The Rise of Twilight Fan Fiction: Should We Really Be Surprised?
Today’s Brew: Hot Cocoa. This weekly Nor’Easter thing needs to stop.
Imitation is the highest form of flattery. On the eve of the release of Breaking Dawn Part Two, once again Twilight is pushed back to the media forefront. If you’re one of the millions that adore this trilogy, you’re getting excited to see how the movie saga will wrap up. You’re making your movie plans. (Julie and I always go at midnight. I’m getting drunk this time). You might be rewatching your Twilight DVDs or rereading the books.
But what when that is not enough? What happens when a story sticks with you so much that it won’t leave you alone?
You may feel the urge to create your own stories based on these characters and these scenarios. Fan fiction.
Fan fiction is nothing new. There’s been retelling of popular stories as long as there’s been pop culture. People even use their favorite celebrities to embroil in whatever scenarios that excite them. Honestly, fan fiction creeps me out a bit, so I haven’t read much of it, but what I have read usually puts our heroes in sexual situations. These are the people who star in the public’s fantasies. Some people just write their fantasies and share it with the rest of us.
If you follow publishing at all, you know that Fifty Shades of Grey started life as a Twilight fan fiction story originally titled Master of The Universe. In publishing news today, a story called The Office that was born in Twilight fan fiction is being published in February 2013 as a revamped telling of the story now called Beautiful Bastard. Do you think this will encourage people to polish their fanfics and shop them around, or do you think it will cause a backlash against this and make it harder for this sort of story to get published?
I have a special interest in this trend. All through the writing of Immortal Dilemma, I was well aware I treaded deep in Twilight territory. The core of my story is a love triangle involving a vampire. As I’ve reread Twilight, I’ve noticed other similarities. I did my damnedest to not retell Stephenie Meyer’s story at every turn. As the story continues into a sequel, I think it gets further and further away from her model. I’ve asked my beta readers if they found Immortal Dilemma similar to any other book, to let them tell me themselves. Not one said Twilight. But what will this mean for Immortal Dilemma as the project evolves? I know the public is not tired of vampires, or paranormal, and especially romance.
Hollywood has been doing this for years. Even Red Dawn has been remade recently. Was that necessary? Is the cold war relevant anymore? There is so much money on the line for movie production studios as well as publishing houses. If a formula is proven to make money, it’s a safe bet. As much as we’re all told to be original, original scares the pocket books of these decision makers.
All ideas are versions of earlier ideas. We all owe homage to some influence over our story telling. Every experience we have shapes our story. If Twilight had enough of an effect on these writers they were compelled enough to write stories that in some way resonated with their readers enough to build huge followings, is that any different any thing else that influenced these authors to put pen to paper?