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How To Achieve Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Writing Success

Updated on April 25, 2009
Hm... how interesting that "Bella" is a brown haired, brown eyed girl...
Hm... how interesting that "Bella" is a brown haired, brown eyed girl...

Some writers struggle for decades, turning out novels, short stories, submitting to literary journals, agents and publishers, collecting small royalty payments here and there and working their 9 to 5 job for the duration of their writing careers. Others have a dream about a vampire who loves a human but wants to drink her blood, knock a novel out in three months and sell it for a $750,000 advance. Stephenie Meyer falls into the latter category, which alone is enough to make a vast number of less fiscally successful authors want to stab her with a blunt crucifix.

Twilight, in case you have been hiding under a rock with your ears plugged to the shrieking of hundreds of thousands of teen girls, is a tale of a fairly whiny teenage girl with low self esteem falling obsessively, head over heels in love with Edward, a brooding vampire whose family conveniently only drink animal blood and enjoy the all American sport of baseball as a past time.

Stephenie Meyer is quite often compared to JK Rowling due to the fact that her accessible and popular books have found a widespread fanatical following worldwide. Opinions on the caliber of her writing vary, with Stephen King famously quoted as saying: "Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a darn. She's not very good."

The rub here, the bitter pill for creative writing majors to swallow is that it doesn't matter whether or not Meyer's writing is "good". All that matters is whether or not it can draw its audience into this fantasy world where they can be loved by this superhuman beautiful vampire man for all eternity. Judging by the sheer popularity of the series, it is obvious that Meyer's writing more than suffices on this front.

The formula:

  • Take an existing best selling classic novel plot. (Twilight was based on Pride and Prejudice, and the ensuing books in the series took their cues from other classics such as Romeo and Juliet, and Wuthering Heights.)
  • Add a pinch of the supernatural and a heavy dose of wish fulfillment.
  • Knock that sucker out. Don't worry about being "literary", in fact, eschew all literary aspirations, write for the common man. Most importantly, finish the damn thing. (Writers know what I am talking about.)

Is it really this easy? Keep an eye out for my upcoming novel: 'Netherworld', the story of an average middle aged divorcee office assistant who discovers that her sexy brooding boss is a daemon king.


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    • daisyf1305 profile image

      Daisy Fabelo 7 years ago from miami beach

      I never thought about the pride and prejudice mark its true though not like she doesn't quote it enough.

    • A Journalist profile image

      A Journalist 8 years ago from Arizona

      While she is not compared to Hemingway, she has found a special niche all her own. The concept of writing through the eyes of a teenage girl, causes many to identify to the character, Bella (and just add Robert Pattinson, who wouldn't understand Bella lusting for him!). She's a smart writer.

    • profile image

      radiant writing 8 years ago

      You are so right, but I stand in awe of Stephanie Meyer. Her story is a true "American Dream", and gives me hope! She is not the norm, but for those of us who keep plugging along, at least one has escaped to become a mega success. Her story gives me encouragement that one day, I too might be able to reach the same achievements.

    • Midasfx profile image

      Midasfx 8 years ago

      "Stephenie Meyer is quite often compared to JK Rowling. " I just hope Stephanie's book series doesn't last as long as JK Rowling's.Otherwise I will be doomed for the next 10 years! I hope her films and books are quickly forgotten as this Twilight thing is getting a little ridiculous.

    • profile image

      Leta S 8 years ago

      Well, guys! I guess I would like we fellow writers to know that it probably wasn't overnight success. That's just how they are marketing her. The book market is a business, of course...I somewhat know what it is like, as I've written three (going thru something of a dry spell--could be the darned job, I dunno).

      Yeah, Hope, I firmly believe that if you follow the aforementioned formula, yes, we all could have this success. (Plus I think her hubby is connected.) But! Everybody should probably try to invent their own formula & then go for the business aspects, ;).

      So just everyone cheer up!!

    • Hope Alexander profile image

      Hope Alexander 8 years ago

      Yes, Meyer is Mormon, but that's really no excuse for making thousands upon thousands of writers feel inadequate by just bashing out a novel and creating wild overnight sucess ;)

    • profile image

      Leta S 8 years ago

      :) This caught my eye on Hubtivity and felt I should comment. Meyer lives in Phoenix here in AZ, is a stay at home wife, and I think is Mormon, just fyi....writing would be her only job. Some of us creative writing majors are not at all jealous. lol I'm sure it's OK for that kind of writing and if you want shrieking teen age girls as your audience. Money? Well, that'd be good, but for some of us--we'd be in pain trying to write that kind of stuff.

      I'm glad they have a little bit more realistic publicity shot of her by now--in the Phoenix papers they had her looking like a Victoria's Secret model.

    • K.D. Clement profile image

      K.D. Clement 8 years ago from USA

      LOL I was hoping for a novel about a large leprauchan who leaves wee rainbows in his crushes locker. Little does she know the rainbows will lead her to his pot of gold....

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 8 years ago from USA

      Haha, too true!

      Actually, the one really good thing about the Twilight phenomenon, in my opinion, is that it made a whole bunch of my writing friends howl in rage and get serious about their own writing.