Saturday, May 16, 2009

Admin Essay: Edward Never Came Back, but the "New Moon" AU Fic Is Here To Stay

Edward Never Came Back, but the "New Moon" AU Fic Is Here To Stay

The genre of Twilight Alternate Universe has grown massively over the last couple of months. With all the amazing All-Human stories out there we forget our first love, Vampward, and the reasons we fell for him in the first place. Lately though new AU stories are popping up and people are excited to reconnect with Vampward in all his glory. Obviously we all have a fascination with his super abilities and perfect hair, chiseled features, hairless chest and yellow eyes.  

Some of the stories out there are exploring what would happen if Bella didn’t forgive Edward so easily after Italy (Miss My Lion) or if things turned out differently after the Bella kissed Jacob outside the tent in Eclipse (Atlas Shrugged), A blood sucking, human feeding Edward, (Bonne Foi) or even what happens when Jasper struggles with a sexually frustrated Bella? (Lesson in Release).

But the New Moon/Alternate Universe story is not as prevalent these days. Which I think is understandable since it is a really challenging idea to tackle. Either Edward comes back or he doesn’t and since Twilight revolves around Edward and Bella there are few directions to go in. I’m going to admit it (like I ever keep secrets from you guys) I don’t read a huge amount of New Moon/Alternate Universe (NM/AU) stories. They all seem to follow the same general themes and most tend to fizzle out before completion.  There are maybe three or four standard plots in the NM/AU genre, all of which tricky to plot and write.

In an effort to deconstruct this area of alternate universe I’ve come up with several reasons I think the NM/AU fic is set up for failure.  Since I do not write NM/AU I sent several questions to four popular writers of the genre and asked them what they think and have included their thoughts below. 

To begin I feel like this genre revolves around one primary idea. Each story is based on the idea that Edward doesn't come back at the end of New Moon. From there it branches off into a couple directions, which I have summarized below.
  1. Bella goes to Jacob, falls in love and at some point in their life Edward returns causing conflict and strife .
  2. Bella moves on, goes to college, gets a life of her own after wallowing in the pain of losing her vampire soul mate and Edward reappears and messes up her already shaky life.
  3. Bella is changed into a vampire and meets Edward again, typically in the distant future. (100+ years later-which these stories never involve flying cars so they never make any sense to me)

When I read a summary that includes on of the above plot ideas the first thing I do is look on the stat line to see if it is complete and trust me, they never are. Ever.  I’m sure there are some out there. I am positive you will send them to us (please do) when you comment on this article, but I assure you that they are few and far between.  If the story I am looking at is incomplete I will keep scrolling down the page because the words “What if Edward never came back….” causes me to run for my life.

I asked the following questions to four amazing authors and they enthusiastically replied, sending me very involved, detailed answers! So much that I couldn’t include all of their responses so I had to pick and chose the best ones.  

thatwritr, author of In the Blink of An Eye
Rialle, author of Seducing Ms. Swan
PassionforTwilight, author of Nice Catch
OCD_Indeed, author of The Fallout

1. What is the best way for an author to have a successful NM AU story?

OCD says:Well, I don’t know about successful, but I can attest to unique…I don’t think anyone has tackled a nuclear war fic!  I think for most of us, excluding Breaking Dawn, New Moon was one of our least favourite books.  1) Jacob was introduced as a love interest. 2) Edward was gone. 3) Bella was kind of a bit of an idiot for awhile.

So, if you write a fic that is centered around any one of those points, you are starting out with a small percentage of readers that actually enjoyed that aspect of the book.  Not many people are on the Jacob bandwagon, and then Breaking Dawn turned him into a future son-in-law, so for some of us it’s hard to disassociate that notion and see him as a love interest for Bella.

The big issue with me is I think there is a really fine line when you have Jacob as a love interest in a NM AU story.  If he’s all nice and sweet, it’s hard to read the fic knowing that he is going to get his heart broken once Edward comes back.  The writer really only has 3 options: 1) Kill him off. 2) Make him into a complete dick. 3) Make him a sorry sap and Bella becomes all wishy-washy between Jacob and Edward.  Either of these scenarios are hard to read.

