Thursday, October 30, 2008

Article: There I Go Again… Having Fun

Back in July I was contacted by some women who were putting together an online Twilight magazine and they had asked me to contribute an article so I was happy to oblige. I need to go search for the name of the online magazine to see if I can possibly link to it. But, for now, here is the little "piece" I wrote. :)

There I Go Again… Having Fun

Lisa Hansen
July 2008

In recent years I believe the definition of what constitutes a “powerful story” has been redefined. There are “good” stories which are enjoyable to read once. We think to ourselves, “That was nice” and then move on to the next. There is the ever so prestigious “literary genius” which is full of beautiful imagery, poetic sentences, seamless storylines and complex characters. We study these books, discuss them, analyze them, are edified by them and then move on to the next book, but come back to it periodically in our lives.

And then there is the story with “power”. It breaks all the rules, leaves critics scratching their heads, and refuses to accept it’s label for age propriety (despite being categorized on bookstore shelves). What about that story? The one that actually changes lives around the world? What about a story that is so consuming that readers, young and old, can’t move on? The story that creates the compulsion to read and re-read and re-read over and over and over? The story that erases social boundaries, creates and enriches relationships? Without intending to be, that story is far more than just words carefully arranged on paper.

Does a story with that much power and force have to be about something profound and hard to grasp? Well, the answer is, “no”. A story with that kind of power doesn’t have to be a commentary on mankind or some prolific figure in history. The Twilight Saga is evidence that a “powerful story” can, in fact, just be about fun and entertainment.

If I had a dollar for every email or comment that I’ve gotten that said how ridiculous I was, that Twilight was “written for teens, so leave it alone”, that I should “get a life”, merely because I created a website for the adult minority of Stephenie Meyer fans, I’d probably have my husband’s student loans almost paid off.

To those comments, I usually just think to myself (with heavy sarcasm), “Gee, I totally forgot that being a wife and mom meant that I was no longer allowed to have interests” or “Whoops! There I go again, having fun… and at MY age! How revolting!”

But, the big question is, “Just who constitutes what a 'life' is and what a 'life' entails?" Life is made up of experiences, feelings, emotions, interactions. If I am not creating memories of a life filled with vibrant passion, love and loss, laughter and tears, and meaningful relationships with others, then I am not experiencing “life”.

Reading Twilight has added to my life experiences. Twilight has the power to suck the reader into the story. The experiences, feelings, emotions, interactions are awakened in the reader. The passion, the love and loss, the laughter and tears, the meaningful relationships are experienced in a very personal and real way by the reader.

A story that evokes the sense that the reader is a part of the story rather than just a reader of it, is a story with “power” and that kind of power can’t possibly be subject to something so trivial as an age limit placed upon it by any marketing team!

Never underestimate the power of a story. No matter what it is about. No matter what age bracket is stamped on the cover. It just might be the one that changes you… and millions more.


BakeliteBebe said...

You are a great writer, Lisa. I love this!

Mary Ann said...

Well written, Lisa, and BTW I agree!

Unknown said...

Lisa! That is an AMAZING piece you wrote up! You are a great writer! I love how you manage to put all of our feelings into beautiful words. xoxoxo

staciemag said...

Well said, and what a beautifully written piece. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Our Pease Pod said...

Awesome-you have captured the whole essence of why Twilight is so amazing. Also-for all those teenagers who think these books are only for them need to realize that if the author thought this story was not just as interesting to her there would have been no Twilight-if only we could get away from YA fiction and Adult fiction and read great books without categorizing.