(In Defense is going to be a recurring column on what we can learn from those we usually denigrate in the writing field.)

Admit it.  You hate Stephanie Meyer.  You hate her stupid sparkly vampires, ridicule the writing style, think Bella is a twit and Edward is a creepy stalker pedophile, and in general think the whole Twilight thing is the sign of the End Times (at least of intelligence).  You hate it so much you wouldn’t touch anything remotely Twilight tainted with a ten-foot wooden pole with a pointed stake end.

I’m here to tell  you that you should get over yourself and see what you can learn about Meyer’s Twilight, and how it will make your writing better.

Why sparkly vampires can be a good thing for the genre

Yeah, so you think that the dumbest reason ever for vampires avoiding the sun is that they would sparkle in it.  It is kind of…different.  But different is a good thing.

On one hand, everyone complains that everything is always the same, that no one tries new things.  Vampire fiction hasn’t changed much since Anne Rice showed the sexier side of the fanged.  Or so I’ve been told.  Then along comes Stephanie Meyer.  She does something different, changing up the myth a little bit.  You may think it is stupid, that it is the most ludicrous thing you’d ever heard of.  But remember this:  at least she did something different.

Go out and try it yourself.  Pick a trope and play with it.  Make your dragons afraid of fire or constructed out the bits of the hoard it collects.  Treat your werewolves to glowing in the moonlight or being brainwashed/trained by followers of the Dog Whisperer.  Make your elves despise iron not because it is any more harmful to them, but because they just think it’s dirty and are Above All That.

And so on.  Pick stupid new tropes, play them straight and serious, and maybe you’ll start a trend.

Other reasons to not look down on Twilight

You can’t argue with her paycheck.  Seriously, slam the writing all you want, but if you want to be as famous and as

About the author

Jennifer Brinn Jennifer Brinn is a writer of SF and fantasy. She is the head of the Cat Vacuuming Society Writers Group of Northern Virginia. She lives in a not-yet-empty-nest with her teenage son and retired greyhound.