Home > Book Walkthroughs, Twilight > Editing (New Moon Ch. 20/21?)

Editing (New Moon Ch. 20/21?)

I realize that editing must be tough. I also realize that there is probably more to it than I realize. Some subtleties in bringing out the writing intent of the author that involves more than just deleting typos and adding conjunctions. That being said I know editing mistakes when I see one and for once this can’t be solely blamed on the author. In fact, depending on how the author writes this could be an occasion where the author is completely free from blame, but this section has a good number of problems so we’ll get to it as we go.

When we last left off, Alice and Bella were in a stolen Porsche heading from the Florence international airport (which doesn’t exist) toward the town of Volterra in an effort to prevent Edward from exposing himself to the Italians thus getting himself killed by the chief vampires. He’s picked this day because it’s the feast of some saint or something who drove the vampires from the town a long time ago. I don’t mind the fake holiday, this is fiction, and for once it’s not divine intervention by the author to get the plot moving (eh, at least it’s not that obvious of a device; would it really matter if there was a holiday or not?). It’s here where we see some sloppy editorial oversight, and some lazy writing.

The duo approach the city gates stopped by a police roadblock trying to wave them off. Due to the holiday the have the city closed off to everyone but tour buses. Apparently in Meyerland, cities are like the planets of Star Trek. One holiday, one people, one thing to do. We can assume that they are taking the main road into the city, the via volteranna, and yes, if there was a parade they might close that road off. Yet, there’s no indication of a parade, and the city isn’t walled as Renaissance towns used to be either. It’s pretty much an open city. We can grant the roadblock but not why or how. What about all the rest of the people that need to do business in the town? There’s a college there as well, stores, restaurants; in other words it’s a real place that people will need to actually go. If the roadblock shut off access to the palazzo that would be pretty reasonable. The St. Patrick’s Day parade doesn’t shut down all of Buffalo, Boston, Chicago, or New York; it just shuts down the parade route and a block around it. Remember too that those are parades that travel through cities much larger Voltera.

Alice pulls up the policeman. It’s sunny outside but luckily the shadow falls on Alice while the light hits Bella. Alice is driving and while we can’t nitpick where the sun is we can certainly gather that Alice is going to have a difficult time talking to the cop. The cop does the cop tap on the glass and Alice rolls down the window halfway, “I saw him do a double take when he saw the face behind the dark glass.”

Why? Is it because her picture had been circulated as a car thief? Is it because she’s as pale and blonde as German but doesn’t smell like one? Is it because she’s young but driving a Porsche? Nope, it’s because she’s pretty. I had forgotten that without vampires in the story the adjective use had dropped considerably, “he wished he had better news for the strikingly beautiful woman.”

Here’s a cop on a shit detail, who is literally falling over himself to please Alice. He should be on his fifth hot girl by now (if you’ve ever had to heard people from a location they didn’t want to go believe me, you start filling in the time by counting either the extremely good or the extremely bad), I somehow doubt that if he did notice he would have have noticed that much in a girl that, remember, used to have no trouble passing for a Junior in high school.

Instead of using her feminine wiles, she bribes the cop. Yes this is an offense in just about every country, but it’s a shit detail and she only wants to get through. Alright, I suppose he doesn’t have a partner, or if he does he can just say it was a local. How much was the bribe? “His face was dazed as he retrieved his hand and stared at the thick roll of money he now held. The outside bill was a thousand dollar bill.”

We know it’s not US Currency she used, what could it have been? It’s not a Euro, they don’t have 1k bills either. This is a long running problem in the book. It should commit to either the real world or a fake one. Make up a country, a language, and a denomination; sure I’ll pick on the book for doing that but only a little bit then I will have to accept it. If you are going to use the real world then use it, don’t give the cop his salary in fake money, just one thousand ought to be enough to get you through a non-emergency road block.

One in the town they have to reach the tower, of which Google maps isn’t too clear on if it exists. I don’t care if it does or does not. Still, someone should, it’s just not going to be me. There’s a good sense of urgency in the next few pages. It actually works well, I would quote it but it’s actually quite long. Long story short, she runs into Edward saving him from stepping into the light. It’s a good thing that ambient light doesn’t set off the sparkles.

They have a brief conversation about whether or not he’s dead, and he replies after noticing Bella, “So maybe this is hell. I don’t care. I’ll take it.”

Yep, it’s hell and you’re stuck with your whiny girlfriend forever. Mwa ha ha ha…if only.

Just previous to that he quotes Romeo and Juliet, again. Which is strange to me because that play, even the stereotype of that play has nothing to do with this story. No one was keeping them apart, aside themselves. There were no gang fights. No one committed suicide, or according to Bella even tried. Sure Romeo was going to step into the light, but that wouldn’t be analogous to anything Shakespeare wrote.

We’re not dead, not yet! But we have to get out of here before the Volturi–

And the chapter should end right here. The issue in chapter 20 is now resolved. See chapters are like little stories and once the little story is over the chapter ought to end as well. We climaxed with Bella saving Edward, we then move to the resolution conversation to give us the cliffhanger that keeps us up for, just, one, more, chapter.

Not here though. This is the sloppy editing I mentioned earlier. We could blame Meyer, but I don’t know how she writes. Maybe she doesn’t do chapters and types everything as one long manuscript. Possible. Although unlikely. Instead of ending here, we are introduced to Felix, another young vampire and a whole slew of the Volturi. It seems that they are upset with what Edward almost did.

Here’s what I don’t understand, and what Bella should be thinking about as they lead her, Alice, and Edward underground to their secret chamber. If they were going to kill Edward for almost exposing them, why haven’t they done it? If they are going to spare him why haven’t they said so? If she’s the reason he broke the rules, why is she still alive? Why isn’t any of this in the next freeking chapter?

The problem is that Meyer did so well in building the tension for the chase sequence through the palazzo that it’s unnecessary to do it again here. We already had the tension, if you save it for the next chapter it builds suspense. It makes you a better writer. I cannot think of a reason that this is done here.

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