I think a successful NM-AU story doesn’t have Jacob as a love interest.  Or has him as a past interest, but the story is not centered around it.  If you look at Sacrifices by Enthralled, or Rialle, author of Seducing Ms. Swan, these are two key fics where this works.  Jacob was a love interest, they tried it, it didn’t work and Bella has moved on by the time Edward comes back.   Both of these fics were started last year, and the AU world has changed drastically since they were started.  Now... AU fics need to be unique to survive I think.  They need to have a "hook" other than just Edward and Bella getting together.  Like Creature of Habit... there is an underlying plot running alongside the romantic plot.  I think this is really key to make any AU fic work.  There needs to be an element of danger... they're vamps for crying out loud! To have just a love story is little boring, use the vampire and werewolves to their potential.  SM had drama and action in all the books(well except BD), this is key to keep it interesting.

Rialle says: This is a really hard question to answer, because I don't really know how my fic became 'successful'. I never sat down and thought to myself 'I'm going to write an NM AU fic!'. When I got into Twilight fanfiction (January '08) I didn't even know it was a genre. I lurked in the fandom and read a lot of fanfic for a couple of months, but I pretty much only read canon from the archive. I barely ever ventured over to and I didn't even know AH existed. When I finally got the idea for 'Seducing Ms. Swan' it was totally by accident. I was sitting in Physics class (which I hate) and day-dreaming (as per usual) when I suddenly thought: Hey, how weird would it be if Bella was Edward's teacher? He's always got the upper hand in their relationship, so he would hate having to give in to Bella's authority. Imagine if she gave him detention?

I know this is pretty lame as far as 'advice giving' is concerned, so I'll pass on a comment from fellow podcasters Caitlin and Danielle: 'If you're going to write NM AU then DON'T PUT 'Edward never came back' in the summary. It puts readers off straight away because it is SUCH a cliche!' .... there you go. My only piece of advice is something I don't adhere to myself :P

PassionForTwilight says: This is a tricky one because there is such a wide variation of popular NM AU's, and it's hard to pick a single, unifying element that leads to success. I think it's crucial that the writer emphasizes the changes that would take place if many years pass with Edward and Bella separated. Bella needs to show dramatic transformation in one way or another. She can conquer certain challenges (broken heart, shy nature, people pleasing ways, etc.) or she can deteriorate, but it needs to be a notable change so that the reader is interested in how Edward, in his seemingly frozen state, will react and and deal with the "new Bella" he's returned to.  

2. Do you plan it out ahead of time...many of these stories really seem to run into trouble once Edward returns. How to you move past this point and keep the plot interesting?

OCD says: It’s interesting that I am answering this question, cause my NM fic is from Edward’s POV.  Bella is gone… so if she makes an appearance in my fic, I only hope that I can keep it interesting.

I think the only way to make it work is to definitely plan ahead.  Having Edward or Bella come back should not be the climax of the story.  If getting them back together is the ultimate climax, then the author should know the story should end within a few chapters.  You can’t just throw in a new subplot that has not been developed just to keep your story going.  Know when your story is ending!  That’s the only advice I can give...know your ending.

Rialle says: I did plan my story out before I started it, but the plot has changed quite a lot since then. The ending is really different and it's a lot more characterisation & angst/drama focused than I ever intended it to be. When I first started writing it I honestly thought that it was going to be light, fluffy and humorous. Not so much!

Edward returns in my very first chapter. I once read that a story should only begin when it becomes absolutely impossible for it not to- i.e. that something so significant happens the story just has to be told. For me, Edward returning was that event. Bella's life has been trundling along for six years without Edward when all of a sudden he comes back and everything changes. All this time she's been trying to rebuild herself and stop being defined by his absence, yet now she he has to try and deal with him suddenly being back on the scene & work out where he fits in her new life. Also, in my fic there's a subplot and a lot of backstory which makes Bella less ready to accept Edward back into his life. So I guess my story never encountered problems at the 'Edward comes back' bit, because it was the trigger of the entire story. I'd be a bit screwed if it all started going downhill in the first chapter!

PassionForTwilight says: Personally, I plan out my stories before I start so that I'm confident I won't write my way into trouble or a jam. That doesn't mean I don't stray off the planned course every once in a while though, because the more I think about the story and its characters, the more they take on a life of their own and do things I didn't expect at the start. To keep the plot interesting, I think it's important to consistently introduce and resolve smaller, subplot points.

thatwritr says: I think the key to making ANY long story work (not just a New Moon AU) is knowing how the story is going to end and (maybe) having a plot to it besides just the reunion or love story.  Even SMeyer did this in Twilight, although she seemed to realize she needed an additional plot only about halfway through the story.  For all the movie's faults, it fixed that problem with SMeyer's plotting by foreshadowing the vampires better before they showed up at the baseball game.  Fanfic stories that have nothing BUT a love story are much harder to write, I think.  I've read some that work, but usually, I want there to be something else going on.

