Midnight Sun is an exercise in character development that got wildly out of hand (as do many of my projects).
While I was procrastinating some real editing work (I’m always at my most creative when procrastinating), I started to wonder how the first chapter of Twilight would read if it were written from Edward’s perspective. There is so much more to his side of the story than there is to Bella’s in that first chapter. After all, Bella only knows that an incredibly gorgeous boy is looking at her funny. Meanwhile, Edward is suffering through one of the most momentous days of his very long life! First there’s the shock and frustration of not being able to hear Bella’s thoughts, then the wild, monstrous reaction to her scent, followed by the incredible expenditure of self-control that it takes to not kill her… His side of Bella’s first day at Forks High School is a hundred times more exciting than her own.
Though I didn’t have time to work on it right away, the idea of letting Edward have his chance to speak stuck with me. I couldn’t shake it. I found myself thinking his words in the middle of the night and jotting down phrases he would use while I was waiting in line at the post office. As soon as I finished my real work, I sat down and let Edward get his say.
Writing chapter one, “First Sight,” from Edward’s point of view was an exciting experience; I actually had my pulse racing as I typed. When I finished, I was truly pleased with my creation. Here was the other side of the story that no one knew. Here was the truth of what Edward had been through. I felt like I knew my Edward even better, and I was sure his dialogue would be more insightful in future novels. The end. Exercise over.
Ha ha. It wasn’t long before I was thinking about Edward in Alaska, Edward upon his return to Forks, Edward’s side of that fateful conversation in Biology… Chapter two started to write itself in my head, while I kept telling myself that I didn’t have time to write a book for fun when I had real books to write. (My mother seconded that opinion—she thinks I work too hard).
But when a story demands to be written, there’s no way to resist. And the more I wrote, the more I became convinced that Edward deserved to have his story told. At first I was planning to post it all here on my website, but I changed my mind for two reasons, the most important being that Edward’s version is much longer than Bella’s—Edward over-thinks everything. I’m not even half way done, and the page count is near three hundred. The second reason that I changed my mind is a little bit silly—I just would really love to have a pretty, matching, bound version of Midnight Sun to put beside Twilight on top of my desk. So I’m going to try to have it published as a complementary novel to Twilight. It will take a while, because I can only work on it between editing stints, but I hope that someday I’ll be able to see Midnight Sun on the bookstore shelves next to Twilight, New Moon,Eclipse, and etc… (Fueling my belief that Midnight Sun is worthy of publishing is my mother’s about face—after reading the first eleven chapters, she thinks it’s magic and says I should go for it.)
And here I was going to write just a short paragraph of introduction. You see what I mean about things getting out of hand?
Because I just can’t wait out the years it will take to reach publication for people to begin to understand Edward, here is my original character development exercise, Edward’s version of Bella’s first day at Forks High School, the first chapter of Midnight Sun*:
Download Midnight Sun Partial Draft
*Please remember this is an unedited rough draft. It is full of typos and all the other flaws that unedited manuscripts have. Enjoy it for what it is, but know that the final copy will be infinitely superior.
This material is copyrighted by Stephenie Meyer. Any retranscription or reproduction is illegal.