Okay guys, I finally finished (*ahem*that's a lie) the second part of (who knows how many) my Twilight research. And for those of you who are new to my blog and have no idea what I'm even talking about...well, shame on you! [LOL] No, I'm just kidding. [No, no I'm not.]
If you're interested in finding out what I'm talking about or just want to waste some time reading about Twilight, (It's okay if you just want to see pictures of Edward and Jacob. I won't tell...promise) then I have just the thing for you:
[Sigh] I know, the pictures are great, aren't they?
Anyway, without further ado, I give you: Literary Success: Twilight Part Deux
A few short months ago, I set out on a mission: to rip Twilight apart at the seams, in hopes to discover the driving force behind this all encompassing novel. Admittedly, I haven’t done much ripping, but I have done a lot of reading. And what I’ve found is that many elements have made Twilight successful. Actually, a myriad of elements culminate together to form any great novel, and in this case, I am going show you the elements that, when seamlessly woven together, I believe, are responsible for making Twilight an international phenomenon.
Reality Bites: Stephenie Meyer and the Real World
We, as readers and writers, have a common desire for the characters we often use as an escape method to feel real themselves—tangible, even—almost as if we could meet them at our local grocery store, mall, or walking down the street. Not only do we want our characters to be real, as of late, we’ve also come to want our authors to be real, too. Yes, you heard right. The days of authors endlessly toiling away behind the scenes, basking in the safety of their seventeen inch laptop screens and Word documents, and wandering about unnoticed by the public eye are, in fact, long gone.
Some of you may be wondering, why it even matters and how this all exactly pertains to Stephenie Meyer and the Twilight Saga? You may even believe an author should be known only for his or her work and not for what takes place their personal lives. And, I completely agree, up to a point. First of all, authors shouldn’t be known just for their personal lives, but I believe it’s essential to know something about the faces behind our beloved stories. Because then, and only then, can we fully begin to understand and fall in love with the characters that grace the pages of their stories. Secondly, you’re wondering how this pertains to Stephenie Meyer and her saga? Well, I was just getting to that.
In the beginning, after Ms. Meyer’s dreams had been answered and Twilight was published, Meyer set out to connect with her readers. She took the time to visit blogs, comment, and interact with her readers. To this day, you can still read the numerous correspondence letters Stephenie so kindly wrote to one of her first—now the largest— fan sites, Twilightlexicon.com. And that’s not it. She loved communicating with her readers so much, she even, in the beginning of her career, naively posted her personal e-mail address on her website, on the grounds that she wanted to interact with her fans. In doing all of this, she was able to share her love for her novel and its characters, while humbly showing gratitude to her fans. Believe me when I say that the fans and readers ate this up. I know, because I’m one of the guilty parties.
This unintentional self-promotion proved to be very effective. In my opinion, word of mouth is one of the most effective tools for promoting books. And, when you have a great book on your hands, and an author, who so willingly interacts with her readers, how could one resist in passing the word along? This interaction makes fans/readers feel that they are part of the phenomenon, and because of this connection, the fans/readers, in return, want to see the authors and their books succeed, which leads to more promotion. I’ve seen this type of promoting first hand, and not just of the Stephenie Meyer variety. Many authors nowadays are doing this kind of self-promoting. I’ve met several authors promoting their works like this, and because of the connection I have with them, I find myself going out of my way to promote their books, even though some of them won’t release until later this year. This is a very good thing for that author. I mean, what’s better than free promotion?
Not only that, but when an author allows her fans and readers to get a glimpse of who they really are, we can’t help but to feel connected to them and to their work. Furthermore, we will feel a deeper connection to the book and the characters themselves. This, in the end, is what makes their characters jump off the page, grab our attention, and run away with it. Through the authors’ eyes, we can experience the characters they so painstakingly created. Characters that are so real to them, all of a sudden, become so real and indispensable to us, too. And what author or reader doesn’t want that?
Hope you guys enjoyed reading my first theory of why Twilight was so successful. And, of course, I have many more. But you'll just have to wait to hear them (it's not like I'm trying to prolong my excuse to post Edward and Jacob pictures, though. Because I would never do that! Wink, wink ).
Oh and if you have any thoughts or theories I would love to hear them.
Stay tuned for the sequel. My next topic:
The characters: If they seem so real, why can’t I find Edward anywhere?
Triple score! Edward and Jacob and Wolf boys OH MY!
(Oh, all the pretty, pretty boys! Sigh)