I think knowing where it's going also helps keep me from getting blocked.  I suspect one of the problems with NM AUs that grind to a halt after Edward returns or after Edward and Bella make up is the nature of the genre -- most NM AU authors are writing because they want to FIX something they didn't like in the original ... perhaps it's how fast Bella took Edward back, perhaps it's how melodramatic Edward was, running off to Italy to commit suicide without double-checking that Bella really was dead, etc.  There are a lot of things it could be, but because NM AUs are "fixes," once Edward and Bella are back together -- if that's all there is to the story -- the "umph" is taken out and there's no real reason driving the author to finish if she didn't have a distinct end-point in mind.

That's where I find it really, really helps to have an additional plot so it's not just about the romance, even if that additional plot is as simple as Bella deciding to become a vampire (like how NM ends with the vote).

3. Why did you pick the challenging NM AU Fic to write?

OCD says: Because I can’t write smut so I write canon! Just kidding (not really).

Well, part of me loved the aspect of the talk between Carlisle and Bella at the beginning, and I really thought BD was going to expand on that… but we all know it didn’t.  I really wanted to test Carlisle’s faith and explore the rest of the family’s relationships. The only way to do that was to remove Bella from the equation, because sometimes, Bella just becomes a bitch in a New Moon fic.  She’s bitter, sad, or angry and the story loses focus, and the relationships change too drastically.

The only thing I can say is that we all suffered through NM without Edward, and I personally would rather read Edward’s POV than Bella.  But how do you keep a NM fic interesting, rather than just Edward chasing Victoria and pining over Bella?  I wanted to put some desperation behind it, and have him re-evaluate his life without Bella.  He left her, he made the decision to remove the family from her.  I wanted him to take what he felt when he thought she jumped from the cliff and expand on that.  And also include what her death would mean to the family.  Ok, maybe I go to the extreme, but still, I wanted him to face some consequences for his actions.

PassionForTwilight says: The entire time I was reading the series, I could help but wonder what it would be like if Bella was just a little older and more experienced with life and love. I do not think Edward's age demands a seventeen year old girlfriend. I believe the high school setting was important to Stephenie Meyer because of the YA genre, and it made sense for Bella to meet the Cullens in high school, but I also found it interesting that Edward has been accepted as visually old enough to complete medical school, complete multiple degrees, etc, yet not pursue a slightly older woman. He may be a perpetual teenager, but he has the wisdom, experiences, and soul of someone much older. So, to sum it all up...I chose to write a NM AU so that I could bring Edward back into Bella's life and throw him for a loop when he reunites with a more mature, caring, selfless, and loving woman with a son that owns her heart as well.  

thatwritr says: There are three trends in NM AUs that bug me and which I've really struggled to avoid in my own version.  In the first, Bella and Edward go round and round with one misunderstanding after the other to the point it gets silly -- or they both look really stupid.  UST (unresolved sexual tension) is good, but there are only so many "misunderstandings" I can take.  (This is a trend in more than just NM AUs.  There's this one AH AU that I really like ... except for the constant 's/he put her/his foot in it again' trope.)  

Another issue I wanted to avoid is Bitch!Bella.  I tried to make Bella strong without making her a screaming bitch.  Edward didneed to apologize for leaving her and lying to her -- making decisions about Bella's life for her puts him in the position of her parent, not her boyfriend.  But he also had a point that she was too young to really understand what she might be giving up (at least, IMO she was).  Also, there were things Bella did to him that weren't fair, so it's a two-way street.  Her disregard for his very real vampire limitations when it came to sex put him under a lot of pressure.

The third trend is almost the opposite of the first -- Bella and Edward get together again too quickly.  That was one of the things I didn't like in NM, although I could sort of understand it when I put it in the context of Bella being an insecure teen, and fear from the whole Voluturi episode.  But I've read stories where I thought an older Bella healed from this or that trauma too soon.

4. What is your favorite NM AU Fic (and i would LOVE it if you have a completed one!)

OCD says: Sacrifices by Enthralled

Summary: When Edward left Bella, he did so in the hopes that she would have a happy, human life. What would happen if she did just that, but it turned out that things didn't go as either of them planned? Edward & Bella AU.

Rialle says: My absolute favorite (and the first one I ever read in the genre) is LOST by edwardsoul.

