Twilight (The Twilight Saga, #1) Twilight discussion


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Good story bad writing? Examples?

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message 1: by Stephen (last edited Nov 21, 2013 04:29AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stephen Anyone else enjoy the Twilight series but have some pet peeves that they wish to vent?

Here are a few of mine. Please feel free to add to the list or refute the ones listed.

1) Loved that Edward saved Bella's life in the school parking lot. Hated that a van skidding across ice would NOT make the sounds described in the text. Definitely written by a writer from a warmer clime. Having witnessed/been involved in a couple "sliding on ice" auto accidents. I know this well enough to be pulled out of my willing suspension of disbelief every time I read this section.

2) Liked that Edward et. al. were a bit frozen in time and kept re-attending high school. Hated that though he was described as a perfect student, his dialogue included grammar errors. e.g. When he asked Bella if she'd like a ride to Seattle... "With who" she asked. "With Myself" he answered. (It should have been "With Me") If you're going to have a character that aces English a score of times, at least let his grammar be correct!


message 2: by Mochaspresso (last edited Nov 21, 2013 05:23AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mochaspresso The fact that Edward's parents were so understanding of his suicide attempt in New Moon over Bella. He essentially attempted the vampire version of "suicide by cop" over losing Bella. Vampires or not, I would think that such a thing would concern any parent. I think it would warrant at least a talking to. New Moon was my least favorite of all the Twilight books in general, but that entire situation with Edward just rubbed me the wrong way. The thing that pisses me off the most is that most of the criticism for New Moon is directed at Bella's character for being weak, when in my opinion, her handling of losing Edward was certainly much better than his handling of losing her. Yes, she did fall into a depression, but she did make attempts to work her way through it. She reached out to someone (Jacob) and she did at least try to live normally (hanging out with Jessica and Mike). It didn't really work all that well, but at least she tried. Edward didn't try at all. He didn't reach out to anyone. He closed himself off from everything and everyone and went to the Volturi to end it all. Yet, Bella is the one who is perceived as "weak".


Mochaspresso Anshita wrote: "Mochaspresso wrote: "The fact that Edward's parents were so understanding of his suicide attempt in New Moon over Bella. He essentially attempted the vampire version of "suicide by cop" over losi..."

Perhaps "understanding" is the wrong word. I just felt that they under-reacted. I felt that what he did was very serious and something that any parent would at least sit their son down and address in some manner. Charlie addressed Bella's unhealthy behavior, or at least attempted to. The point is that someone within the novel addressed the fact that Bella's behavior was not healthy. That didn't really happen in the same manner with Edward. The Cullen's seemed very passive about it. Their response was essentially "Thank you, Bella, for saving him....and welcome to the family!!" They didn't seem to have many misgivings about their son marrying someone that he is willing to kill himself over. I felt that this is something that would typically worry any parent.


Marilyn I'm probably gonna get a lot of flame over this, but I honestly didn't feel like the story is anything special. I mean, we see a lot of romances that incorporate love triangles. Vampire romances aren't very original as well.


message 5: by Rel8tivity (last edited Nov 22, 2013 01:42AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rel8tivity Page 39 of a hardback copy of BD, chapter 3. It's the morning of the wedding. Bella gets up and makes pancakes for Charlie, but she's too keyed up to eat. What happens a few lines down?

He scowled into his cereal bowl and muttered the words "monkey suit" under his breath.

Why's he eating his pancakes in a cereal bowl? Unless he enjoys topping his cereal with pancakes, this is an editorial error.

Another one. J. Jenks. The whole point of that episode was to get counterfeit documents for Renesmee and Jacob. Yet according to SM, the Cullens are skilled computer hackers and forgers. So the page from Merchant of Venice, the trip to Seattle, all of it was unnecessary and should have been edited out.

Makes me wonder if SM even worked with an editor on BD.


Rel8tivity Actually, the worst writing in the Twilight saga is something that gets swept under the carpet a lot: the baby should not exist. This isn't because SM deviated from traditional vampire lore, but because she violated the rules she created herself, when she insisted on writing in a baby.

