Punctuation and Twilight

Punctuation and Twilight

A Lesson by The Perfectionist

One more lesson


This will probably be the last lesson I post up here of my own free will before I leave, so before I get to it, I'll just add that disclaimer. IF THERE'S SOMETHING YOU WANT ME TO TALK ABOUT, COMMENT!

Since I know the only reason you people are reading this is because I added the spicy 'Twilight' word to the title, let me get that part out of the way.

I often justify my hatred of the series by the fact that I have in fact read the book (the first one). Of course, when you hate reading something that much, you don't pay close attention, and there are things you miss. For example, it was pointed out to me yesterday that Meyer never actually calls her vampires vampires or her werewolves werewolves, presumably in a vain attempt to dodge the massive piles of "Vampires don't sparkle!" that have been thrown at her since the beginning. Points to you, Meyer, but the sparkling was never my real problem.

The problem I have with that particular series (aside from its very obvious milking of teenage girls and their over-romanticized view of such things. You're being PLAYED, ladies) is that Meyer is an awful writer. Now everyone is entitled to suck, but most of those people don't publish. I have literally lost track of the times on WC I have reviewed a story with 'Stop copying Stephenie Meyer'. Don't copy her writing style and for God's sake, don't copy her plot. She has no sense of pacing, has no idea how to create characters with more depth than a piece of paper, and doesn't understand the concept of realism in fiction.

Blah, I'm off topic.

Like I said, sparkling was stupid, but not really my issue. If she wants to make her creatures of the night into disco balls, that is entirely her decision. My problem is that she makes this story about the wrong thing. The entire book series is about the love triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob. Yes there is something about a war going on, but when you come down to it, what people talk about isn't the plot, it's the characters. Again, that's fine, books have held up on the sheer strength of their characters alone before.

My question is this: what happens when you remove the sunlight weakness from a vampire? Answer: you remove them all. Garlic, Holy water, and silver can come and go depending on the lore, but essentially, if you take away sunlight. you've made these creatures without weakness. You've created an entire race of things that any roleplaying site would ban for being too powerful.

I told this to the person that pointed out the semantic issue, and she replied that that may have been the point: Meyer's 'vampires' and 'werewolves' were created so that the only things that would hunt them would be one another.

This may very well be the case, but the focus of the books isn't the vampire/werewolf war. I have had the misfortune to have several Twilight fans scattered around my friends and acquaintances, and I don't think I ever heard them talk about the plot. People don't have 'Team Vampire' and 'Team Werewolf' stickers; it's Edward and Jacob. And wait, who are Edward and Jacob fighting over? Oh yeah, the human girl.

Even if you feel like trying to argue that it's still about the war, I'd like to direct you to the Underworld series of movies. Those movies literally ARE all about a vampire/werewolf war, and yet instead of removing any way humans might have had to kill them, they instead focus on those weaknesses, and have the species using the other's vulnerabilities against them.

I've ranted on quite a bit here, but the thing I want you to take away from this is something I said earlier: like the books if you must, but I will not be forgiving if you start writing like Meyer does. She sets a horrible example and you'd do well to read a real author over a few times before you write anything down if you're an impressionable person.

Just remember this: if you create a character (or characters) that is too powerful, then you will quickly divide people into two schools of thought. Some people will love him (or her), and the rest of them will be so fed up at his perfection that they will spend the entire story waiting for something terrible to befall them. That is NOT what you want to do. Don't limit yourself to love and hate; let people experience the whole range of emotions when it comes to a character.

Alright, I think at the top I promised something about punctuation, so let me go over that.

There are several punctuation marks that are fairly common
This is a period, or full stop ----> .
It is used to end a sentence or complete thought. Most people use these correctly.

This is a comma ---------------------> ,
It is used to separate clauses, or more simply, to create a pause in a sentence. Most people either have too many or not enough. Remember: a comma goes with a pause. If you want a pause, have a comma. Also, any sentence that contains a piece bound by commas should still be a complete sentence if you remove that piece. Commas are also used in dialogue. If you say ["Hello." Jane said."] The period after Hello should actually be a comma.

This is a semi-colon ----------------> ;

Semi-colons are used to separate related thoughts. If you have two sentences about the same thing, odds are good you can replace the period with a semi-colon.

