(Sigh) I’m going to have to read Twilight, the first book in Stephenie Meyer’s series.
Not because I want to. You couldn’t pay me enough me to read a book about vampires. However, my likes or dislikes don’t come into it.
Readers’ likes and dislikes do. If readers love something enough to buy it in huge numbers, it’s a writer’s responsibility to understand why that’s happening.
Not only is Twilight a successful book, but that the phenomenon that’s Fifty Shades of Grey (another book I really, really don’t want to read), started out as fan fiction for Twilight.
As this article points out, writers have blind spots, The Shocking Truth About Stephenie Meyerâ€™s â€œTwilightâ€ #amreading #books #Twilight | Becca Hamilton Books:
“What they might be missing: Even if a writer isnâ€™t jealous, I suggest they look at why people DO love the book instead of why they SHOULDNâ€™T. If a writer consistently hates bestsellers, they may be out of touch with the general reading audience, or they may just have non-mainstream tastes, which is perfectly fine: they just need to be aware if they have niche tastes and are writing for a niche audience, as that will help them publish and market their novel.”
Reading habits change, because of change itself. If you read novels published in the 1980s, you’ll see that they’re much slower-paced. Readers had more time in the 1980s. Understanding what works in publishing now is important, not because you want to write a vampire novel or an erotic novel, but because that’s what readers are buying. You need to know what’s working for readers NOW.
I read a lot. The Kindle app on my iPad makes it easy. I can read a popular novel in a couple of hours; this means that I get through several books each week. Although I read for entertainment, I also read for structure, pace, and plot — I read to see what’s working.
As I emphasize in our novel-writing Challenge, reading in your genre, and out of it, is important.
If you’re writing as a hobby, or are writing literary fiction, you can write what you like. But if you’re writing commercial fiction, you need to understand and study what’s working. Something about books like Twilight appeals to readers.
By the way, if you want a giggle, read some of the Twilight reviews on Amazon.
Chapter 1: Meet Bella. She is angry and depressed and moving to rainy depressing Forks Wa to live with her Dad.
Chapter 2: Bella meets Edward and finds him very handome. She is depressed and angry over it.
Chapters 3-13: Bella thinks about Edward a lot and is angry and depressed about it.
Chapter 14: Bella and Edward become an item she finds out he is a vampire. She is depressed and angry about it.
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