She said that her vampire's tissues have crystallized into living stone. That's why they sparkle in the sun. As part of that conversion, they no longer experience any growth or change in their bodies. That's why Alice's hair has never grown back from her time in the asylum. This means that they have no more growth at the cellular level.

What does that mean for the story? SM's vampires are sterile. Doesn't matter what nonsense she wrote in The Twilight Guide, she still got it wrong. Here's what she said:

Like with vampire skin—which looks similar to human skin and has the same basic function—fluids closely related to seminal fluids still exist in male vampires, which carry genetic information and are capable of bonding with a human ovum.

The problem is, because of her "no growth and change" rule, there's nothing available to be carried in that venom-analogue seminal fluid. No genetic material means no baby. So in a way, Alice's short hair = no baby.

No statement provided by SM since then has provided any kind of explanation how this can work and still make sense. Her vampires are devoid of cellular growth and change, but still exhibit a process that requires cellular growth? You can't have it both ways. So the majority of Breaking Dawn was built around a huge plot hole.


Jeanie Mochaspresso wrote: "Anshita wrote: "Mochaspresso wrote: "The fact that Edward's parents were so understanding of his suicide attempt in New Moon over Bella. He essentially attempted the vampire version of "suicide b..."

First of all, while the Cullins masqueraded as a family, they weren't actually Edward's parents. It was a group of adults cohabitating and pursuing their own interests. Everyone was glad Bella had saved Edward's life because they loved him like family but not because they were real family as in parent/child.

Second, Edward's reaction differed from Bella's in one critical way--he thought she was dead, not just unavailable. Yes, they both suffered a post-split-up depression and Edward was the weaker of the two there, except he admitted that he was near returning to her while she had worked to move on. There's no real virtue in Bella's decision to move on because she didn't have the option of changing her mind about the split up--Edward was gone.

finally, Edward had a better excuse for his over-the-top reaction--vampires bond emotionally only once and it is forever, at leastin the Twilight canon. While break-ups are hard on humans in Myer's world or the real one, bella's reaction was extreme for any world. Great that she did finally pull out of it, but clinical depression isn't the norm even for teen heartbreak.

All of this doesn't mean I didn't have quibbles with other things, but I do have a different opinion on these at least.
BTW, New Moon was definitely my least favorite of the series, mostly because the emotional reactions didn't track with my observations of how things work in real life. And Edward was missing through most of the book, too.


Kirby I actually hadn't noticed about Edward's grammar not being perfect, but I agree. Now that you've pointed it out, it irritates me as well.

One of my biggest pet peeves has always been that I cannot believe that nobody in this small town notices the very odd, unnatural appearance of the Cullens. They're supposed to not even be related, but they all have basically the same appearance, including an eye color that no one else has? I just can't see this being regarded as normal.

I also don't believe that Carlisle would be able to do practice as a physician without betraying his secret. Doctors have to actually touch people, so how would none of his patients find it odd that their doctor is hard and cold as a rock?

Finally, I hated the entire baseball game situation. I don't really think the physics of the game hold up- like, if the ball is being hit hard enough to make it sound like thunder, why don't the bat and ball disintegrate or something? And then the entire James thing made NO sense to me whatsoever. I saw no reason that Edward couldn't have just picked Bella up and ran her back to the car the instant Alice detected them. If I'm supposed to believe that James would be able to detect her presence anyway- from that distance- and that's why Edward couldn't whisk her away, then how did James not realize she was human the instant he saw her? Why would it take a breeze blowing her scent across however many feet for him to catch on? How could any of them mistake her for a vampire when she has a pounding heart that they should have been able to hear?

