Yesterday we were introduced to the most amazing Tumblr to ever come from a book series, Reasoning with Vampires. The author of the site, Dana, has taken on the Herculean task of proof-reading all of Stephanie Meyers‘ books (the Twilight Saga, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner) and relating back to us all the narrative, grammatical, and yes, even spelling issues that pepper the YA prose.
We emailed Dana and asked her to comment on a couple of her favorite (least favorite) passages, and give her advice for vampire dating etiquette.
How did you happen upon the idea for Reasoning with Vampires? You don’t seem like the normal Stephanie Meyers fan. Did the movies just piss you off?
Fantasy was never my fiction genre of choice, so I didn’t pay much attention to the Twilight epidemic at first. After Breaking Dawn came out, I noticed a lot of opinion articles popping up about the warped content of the series, like “Bite Me! (Or Don’t)” from Bitch Magazine. The more articles I read, the more I disapproved. When my sister asked if I read the books (I hadn’t), she told me I ought to, which led to an argument. She thought Edward was dreamy; I thought he was a creep. Even though I felt justified, those kinds of conversations always made me feel like a jackass for criticizing something based on the opinions of others. The incessant “ECLIPSE MOVIE OHMYGOD” promotions earlier this year reminded me, so I bit the bullet.
I was floored. Not only did I dislike the characters, the plot, and the troubling psychology, but the writing was atrocious. I wasn’t expecting bad writing. I held out admitting that I was reading Twilight until I couldn’t stand it anymore, and my boyfriend was on the receiving end of a rant about how you can’t have “liquid topaz.” That was the first of many. To give him a break I decided to kill the demon by taking a red pen to it, but I soon realized that there was not enough space in the margins. Eventually I decided to go about the “project” in the approach that is now RwV.
Is there a particular passage or character that you find particularly egregious?
â€˘ The most inexcusable item I’ve noticed so far is the moat/mote sentence. I don’t know if Meyer wrote the wrong word or if something was bungled by the printer, but it’s wrong. It’s just wrong. The copy I’m working from was purchased within the last six months, which was almost five years since the book was released. Whoever did it, it’s stupid and sloppy, and Meyer’s name is on the cover.
â€˘ I love to hate this passage that makes no sense:The Cullens and the Hales sat at the same table as always, not eating, talking only among themselves. None of them, especially Edward, glanced my way anymore. This is not possible. One person cannot do nothing more than four other people who are doing the same nothing. It’s like when people say, “I could care less,” instead of, “I couldn’t care less.”
â€˘ Meyer seems to have a very loose grasp on vocabulary finesse. She fails to realize that just because a word is accurate from the standpoint of the definition, it’s not automatically the right word to use. The first time the reader learns about Edward’s sparkling perfection, his skin looks “like thousands of tiny diamonds were embedded in the surface.” It’s a huge moment! It is supposed to be a swooning moment, but I can’t help but cringe at the thought of gems being shoved into his skin. The connotation of a word like “embedded” conjures images more befitting bmezine than a fairytale romance.
â€˘ On more significant scale, I have a problem with the fact that (SPOILER ALERT) the climaxes of New Moon and Breaking Dawn are resolved with, “In that case, never mind.”