Surely by now you’ve heard of the book and movie called Twilight -- even if you’re not a teenage girl. The book Twilight was written by Stephanie Meyer. She says she had a dream about the characters, then wrote and sold the book for six-figures in about six months. The books are selling at near Harry Potter pace, and the publisher hopes the recently released movie will boost sales even more.
Besides making other authors and unpublished writers jealous, what can this story teach us?
Well, if you write for young adults, it tells you that age group likes adventure. They like adventure mixed with the paranormal, the magical, or the other world. They like books with strong male and female lead characters. And young teen girls like romance. They like a series so they can anticipate and get lost in the ongoing story. They want to see the shunned or misfit character go on the adventure, find the true love, or take the lead in the tale. They want to be able to envision themselves in the characters’ roles. They want to be transported to this other world -- a magical world that feels real and possible.
And the truth is, a lot of adults like this same thing. A lot of adults have read Meyer’s Bella Swan books, just as a lot of adults have read Rowling’s Harry Potter. Both series appeal across the age spectrum.
If you’ve read either or both series, what appealed to you? As a writer, what did you learn from them?
6 months ago