Okay, I think I got it all off my chest LOL. Thanks for the chance to vent! :)


Rel8tivity Kirby wrote: "Finally, I hated the entire baseball game situation. I don't really think the physics of the game hold up- like, if the ball is being hit hard enough to make it sound like thunder, why don't the bat and ball disintegrate or something? And then the entire James thing made NO sense to me whatsoever. I saw no reason that Edward couldn't have just picked Bella up and ran her back to the car the instant Alice detected them. If I'm supposed to believe that James would be able to detect her presence anyway- from that distance- and that's why Edward couldn't whisk her away, then how did James not realize she was human the instant he saw her?..."

Good points! A baseball is only tightly-wound layers of yarn, rubber and leather. Even if they use an aluminum bat, the ball would have been destroyed, since they're supposed to be strong enough to push over a tree.

You're right, there were a lot of contrivances going on with James. Remember when Alice has a vision of Bella in the ballet studio, but doesn't see James? According to SM, Alice's visions are driven by people's decisions. Well, I'm sure James didn't decide NOT to trap Bella in the studio. Bella fully intended to sacrifice herself in her mother's place, so that wasn't a decision she rescinded. So Alice SHOULD have seen him there with her, and grabbed Bella so she couldn't run off. Intentionally or not, SM totally flubbed that detail so she could have the showdown in the ballet studio.


Mochaspresso Jeanie wrote: First of all, while the Cullins masqueraded as a family, they weren't actually Edward's parents. It was a group of adults cohabitating and pursuing their own interests. Everyone was glad Bella had saved Edward's life because they loved him like family but not because they were real family as in parent/child.

Second, Edward's reaction differed from Bella's in one critical way--he thought she was dead, not just unavailable. Yes, they both suffered a post-split-up depression and Edward was the weaker of the two there, except he admitted that he was near returning to her while she had worked to move on. There's no real virtue in Bella's decision to move on because she didn't have the option of changing her mind about the split up--Edward was gone.

finally, Edward had a better excuse for his over-the-top reaction--vampires bond emotionally only once and it is forever, at leastin the Twilight canon. While break-ups are hard on humans in Myer's world or the real one, bella's reaction was extreme for any world. Great that she did finally pull out of it, but clinical depression isn't the norm even for teen heartbreak.

All of this doesn't mean I didn't have quibbles with other things, but I do have a different opinion on these at least.
BTW, New Moon was definitely my least favorite of the series, mostly because the emotional reactions didn't track with my observations of how things work in real life. And Edward was missing through most of the book, too.


There were numerous instances in the books where Edward and Carlisle make it quite clear to the reader that even though they are not related by blood, they share a father/son relationship. Yes, they technically were masquerading, but the familial emotional ties were there. Carlisle considered Edward as his adopted son and Edward had the same feelings for Carlisle. Blood ties or not, that is still a parent/child relationship. It was also quite clear that Carlisle and Esme were regarded as the heads of the household. Their parenting styles were clearly not traditional but they did assume that role among the Cullens. So, I have to disagree with you. That bond was there....same as it would be in any other "non-traditional" family (..adoptive, blended etc.)

As for the rest, I just find it interesting that Bella is categorized as "clinically depressed" and that her behavior is not the norm for a heartbreak, yet Edward's decision to commit suicide over his heartbreak isn't categorized as depression or as any mental illness on his part at all and is even considered understandable given the circumstances. This is exactly the double standard between the sexes that I was speaking of.


Jeanie Mochaspresso wrote: "Jeanie wrote: First of all, while the Cullins masqueraded as a family, they weren't actually Edward's parents. It was a group of adults cohabitating and pursuing their own interests. Everyone was g..."

"There were numerous instances in the books where Edward and Carlisle make it quite clear to the reader that even though they are not related by blood, they share a father/son relationship. Yes, they technically were masquerading, but the familial emotional ties were there. Carlisle considered Edward as his adopted son and Edward had the same feelings for Carlisle. Blood ties or not, that is still a parent/child relationship. It was also quite clear that Carlisle and Esme were regarded as the heads of the household. Their parenting styles were clearly not traditional but they did assume that role among the Cullens. So, I have to disagree with you. That bond was there....same as it would be in any other "non-traditional" family (..adoptive, blended etc.)

