Among authors there is a certain stigma attached to the writings of Stephenie Meyer. I mean sparkly, indestructible vampires battling werewolves, each other, and their own parasitic urges. Really? But a few months before the first book became a movie, a teen reader friend challenged me to read it. And I did – then I read all four books.
And what did I learn?
1 – Don’t be afraid to challenge convention –
Sparkly vampires who are not afraid of crosses and do not get killed by sunlight? That’s new. But she pulls it off in such a way that I did not roll my eyes. Weird. But a learning experience. I shouldn’t worry about sticking to what is considered the norm. I should shake up how things should be. I should be ready to challenge and undo set beliefs in my writing. Okay.
2 – The unbelievable becomes believable if there is a reason behind it –
So the reason vampires can’t go out in the sun is because they sparkle. Okay.
They sparkle because their skin is flawless and has crystalline properties in their cells which gives it the texture and feel of marble. But of course.
All vampires possess refined and perfected physical features (including their voice and scent), to allow them to lure in prey. So that’s why.
The vampires are immortal and difficult to destroy, unless burned after dismemberment. Well as long as there is some way to kill them.
The reason vampires stick to some code is because the Volturi will come down on them and they will die. Alright.
Unbelievable, right? Each one of these properties alone is enough to make you put the book down and walk away, but if there is a reason behind it, the reader can suspend disbelief for a little while. Then as they read on in the series, it becomes fact ingrained in their head. Fantasy writers should make note of it.
3 – Always end chapters in such a way as the reader cannot put the book down and go to bed.
Yes, it’s true. With this book, there is no, “I’ll just read to the end of the chapter and put the book down.” Not going to happen. Meyer ended every chapter in such a way that you just had to read the next one to find out what happens. It worked, and lesson learned.
4 – Always end the book well…but then give the reader the first chapter of the next book to make them want more.
That’s what Meyer did – she sucked me in for all 4 books of the series. She’d give me a great, satisfying ending, then put a teaser chapter at the end that sucked me back in again. I read all 4 books in a week, one after the other. And if she hadn’t stuck that extra chapter in there, I might have stopped after the first book. Indies should take note of this trick and use it!
Your Turn –
Have you read the series? Did you learn anything? How about these tips, where they worth coming and visiting for?
Thanks for stopping by!