Explorations (**BD2 Movie Spoilers!**)

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Re: Explorations (**BD2 Movie Spoilers!**)

Postby Tornado » Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:36 pm

December wrote:Have any of your characters sprung uncomfortable surprises on you?


I wouldn't say uncomfortable. One of them insisted (there's no other way to put it!) on having a bigger role in The Heir and its sequels. I had originally planned for him just to be around for a bit of muscle. He wasn't supposed to have any more story time than someone like Emmett does in Twilight, but, once I started writing him, he refused to sit in the background. It was like he was saying, 'You made me, now DEAL WITH ME!' and I said, 'Yes sir! Please don't hurt me! I'll do anything you say!' He's that kind of character.

corona wrote:Somehow, even though this vision isn't real, the film makes it so. I don't know how to explain it, I thought it would come off cheesy.


So did I. It so NOT cheesy!

corona wrote:[Book Bella says it's like her heart has grown larger to be filled with love for both Edward and Nessie. We don't quite see that this has happened for Edward as well in the book. The film makes that clear and real. Didn't Kayla say once that Nessie was for Edward? The book doesn't make that clear, the movie does.]


I agree.

corona wrote:There's a sequence starting with an altered discovery of the J. Jenks note. It initially seems to be a let down, but this segues into Bella returning to Charlie's and seeing Edward and Nessie (happy!) there while it is sinking in that Alice doesn't believe Bella or Edward will survive. This in turn goes into Bella packing the survival bag for Jacob and Ness with money and their passports, and Alistair seeing this all and having words with Bella. This is why Alistair leaves. This is all nicely done, scenes blending from one to the other with purpose and impact.


That scene rips me apart, especially with Ghosts playing in the background.

corona wrote:Bella's path is somewhat easier but a lot more complex. In my opinion, it isn't just that Bella finally comprehends the price she must pay and decides to pay it. She finally comprehends the price Edward will pay, yet still demands it of him. Jacob is the choice for both Bella and Edward, he's the potential "out" for both of them. Bella finally owns this decision which is directly related to Edward's greatest fear, that Bella will regret becoming a vampire at some point. Bella finally comprehends the full scope of her epiphany in NM, that yes, Edward loves you, and he really loves you THAT MUCH, and he actually had very good reasons for what he did, and he STILL doesn't want to do this, but Bella is going to push forward anyway.

Anyway, I like that theory, it makes sense, at least to me. Edward has to bite and Bella has to ensure the best outcome of "no regrets", so she has to completely own that decision, both sides of it. Bella telling Edward to stop the lovemaking in the meadow makes a lot more sense. Knowing what she is going to ask of him, she is going to do everything possible to make it easier for him, and thinking of it this way I can see for the first time she really means it when she tells him that his soul is far too important to her (whereas before this subject was more of a joke with her). It isn't just a cheesy line she uses knowing it will work with Edward, she is finally acknowledging the moral issues involved. She will do everything she can for him, because she knows this is going to hurt him (for a while), but she is going to demand it anyway.


Very good point.

corona wrote:I'd be willing to bet (again) that you would say if she had chosen that alternative path, then the power of that story would have naturally flowed out and wouldn't need a movie to show it. And, I'd have to agree. The movie demonstrates that something was missing from the book.


I don't know. I always got a lot from the book. I never thought Edward was quite as absent as most others did. Maybe that's because I always imagined him with Bella anyway, unless it was mentioned specifically that she was away from him for some reason.
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Re: Explorations (**BD2 Movie Spoilers!**)

Postby December » Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:15 pm

An apology and promissory note: Corona, I really want to get back to this convo and reply to your seriously interesting post! The coming week is silly busy for me -- heading back across the Atlantic for Christmas, so everything at sixes and sevens. But hoping to have some time mid week; if not, please nudge me again in December!
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Re: Explorations (**BD2 Movie Spoilers!**)

Postby smitten_by_twilight » Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:33 am

December wrote:It's just that if you squint at Stephenie's story in a very particular, Swoonygirl, Old Choices Thread kind of a way, that story of sacrifice we were banging on about BECOMES an exceptionally romantic happy ending. Win-win for both the story and the characters. I doubt if I can explain that paradox any better this time round than all the other times I've tried (possibly because it doesn't really hold together under scrutiny!), but the thought is roughly this: Yes, there is genuine pain and loss entailed by the choice Bella makes. BUT -- and this is the crucial point -- the magnitude of their love for one another makes that sacrifice pale in comparison with the joy of being together forever. So you get the HEA without giving up the story of sacrifice. In fact, the sacrifice is crucial to delivering the HEA, inasmuch as it's the way of conveying just how impossibly deep and transcendent Edward and Bella's love is. Of affirming a passion beyond the reach of any adjective or breathless moment or romantic declaration to convey -- because yes, they're sacrificing so much and still they are so happy together.


