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Sorry for being like Edward…

May 18, 2011

Sorry for being like Edward and up and disappearing for a good while there.

Unlike him, I did NOT do it because I thought it was for your own good.

Unlike Bella, I was not in some catatonic state, staring out the window watching the month pass by (when I should have been blogging).

Perhaps, like Meyer, I should think of my blogging self as a character I can’t control.

As documented at Twilighters Anonymous, when asked “Why did Edward leave. WHY?,” Meyer replied:

As I started plotting New Moon (untitled at that point), it became clear that Edward was Edward, and he would have to behave as only Edward would. And, because of that, Edward was leaving.

NO! I didn’t want Edward to leave. I pitched a fit every bit as violent and tearful as those I’ve seen in New Moon discussion forums. I tried to talk him out of it. I presented him with other plot options. I begged. Edward remained unmoved.”

Along these lines, I could argue the following:

It became clear that my blogging self was going to behave as only my blogging self would, and, because of that, she quit blogging.

NO! I pitched a violent, tearful fit. I begged my blogging self to blog. She remained unmoved.

But, as I tend to have this crazy notion that we actually have control over our actions, our “different selves” and our writing, I won’t make that claim. Indeed, I find it odd that Meyer constructs herself as helpless to the whims of her characters (kind of like Bella is helpless and in Edward’s thrall, no?).

So, I won’t blame my blogging self. Instead, I will admit that the last six weeks of the semester kicked by butt. I felt a bit like Bella swimming frantically to escape Victoria in those dark, cold La Push waters. Sadly, no corpse -colored Edward floated by to take my hand. No muscular Jacob swooped me from the depths and carried me to shore.

Alas, I made it out of the deep, and am now in the process of finishing up the grading for five classes. As such, I will be back to regular blogging very soon, dear readers, with posts planned on Twilight names, the official guide, Like Water for Elephants, and my Introduction to WMST 101 Twilight-inflected online summer course (if anyone needs or wants to take a WMST 101 course, it is open to non-students – contact me if you are interested!)

Now, my blogging self must go as I need to morph into my professorial, grading role…

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Ana Bastow permalink
    May 18, 2011 4:49 pm

    Actually Natalie is a common experience for storytellers to have their characters to start having a life of their own.
    In his book about writing Stephen King mentioned that originally on Misery the writer was going to get killed by his crazy fan and the last scene would be of the book with a cover made out of his own skin. But once he started writing the story the writer fought and kicked for his life and he had to change it, because he wouldn’t just let the crazy kill him.
    It speaks very good of her that she can create characters that can solve their own problems and live their own lives independently of her wishes. It means she did a great job creating the universe.
    Of course not all writers are like that, but I had noticed that literature is the one were the writer has control of every single part of her character, mostly because the story is a vehicle for the words, while storytellers the word is the vehicle for the story.
    So yeah I actually can relate with this a lot, given how many of my characters do things I don’t want to, like dying. But you cannot mess with an universe once you created it, the story crumbles under the weight of out of character actions, YMMV

  2. natalie wilson permalink*
    May 18, 2011 5:01 pm

    Ana,
    I am sure it is a common experience, but one I personally have never experienced, so I find it hard to understand. The way you explain it in terms of “the universe” the author creates is interesting. If, in Meyer’s universe, Edward has so much control that HE decides what happens, not her, does this mean we can’t hold her accountable for his actions? This seems problematic to me… Edward is not REAL, Meyer is…

    • Ana Bastow permalink
      May 19, 2011 5:11 am

      Well it really depends on what kind of writer you are.
      Meyer seems to be the conduit type, given how many times she says that there are many things her characters do that she disagrees with it. While other writers are the God/Goddess type in which they create their characters and they act they way they need to to move the plot along, J.K Rowling seems to be this type, for example.

      I guess it also depends what kind of writer yourself are, if you have absolutely control of your fictional characters then I guess is hard for you to believe that for some other writers their characters are more like telling their stories than you creating them. But aside from Stephen King many other writers do report the same phenomenon so is a style issue I guess, YMMV.

  3. Fruitful permalink
    May 19, 2011 2:11 am

    Lolol! I love this post, you certainly have done an Edward! For totally understandable reasons.

    Although I agree with Ana that it’s not unusual for writers to experience their characters as independent entities (not all do though), I think in Meyer’s case it’s something more. As you point out, her feeling out of control aligns with the construction of Bella’s response to Edward.

    It’s such a familiar romantic “swept away” trope, I wonder that isn’t commented on more.
    Just take a look at Meyer’s Amazon favourites list. It’s all stuff I loved from ages 8-15, when I too wanted to be swept away. Some women want that all their lives, hence the piles of Mills and Boons novels my mum had in the bathroom when I was a child.

    Incidentally those novels often had the hero raping the heroine. At least, to my 8 year old mind, the ripped clothes and the bruises seemed like rape. Force fantasy for an adult reader, mindfuck for a child.

    One difference with Edward though, is he’s not human. His sexual dangerousness is perhaps more like one of the Greek gods whose brilliance destroyed their human lovers. Not actually a god though, nor human, he’s liminal. And Bella wants to enter that liminal – which usually means transitional – realm, forever. Wonder what that means?

    Sorry for rambling. Missed your postings. If you were Edward, my “Jacob” was 30 Rock, Kath & Kim, and Adventureland! The last is truly gorgeous and affecting, and of course I fangirl Kristen like woah. I’m looking forward to seeing Water for Elephants too.

    • Natalie Wilson permalink*
      May 23, 2011 11:38 pm

      Fruitful,
      Thanks for your comment. So true about romance novels including rape scenes – Janice Radway writes on this.
      And I really like Adventureland too! I am looking forward to seeing Kristen in Snow White!

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