The night was dark. So dark that Jack couldn't see his hand in front of his face (Bad)
The night was dark, so dark that Jack couldn't.... (Better with comma)
The night was dark; Jack couldn't see his hand.... (Better with semi-colon)

This is a hyphen or dash ---------> -
You generally want as few of these in your work as possible. I'm not sure what they're actual use is supposed to be, but most people use them as stronger commas or semi-colons, really making one part stand out from the rest of the sentence. Be careful about copying them from word, as WC turns them into " for some reason.

These are brackets or parentheses --> ()
These are often used like commas, to enclose part of a sentence that is a separate thought. Like hyphens, you want to use them as little as possible, as they stand out and clog up your work if they show up too often. Occasional use is fine.

Finally, this is an ellipsis -----------> ...
Story writers have no problem here, but you poets had better pay attention. STOP USING THESE INCORRECTLY! They're not just something that looks cool at the end of a line, they have a purpose and you people are abusing the poor things. Ellipses create a longer pause, hinting at a line trailing off, a thought unfinished. They have a place and that place is NOT AT THE END OF EVERY SINGLE F*****G LINE. Get it? Good.

Also, I don't know what the hell .. is supposed to be. Is this the transsexual of the punctuation world, not sure whether it's a period or an ellipsis? You can't choose your sexual nature, but you can damn well use your punctuation; pick a side.


Can you tell what the reason I decided to write this was?

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Posted 13 Years Ago

I have not read this before and I was literally laughing at the end. I am with you on the Meyers saga. I hate female characters that have no back bone. I also didn't like her writing style. I stopped after the first book.

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Posted 13 Years Ago

So I just thought I'd enlighten you... because you said you didn't know. A hyphen is a short one, the kind that connects words (when they are split up) and a dash is the long one that separates phrases - or words - from a sentence. (See what I did there? clever, huh?) Lol, and now you know. :)

*Another random fact - parenthesis are used to minimize the offset phrase, whereas the dash is used to emphasis it.

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Posted 13 Years Ago

As a writer, I couldn't agree more about Twilight. I read the entire first book because while I was reading it I kept thinking that I had read it before (which I actually had, about 7 years before it became "popular"). The other 3 books I skipped through entire chapters. To me, she writes like a 13 year old - very elementary and childish. If that was her goal, she succeeded. My favorite vampire writer of all time has to be Anne Rice. That woman knows how to BS her way through a book. Say what you want about her, but with Rice you will read every word she writes because you do not realize she is just BSing her way through stuff with a bunch of filler because it doesn't sound like filler material. Other authors, like Meyer, sound like they are BSing their way through a story so as a reader you will start flipping through pages, then whole chapters, and before you realize it you are at the end of a storyline that could have been told in 200 pages or less. I can say this about the woman, she certainly knows how to milk money out of her readers.

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Posted 13 Years Ago

I read one page of twilight. I put the book down, walked away, never looked back, and never admitted doing it.

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Posted 13 Years Ago

One thing about Twilight that still amazes me is: why couldn't I put the book down when I was reading it? That means Meyer did at least one thing right: she knew how to grab and maintain (OK, besides the occassional too much info stuff she wrote) the attention of her reader. But I read her books before I was into writing, so I didn't pay any attention to how many adjectives/adverbs she threw in the book and how bad is her plot, etc.

About the dash, you didn't mention the difference between en-dash and em-dash. :-)

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Posted 13 Years Ago

I agree with Katie. So many people believe the number of dots are irrelevent, so they put '...................' or '..'
It's actually meant to only be 3 dots, and it's really annoying reading pieces of writing that have an endless number of them.

Also, I must confess that I used to love twilight, but, I think, that's because of the novelty of it at the time. Sure, there were other vampire books out, but none of them were especially popular. I loved Twilight because it was one of the first vampire books I read. However, now that vampires are 'in' there are so many other books to compare Twilight to! And they're all so much better (with the exception of Tempted from the House of Night series, which had numerous mistakes in it and switched tense several times). But yes, reading Twilight again, it really isn't very good at all, but I still love it because it opened up an entirely new genre to me. Before Twilight, I was rarely ventured out of the genres I loved. To put it simply, if it wasn't for Twilight, I would never have discovered Marcus Sedgwick.

Wow, that was a long comment ^^

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Posted 13 Years Ago

You forgot to metion the herds of people who use "................................." You should add a little rant about that too :P
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The Perfectionist
The Perfectionist


Send me Poetry RRs at your own risk. They will be read but they will not be reviewed unless I actually have something to say. All stories, no matter how terrible or boring, will be reviewed. Review..