For years people mocked Twilight, Twilight fans, and the author behind the pop culture phenomena the Twilight Saga. And for years I’ve stood behind the series with many people asking “Why?”.
Well, today I’m here to drop some important knowledge on you, about why I personally think Stephenie Meyer is a genius and has made a huge mark on Pop Culture. Sink your teeth into this one!
I could go on for hours about the history of Twilight, review the books, quote the movies and talk about how Team Edward and Team Jacob inspired hundreds of thousands of young adult authors to create shipping schemes for their own characters (you know who you are, please give Mrs. Meyer some credit, thank you). As an analyst of fiction, I have read the books and watched the movies multiple times and now understand the beauty of the Twilight Saga.
The series isn’t just about bloodsucking, good-looking boy toy vampires and shape-shifters. It’s about family, love and the brutal ways of how you can protect the ones you love. Themes aside, let’s talk about the impact.
Stephenie has had many authors, haters and trolls gang up against her to call her a “bad writer”, but out of all those who judged her whose the one who stood atop of the crowd for years, with characters and scenes still being mentioned in cartoons and movies? Whose series is still being memed and still memorable in the Young Adult Fiction discussions you have with your friends?
What people don’t realize is Stephenie changed the way Young Adult Fiction is consumed. While yes, there are moments in the saga that you question why it happened or why it was written the way it was, take a second to really think about the impact Twilight left on the world. While people like to laugh and poke fun there’s one thing Twilight and Stephenie has taught many young readers and writers. Haters are your motivators.
If people are against your writing and when even other authors become bullies it’s due to the fact that they don’t like the impact you are leaving in your field. Stephenie Meyer took heavy hits but still, to this day, is leading a very successful life with her writing and productions at Fickle Fish Films. And she’s giving back to the community. She’s helping others. She’s still making a mark. Just like the Twilight Saga is still a big part of our Pop Culture world.
Twilight and Pop Culture
Team Edward or Team Jacob. We all had a side. Even if you were a hater you had a side. We have to admit that Twilight was one of the first, if not the first Young Adult Fiction books that went above and beyond with the shipping. It’s been done for years in anime and manga and even in video games, but Stephenie took it to the next level with teen fiction.
During that time many Young Adult Fiction series were focused on genre-based writing. School Life, Romance, Adventure, the love triangles, or one-off series that are good for the rainy day read but not a series to really dive into and speculate all the lore. At that time Stephenie was creating a new form of entertainment, shipping wars within YA. She knew her audience, she knew the level of build-up and “edge of your seat” type of cliffhangers, so why not take it one step further.
Team Edward vs Team Jacob was a huge phenomena around those days, being mentioned in parodies, fan art, fics, even TV, podcasts, cartoons, you name it. It was what really inspired many new authors to do their own shipping wars and started the mold of how fiction can inspire Pop Culture in all forms of media.
Bottom line is, despite YouTubers, authors, haters, trolls and the mass media shaming Stephenie Meyer, she still holds a prominent place on the Young Adult Fiction wall of fame because she changed the way YALit is consumed. One other thing to appreciate about Stephenie Meyer is she gives credit to what she’s inspired by and isn’t afraid to say what motivates her.
So enjoy the Twilight Saga for what it is and not what it could be. And most importantly:
About three things I was absolutely positive: First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him – and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be – that thirsted for my blood. And third, you should read the Twilight Saga.