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08 April 2010 @ 07:39 pm
'She was as attractive as something that society has deemed attractive.'  
NPR bloggers read Twilight. I giggle.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2010/03/the_writing_style_of_twilight.html?ft=1&f=1032


(Link via Bookshelves of Doom.)

or this one:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2010/03/more_twilight_is_bella_a_sympa.html

Which features this comment: "It's interesting that she never asks him things like, 'What was the Great Depression like?'"

I always wish that vampires weren't so much with the blood and the death and all (I'm fairly squeamish, and also not particularly interested in coven politics or what have you*), because I love the idea of people outside of time (you may continue to be unimpressed by this totally obvious comment), and if I *did* write a vampire story, you know the whole thing would be all about the main character going, "Sooo... what was [historical event X] like?" And the vampire would be all, *colossal broody eyeroll*

I'm just saying; it seems like a wasted opportunity.


In totally unrelated news, except that this is also something I just did on the internet: I'm sure I've said this before in comments on someone else's post or something, but it really doesn't bear thinking about, how much my story-writing kinks have been shaped by, of all things, the video to "Take on Me."


*In and of themselves, I hasten to add. It's not a button for me, a theme I'll actively seek out. A good writer could do anything to that basic idea and get me to read it. Provided I could get over my squeamishness.
 
 
 
the cold geniusangevin2 on April 9th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC)
I have an unfinished vampire-related thing in which the vampire was a boy actor in Elizabethan England. It will even be Thematically Relevant if I ever actually finish the damn thing.
tempestsarekind: a broad rivertempestsarekind on April 9th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
There is no response to this but SQUEE. And possibly OMG. It would be awesome. So, you must finish it. Pretty please with sprinkles? :)
La Reine Noire: Epic Faylelareinenoire on April 9th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC)
Those blogs made me very glad I wasn't drinking anything while I read them. Otherwise my laptop would be defunct. ;)

I agree with everything they say. Especially this bit:

They never talk! There is not one hint in their relationship that she has the slightest interest in him beyond his beauty and his vampireness, or that he has the slightest interest in anything about her. Their entire relationship exists as dramatic pronouncements of their burning fealty to one another, despite the fact that we're given absolutely no reason to understand why their feelings exist in the first place.

They may love each other, but I see no indication that they even like each other.


My God, that is so on the dot. I had no idea why those two were even together, aside from Bella's obsessive bad metaphors.
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on April 9th, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, absolutely. I was glad no one else was around, because I kept laughing out loud.

And the whole Bella/Edward thing... I think the saddest thing is that in some ways, it's just a really over-the-top version of a storytelling principle that's all too common: why bother showing that people are actually in love or should be together? We'll just tell you about it, so we can get to the tragic separation/contrived misunderstanding faster!

Or maybe I'm just embittered by too many bad romantic comedies.
La Reine Noire: Epic Faylelareinenoire on April 9th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
I think the saddest thing is that in some ways, it's just a really over-the-top version of a storytelling principle that's all too common: why bother showing that people are actually in love or should be together?

That is completely true -- and it's lazy storytelling! Why the hell should we care about the relationship between two people if the author isn't competent enough to give us a legitimate reason? I'm sorry, but sparkly skin is NOT enough!
tempestsarekind: freema reading is sexytempestsarekind on April 9th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
I know! I can only assume that the idea (if there is an idea, and it's not simply incompetence, which I don't deny it might be) is that too much specificity about who these people are is supposed to get in the way of "the reader" mapping him- or herself onto the appropriate member of the relationship. But since I don't read that way, and *want* to read/see stories about actual individuals having a relationship that is specific to them, I find this very irritating.
cschellscschells on April 9th, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the links!
You know, I've been reading some of Charlaine Harris' vampire novels this week, and it was so funny to me that her vampire protag is, like, "Yeah, OK. I guess I could talk to your grandma's Civil War history club if it would make you happy." So often the vamps are all, "NOOOO!!! It's a big secret!!" or, "I won't reveal my age!" or, "I CAN'T BEAR TO THINK ABOUT MY BENIGHTED PAST!!!"
Anyway, I don't believe I will be reading Twilight.
Oh, if you haven't read the "Kitty and the Midnight Hour" books, you might like them, because the heroine is a late night radio host who lives for getting immortals and supernaturals on the air and asking them all those pointed questions... *g*
tempestsarekind: very few dates in this historytempestsarekind on April 9th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
You know, I saw a few episodes of True Blood once, back when my mother had HBO, and I'd forgotten about that bit of the show until you mentioned that it had happened in the books! I remember being rather charmed by that, actually. :)

