Tuesday, September 09, 2008

We've Been Robbed

For any Twilight fans, this is going to be old news. Someone got hold of a rough draft of Midnight Sun, Stephenie Meyer's newest book written from the point of view of Edward. As far as Meyer is concerned, the Midnight Sun project is on indefinite hold, and sounds as if it may not be written at all. You can read her statement on her website here.

I'm brand-new to the entire Twilight phenomenon, but I feel her pain. For whatever reason the rough draft was published, it was obviously done by someone who has no earthly clue about writers and writing. A rough draft is just that--rough. It can change in hundreds of ways before the final draft that goes to the publisher. Now that this particular rough draft is making the rounds, Meyer feels as though she's bound to that version and unable to change it. I can totally understand if Midnight Sun never sees the light of day. I wonder if the person who put the rough draft online is still proud of what he's done?

For those of you who could care less about this, look at it from a different perspective. Get a clear mental image of your favorite book. The one in which you couldn't turn the pages fast enough. The one that made you stagger, bleary-eyed, to work or school the next day. The one you reread over and over. The one that would be first in the suitcase when you went to that desert island. The one you always hoped would have a sequel because you just. Can't. Get. Enough.

Now picture learning that the long-awaited sequel is being written. Feel that incredible surge of anticipation? Picture yourself signing up for the pre-order on Amazon? See that countdown clock for the publication date you've got on your blog?

Now...how would you feel if someone got hold of the rough draft of it and posted it on the internet? How would you feel if the author said, "That's it. I'm not going to finish writing it." You'd feel gutted, wouldn't you? So this isn't just about some stupid Young Adult vampire book that's not worth your time. It's about everyone who loves books. It's about everyone who wants to be able to write with complete freedom, and it's about everyone who wants to be able to read those words.

When something like this happens, the author isn't the only person who is robbed.


  1. This comment comes with a 'Health Warning' - I'm not saying I agree with the idea I'm about to mention so don't everyone dive on me at once! It was just another interesting perspective. I read somewhere yesterday a suggestion that this may not have been exactly what it seemed and possibly it was an 'intentional leak' to drum up some more publicity for the series, what with a movie coming out soon and all. Now, like I said, I'm not saying I think that's true but it never hurts to entertain all sides of the coin!

  2. I'm not about to dive on you because it is good to view all sides of the coin. I can see the validity of that suggestion--someone wanting Meyer to be the next J.K. Rowling machine perhaps. Interesting...thanks for your comment!

  3. As someone who was ready to call it quits with the fourth book, I can't say I'm heartbroken that the fifth book isn't in the works anymore. That said, as a writer, I'd be miffed. But I probably wouldn't have shared drafts with anyone other than my editor if I'd achieved that kind of success, either.

    As to it being a publicity stunt--does she really need any more publicity? I think she's pretty much saturated the market...

  4. Jena, you brought up two points that came to my mind, too.

    (1) If my books were that wildly popular, I don't think I'd be sharing rough drafts with anyone besides my publisher either. The more people have it, the more chance for something like this to happen.

    (2) Something tells me that this isn't a publicity stunt. I feel one of Meyer's "trusted circle" left the draft lying around and it caught the eye of an opportunist.


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