TWILIGHT: ‘Breaking Dawn Part Two’ Preview Released (2 Min Video)

Twilight - Breaking Dawn

Most aspiring ‘romantic’ writers sigh wistfully at the mention of Stephenie Meyers’ name.  If only it had been them …

Meyer, author of the TWILIGHT series of romantic vampire books, is one of those extraordinarily fortunate authors who has ‘caught a wave’ with her idea – an idea that she claims came to her in a dream.

The latest movie installment based on her books - The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 – is scheduled to hit movie theatres on November 16th.

This extended featurette video preview shows footage from the movie, and has interviews with director Bill Condon, cast members Kristin Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Ashley Greene, and Taylor Lautner:

 

Other Writers Complain About The Writing Quality In Twilight, But It Proves A Very Important Point… 

The fact is, you really don’t have to write that well in genre fiction to achieve such extraordinary success.

You simply have to write the right book by having a story that resonates, characters with whom the readers can empathise, and a rich emotional core.  The key point is that it must strike a chord with the intended audience.  The aim from a career perspective is of course to aim for excellence in writing, but as Twilight clearly demonstrates, it’s the idea and the story that hits the ball out of the park.

This point is echoed by none other than horror writer Stephen King.  When comparing Meyer to J. K. Rowling, King stated,

“The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer, and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn.  She’s not very good.”

But King apparently also went on to say:

“… people are attracted by the stories, by the pace and in the case of Stephenie Meyer, it’s very clear that she’s writing to a whole generation of girls and opening up kind of a safe joining of love and sex in those books.  It’s exciting and it’s thrilling and it’s not particularly threatening because it’s not overtly sexual.”    Source: NBC News.

The Twilight Books Have Another Crucial Advantage – ‘SERIES’

The other huge advantage Meyer has is that she wrote a series of books, not a one off.  The same applies with J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter books, and other massively successful authors, including E.L. James with her ’50 Shades Of Grey’ series.

To repeat what I wrote about ‘series’ in an earlier post:   Of all the things I’ve encountered in the ‘book business’ that lead to success, this is the factor that tops them all – a series is the most effective product strategy a fiction writer can employ.  Slam dunk, game over.

There’s no question that sales of a book series will far outstrip the sales of a sequence of unrelated one-off books.  Not only that, a book series is more attractive to publishers, is easier (and more fun) to promote, and has a much greater chance of being turned into a blockbuster movie or a TV show.

What do you think?  Are you a closet ‘Twihard’?  Do you have a book series that you think could be made into movies?  Do leave a comment below.

Jonathan Gunson

Article written by Jonathan Gunson

Author / CEO Bestseller Labs


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Comments

  • Tracy Lean says:
    October 25, 2012 at 9:41am

    I have just written my first book, which was supposed to be a ‘one off’, however, all 8 of my test readers are begging for a part 2 so did think of a sequel in passing, so to speak. Due to your comments above, I am now seriously thinking a sequel may be the route to follow. Thanks, you may have given me the push I needed. Tracy :)

  • October 25, 2012 at 11:46am

    I’m so, so close to releasing the first book in a series. Going through the editing stage now. And I’m very excited to see what readers think of the story.

    I have always thought that Stephenie Meyer was an amazing example of great story overcoming all obstacles. There have even been a few instances in recent times where an author didn’t have “great” writing (whatever that means these days) but because the story was so compelling, the novels made their way to the top of the charts.

    While I still think we can never ignore the need for good writing and strong editing, I think it’s story, story, story that sells.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 25, 2012 at 8:37pm

      We’re completely ‘in sync’ Heather. One way or another, ‘story’ has always earned me my living. In Advertising I burned up a decade telling stories. In both publishing & TV the story has always remained paramount for me. It’s my stories the publishers bought, and my stories that persuaded the Television executives. -Jonathan

  • Belynda says:
    October 25, 2012 at 11:54am

    I started writing a “one off” book, but have so many experiences that are thrilling, disturbing and intriguing, that I chose to make it a fiction trilogy. The mass appeal is geared toward older teenage girls to adult women. I don’t know if it could ever be a movie, however the content of my book will surely resonate with the female audience. Thank you for the encouragement. Belynda

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 25, 2012 at 8:41pm

      Belynda
      You are writing for the largest audience of all. And a trilogy to boot. So never count out the idea that your books could become movies. You’d be amazed how applicable they could be. If your trilogy is even partially published, check out Robert Kosberg – known as Mr Pitch in Hollywood.
      -Jonathan

  • Courtney Harvey says:
    October 25, 2012 at 2:40pm

    Closet Twihard? Absolutely. There is something so bewitching about the story – you just can’t put it down. I remember being obsessed for about 2 weeks until I had all 4 books read.