Summary: Edward never came back. 7 years later, Bella's a tough, heartless corporate girl in NYC who is about to take down CCORP. Who owns it? Who is the mysterious "C"? She will find out, and she will destroy him. What will happen when she finds out who "C" is?

It's complete (!) and has inspired me so much. Very well written and true to character!

My second would have to be 'An Unexpected Life' by tekhne.

Summary: Jacob stopped Bella from jumping. Edward eventually returns, but has some trouble finding Bella. AU, BxJ.

It's Jacob/Bella but has 1,356 reviews which is absolutely unheard of for a fic of that pairing. I love it because, well, it's beautiful. Incredible. So well written with a Jacob I absolutely adore and a truly believable alternative to what happened in the series. The only downside is that it's almost certainly been abandoned- it was last updated over a year ago. It's a shame because it could only have been, what, four chapters away from completion?

PassionForTwilight says: I absolutely adore "Irritable, Grizzly Adams" by Caligula42. It's no secret. It's amazing, and while it's not complete, it's in a wonderful place and in no way lacking resolution.

thatwritr says: Caligula's Irritable, Grizzly Adams, which isn't finished yet, sorry. :-(

One trend I notice with the above authors is that they really are breaking out from the “What if Edward Never Came Back…” idea.  Each one of these authors is dealing with other plots that are pivotal to the whole story. An apocalypse, death and disability, the reversal of power between our leading characters, and substantial growth for Bella as she matures.

Edward and Bella can not hold this story together on their own, even Stephenie Meyer knew this. James and Victoria, Jacob and the Wolf pack, Jessica, Mike and the others all made the stories fuller and more interesting.  So if you are an author who is writing a NM/AU right now or considering it understand that we love this idea and want to read more, but please plot it out, please have an ending before you begin, and PLEASE write it to completion.  It’s not too much to ask…right?
Angel/edwardzukorocks is an admin for this blog, writes for the Twilight fandom, and splits her time dreaming of Rob and David. Rob. David. Rob. David. Rob. David. She loves glitter, the FF stat page, superheroes with subtle homosexual tendencies, and nonsensical, yet admittedly hilarious rants on preachers with lisps.


  1. I have read almost every one of these authors and the mentioned stories and they have done an excellent job with the NM AU theme. I have also read a lot of NM AU stories that flounder like a fish dieing on the shore.

    Excellent article. Thank you all for you time and thoughts.


  2. I think this is the very first time I have commented on the blog. Only for you baby, only for you. ;)

    I love what you've done with this, and how you have taken each of our answers and made it cohesive.

    Okay.... this just made me spit my coffee out.
    "Bella is changed into a vampire and meets Edward again, typically in the distant future. (100+ years later-which these stories never involve flying cars so they never make any sense to me.)" I totally agree!!! Flying cars are a must if it's a 100 years into the future!

    I am going to have to read these rec's from the other 3, because it looks like we all feel the same way. I love what each of them have to say. Thanks for writing this bb, and thanks for thinking of me.

    LONG LIVE THE NM/AU FIC... Well a completed good one anyway.

  3. thanks girls...

    really. i want a flying car.


  4. Anna wears a cape.

    And I like fictional nuclear holocausts. Far more than I should.

  5. I feel like I've read many of the New Moon AU storyline, most if not all were of the Bella goes crazy variety, but you're right, I can't recall if they were finished. Most weren't/aren't.

    Well, there is also one where Edward goes "crazy" that is by AmethystJackson and her collab partner jacyevans. But it's a WIP. I'm enjoying it so far because of that twist.

    I think New Moon AU's are very popular, or at least why I give them the once over, is because you basically get to rewrite canon. Did you hate the love triangle in Eclipse? Did you hate BD? Deleted. And, now you can give Bella and Edward their HEA much sooner (and sometimes in a much more satisfying way). Hated Jacob? Deleted from this story.

    I think that's the biggest appeal. Sure, maybe Victoria and the other vamps are a threat, but it's not the same as the internal and unnecessary drama that was Jacob. IMO.

    (Gah. I'm *really* trying to tone down the Jacob annoyance but I don't think it's working.)

    And if the story has Jacob... well, eventually he's written out *somehow*. Or at least in all the stories I've suffered -eh- read through Edward comes back in at the end. But, I'm not as big of a fan of these stories. Because it's like reading a longer New Moon, and I'd rather not do that.

    On the other hand I don't mind Bella with other characters like in Nice Catch, but perhaps that is because of the way it is written.

