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some light reading!
*hyena girl cackles*
apiphile wrote in criticalfandom

A copyeditor takes on the Twilight series. Educational and funny; there's as much value judgment of the personalities of the characters as there is of the general standard of writing (poor), but it's definitely worth a look.

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This is interesting, but I can't agree with a lot of the specific complaints she's making. For instance, I don't see any problem with sentence fragments in narrative in a book that's consistently written in a tight third-person POV, with a narrator who has a casual conversational style. And while some of her edits would have tightened up various passages (I can't get as worked up about comma usage in fiction as she is, although technically she's right), some of them I think make less sense than the original. "A groaning metallic thud hurt my ears, and the van settled, glass popping, onto the asphalt" isn't deathless prose -- but "The van settled onto the asphalt with a metallic thud" is nonsensical; a thud is sudden, and settling is gradual.

And I think a lot of the word choices and turns of phrase she's complaining about definitely work to me as characterization -- they're making it clear what kind of characters these are. (I haven't read the books, but I gather that Bella is totally the kind of person who, having been hit by a car, would mainly be focused on how mortified she is to be put in a neck brace. And "What's the verdict?" is more believably teen-speak than "What's the diagnosis?" -- who says "What's the diagnosis?") This reviewer doesn't like them, but given that a bazillion fans adore these people, clearly mileage varies.

I understand frustration with a badly-written yet popular source, but I just don't agree with enough of these edits for this critique to work for me.

Edited at 2010-08-29 06:05 pm (UTC)

I disagree with some of the edits, but the observations on the prose in general ring true, particularly some of the earlier stuff regarding the overwhelming quantity of description of Edward's eye colour ...

Yeah, there's definitely some bad writing there, and the eye color thing is particularly silly (We get it! They're yellowish!) Although my quarrel with "ochre" isn't that it's unappetizing but that I sincerely doubt it's in Bella's vocabulary.

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