29 August 2008

Midnight Sun cancelled

According to Stephenie Meyer, Midnight Sun will not be published. As depressing as this is, when you hear, or rather read, her reasons you might understand her decision, or you might still be mad.
The rough draft of Midnight Sun was released illegally and posted on the internet. I wasn't aware of this and when I asked my friends they said they weren't either, but apparently the first 250+ pages were released. This is what Stephenie said on her page,

"As some of you may have heard, my partial draft of Midnight Sun was illegally posted on the Internet and has since been virally distributed without my knowledge or permission or the knowledge or permission of my publisher.

I have a good idea of how the leak happened as there were very few copies of Midnight Sun that left my possession and each was unique. Due to little changes I made to the manuscript at different times, I can tell when each left my possession and to whom it was given. The manuscript that was illegally distributed on the Internet was given to trusted individuals for a good purpose. I have no comment beyond that as I believe that there was no malicious intent with the initial distribution.

I did not want my readers to experience Midnight Sun before it was completed, edited and published. I think it is important for everybody to understand that what happened was a huge violation of my rights as an author, not to mention me as a human being. As the author of the Twilight Saga, I control the copyright and it is up to the owner of the copyright to decide when the books should be made public; this is the same for musicians and filmmakers. Just because someone buys a book or movie or song, or gets a download off the Internet, doesn't mean that they own the right to reproduce and distribute it. Unfortunately, with the Internet, it is easy for people to obtain and share items that do not legally belong to them. No matter how this is done, it is still dishonest. This has been a very upsetting experience for me, but I hope it will at least leave my fans with a better understanding of copyright and the importance of artistic control.

So where does this leave Midnight Sun? My first feeling was that there was no way to continue. Writing isn't like math; in math, two plus two always equals four no matter what your mood is like. With writing, the way you feel changes everything. If I tried to write Midnight Sun now, in my current frame of mind, James would probably win and all the Cullens would die, which wouldn't dovetail too well with the original story. In any case, I feel too sad about what has happened to continue working on Midnight Sun, and so it is on hold indefinitely.

I'd rather my fans not read this version of Midnight Sun. It was only an incomplete draft; the writing is messy and flawed and full of mistakes. But how do I comment on this violation without driving more people to look for the illegal posting? It has taken me a while to decide how and if I could respond. But to end the confusion, I've decided to make the draft available here (at the end of this message on the Midnight Sun page). This way, my readers don't have to feel they have to make a sacrifice to stay honest. I hope this fragment gives you further insight into Edward's head and adds a new dimension to the Twilight story. That's what inspired me to write it in the first place.

I do want to take a moment and thank the wonderful fans who have been so supportive of me over the past three years. I cannot begin to tell you how much each of you means to me. I only hope this note will stop all the confusion and online speculation so that the Twilight universe can once again become the happy escape it used to be. After this incredibly busy year, I am now focusing on spending more time with my family and working on some other writing projects."

Now, there are two sides to this.

My bitchy-selfish-OMG-I can't-believe-she-would-do-this-to-us side says: I'm extremely mad about this. Doesn't Stephenie know that when you are famous and have bestselling material it will get leaked. Your music will be illegally copied and downloaded. Movies and TV shows will be recored in theaters and on television and posted on the internet. Details about your personal life will be in tabloids/newspapers/websites. That's just what happens. I think it's unfair for her to cancel Midnight Sun for that. You can't punish everyone for what a handful (in comparison to the people who didn't read it) of people did. Like I said neither my friends nor anyone else I can think of knew about Midnight Sun being posted on the internet, and because what some people did we won't be able to read it, unless we read the copy Stephenie doesn't want us to read. The last chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows was printed in a newspaper, or newspapers, in London. J.K. Rowling didn't cancel Deathly Hallows. Granted she had already finished it so it wouldn't have affected her writing.

My more understanding side says: Completely understandable. In her position I can't say I wouldn't do the same. She most likely feels worse about this than her fans do. Someone she trusted with the rough draft of Midnight Sun leaked it on the internet. If I trusted someone with an advanced story of a story I wrote and did that I would probably drop the story too, depending on how much was leaked and who leaked etc. etc.

Regardless of how I feel and what I think this is the deal. Chances are Midnight Sun will not be published. If we want to read it we'll have to read the rough draft, which I would have no problem with except for the fact she doesn't want people to read it. We can only hope she picks it up again. Or, at least, some other story that has something to do with Twilight. Maybe short stories, like her extras and outtakes, from other points of views will be posted on her website. Maybe she'll even release a book with all the extra goodies.