    But, the other main reason I love the New Moon AU is because, for the stories I love most, it's because with whatever action/conflict/threat the author has conceived, it's also an emotional journey. How exactly does that healing take place? How is forgiveness reached? That pivotal conversation or conversations between Edward and Bella.

    That is why I read the AUs. I'm always interested to see how authors approach this.

  6. Sillybella's 'Peonies' was a NM/AU I really enjoyed.

    I'd never given this subject much thought before. Now I will be more discerning in my NM/AU choices.

  7. I have a NM/AU fic idea. It's outlined and several chapters are out on googledocs, beta'd and waiting for me to pull the trigger on publishing them. I haven't for several reasons. It's very different and I'm really scared of the reception. I love the story idea and both of my betas do as well. I've told the premise to several fic authors (Melissa228 and profmom) and they both like it, but warned me about possible backlash. It's this backlash that has me hesitant, because, you can't stray *too* from canon in AU and have the possiblility of E&B NOT getting their HEA before people riot. It would have been my first multi-chapter fic in the fandom and yeah, I didn't want to get run out on a rail before I got a readership established. Let's be honest. If it's an NM/AU story with Bella as the central character you can't have her just up and stop loving Edward. She's not ready to do that, so yeah, there are some limitations.
    I love AU stories and all the ones mentioned are so good. I keep hoping Sacrifices will get finished and my current AU obsession is Vampire in the Basement my michellephants, with Bloodlines by ooohlalaaa a very close 2nd. I hope the genre continues to grow as while I love the AH fics, I'm missing the vamps.

  8. well, you are right. bella needs time to move on or can't just make her stop loving Edward.

    but, take the risk. others have and it has turned out well. OCD and i talk all the time about how the risk is what makes the story better! and remember you always need to write for yourself first.

    can't wait to see what you've done.

  9. This was a really good article. And quite true. Even in my most obsessive days, I stayed away from NM variety fanfics. Until I wrote my own little one-shot anyway.

  10. I HAVE A FINISHED ONE! I HAVE A FINISHED ONE! I HAVE A FINISHED ONE! Seriously, I do! Can I link it? I'm gonna anyways, because you said I can.


  11. Hmm..Ok. I get what you're saying but I think you are missing some seriously
    good fics out there by sticking to the above scenerios. Not all AU/NM fics
    are Jake/Bella or Edward/Bella when Edward returns. There is a rapidly
    growing wealth of fics that follow the, come on, say it with me
    AG,....Jasper and Bella.

    I have not read any AU/NM fics that have NOT been Jasper/Bella in some way.
    Whether they all end up together at the end remains to be seen in a few.
    However, I highly, highly recommend a few to those looking for increadible
    AU/NM reads without Jake as a main love interest. He might be included in a
    few, but as a peripherial character at most.

    Jasper has so much to offer the saga that was left untapped by SM. Not only
    does he have the most interesting background, sans Carlise perhaps, but he
    has the empathic abilities allowing him to read the emotions, but not the
    reason behind him, thus leading to some interesting situations. Plus, you
    can't tell me it is not hot to have sex with someone that can make you
    orgasim without even touching you!

    I could send you a list of at least a dozen good, decent, if not wonderful
    fics that are AU/NM. But, I will not torture you with them all.

    However, I MUST recommend a few, I need to validate my comments above by
    providing proof, right?

    These are my favorite AU/NM fics and yes, they are all Jasper/Bella.

    I don't know if I can do links, so I will give name/author-they are all
    posted in

    "A Need for Redemption"-DefinatelyStaying (Jasper decides to stay and watch
    over Bella after Edward leaves her in the woods. He sees it as his only shot
    at redemption for his actions - but what if she saves him as completely as
    he saves her? (JPOV) AU/OOC - BxJ)WIP but updating often

    "Golden Moon"-NusiainForks (Edward leaves Bella, but she does not fall
    apart, especially when she finds out that Jasper stayed behind. Their
    growing friendship helps Bella re-build her self-esteem. But with Alice
    waiting for Jasper's return, will Bella find a new love, or will she be
    abandoned again?)WIP but updating often and one of the slowest, but sweetest
    builds ever.

    "Colliding Meteors"-Idreamofeddy Easily one of the best and most popular
    AU/NM fics-complete. Awaiting sequel. Darksper rules in this story, he is
    the cowboy we can imagine him being.

    "Learning to Live Again"-OperaGurl04 WIP but updating often. Sweet story.