Possibly I shouldn't even post here because I absolutely do not have the kind of time that this thread demands. But as usual, folks are saying interesting things over here and I couldn't help but follow back a couple posts ...

I have to say that THIS is always the way I have seen Twilight. Certainly, I'm influenced by the movies - I saw the first 3 before reading any of the books. (The library hold system took a few days.) But without actually saying it, Steph's faith pervades every word she writes, and this is the religious story of sacrificial love - sacrifice that is transmuted to joy because of why you sacrifice. Why a nursing mother sometimes glows with happiness despite the rings under her eyes. Why a loving father disciplines himself to sterness with his children and is proud to watch them learn to discipline themselves, to their own and others' joy. And of course, why Edward sacrifices his fears for his beloved's soul and why Bella sacrifices her humanity - because they want to be together.

In addition to contrasting the sacrifice and the joy, the sacrifice is also necessary because some accomplishments require discipline to reach. I'm not sure the words are flowing right now, but you likely have personal experience with this. Sure, Bella could've been turned at the end of Twilight. But without the sacrifice it's merely a tragic accident. Edward remains tortured by the thought that Bella became a vampire because he couldn't protect her. Bella has no more self-control than most newborns - and they have years of her learning self-control to find their joy again. They needed New Moon to gain self-discipline and conviction in the other's love, and they needed Eclipse to willingly surrender Bella's life. They would not have been ready for the incredible blessing of Renesmee any other way.

Corona - all props to Kayla but I'm pretty sure that it was Steph who said that Nessie was for Edward, and Kayla was quoting. Not getting why you wonder if the Nessie-jumping-for-a-snowflake scene was a BC inside joke - the scene is verbatim from the book, n'est pas? I agree with you about the movie in many ways working better than the book - i think it is because (1) the book was never adequately edited (2) Steph said she could always see her story unfolding (3) by the time the book came out she was already learning about the moviemaking world, and would have been more visual.

I do respectfully have to disagree about Bella's path. I think people always underestimate the outcome of her suffering in NM. I think that it required the development of incredible reserves of willpower to be able to pretend to be living for Charlie, and I really think NM is where Bella developed her super self-control, which I never thought was a gift. She learned to hold in her agony and shift her attention, which is exactly what she did when confronted with human blood in BD Book 3.

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Re: Explorations (**BD2 Movie Spoilers!**)

Postby corona » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:08 pm

I'm going to go back to December's comment too, Smitten:

December wrote:In fact, the sacrifice is crucial to delivering the HEA, inasmuch as it's the way of conveying just how impossibly deep and transcendent Edward and Bella's love is. Of affirming a passion beyond the reach of any adjective or breathless moment or romantic declaration to convey -- because yes, they're sacrificing so much and still they are so happy together.


Technically not true, at least for the characters who live apart from us. Very, very true for us, the reader, though. We have to somehow feel it and experience it with them in a visceral way, I guess because we ourselves gain in this world through sacrifice. Stories about people who lift themselves out of poverty are much more interesting and fulfilling than stories about people winning the lottery.

I however, would be perfectly happy winning the lottery myself. I'm just not sure how many other people would truly be happy for me.

smitten_by_twilight wrote:In addition to contrasting the sacrifice and the joy, the sacrifice is also necessary because some accomplishments require discipline to reach. I'm not sure the words are flowing right now, but you likely have personal experience with this. Sure, Bella could've been turned at the end of Twilight. But without the sacrifice it's merely a tragic accident. Edward remains tortured by the thought that Bella became a vampire because he couldn't protect her. Bella has no more self-control than most newborns - and they have years of her learning self-control to find their joy again. They needed New Moon to gain self-discipline and conviction in the other's love, and they needed Eclipse to willingly surrender Bella's life. They would not have been ready for the incredible blessing of Renesmee any other way.


