The Negative Reader

Drinking Tea and Trashing Books

My Internet is working again and I’m ready to take some pot shots.

Welcome back everyone! In our last chapter we met Zoey, her ‘friend’ Kayla, who mostly vanished from the plot afterwards, and Zoey was turned into a vampire. She also whined a great deal. In this chapter we are taught that men and fundamentalist Christians are all evil!

How’s that for tolerance?

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The story begins with an excerpt of Hesiod’s Theogony discussing “the Greek personification of night”, Nyx.

“There also stands the gloomy house of Night;
ghastly clouds shroud it in darkness.
before it Atlas stands erect and on his head
and unwearying arms firmly supports the broad sky,
where Night and Day cross a bronze threshold
and then come close and greet each other.”

It’s hard to fail on your literary quotation, but they managed it. I’d be impressed if I wasn’t so annoyed.

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Clary Fray is not anywhere near the blot on the name of print that Bella Swan is. I’ve seen a lot of critics who are otherwise pretty harsh on the series give Clary a free pass. I even understand why. In another story, in the hands of another author, I think that Clary honestly could have worked as a character. The problem is that we’ve got Clare, and Clare is surprisingly good at messing up characters and settings that could have worked in the hands of someone else.

So, without further ado, I begin my rip into:

Clary Fray

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So, I’ve been hedging around this for a while. I’ve talked about it, I’ve mentioned it, but now I’m going to actually talk a little bit about it. Also, I felt that I honestly couldn’t end this Everything Wrong With series without talking about the reason why it was so popular.

Twilight’s popularity wasn’t something that anyone really expected. It wasn’t released to much fanfare, and it certainly didn’t get much in the way of publicity. Right when Twilight was coming out, YA was experiencing something of a slowdown. The Harry Potter books were still chugging along like no one’s business, but people were starting to realize that making knock-offs wasn’t going to sell well.

There were a lot of action books, and a lot of ‘real life issues’ books like before, but fantasy and sci-fi didn’t seem to know where it wanted to go. Did it want to go more in the epic direction, like Eragon and some of the repackaged ‘YA’ fantasy that had been moved over from the adult section were doing? Did they want to be humorous like The Wizard, the Witch and Two Girls from Jersey? Was it going to be wrapped up in real teen issues?

A lot of things were getting thrown at the wall, and one of them just happened to stick.

And ever now, no one is completely sure why.

Why Do People Love the Twilight Series?

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When writing, one of the most important things that a person must do is plan out what is going to happen. Of course, for many writers, these plans are sometimes forced to change.

For instance, in Harry Potter, Rowling originally had the entire ending chapter written out, so that she knew where the seven books were going to be heading. However, somewhere around between the fourth and fifth books, Rowling realized that she’d written an epic plot hole, which caused much of the fifth book to be writing around it, and during the final books, everything had to change from plans.

Gravity Falls originally had the Cipher wheel as nothing more than a sort of decorative thing, but when Alex Hirsh saw the work, effort, and thought that people were going to in order to decode the thing, he eventually integrated it into the finale, even if it didn’t change anything in the end.

Lord of the Rings went through so many changes that the original plot ideas are almost unrecognizable. It’s one of the reasons that when people say that Jackson was building off of some notes on the Hobbit that Tolkien had been writing out for a rewrite, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they would have found their way into the rewrite, if there ever was one.

Plans change. That’s something that all writers have to understand. When you force a story to follow your original vision, you have major, major, problems.

And that was something that Meyer ended up doing.

Forever Dawn and its legacy

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The audience of a book is something that most writers have in mind. We usually set out to write a children’s book, or a YA novel, or adult fiction, and the writing reflects that. There are things that I can get away with in YA that wouldn’t fly in middle grade, but there are also things that I can’t do in YA due to the fact that it’s essentially the PG-13 of the writing world.

The audience of a book can also dictate themes. Several people disliked the moral relativism that was being discussed in A Series of Unfortunate Events, particularly at the end, because they thought that it wasn’t appropriate for children, while GRRM enjoys the ability revel in moral relativism.

Stephenie Meyer set out to write her book with a very specific audience in mind. She tailored her book to appeal just right to that audience.

The only problem was that it wasn’t the audience that the series was marketed to.

Teenagers weren’t the intended audience

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