    The beautiful thing about books like this is that you go in looking for entertainment and an escape. If you pick them up looking for poetry or beautiful prose, you will be disappointed. Sometimes it’s nice to just ditch the world and dive in for the fun of it! And I think authors like Stephanie Meyer and J.K. Rowling give aspiring authors a bit of hope- their story of “discovery” is so intriguing and real.

    There was definitely inspiration there from both of them as I wrote my first novel Open Window: Truth from the Shadows. And I’m just about finished the second in the trilogy, with much prodding from fans of the first to see it continue. When you fall in love with characters, it’s hard to let them go after one book, you want to see more of them. I love the marketing idea of a series- I hope one day mine can go to big screen, too! (total pipe dream but a girl can hope, right?)

  • Bebe says:
    October 25, 2012 at 4:48pm

    It’s funny, I actually just blogged about this recently. After reading the Twilight series, I became a twi-hard for about a year. It was then that I started to re-evaluate my love for the books. For NaNoWriMo that year I wrote my own paranormal romance and I have now developed it into a series I’m working on. You can check out my post here: ‘A Tale About How I Was a Twi-Hard for a Year’

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 25, 2012 at 9:58pm

      Thanks Bebe. I read your blog post with total enjoyment about how Twilight inspired your own series of books. Looks like you’re heading along the same ‘inspiration’ path as E L James – she started with Twilight Fan Fiction as you will know.

  • Noel says:
    October 26, 2012 at 6:30am

    I fell in love with the story Stephanie wrote but I knew the writing wasn’t as powerful as J.K. Rowlings. Nevertheless Twilight hit me where I live because I’ve had that love at first sight moment. Tragically it did not last forever but I could relate to the characters, more so even then Harry and his friends. I read Host, Stephanie’s other book, and because her writing is not as strong it was an ordeal to plow through. I didn’t identify with the story or the characters and it made for a difficult experience.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 26, 2012 at 8:49am

      Noel, this shows the power of a series that also has a good storyline yes? People learn to love a character, become hooked and want more – even if the writing is not great. (We’re not talking literature here, but genre fiction.)

  • October 26, 2012 at 2:27pm

    I’m working on the second book in my Peyton Stone series and the thing I find is that I just enjoy hanging out with the set of characters: a contract spy, his CIA handler, and the woman he can’t seem to get close to or get rid of. I think a series is not only good for the reader but good for the author as well.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 26, 2012 at 10:27pm

      William. You’ve fallen in love with your characters. They’ve not only become real but you hold conversations with them yes? Classic winning moment for a writer. Looking forward to your series.
      ~Jonathan

  • Sandra says:
    October 26, 2012 at 5:20pm

    Not a Twihard, but the more I read about series, the more I realize that writing one is a key to becoming a well-fed writer.
    Good read, thanks for posting!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 26, 2012 at 10:28pm

      Thank you Sandra. And your comment re SERIES is as true as the sun will rise tomorrow.

  • October 27, 2012 at 8:07pm

    This article hit home for me. I have always thought my in-progress fantasy series would have good movie potential. I too have found that I’m in love with my colorful, otherworldly characters, who are most definitely real to me. But I have to attribute most of my attachment to the fact that, aside from their story, I have already created visuals on the many characters and their environment, having drawn each character in Illustrator and built their homes and environment in a 3D home design program. There would be no guesswork in creating the sets for my stories. I have also composed original music to accompany many of the scenes. The developing storyline provides unending inspiration for the compositions. It is so easy for me to dive into my world because every detail is so clear to me.

    I hope I can someday move past some of the outside responsibilities that often keep me from moving forward with my writing. I need to be able to complete my story (a seven-part series) and expose it to the world, just in case it touches someone, just in case the publication/movie potential is there. I’m working on Book 2 at the moment.

    Thanks, Jonathan, for renewing my inspiration. I’m squeezing in more and more writing moments these days. I’m glad to have recently discovered you and your work.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 28, 2012 at 4:22am

      Barbara – thank you. A seven part series is the magic number in my view. (It’s also the Harry Potter number.)

      I also see that you suffer from the curse of being multi talented. (!) Since you’ve designed your own SETS and MUSIC, it will give you the jump on most authors in helping to get past the publishing house gate keepers – if you’re talking the traditional print path. But a warning:- When it comes to movies, you can certainly use your visuals and music to sell it, but may have to ditch them and allow the directors and producers to ‘upgrade’ it with something else. They’ll mainly be interested in the story.

      Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with fighting for something you KNOW is right.
      -Jonathan

  • Faith says:
    October 30, 2012 at 3:27pm

    Thank you for posting this article. I have been trying to talk myself out of writing a series with a character that I fell in love with during a creative writing experiment. The character has grown and has so much story a series of seven would be simple if I were to follow in love with her companions. (Some I have, some not so much) Yet, as long as the story revolves around her the rest of the characters can come and go. Alas, I digress.

    I have always talked myself out of doing a series though because of the Twilight series. My thought process was good writing + good story trumped great story + mediocre writing. This thought was there even after seeing the movie deals and the marketing. Go figure.

    Thank you again. The article has made me think.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 30, 2012 at 9:15pm

      Faith. Despite what you say, you’re far from confused.

      Instead your to-ing and fro-ing, self-examinations and uncertainies about your characters are an important and unavoidable part of ensuring that they sparkle, and that the structure is right – very wise if you’re planning a series. And remember, at the risk of stating the obvious, the strength of your central character is in large part based on how they deal with a crisis. The more pressure you apply the more interesting they become. -Jonathan

  • October 30, 2012 at 4:00pm

    I just finished my first novel which also happens to be the first of a series and it’s in the running for the Top 3 of Harlequin & Mills & Boon’s So You Think You Can Write competition. I admit, I have been somewhat inspired by the fact that if Meyers can get published I should be able to. I won’t lie, I’m a closet TwiFan, but as you pointed out…it isn’t because of Meyers’ talent as a wordsmith. It is the story. My brain skimmed over the writing style and focused on what was happening, not how it was written.

    I’m anxiously awaiting the word from the editors for the Top 3 announcement in the competition. I like to think I’m a cross between Meyers and Rowling. That I can both write well and tell a story. Guess the editors and readers will have to decided that for themselves. (If you’d like to read the full first chapter… http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/manuscripts-sytycw-2012/lullaby/ )

    Great article, Jonathan. I always enjoy your insight.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 30, 2012 at 8:56pm

      Bridgette, well done so far! I’ll keep my my fingers crossed for the competition. Let me know the outcome.

  • October 31, 2012 at 12:50am

    Firstly, I am definitely not a closet Twihard – I publicly adore the Twilight saga, and I’m so glad that I’ve found people who also think that it’s the story that draws people in and not necessarily just the writing style, however I found nothing wrong with her writing. As a writer myself, I naturally can’t help looking for styles of writing which stand out to me, however I do think it was rude and (dare I say?!) ignorant of Stephen King to say that Stephenie Meyer “can’t write worth a darn” and that she’s “not very good” – it is most definitely a matter of opinion, no matter how many bestsellers you have written. I believe that as long as you are able to tell an memorable story and as long as your grammar is on point, you are as good as the next author – no matter how different you are. I appreciate what King said next, however, but then I do believe that the style of writing Meyer used in Twilight reflects Bella Swan’s character exactly and was probably done deliberately? – if you note the writing in Meyer’s newer book The Host, the writing is completely different.

    Also, may I just say that I’m so glad for this post, because I have noticed that every story that has sparked such a reaction throughout the world is part of a series, and it got me thinking why that was. The most general answer I can think of is that people love familiarity; something comforting, something they know, something they can trust, and I am so happy to say that I think I have found a story that could potentially share this new love around the world. I’m currently beginning to write the first story of a series, and I believe that if it was published, it would make an exciting movie (even if I do say so myself?!). So I would like to say thank you for writing this, because it has made me a lot more aware of all the different opinions on writing and on sagas and made me feel so much more confident about making such a commitment to one story!

    Karis

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      October 31, 2012 at 5:05am

      Karis, great insights thanks.

      You touched on why a ‘series’ is so effective. The importance of series is enlarged on in this post ‘The Hottest Tip No Fiction Writer Can Ignore’. Readers come to know and love a character over a book series. They become hooked and increasingly want more. The most recent example being Harry Potter, which was also a 7 part serial. Regarding your own upcoming ‘saga’, don’t count out self-publishing – e.g. for the Amazon Kindle.
      -Jonathan

  • DJ says:
    November 10, 2012 at 4:51pm

    I can’t comment on Stephenie Meyer’s writing skills as I’ve never read her books. It’s important to note that her target audience was young – not mature adults who are avid & serious readers. However a good example of very bad writing in my opinion is the popular “Fifty Shades” 3-part series by E.L. James. The genre’ she chose was a certain hit regardless. Now she has a movie contract. The writing did improve a bit by the 3rd novel (certainly she received some good advice for improvement).

    Even James Patterson’s books, which are extremely popular, are not all very well written. Fiction enables its readers to escape, to experience a part of life they could not otherwise, to dream, to love, to laugh. I’d rather see people reading, encouraging young people & children to read. Each of us has our own favorite writers and types of books we read. That’s what makes the world go round.

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