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Is it unreasonable for writers to put their own fantasies in their works? (1 Viewer)

Private Universe

Senior Member
Can works even come about without the writer fantasising about it?

Here Twilight actor Robert Pattinson is practically accusing Twilight author Stephenie Meyer and/or her fictional character Bella Swan of being a Mary Sue:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jr6SCArHwco
Robert Pattinson making fun of TWILIGHT for 6 minutes
1,130,012 views•Dec 22, 2020

Robert Pattinson: 2:20 When I read it, it seemed like - I was convinced that Stephenie was convinced she was Bella, and it was a book that wasn't supposed to be published. You know like reading her- her sexual fantasy about some - and especially when she said it was based on a dream, and it's like "Oh I've had this dream about this really sexy guy" - and she just writes this book about it. And like some things about Edward are so specific, I was just convinced that this woman is mad. She's completely mad and she's in love with her own fictional creation. Sometimes you feel uncomfortable reading this.

COMMENTS:

Laila Riley
2 months ago
The way he kept going on and on about how weird it was that Stephanie wrote the book like it was some sexual fantasy LMFAOOO SKENKEN

SaphiraSeraphina
2 months ago (edited)
@Donghyuck's mom Same! I thought it was pretty disgusting for him to say something like "Stephanie Meyer is mad for writing self insert fantasy." Like bro, you obviously really don't know what you're talking about. As an author I felt so uncomfortable with this statement. Of course it's her fantasy, it's her damn book. The rest of the video was really funny but that one made him seem inconsiderate AF. [bold added by me]


Do you think Robert Pattinson is being unfair here? Is it possible to write a book without being in love with your own fictional creations?
 
Last edited:

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Well I guess he is just being too honest. You can see it's how he really feels, but it's not very professional. Many actors don't like the parts they play or the stories they play in, but it's not very respectful or wise to share their opinions on the writer.

But to answer your first question, it's completely unreasonable to expect writers not to depict their own fantasies. There are no boundaries on what writers can cover. And in this case over 100 million copies were sold.

That being said, I picked up one of the Twilight series once in a grocery store, because I liked the cover, but promptly put it down when I read the back blurb. Fortunately, nobody asked me to star in the movie. :)
 

Private Universe

Senior Member
Yes, I feel Robert Pattinson is trying a little too hard to distance himself from Twilight - but what does that convey to the 100 million people who bought the book and watched the movies?

Instead of trying to hate the film so cleverly, he should have challenged himself to justify its widespread appeal!

And don't try to make out (Pattinson I mean) that the author Stephenie Meyer hadn't thought through things when making up her own world for her characters to play out in - like some time traveller books with giant plot-holes e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/About_Time_(2013_film):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVl9iwFzoU0
Robert Pattinson - "A lot of things in the Twilight world don't make sense"
1,329,205 views
•Nov 3, 2012

eliza pii
2 years ago
The Twilight Saga really only made sense if you read the books first. They do high school over and over because the younger they start in a new place, the longer they can stay there without people noticing that they never age/look too young for their age. So, when they move to a new place, they start as young as they can possibly realistically be, which for them, is high school. Also, they drive cars everywhere instead of running, because that’s what humans do. It doesn’t raise suspicions about them. Most people own cars, and don’t just show up places without one. When they hunt or aren’t near where anyone can see them, they run. Sometimes, when they are getting Bella away from someone, they use cars because it is harder for their pursuer to catch her scent when she is traveling via car rather than via Edward’s back. They explained none of this in the movies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jr6SCArHwco
Robert Pattinson making fun of TWILIGHT for 6 minutes
1,130,012 views
•Dec 22, 2020

Donghyuck's mom
2 months ago
@Software Proj I laughed at most parts of these vids, but him dragging her so heavily was very uncalled for. And most writers probably let a story run in their heads, a fantasy, to then work it out on paper. It may not be the greatest story and it has some flaws, but to embarrass her like that, as if she's some creepy cognitive incapable and unstable woman, is damn rude. + Even though this video was mainly funny, I think it also shows some disrespect from him. Like the dude probably read the script before accepting it, no? He is spoiling the story, seems not to care one bit about that and in some clips I had the feeling his co-actors were a little embarrassed as well. I guess he is lucky Twilight isn't perceived as a serious big movie because I'm pretty sure he could've been roleblocked or enough directors would refrain from hiring him. Also, and I know this will sound annoying, but those teenage (and obsessed) Twilight fans pushed him big time, made him lots of money and would support him no matter what. So I hope he has a little bit more of respect for them (and no, this is not me saying famous people should be controlled by their fans, but more like imagine a leaking footage were he just disses and drags teenagers while being a full grown man).

[bold added by me]

I agree writers can do what they like but, going further than that, do you think a book can be written where the characters and events reside outside the writer's fantasies? Surely to bring them alive, you have to have that strong measure of emotional identification with them from having them come to you as some sort of 'what if' fantasy.

