Those of you who know me, or have been following me on Facebook for a while, know that I’m particular about my vampires. They don’t sparkle, they’re not weak or whiny, some are downright nasty and others, admirable and heroic. My werewolves are the same and my leading ladies are far from helpless.
The supernaturals in our books have very human flaws and emotions at heart and it’s that humanity that makes them real for our readers.
I used to be pretty loud about dissing the Twilight series. Everything about it rubbed me the wrong way. Reading about Bella’s mundane, day to day experiences had me rolling my eyes. The movie wasn’t much better.
Wendi said, “Just hang on, it gets better.” And she was right, it did. The second book was a little more interesting. At that point she reminded me teens were the ideal audience for this series.
Wow. Just that little shift in perspective had me looking at the books in a whole new light. Once I started reading it filtered through “teenager mode” I understood the appeal. Had this series come out when I was a teen, I would have been as crazy about it as the kids today are.
Time and Perspective
Have you ever had a favorite movie or book when you were a kid? I had a few. One movie was Billy Jack. This film came out in the 70s and at the time I thought it was really cool. Billy Jack was the half-breed Native American hero and ex Green Beret, saves wild horses from being slaughtered for dog food and also helps rescue a school for runaway kids from the ultra conservative town folk.
Typical late 60s early 70s fare. Rebel against the establishment and the man, love Mother Nature and one another and create utopia despite the odds.
My roommate remembered this movie too. So, we decided to get it and watch it again. Well, the experience was not the same. The acting was horrible, the plot cliché and overall so many moments of “I call bullshit!” we couldn’t take the film seriously.
Like Twilight, Billy Jack was made for a different audience in another place and time. Chances are the Saturday morning cartoons you used to watch are not as great as you thought they were — unless they were Bugs Bunny.
Eye of the Beholder
The old adage is true, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or in our case, in the eyes of your audience. Your audience is the group that understands your work. You write for them. If you don’t think Meyer was successful, think again. She reached her target market, she tapped right into them and they responded. JK Rowling did the same thing. Poo-poo their work all you want, but they had what their public wanted.
How about you? Can you clearly define who you’re writing for? Can you really capture your audience’s mindset, can you give them something they can relate to?
Define that and you’ve won half the battle.
PS: I still don’t like sparkly vampires.