And I'll have to keep an eye out for the "Kitty" books.

It's funny how becoming a vampire just erases the vampire's past, as far as so many stories are concerned. I always wonder: how do you learn to deal with new eras and new technologies and such? Do vampires still think in 19th-century terms, if that's when they were turned? I'm sure there are people who write about these things, but the most popular versions just seem to be about being really pale and handsome (where are the average-looking vampires?). And maudlin for totally unspecified reasons.
(Deleted comment)
tempestsarekind: i love freema's bunny facetempestsarekind on April 10th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC)
Glad to have passed it along!
the love song of j. aimee prufrocke: phantasm | teeth and lacefaeriemaiden on April 9th, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
Oh heavens, have you read Barbara Hambly's Those Who Hunt the Night & sequel? I keep recommending these all over the place, because: GOOD vampire books! With a philologist protagonist and his kickass scientist wife! And very fascinating vampires. But they have got that feeling of vampires being both intrinsically tied to time and history and yet outside it as well that I find gorgeous. (Also jealous. How do you internalise history well enough to write about tiny tiny bits of it so fluidly?) There are all of these passing references to, like, the Great London Fire and what it means for our primary vampire to be a Spaniard, still, with the cultural tension present even after centuries of living in London.

I feel as though I am the PERFECT GIRL for a vampire boyfriend. I hang out in cemeteries cos they're pretty and interesting! I am sensible and romantic! I will quiz him for hours on what life was like in various eras! (A vampire boyfriend -- or at least good friend -- would be a very useful thing for a writer to have around, really. If only I knew some vampires who'd been about in pre-WWI England, I could ask them about the weird little details instead of having to resort to hours and hours of research. Unless it was about food. They probably would not be very helpful with that.) ...Actually, the quizzing might be a bit of a turn-off for the other party. "Look, I RAN AROUND KILLING PEOPLE LIKE A MADMAN; I really do not want to talk about it now that I am REFORMED. It brings up BAD MEMORIES." "But -- tell me about the symphony!"

Edward and Bella's relationship reminds me of one of my huge romantic storykinks, mostly because their is the exact opposite of it: when the romantic leads get really into something that they're doing, whatever their passion is, and they're doing it together and thriving on it and enjoying themselves -- sometimes this turns me on, storywise, more than the more usual sorts of sexual tension.

Also, NPR makes everything better, omg. ♥
tempestsarekind: it is margaret you mourn fortempestsarekind on April 10th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
Funnily enough, I just checked out Those Who Hunt the Night last week, because you'd mentioned it! But I haven't had a chance to read it yet (school, bah).

How do you internalise history well enough to write about tiny tiny bits of it so fluidly?

I wish I knew! I'm writing (well, completely stalled on) a story in which this is kind of an issue, and I haven't figured out how to do it yet. I keep feeling as though I sound horribly didactic: Here is a History Moment, shoved into the dialogue!

"Look, I RAN AROUND KILLING PEOPLE LIKE A MADMAN; I really do not want to talk about it now that I am REFORMED. It brings up BAD MEMORIES." "But -- tell me about the symphony!"

Heeeeee.

And yes--people who have passions, and enjoy them, and enjoy them together: that's very exciting! People who care about something are so much more appealing than people who seem to have no interests beyond staring at each other.