Having said that, Stephen King writes that he found 'Carrie' impossibly hard to write - he had no identification with the character or girls peer groups (I think he said); he just kept slogging away at it. Perhaps that refutes my theory?
 
Last edited:

robertn51

Friends of WF
Is it possible to write a book without being in love with your own fictional creations?

I'll skip the Pattinson part of the question. Talking about high-octane actors' even higher-octane behavior is always the thinnest of ice.

Yes. But have a care.

In a way, you have to be "in love" with your creations to imbue them with a unique and detailed sense of life. But that doesn't mean crushing on them or lusting or worse.

Imagine lusting on Hannibal Lector? Yeah, like that'll work. More fricassee, anyone?

But author Thomas Harris needed a lover's eye for intimate detail and sense of attraction to make the attractive-repulsive creature work. And it truly kick-butt works. On the page, and, thanks to a brilliantly brave out-of-this-world actor, on the screen, too.

I do wonder, though, if, in his "Red Dragon," where Lector first appeared, wonder if the main character's "serious injuries" played-upon in the book's opening weren't actually Harris' own "injuries," from his encounter with his own psychologically-monstrous creation. There's whiff in there, for me, anyway. Agent Will Graham's issues are rendered so perfectly. Maybe too close.

I said "crushing or lusting or worse" up there.

The worse part is confusing one's identity with one's creation. And yes, you can imbue your character with spot-on affectation doing that, basically writing yourself, not a character at all. (Which, if you think about it, is kinda cheating, isn't it?) But, doing so, you, depending upon how psychologically "thin" reality is for you, are flirting with danger. (And, as you've shown, flirting with thoughtless fools' taunting schadenfreude.)

Bella (not Kristen Stewart and not her attempt at performing Bella) is a very compelling character, with that accessible dreamlike nature whispering of, yes, an author pressing herself through onto the page. Perfect device for a smoldering YA fantasy, no? What it cost author Meyer, who can say?

At issue is what one means by "being in love." Said that way, it implies the character's agency and independent reciprocity -- both absolute requirements for adult love. Which no character -- an imaginative artifact -- can provide. No matter how hard and clearly and desperately we dream them, they are always our rendition and not at all a separate them. (And, thankfully so, if you think about it.)

Love your characters -- both good and evil -- just enough to make them live in the reader's mind? That's safe and all that's needed.
 

Private Universe

Senior Member
I'll skip the Pattinson part of the question. Talking about high-octane actors' even higher-octane behavior is always the thinnest of ice.

Yes. But have a care.

In a way, you have to be "in love" with your creations to imbue them with a unique and detailed sense of life. But that doesn't mean crushing on them or lusting or worse.

Imagine lusting on Hannibal Lector? Yeah, like that'll work. More fricassee, anyone?

But author Thomas Harris needed a lover's eye for intimate detail and sense of attraction to make the attractive-repulsive creature work. And it truly kick-butt works. On the page, and, thanks to a brilliantly brave out-of-this-world actor, on the screen, too.

I do wonder, though, if, in his "Red Dragon," where Lector first appeared, wonder if the main character's "serious injuries" played-upon in the book's opening weren't actually Harris' own "injuries," from his encounter with his own psychologically-monstrous creation. There's whiff in there, for me, anyway. Agent Will Graham's issues are rendered so perfectly. Maybe too close.

I said "crushing or lusting or worse" up there.

The worse part is confusing one's identity with one's creation. And yes, you can imbue your character with spot-on affectation doing that, basically writing yourself, not a character at all. (Which, if you think about it, is kinda cheating, isn't it?) But, doing so, you, depending upon how psychologically "thin" reality is for you, are flirting with danger. (And, as you've shown, flirting with thoughtless fools' taunting schadenfreude.)

Bella (not Kristen Stewart and not her attempt at performing Bella) is a very compelling character, with that accessible dreamlike nature whispering of, yes, an author pressing herself through onto the page. Perfect device for a smoldering YA fantasy, no? What it cost author Meyer, who can say?

At issue is what one means by "being in love." Said that way, it implies the character's agency and independent reciprocity -- both absolute requirements for adult love. Which no character -- an imaginative artifact -- can provide. No matter how hard and clearly and desperately we dream them, they are always our rendition and not at all a separate them. (And, thankfully so, if you think about it.)

Love your characters -- both good and evil -- just enough to make them live in the reader's mind? That's safe and all that's needed.

I like the many analyses you've done here e.g., how being in love with one's characters is the same as and differs from real life. Very useful conceptual clarity.

> wonder if the main character's "serious injuries" played-upon in the book's opening weren't actually Harris' own "injuries," from his encounter with his own psychologically-monstrous creation

Lots to think about here! To what extent do we have to identify with our characters in order to portray them realistically? e.g., people writing about serial killers and psychopaths for 30 years. Does this just mean they've successfully channelled their own darker impulses into a socially acceptable and less deleterious form?!
 
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