    "When Darkness Turns to Light"-Janna Banana
    Will have you in tears at the end. Complete and I believe a sequel in the
    works. Easily one of the best Jasper/Bella stories, hands down.

    "The Air I Breathe"-Journey2005-WIP but updating often. An EXCELLENT take on
    what Jasper might have done after attacking Bella. One of the strongest
    written Bellas ever.

    And that is only a handful of the ones I have bookmarked. If you want more,
    you know where to find me!

  12. julie....a link please?

    as for touchstone's comment.

    i totally admit it i don't really read bella/jasper AUs. for a variety of reasons that are personal choice.

    i think (and this is incorrect on my part) that i consider them more AU than NM/AU.

    And i really wanted to focus on the traditional NM/AU WITH bella and edward and how they are managing it. because these are the ones that struggle the most. It sounds like people do not have as much of a problem completing and plotting J/B fics....

    but thanks for the awesome recs and input.

  13. Thanks Touchstone. =)

    I've missed writing A Need for Redemption, I'm really glad people stuck with it.

    And I agree with you 100% about When Darkness Turns to Light. I'll add the others to my "To-Read" list.

  14. Gravity by Nightshade...she just updated this week and will definitely finish.

  15. I had to laugh when I read this article. The timing is impeccable (for me at least). I just posted the first chapter of my first fic - which is, of course, a NM AU. The comment about writing this type of fic to "fix" something is spot on. In my case I thought the "love triangle" in Eclipse was a bit pathetic - Jacob never really had a chance. So I decided to write a story to explore the choice Bella might have had to make if the playing field was a bit more level. Now, I ship Edward/Bella, but I have to admit I feel Jacob is a bit hard done by in the fandom, and I refuse to make him into either a "sorry sap" or a "complete dick". Hopefully I won't have to kill him off either (I've got an ending planned, and it's not that!).

    As for why I picked the NM AU genre - in some ways I think it's an easy introduction to fanfic. It's close enough to canon to provide structure and strong characterisations, but allows sufficient freedom to explore themes that were ignored or insufficiently developed in the books.

    Anyway, thanks for another great article. It was a great read, and has made me even more determined to make sure I complete my story!

  16. New Moon AU's are my absolute FAV because after reading the ending of New Moon I was VERY frustrated with Bella's unrealistic ability to forgive Edward so easily and just be like "whatever" to everyone and everything that happened to her the months he was away.

    I'm currently working on an New Moon AU "stereotypical(though I beg to differ) what if" fan fic (33 chapters in..and it will be finished in the near future). I guess I may be a little bias (because its the story I wanted to tell), but I think its relatively enjoyable. I get some backlash from it because it is primarily a Bella/Jacob fic and I realize that there are some SERIOUS Jacob haters out there, but he holds a special place in my heart and I just try to portray him in a way that makes him hard not to like (even if its just a little).

    I know the whole "love triangle" is so outplayed, but I am a sucker for it and the drama it ensues--it makes for some good reading.

    Anyway, wow this got a lot longer than I expected, because I can go on a New Moon rant for days, but overall I enjoyed the article and I hope it makes people more open to these types of stories. I plan on checking out some of the stories mentioned above ASAP. Thanks for all the recs.

  17. Sillybella's 'Peonies' was a NM/AU I really enjoyed.

    OMG thank you so much wonkeygirl! I was searching for this fic and kept getting the spelling wrong, and couldn't find it! I was hoping someone would comment with it!

    "There is a rapidly growing wealth of fics that follow the, come on, say it with me AG, ....Jasper and Bella."

    Oh, Val. I can always count on you to keep us J/B diverse!

    "When Darkness Turns to Light"-Janna Banana

    VERY important mention of a great NM AU. Even for the canon E/B fanatics. How can you not love? Angel needs to step outside of her E/B confines, dude. Seriously. She is frightened. E is her behbeh.

    Gravity, definitely an awesome NM AU.

    You know, I have a smidgen of an issue with some of the better NM AUs. I won't name names or anything, but I really despise when E/B's original relationship is denigrated by the characters.

    Like when E/B, in the future, meet back up and downplay what they had as immature and stupid, while trying to rebuild it in a more "adult" manner, which usually just ends up being E still not agreeing to change her, and B being kind of an emotional retard. I think sometimes the authors try to convey that Bella and Edward have grown, but by doing so, they attack the original connection they'd had, and portray it is stupid.

    This upsets me.

