Okay so in my meanderings around the blogosphere, I have come across some topics which seem to crop up often- ones in which I cannot just ignore anymore. We've already learned I am opinionated so here is my opinion: I read a blog rant kind of recently (and I cannot for the life of me remember which one it was or I would link to it so I am really sorry and if it's yours, tell me and I will link....) about how people are saying Twilight is ruining literature and extending that, how every book now is compared to Twilight. Don't get me wrong, I loved the Twilight books but face it- those books hit it big because the characters were strong, they had the kind of innate, binding love that many of us only dream of, and because it was an entirely new take on vampires and not because it was some profoundly well written piece of work. And yes, they may be updating the covers on classics like Wuthering Heights and Romeo and Juliet but if that gets people to read them as Edward and Bella’s favorite books, then so what? At least people are reading them and face it- if they REALLY didn’t want to read it, then an endorsement like that wouldn’t get them to pick it up. This is just a newer way to highlight the classics and honestly, I think that is amazing.
Now, anytime a vampire book hits the shelves people say the same thing: that author is just riding the Twilight wave. I disagree in so many ways with this. First off- an author doesn't write a book in one day, find a publisher the next, and have it hit shelves the next. Authors who are being published now have been working on their books for some time- then they had to find an agent, and THEN a publisher. Once the publisher picks it up, it doesn't immediately hit shelves either. It often takes at least a year-or at least that is the trend I seem to notice. Therefore things hitting shelves right now have been in the works for a few years- how can you ride a wave that you didn’t know really existed? So why everyone thinks that these authors who have worked really hard on a novel- developed an idea that was screaming in their mind and took the chance to actually go public with it- are just riding the Twilight wave I am not sure but to be honest, it really makes me mad. Vampires have been around well before Twilight- Queen of the Dammed, Lestat, Buffy- so why is Twilight the one thing that stands out so much? In truth, I think it is because it is the first YA book to hit it so astoundingly big since the Harry Potter series but also, I think THAT only happened because it got a movie deal. The same thing happened with Harry Potter- while it gained momentum with each book, it was the first movie that really sent everyone into a wizard frenzy and that was just as big if not bigger than the Twilight response. So for the people who keep saying that all these YA authors are just riding the Twilight wave- stop. That's disrespectful and rude. Maybe I only think that because I am an aspiring writer but it is my view. Actually, if I do ever get published, I will thank Stephenie Meyer because Twilight got so in my head after Eclipse that I wanted more and wrote fanfics to get the ideas out. I figured out pretty quickly that I was actually good at it and started getting a lot of reviewers telling me I should get published. That's when I really started thinking about it- and if Stephenie Meyer and JKR, two basically stay at home mom kinds, can make such popular works, then so can I. That is the effect they have had- something that they took the chance and did and has given many others the courage to take the same chance. They didn't write those books to get the movie deals- they just had these ideas and wanted to write them.
So the next part of my rant- how most everything seems to be compared to Twilight. WHY? Why does every book that is set in a high school science class suddenly become just another version of Twilight? Why is an immortal falling for a human a Twilight knock off? If it was true then these books would be about a vampire naked Edmund who could see people’s thoughts in a little thought bubble over their head who lived with a bunch of other vampires with different powers who fell in love with a smelly good human named Annabella. Are there books like that? No. So are these books knock offs? No so STOP saying that!
The immortal falling for a human is part of the intrigue with Twilight- that an ORDINARY, average human can be so wanted and loved rather than the beautiful, popular, skinnyass cheerleader that already has the attention of every boy in the world. Face it- the way it is now, if it is the average girl that the guy is after, then they are just knocking off Twilight but if its the popular girl, we don't like that either- we complain that that always happens, why can't for once it be the unwanted girl? So which is it because in a lot of reviews I read, we aren't happy with either. I say in some ways, it at least is a testament to how well Twilight got into our heads for that to be the benchmark for many other books but I really didn't think the writing was great in that series. There are books that are far more astounding and well written so when I read reviews of them where Twilight is mentioned somewhere, it irks me like crazy. My point of this: Stop comparing everything to Twilight. Stop making that the benchmark and stop being so sure that everyone who publishes a YA book- especially about vampires- is just riding the Twilight wave. Yes, early Twilight could have been an influence but I think that's why you see so many clumps of books with similar topics- writers are influenced by the same things in general but an author starting a book two years ago wasn’t doing it with intention of a riding a wave that barely existed. When the vampire books hitting shelves now were being picked up by publishers, Twilight was only just gaining so much momentum because of the first movie. That isn’t riding a wave- that’s being creative and taking a chance. And now look at how many vampire books there are and how many different takes there are now on vampires- these authors are making them unique so why are we focusing just on the fact that its vampires?
As for all the YA books that are getting movie deals now- I also don’t think that is riding a wave of any kind either. If that’s true, then couldn’t it be said that Twilight was just riding the Harry Potter wave? Harry Potter was still big until the first Twilight movie- then it was split. But guess what- when the next movie comes out, it will be wizard mania once again. Books will be selling once again, chocolates will be wrapped in Harry’s face, and notebooks geared towards teens will be plastered with all things Harry Potter. A whole lot more goes into optioning off rights to a movie than just a company or a screenwriter going I want to make that into a movie. Not any screenwriter can just pick up a book and write an adaptation- and yes, it is an ADAPTATION and NOT the book itself which is why movies are never the same as books.
And yes, some books do get optioned for movies before they even hit shelves but the screenwriters and movie agencies are getting access to these books. They aren’t taking the summary and basing it solely on that- believe it or not, they have indeed read the books, as have the screenwriters being optioned for it. Plus, just because a book is optioned or a deal is started doesn’t mean it actually happens. Some of these are straight to tv, some never happen at all. But a lot of books have always been made into movies- look through your DVD collection and really think about how many of them came from books. This isn’t something new- this isn’t some sudden wave. Yes, a lot of YA books are being looked at now for movies but so are adult titles- and those have been picked up longer. But I think that YA books hit a much wider range of people than adult fiction does. How many of you regularly read adult fiction novels, especially the teens? Not a lot. But how many adults read YA books? A lot. They are looking at their audiences and what they want- they are reacting to what we, as consumers, are after. So when the readers are falling in love with these titles, the movie companies take notice. If we love it, then so will the masses. That’s their theory because a lot more people are going to see the movies rather than read the books- or they will see the movie and THEN read the book. They aren’t riding off Twilight- they are riding off US.
Okay I will stop myself there but those are my thoughts on all this. If anyone disagrees- you’re allowed to. Feel free to leave comments but keep it nice. If you disagree- you can tell me- but if you attack me then I will delete your comment. This is my blog, my views, my outlet and safety ground so please don’t abuse that but I do want to know what everyone else thinks on this.