw Breaking Dawn part one, I almost couldn't watch it. It was so cheesy and almost self-indulgent that I found it uncomfortable to watch. It was as though I were watching Stephanie Meyer’s most intimate fantasies of what it would be like to be a high-schooler and have it all. The hot rich vampire, the honeymoon on a private tropical island, the baby, the instant glamorous family, a whole host of superpowers and one cool car after another. Didn't anyone tell her that what she was writing was boring? That there was no conflict and it should be cut?
This movie had the same problem! The exploration of their revoltingly cute cottage, the amazing sex they’d have for years (and with no recuperation time!) and worst of all—Bella’s arm wrestling Emmett. Do you know how hard it was to remember how AWFUL that scene was while I was watching it? I had to bite my lip Anastasia style.
And yet, people like cheese.
In fact, I like cheese.
I believe that in order to be a good writer one has to put their soul on the page. And for me, that means being willing to infuse one’s own insecurities and desires into one’s writing so that when a reader has finished the book, they feel like they know you.
As Breaking Dawn ended, I found myself strangely moved and in awe of Stephanie Meyer because I hadn't realized the power of cheese. Her unabashed enthusiasm for every moment of Bella’s perfect life is something readers want and love to connect to…and it is something I have spent time learning to NOT do.
I feel humbled, as though I have been reminded of a truth that I should have known-- or maybe even did know-- but that I pretended I was too cool to believe in: that to be a good author, I have to put more than the kinky, the awkward and desperate onto the page. I have to be willing to put the vulnerability of pure happiness out there too.
Despite everything I may have ever said before, Stephanie Meyer is a genius.