Friday, March 18, 2011

Is Stephenie Meyer Crazy-Pants, Or is it Just the Creative Process?

I was reading the transcript of an interview Stephenie Meyer did a while back about her "Twilight" series. And in the interview she was asked why the story arc went a certain direction. Ms. Meyer said, basically, that she was just as surprised as the reader was. That Edward had decided he wanted to go that way, so that was the way the story went.

A commenter on the interview post said, Omigosh! She must be completely delusional to think her characters can come to life and tell her what to do, the woman is crazy!

I realized that when I read what Ms. Meyer had said, I hadn't thought a thing of it. It made perfect sense to me that the author's creation seemed to have a mind, a voice, opinion, and direction of it's own. Whereas to someone else--maybe someone who has never written or created--that just sounds coo-coo for coco-puffs.

But I know it is true. Whenever I create anything, I can tell when it wants to go in a certain direction. With the jewelry I make, for example, I will have a specific design in my head. About eighty percent of the time what I end up with has the elements I started with, but has gone somewhere different.  I get the same thing when I'm writing--the story or article comes to life--sometimes to the point that I have to rein it in a bit.

I think that when we create, we create something with real force and energy--not to the point that our creations are alive, like Edward physically walking in and telling Stephenie Meyer how to end her story. But something does happen. And I think we have a responsibility to make sure what we are doing with that force is true to it, and true to us. And hopefully, true to our audience as well.

The next time you get deeply involved in creating, take a moment to see if you don't feel what I'm talking about: something nudging you in a specific direction. And then see what happens if you follow it; release yourself to it. Bet you end up with something fabulous.

Just don't go all Pygmalion on it. Have you heard of him? He's a character in Greek mythology (upon which George Bernard Shaw based a play that was later turned into the musical My Fair Lady). Pygmalion was a sculptor who had become disenchanted with the local women. So he sculpted a woman of ivory who was so beautiful and realistic that he fell in love with her.

It's probably better if we don't get so caught up in what we are doing that we fall in love with it. I've done that. Usually what happens is I get some objectivity when someone starts snorting at it. Yeah. Fall in love, lose objectivity.

But that's a topic for another post.

So go, my children! Go create, feel, and be free!


Have Kids Will Coupon said...

Following back from the Blog Hop and I love getting lost in the creative process! Enjoy the ride!

Sara B. Larson said...

Hmmm,... I am an author, but I've always found comments like these to be interesting. Some authors feel this way (that their characters "talk" to them and dictate where the story goes) and others... don't. Wonder what makes the difference?

P.S. Her name is spelled "stephenie" with an "e," just in case you want search engines to be able to find your post easier. ;)

My Mommymoon said...

I think characters do speak to the writer...that's the whole process of writing. I am not a big fan because my kids are crazy about her and the stories so I hear enough of it already. But, she's good, she had vision and it worked out.

Hey this is Salma from My Mommymoon. I am stopping by to say thanks and for following my blog.
Have a great week-end.

Janiel Miller said...

Thanks Salma, Sara, and Havekids!

And Sara--eep! I never noticed there was an "e" tucked in there. Thanks for the heads-up.

As for characters speaking to the writer--I wouldn't say mine actually speak to me. But I do feel like when I create something it often has a direction it wants to go, and if I fight it I sometimes lose. For instance, I've been trying to make my main character in my current WIP be a 17 year-old. I finally just relaxed and sort of asked my story why it wasn't working with me, and what I felt back was that, duh! My main character is 15. And the story opened back up again.

So I don't know. Must just be different personalities and how the process works with each one. I don't feel anything really dramatic, but I can tell when I'm forcing the story to go where it doesn't want to go.

Salma - Yep. I'd say Ms. Meyer's vision definitely worked out for her.

Have a great day!

Laura said...

So glad you followed me- I followed you right back from

Rebecca said...

thanks for the follow, I am following back..http://onemoreflewoverthecuckoo.blogspot.com/

The Crypto-Capers Series said...

I am returning the follow. Thanks for stopping by. http://thecryptocapersseries.blogspot.com

Toesthattwinkle! said...

twilight was fun to read but written terribly. I dont necessarily love Stephanie Meyers but she can create a unique book!

Let'sMakeADifference said...

That's how I feel about my posts. I think I know where it's going and it takes a turn. As usual, your post made me think...that's a good thing!

Ingrid said...

Definitely a fun book to read, I can't say I enjoy the movie nearly as much though. I do understand the creative direction though, you just sometimes get absorbed and go with the flow. :) Anyways, glad you're enjoying the posts!

A Helicopter Mom said...

That makes sense to me too. I can't write at all, but love to read.

Following you back. :)


SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

From the blog hop thanking you for your sweet comment. Many criticize Stephenie Meyer but no one can contest how creative she is in the Twilight series. Even if I'm not a writer, I can understand it when the characters take a life on their own and choose certain things that veer off from the original plan of the author. I read the same thing from Dean Koontz and Stephen King, so great minds think alike. Following you now :)

SusieQTpies said...

I totally agree! Loved the post!

Stopping in to say HI from SusieQTpies Scraps of LIfe!

Thanks for following me in our Wednesday Friendly Blog hop! I'm finally catching up and following back! Have a great week! Stop in again! Susie

Maegan Langer said...

I suppose it was only a matter of time before we had a Stephenie Meyer tag ;)

I love this post. I started writing more to this comment, but it was going on and on, and then I realized, hey! I don't have an idea for my Monday post, maybe I'll just build on my comment that you inspired! So thanks for that :)