Stephenie Meyer's four-book Twilight series has an unofficial and lesser-known companion novel, Midnight Sun, which retells the story of the first novel Twilight from Edward's point of view instead of Bella's. Meyer never completed this book, but a draft version was leaked on the internet and has since been made freely available on Meyer's website. According to Wikipedia, the reason Meyer never finished this project was due to her own change of heart about the story:

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.

It's unclear from this quote exactly how and why Meyer's attitude changed, but clear that it did. Authorial intent aside, however, I'm curious about how, if at all, this change in attitude comes across in the actual text - whether it could be guessed or deduced at all from a close reading.

Are there differences in tone between Twilight and (the published part of) Midnight Sun which correspond to the author's change of heart about the story?

In other words, does the text of Midnight Sun differ in its portrayal of the Cullens, or any other characters, from the text of Twilight?

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    I have to give you a +1 just for coming up with a serious, intelligent question about the Twilight series. Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 12:38
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    @LaurenIpsum Part of the reason I posted this was deliberately to make the point that serious literary questions can be posted about Twilight. I don't really buy into all the hate of that series - it seems kind of disrespectful towards the many people who actually enjoy it.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 13:33
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    Popularity ≠ quality. I think the series is poorly written and plotted and stocked with uninteresting and unbelievable characters, but that's not intended as a mockery of the people who read it. People enjoy all sorts of entertainment which I think is ridiculous and without redeeming merit. I can critique the book/show/movie/celebrity on its own terms. If you agree with my critique, then I've convinced you of my argument. If you disagree with my critique, then you retain your own opinion. That's not disrespectful; it's just discourse. Commented Mar 12, 2017 at 14:07
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    @LaurenIpsum Of course popularity ≠ quality - I didn't mean to imply anything else. I dislike many popular works, and indeed popular culture in general. I'm sure you're capable of a sensible and convincing critique of the Twilight series; I was more commenting on the popular internet meme of going "ha ha, isn't Twilight rubbish" and degrading its fans without really giving any reason for doing so. (Same thing happens with certain politicians - criticising them and their supporters because it's a meme and everyone else is doing it, rather than because of any serious thought put into it.)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Mar 12, 2017 at 14:16
  • I had understood Meyer's quote as coming in a context where her drafts for the story had just been stolen and leaked onto the Internet, which upset her greatly and put her off finishing the book.
    – Torisuda
    Commented Mar 12, 2017 at 20:20

1 Answer 1


There is no change when looking at the draft.

The sequence of events is:
It was an interrupted project laying about1 which got leaked.

"It wasn't something that I was in the middle of working on," she explained. "It was a project that I had been doing before."

When the author found out she was understandably upset and decided to make available the rough draft as is2.

She explained how unhappy she had felt about the work after the leak, and how her plan was to just shelve it entirely.

From Stephenie Meyer's website3:

My first feeling was that there was no way to continue.
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

After that she, for a variety of reasons, never did get back into the story4.

The movies, and the general large ownership of the story changed my relationship to the story. It made it hard for me to write in that world, and that’s why I couldn’t do Midnight Sun, because the characters had gotten away from me.

Until recently: There are some more paragraphs but they are unpublished and again on hold indefinitely. The story appears to be jinxed5.

Q: You said last week at New York Comic Con that E.L. James’ Grey put pause on Midnight Sun.
Q: Will you tell me — you said you wrote a couple of paragraphs — what those paragraphs were?

SM: It was the day that Edward leaves school early right before the weekend with the meadow.

So if and when the story really gets published, it is safe to assume there will be numerous changes.
But there should be no effect like killing off protagonists. That was just a temporary emotion4 due to the leak and has nothing to do with the story itself.

Then the leak happened, which was not a big deal in retrospect, but at the time it made me so paranoid.

1: http://www.mtv.com/news/2559148/stephenie-meyer-midnight-sun/
2: http://www.businessinsider.com/midnight-sun-interrupted-by-fifty-shades-of-grey-spinoff-2015-10
3: http://stepheniemeyer.com/2008/08/midnight-sun/
4: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/stephenie-meyer-talks-twilights-10th-833037
5: http://www.hypable.com/stephenie-meyer-life-and-death-jacob-renesmee-interview/

Some more background & tidbits:

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    Do you really need a list of references at the end as well? It appeared to me that the links in the text were sufficient. Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 9:56
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    @Gallifreyan I'm used to adding both explicit references as well as plain links to compensate for link rot. Habit I picked up at English. Also you cannot believe just how much this whole affair has been written about...
    – Bookeater
    Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 10:02
  • I believe it. At the time this was huge news. Since then, the Twilight furor has mostly calmed down with the movies being over and done with and no new books on the horizon, but for a while it was everywhere. You couldn't walk down the street without passing someone in a "Team Jacob" T-shirt. (Team Edwards were for some reason rare in my area.)
    – Torisuda
    Commented Mar 12, 2017 at 20:23
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    I'm not sure how writing the list of references separately helps with link rot.
    – muru
    Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 6:23

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