So here's the thing I want to ask: What's with all the Twilight bashing lately? Is it just because we all got sick of the hype? Admit it, most of you, and many other people, loved it in the beginning. Back then all we heard was praise and raves. But NOW, it's not cool to say you like it and in fact, it suddenly seems you might even need to hide your head in shame if you admit you like it.
This seems especially true in the land of writers.... and "well read" readers. Wow, I heard a lot of Twilight bashing, or maybe that's too harsh, maybe I should say Twilight teasing, or Twilight jokes, at this recent conference I went to. Admittedly, some of it was pretty funny, but some of it bugged me too.
So, here's what I think...I think there are many many jealous writers out there! Bottom line, Stephenie Meyer "did it" and they want to "do it" too.
So I was pondering this last Friday night after I came home, and then Saturday morning I went to Brandon Sanderson's keynote speech for this symposium, and I LOVED what he had to say, because it went quite along with this thought I was having about the Twilight bashing thing.
He talked about Sturgeon's Law, which is a quote attributed to a science fiction author, Theodore Sturgeon, where he said that "Ninety percent of everything is crud." (Or crap as we like to say these days.) And I guess many lovers of this science fiction and fantasy genre believe that.... there's some some pretty good stuff written for the genre, but most of it is just crap.
So Brandon wanted to test the theory. He went to Rottontomatoes.com, a movie review site, and analyzed how the critiques reviewed movies. He found that even the grouchiest of critiques, one that even HATED The Lord of the Rings movies (gasp!) still liked at least half of the movies he reviewed. If his "study" worked there, it goes to reason that it will prove true for any creative body of work.
Another thing he pointed out was that even if it's popular, that doesn't necessarily mean it's crap. He knows that many consider themselves "elite readers" and won't read what's popular, himself included. He said it took him until Harry Potter #4 to try that series, and then he ended up loving it. Granted, if it's popular, it also doesn't necessarily mean it's good either!
What I especially liked is that he pointed out that if we cut down and degrade much of the stuff we read, then we are doing that particular genre a disservice. For instance, if we are actually lovers of science fiction and fantasy, we should want to build up and promote the genre. We should say, (and this is the example he used)
"Oh, you loved Eragon? Well then, here's some more stuff I think you'll like...." as you hand them what you think is perhaps quite better than Eragon. (And not say, "Oh, that Eragon... it sure is CRAP!")
And even if you think something is crap, that doesn't mean AT ALL that it really is crap, it simply means that YOU didn't like it, which in turn means, we all have different tastes, which is a GOOD THING! :)
He said, it's dangerous to assume and think that everyone should have our same tastes, which isn't to say that we shouldn't make our opinions known. It's good to say, "I didn't like that" but not good to say, "That is crap."
So, coming back to Twilight... perhaps some really don't like it, but that's not say that it's crap. I think there's something to learn from the Twilight phenomenon, and we should be figuring out what that is.
What do you think? Is 90% of the stuff we read crap? Or is it all just a matter of different tastes? Do you look down on those who like the popular stuff? Or are you a popular stuff type of person? Do you enjoy the differences of opinion we all have, or does it make you crazy?
I hope, I feel like, I'm good with all the different tastes we have, even though I told my good book reading buddy (who doesn't enjoy Brandon Sanderson's stuff) the other day, "My goal is make a Brandon Sanderson convert out of you yet!" But, I think we both know that our differences of opinion just makes things all that much more fun.