As I’m writing this, it’s been more than fifteen years since the first book was released. The first of the five film adaptations followed three years later, and the rest is history. A fan craze, similar to the one we saw Harry Potter cause, blew over the world; and the TwiHards proved to be so loyal to the franchise that we’re now in the midst of a Twilight Renaissance.
Personally, I had no intention of ever dipping as much as a toe into the Twilight waters. My reasoning was simple. My kids (and my students) were talking about a film featuring three of the things I like the least in my stories: American high-schoolers, vampires and teenage romance. Not my cup of tea.
Now, I have to admit there have been times where I’ve had to do some backpedalling, and agree to watch something I had initially decided against. But Twilight was never one of those cases. It didn’t take too long before I heard mutterings about such “cheerful” topics as abusive relationships, stalking, glittering vampires and grooming; and with that, the case was closed as far as I was concerned. So, why on earth have I decided to put this very franchise at the top of my list of titles to dissect this year?
Well… Without giving too much away, I’m working on a story with ties to Scandinavia and its old folklore and mythology. I’m interested in ways you can tie the very old into the contemporary and the decisions we, as storytellers, make when we add characters and creatures that are not (quite) of this world into the narrative. Setting a story in our world, where everything is pretty normal, and adding a layer of the paranormal to that is a concept I like. But it comes with a number of problems.
In a fantasy world of our own creation, we can decide for ourselves how things work. We can let the grass be blue, the sky green and the oceans may be red. No problem. But if the story is set in our world, things are already decided for us. Grass is green, skies are (sometimes) blue and the oceans are somewhere in between. It’s definitely not red, though. So, what happens when we start adding creatures we all know into this world and giving them agency in our stories?
I can’t say I believe Twilight is going to be the place where I get all my questions answered, but the glittering vampires do intrigue me. I mean, talking about creatures we all know, I thought it was something we’d all agreed on that vampires simply don’t do. Now, I really want to know why Twilight vampires do.
Following my normal workflow, I’ve completed Stage 1 of this potential romance and learned the basics about my prospect. So far, I’ve learned that Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga consists of four books:
– Twilight (2005);
– New Moon (2006);
– Eclipse (2007); and
– Breaking Dawn (2008).
On top of that, there are four companion books:
– The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (2010);
– Life and Death (2015);
– Midnight Sun (2020); and
– The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide that Meyer’s publisher released in 2010.
In addition, adaptations of the books lead to a total of five films that were released between 2008 and 2012.
The main story arch in the Twilight Saga revolves around Bella Swan, a 17-year-old who decides to leave her mother behind to go stay with her father for a while. This sets her on a path where she meets a mysterious guy, who just happens to be the love of her life. His name is Edward Cullen, and he’s a 109-year-old vampire.
The story (in the films at least – I haven’t checked out the books yet) follows Bella from the day she leaves her mother’s house until she’s settled with a husband and a child. According to the fandom wiki, it begins in January 2005 and ends in January 2007; which makes me wonder why it took four whole books to get there. But I suppose I’m about to find out.
It’s time to go on my first date with Twilight.
CREDITS & COPYRIGHTS INFORMATION
Disclaimer: As We Write (AWW) is an independent, non-profit blog owned by Evalena Styf. AWW is not affiliated with Stephenie Meyer, The Twilight Saga, Summit Entertainment, Temple Hill Entertainment, Maverick Films, Imprint Entertainment, Sunswept Entertainment, Little, Brown and Company or any other production or broadcast entities associated with Twilight or any other titles mentioned.
Photo, Graphics, Audio and Video: Photos from Twilight or any other titles discussed in this post are either screenshots or promotional pictures released by the distributor(s). All other pictures are from CanvaPro unless another source is mentioned. Any audio/video clips used in this post are strictly for commentary purposes. This usage falls under Fair Use according to US copyright law.