By Nicole Miller
Best-selling author Stephenie Meyer never took a creative writing course.
“I was too afraid. I was afraid to be creative on demand. I was afraid to let other people see what goes on inside my head,” Meyer said.
But that”s exactly what her fans were dying to find out Friday as Meyer spoke in the Harold B. Lee auditorium about her experiences writing her best-selling novels “Twilight” and “New Moon.” The auditorium was nearly full of curious fans and aspiring writers probing Meyer”s brain, analyzing her novels and dying to know what lay ahead in her series.
Hayley Christopherson drove all the way from Boise, Idaho, to meet Meyer and have her sign copies of “Twilight” and “New Moon,” the first two novels of Meyer”s series.
“It was so worth it,” Christopherson said. “Meyer is different than most LDS authors. She lets her characters be their own characters.”
Meyer said she doesn”t really have a say in the matter.
“I can”t tell my characters what to do,” Meyer said.
To Meyer her characters are too real to control. She loves to hear when they become real for other people too.
“It”s the best compliment for a writer,” she said.
Excited fans hung on every word as Meyer read a portion from her newest book “New Moon,” though some of them could probably quote the book word for word.
“I”ve read it five or six times,” said Sara Ferrell, a 22-year-old graduate in civil and environmental engineering. “It”s hard to put down and it”s new each time.”
After reading “New Moon” Ferrell read “Twilight” again to look for foreshadowing. Ferrell wore a T-shirt that read “bite me” with the apple from the cover of “New Moon” on the front and “Official I love Edward Cullen Fan Club Member” on the back. Many female fans, like Ferrell, are looking forward to “Midnight Sun,” a side project Meyer is working on that retells her first novel “Twilight” from male lead, Edward Cullen”s perspective.
Erin Olson, a 23-year-old graduate student in the physiology and developmental biology department, described “New Moon” as more emotional than Meyer”s first book “Twilight,” but just as fabulous.
“I”m not a vampire-book-kind of person,” Olson said.
She described the vampire romance of Meyer”s novels as something everyone can relate to.
Meyer jokingly described herself as the worst vampire author.
“I don”t read vampire books. I don”t watch horror movies. I”ve never seen a vampire movie,” Meyer said.
That”s why she can”t figure out what inspired the dream about a vampire and a girl in love that became the 13th chapter of her first novel “Twilight.”
When Chris Crowe, a BYU English professor, introduced Meyer at Friday”s lecture, he described “Twilight” as a vampire romance that isn”t really a vampire story or a romance, but a compelling story.
“My least favorite question is, ”What”s your book about?”” Meyer said. “It sounds horrifying.”
As horrifying as the storyline may sound, people who actually read Meyer”s books love them.
“I find her to be a very hypnotic storyteller,” said Nick Frederick, a graduate student in comparative studies. Frederick brought his copies of “Twilight” and “New Moon” to the BYU Bookstore Friday to have them signed by Meyer.
“I really enjoy the storyline and the characters. I find them very engaging and as long as she [Meyer] keeps writing about them I”ll continue to read her books,” Frederick said.
The series that started with “Twilight” will have a minimum of four books, Meyer assured her fans. She also has solid outlines for books five and six and loose outlines for possible books seven and eight. Meyer said she would re-evaluate after the fourth book is published.
“I want to be careful not to run the series into the ground,” Meyer said. “But it”s hard to quit writing about the characters because I”m so invested in them. If I quit writing about them it”s like I”m killing them.”
Fans who want to learn more about Meyer and her books can explore her Web site stepheniemeyer.com.
Novel Writing Tips from a Best-Selling Author
1. Be a big reader. Reading helps you to know how stories flow and develop tension and characters.
2. Write for yourself and enjoy it. Don”t worry about publishers or target audiences.
3. Polish your writing, but expect editors to come in with a paintbrush and change everything.
4. Editors can change your story for the better, but sometimes you should stick to your guns.