    That's what we all loved about E/B in the first place, was their mystical, weird kind of magnetic connection. To not only move them past that, but to actually regard it as the "wrong way," just doesn't sit well in my mind, and kind of depresses me.

    I also hate when Edward is still COMPLETELY unrelenting in his decision to change Bella. This is not only unrealistic (because, come on, you know what happened the last time you did this), but also really annoying.

    Even worse, is when they are BOTH against her changing. This alludes to them not being together. That's a downer. Don't wanna read it. NM AU is downer enough without any light at the end of the tunnel.

    I like to see Bella abandoning the notion of changing, but Edward accepting of it.

    OK. I'm done ranting now.

    " In the first, Bella and Edward go round and round with one misunderstanding after the other to the point it gets silly -- or they both look really stupid. UST (unresolved sexual tension) is good, but there are only so many "misunderstandings" I can take. (This is a trend in more than just NM AUs. There's this one AH AU that I really like ... except for the constant 's/he put her/his foot in it again' trope.)"

    IKR?!?!?! I can not STAND this plot. It just keeps going. Edward has an expression on their first meeting that she misinterprets as disgust, or Bella touches someone in a way that Edward misinterprets as intimate. It's just so... UGH. Enough. I like openness. This plot device is overused to an annoying degree.

    "Because I can’t write smut so I write canon! Just kidding (not really)."

    Umm... The Fallout is having smut. End of story, bb.

    "Bella is gone… so if she makes an appearance in my fic, I only hope that I can keep it interesting."

    If? IF? Not if. When. Seriously. Stop freaking me the hale out. WHEN. WHEN. WHEN.


  18. It's called Forever and doesn't go by any of the ideas you listed. Hence why it's a one-shot

  19. Oh, and 'The Truth about Juliet', it's a one shot, so diverges from the original point made which os how often NM/AU's fizzle out because of the limited ways the story can go, but I loved it. It was heart wrenching...hmm this one and 'Peonies' and of course I'm a huge WA fan, guess I must be drawn to the angst and heartfail....
    AG, you're welcome, glad I accidentally helped


  20. AG....first of all, i've read most of When Darkness Turns to Light...and some of the others.

    and yes, Edward is my behbeh..leave me alone.

    Here is my issue with B/j fics. Not only do you have to convince me Bella doesnt love Edward anymore, you have to totally remove him BUT you also have to convince me that Jasper and ALice do not love each other anymore. AND AND, then you have to convince me that Bella isn't just replacing Jasper for Edward in the first place and she (to quote Spike on BVS) doesn't just "need a little monster in her man".

    all of this is hard for me to swallow. I'm sure some people do it well but I PERSONALLY haven't really gotten into any.

    and really,bb, i love how you come on here and comment and it's longer than my whole article AND you try to turn this into a non-canon pairing subject WHEN AT ANY TIME YOU COULD HAVE BROUGHT THIS UP BEFORE I POSTED.

    damn it. too much tequila.

  21. OMG! BUT TOUCHSTONE DIDN'T REMIND ME! Gah. Chillax, bb. Breathe. It is awesome. This is what comments are for.

    Edward is your beh beh, he is mine as well. I don't like seeing him get shafted either. It's all good.

    To each their own.

  22. You know when I first started reading Twi-fic, I went looking for New Moon AU's...but ones in which he came back of his own volition. I was able to find a fair few, but they would either be carbon copies of one another, have her making out with Jake when he returned, or fizzle out entirely when he arrived.

    As for the never came back plot line, as a whole, I'm with Bella in her New Moon dream. Big fat physical age differences weird me out. When folks can start accusing her of pedophilia, it's time to call that relationship a dud. Just saying...For that reason they're hard for me to swallow, and the bigger the age difference the less likely I am to be able to keep reading. The mental pictures kill me.

    It is, by and large though, an interesting topic, because it is the most prevalent AU starting point in canon. They have fairly set patterns and aside from a few notable mentions, rarely stray from them. And my Lord have those few been over done.

    So that said, when is the next article on Eclipse AU coming out, eh? eh? ;)

    Thanks for the Atlas shout out :)

    - JeesieChreesie

  23. This was a great article, angel.

    I really have to agree with what AG said about certain NM AUs downplaying E/B's initial relationship. That frustrates me. I think it's a cop out to say Edward and Bella were immature and didn't really love each other blah blah.

    Another great NM AU oneshot is gallantcorkscrews' Wayfaring.

  24. I'm always entertained by the E/B community's response to New Moon Au because where I come from, it's the MAJORITY of what we write.