Well said, although in the original FD story they were apparently perfectly OK and didn't need the prep. It was Stephenie that decided they needed that prep. IMO, she was right, but that is the contention, why set them down one path of needing this understanding when you are going to return to the original story?

Isn't this a weird discussion to have, to argue that Bella needs to suffer more for my own personal reading entertainment? Truly, I don't need Bella to suffer more, but I do need more entertainment, which I had to wait for the movie to provide.
"It will take an amazing amount of control,” she mused. “More even than Carlisle has. He may be just strong enough…the only thing he’s not strong enough to do is stay away from her. That’s a lost cause.”
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Re: Explorations (**BD2 Movie Spoilers!**)

Postby Tornado » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:05 am

I don't think it was that Bella needed to suffer more, so much as, when SM looked seriously at Edward's character, she realised she'd taken him somewhere that it would probably take a while for him to get to. He was never going to jump straight into marriage with Bella when he was so convinced that he was bad for her. There would have to be development between one stage and the other, and it was then that she realised that he wouldn't have been able to live with himself if he didn't try to leave Bella for the sake of her having the life that he was convinced was best for her. That decision was, of course, based on the thought that he was the ultimate evil. It took him a while to get past that.
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Re: Explorations (**BD2 Movie Spoilers!**)

Postby corona » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:58 pm

Tornado, it's not exactly that I'm contemplating that additional suffering (specifically) is required from either character. This is more of a story critique, where BD seems to veer off through this pregnancy plot. And actually that part isn't that bad, but there is this building tension that finally explodes in the middle of the book, and then everything is resolved so quickly. Little time is spent on what is gained and the meaning of it. I'm thinking of Edward here, and to some extent Charlie. Everything is wrapped up boom, boom, boom. Gifts are given to our characters, but we end up having to fill in too many of the blanks ourselves. Everyone is overjoyed at their Christmas presents, but then go off to their own room to play.

Know what I mean? Of course Edward is ecstatic, and of course he is overwhelmed by both Bella and Nessie. But we really didn't get to see that with Nessie, it's something we just have to assume. What is missing is being able to appreciate these gifts with them. A "suffering" arc tends to take care of that by itself. The "family" arc chosen by SM is more difficult and requires more effort and skill to convey that feeling of appreciation.

Ideally the "payoff" scenes for the characters should be our payoff too.

smitten_by_twilight wrote:I agree with you about the movie in many ways working better than the book - i think it is because (1) the book was never adequately edited (2) Steph said she could always see her story unfolding (3) by the time the book came out she was already learning about the moviemaking world, and would have been more visual.


Yeah. It was interesting how the movie was able to show the latent power of the original story through this relationship between Edward and Nessie, plinking away on a piano, and Edward thanking Carlisle for this "extraordinary life". And, of course, the action sequences at the end. I loved Bella just standing in her shield pose and emanating power to thwart Jane.

I've seen this critique several times about the editing of the story, and I'd have to agree. Slight changes can make big differences. The movie imprinting scene came off much better than the book without making huge changes (Jacob doesn't give the game away by possessively maintaining a hold on Nessie, for example). We are given little time and few scenes of real impact that allow us to appreciate what has happened. In this sense it is a little unfair to compare the actual story that needed some additional work with an imaginary story that never was. I'd like to think of the movie as the actual final edited version of the ending of BD.

BTW, Smitten, I didn't mean to come off as denigrating Bella's path as being "easy". It's just that the final piece of the puzzle, her coming back to Edward without regret, is solely in her hands. She can see the end, whereas Edward has to put his faith and trust in Bella and then commit the act he cannot objectively conceive as being the right thing to do. This is what works best for me when looking at EC, that Bella finally does understand this about Edward. She would have to see it, otherwise she might gain a different view of Edward there at the end of EC if he had always been eager to change her. She knows it will work out and he is the right choice because, ironically, he doesn't want to do it.

********************************

December, one thing I'm not sure about the Swoony story is how Bella was ultimately going to be changed. Edward is already planning to use morphine on her, so it would have been Bella saying "Do it", and then lights out until she feels the burn. Or, it may have been an emergency vampirization. Either way, I think the canon BD bite scenes and burning scenes are actually quite good. This was one benefit from having the Jacob POV there. You lose the "romantic" bite of faith and trust, but you gain a fantastic scene of Edward methodically working to save the life of Bella. I'm not going to say it was better, but I would definitely say that at least SM found the power within that particular scene.