    Yes, I'm one of those "team Jacob" people, and for us the what-ifs of New Moon present a wonderful platform for creation, exploration, and deviation from the typical Twilight plot.

    So when I read that most New Moon AU's weren't well received by the fandom, or went unfinished I stopped short because those figures change drastically when you look at places like Sort of Beautiful, or

    I just think it's funny...

  25. lovely article, angel. wonderful topic.

  26. If I can comment ...? I don't think everybody IS drawn to Twilight because of the weird or mystical aspect of Edward and Bella's love. There are other things I found interesting. In fact, the mystical/magical aspect is one of the things I *didn't* like about the original series, and I'd say that's true for most of the people on my Friend's list who've also read it, at least going by conversations in comments. Of course, my friends-list is self-selecting to people who like and read my own stories, so it's probably no surprise if we have similar views. :-D

    Keep in mind, I don't believe in "OTP"s of ANY kind, in ANY fandom, and never have. Nor have I ever made a secret of that. When I write stories that feature love stories -- including that of established couples like Scott and Jean from X-Men (one of Marvel's "golden couples") -- it's my responsibility as a writer to make it clear WHY this particular relationship works. Love succeeds -- or fails -- for specific reasons.

    So I don't think it's fair to say that all fans (or writers) of Twilight fiction are there for the magic love. We're not. Some of us don't LIKE that, in fact, and want a more realistic relationship. I do understand if people don't like my stories because they don't feature love at first sight. Everybody has likes and dislikes and I'm NOT arguing readers *should* like this or that type of story, by any means. But I did want to drop in to say that there are Twilight fans who aren't in it for the mystical aspect of Edward and Bella, and I don't think that's necessarily somehow a betrayal of the fandom. *grin*

    (I should also note that my stuff doesn't usually feature Edward and Bella except in the background anyway, but a short piece like "Amputated at the Neck" lays out pretty clearly the issues I have with their relationship.)

  27. mini or anyone what does OTP mean?

    It's funny because i kinda do believe in love at first sight and i did like the magical romance thing from twilight BUT, yeah, i gotta have some plot one way or the other...

  28. Oh, well, I should have noted that that is simply *my* opinion of it. I find it really difficult to enjoy stories where authors attack their original connection. It just makes me feel down.

    BUT... that's me. Again, obviously I can't possibly speak for every reader out there. To each their own!


  29. OTP = One True Pairing

    In fandom, it's generally used to mean the ONE pairing that a fan (often a lot of fans) can't see violated, one which is "meant to be" -- and is accepted without qualification because it doesn't NEED to be justified. It just IS.

    See, I get frustrated with this on all sorts of levels, both as somebody who's looking at 45 and is an iconoclast, as well as being an author. I think it's part of an author's job to explain WHY any given pairing works beyond "because it's meant to be." I don't buy "it's meant to be." NOTHING is meant to be. SHOW me, don't tell. First rule of writing. :-)

    As for attacking the original ... this is part of why I have only 4 Twilight stories. On a lot of levels, I don't *like* the original and think Meyer is a weak author. I realize that will probably make me unpopular with Twilight fans, but all I can do is put up my own work. I never critique an author for something I don't do, or try to do, myself. (Whether I succeed is in the eye of the reader.)

  30. Twilight is a strange book for a number of reasons. It is undoubtedly not the best piece of literature ever written, or even the best example of popular fiction. Yet, it is immensely popular and crosses age barrierslike few others. We have people ranging from ten, to God knows hold old reading it, loving it, and in turn writing about it. Which begets the question of why? Many of us probably feel too old to be sharing literature with ten year olds, but we've embraced it so thoroughly, that websites such as this exist.

    I think, for the vast majority, that link *is* the love story. Otherwise, most of the characters are two dimensional and the plots are arbitrary third act attempts that have little appeal. While Meyers may not have proven to us why Edward and Bella, Alice and Jasper, Carlisle and Esme, or Emmett and Rose love each other so very much, we've nonetheless come to accept that. The fun in fanfiction can be expounding upon those relationships and plots. This saga has such holes and potential in its characters that it's left readers with a large sand box to build whatever their hearts content. We can take risks and switch up canon pairs, but I think those stories don't always have the largest readerships because we are so drawn to the original set-up.
    For those who aren't, I have to wonder, why do you read or write Twilight fanfiction? The whole premise is a love story about two people fated to be together. It doesn't matter if that is not your personal belief, but it is the overriding theme of the story.


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