I'm just wondering what the theories were on how that alternative scene would have played out. I know fanfics have their "romantic" bite scenes, but I think Edward was always planning on more of a clinical version.
"It will take an amazing amount of control,” she mused. “More even than Carlisle has. He may be just strong enough…the only thing he’s not strong enough to do is stay away from her. That’s a lost cause.”
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Re: Explorations (**BD2 Movie Spoilers!**)

Postby Tornado » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:05 pm

That too, is the advantage of a movie over a first person narrative in a book. The book couldn't include a scene like the one between Edward and Carlisle because Bella wasn't present, and nor was it likely she'd be for that kind of conversation. This also accounts for the absence of Edward that many people feel in BD. It's so focused on the huge story that it was difficult to fit those things in, especially owing to the decision to have half of the book from the dog's POV. BD is the book that I think would benefit mostly from being written from Edward's perspective. First person narratives always cause problems like that.
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Re: Explorations (**BD2 Movie Spoilers!**)

Postby smitten_by_twilight » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:47 pm

corona wrote:BTW, Smitten, I didn't mean to come off as denigrating Bella's path as being "easy". It's just that the final piece of the puzzle, her coming back to Edward without regret, is solely in her hands. She can see the end, whereas Edward has to put his faith and trust in Bella and then commit the act he cannot objectively conceive as being the right thing to do. This is what works best for me when looking at EC, that Bella finally does understand this about Edward. She would have to see it, otherwise she might gain a different view of Edward there at the end of EC if he had always been eager to change her. She knows it will work out and he is the right choice because, ironically, he doesn't want to do it.


My misunderstanding, corona. I see what you are saying here although I would shade it differently. I see Bella understanding in NM that Edward does not believe that turning her could ever be the best ... but she does not truly appreciate his attitude until the end of Eclipse, when her experiences have taught her the value of life. At the end of NM she is a bit cavalier about dismissing Edward's concerns during the vote. At the end of EC, she overturns Edward's ... enthusiasm ... to return to the original plan, because she finally really really understands why he needs it that way.

corona wrote:I'm just wondering what the theories were on how that alternative scene would have played out. I know fanfics have their "romantic" bite scenes, but I think Edward was always planning on more of a clinical version.


Agreed, and I'm curious too. Even Bella says, I don't know why I wanted it to be him, because after about 2 seconds I don't think I'd care at all who bit me. I don't think Edward ever ever thought of biting as romantic at all.

Tornado wrote:First person narratives always cause problems like that.


They do ... and yet it was such a gripping way to tell this story.
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Re: Explorations (**BD2 Movie Spoilers!**)

Postby December » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:59 pm

Oh God, such interesting discussion and I. Have. No. Time!!!! Hoping hoping to get here when I can. Frustration.
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Re: Explorations (**BD2 Movie Spoilers!**)

Postby corona » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:23 pm

Yes, Tornado, I think that is exactly right. Well put.

The first-person perspective is exactly right for this story, up until the POV breaks in BD. Jacob gives a great perspective at the delivery scene, but those are our last few days of our experiences with B&E solely as a couple. After that, the first-person is no longer sufficient. Well, as you say, it is a difficult problem. It could be overcome but would require a lot more work. We really needed some intimate family scenes and some editing of the scenes already present.

[I just searched for that movie scene between Edward and Renesmee on the piano, thinking I might have overlooked it like that snowflake scene that Smitten was eager to point out and shame me with. ;) Nope, no piano scene.]

I know Jazz Girl pointed out where the declarations to fight were changed from spontaneous announcements (I believe beginning with the Romanians) to the result of Edward's direct request in the movie. Little changes like that would have helped a lot.

I can't say Bella's view is wrong as portrayed, as naturally focusing on things other than her relationship with Edward since a lot is going on. It was the relationship which sucked us in, though. That may well be one of the appeals of the romantic "no Nessie" story, that this binary relationship not only continues, but that Bella's perspective alone is fully sufficient to tell that story.
"It will take an amazing amount of control,” she mused. “More even than Carlisle has. He may be just strong enough…the only thing he’s not strong enough to do is stay away from her. That’s a lost cause.”
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