As for the rest, I just find it interesting that Bella is categorized as "clinically depressed" and that her behavior is not the norm for a heartbreak, yet Edward's decision to commit suicide over his heartbreak isn't categorized as depression or as any mental illness on his part at all and is even considered understandable given the circumstances. This is exactly the double standard between the sexes that I was speaking of."


I don't disagree that there was a bond, even a kind of familial bond, but it was between adults, which is different than a parent with an under-age child. The more important factor was mentioned earlier with the point that no one knew where Edward was so intervention was impossible anyway.

The difference between Bella's and Edward's depressions--and yes, Edward's description of his own reaction was also a clinical depression--wasn't male/female, it was human/vampire and teen/immortal. While I wouldn't call Edward's decision to end his life "rational", knowing he faced an eternity without the person he loved and no ability to love again does make his decision understandable.

When an author creates a paranormal world the reader does have to work to suspend disbelief, and the Twilight world sometimes requires more stretching of that suspension than some worlds do. I usually let myself go and merely enjoy the story for what it was rather than what it logically should have been, but that doesn't mean some things weren't harder to ignore than others. I do understand others' points, but I learned to overlook most of them rather than be drawn out of the story--sometimes a tall order, I admit.


Mochaspresso Jeanie wrote: I don't disagree that there was a bond, even a kind of familial bond, but it was between adults, which is different than a parent with an under-age child. The more important factor was mentioned earlier with the point that no one knew where Edward was so intervention was impossible anyway.

True, but nothing was even done when they returned from the Volturi. As much as I Iove the series, I'm willing to admit that it has some flaws. In real life, Edward and Bella had a highly dysfunctional and unhealthy relationship and no one within the Twilight world calls them on it. The only one who came close to doing so was Charlie. When readers criticize the series, it seems that the majority of the blame for their dysfunction is placed at Bella's feet because she's "weak". Edward can clearly demonstrate his weaknesses and even be self-deprecating yet still, he doesn't typically get classified as weak.


The difference between Bella's and Edward's depressions--and yes, Edward's description of his own reaction was also a clinical depression--wasn't male/female, it was human/vampire and teen/immortal. While I wouldn't call Edward's decision to end his life "rational", knowing he faced an eternity without the person he loved and no ability to love again does make his decision understandable.

Not to me. As much as I liked Twilight, I can't bring myself to say that I can find an attempted suicide like Edward's as "understandable". Which I why I think that if Bella can be categorized as a weak character, then Edward most certainly is as well. Even more so than Bella is.

When an author creates a paranormal world the reader does have to work to suspend disbelief, and the Twilight world sometimes requires more stretching of that suspension than some worlds do. I usually let myself go and merely enjoy the story for what it was rather than what it logically should have been, but that doesn't mean some things weren't harder to ignore than others. I do understand others' points, but I learned to overlook most of them rather than be drawn out of the story--sometimes a tall order, I admit.


That is completely understandable, but I will say that when a fantasy story is very well written, you don't necessarily have to try all that hard to do that, though. I loved Twilight. I gave it high marks, but I wouldn't necessarily go so far as to say that it was "well written".


Mochaspresso Rel8tivity wrote: Another one. J. Jenks. The whole point of that episode was to get counterfeit documents for Renesmee and Jacob. Yet according to SM, the Cullens are skilled computer hackers and forgers. So the page from Merchant of Venice, the trip to Seattle, all of it was unnecessary and should have been edited out.


I don't think J. Jenks role was to simply forge the documents, though. He was an attorney and had the necessary connections to make sure that those documents were in fact actually "legal".


Kirby Rel8tivity wrote: "You're right, there were a lot of contrivances going on with James. Remember when Alice has a vision of Bella in the ballet studio, but doesn't see James? According to SM, Alice's visions are driven by people's decisions. Well, I'm sure James didn't decide NOT to trap Bella in the studio. Bella fully intended to sacrifice herself in her mother's place, so that wasn't a decision she rescinded. So Alice SHOULD have seen him there with her, and grabbed Bella so she couldn't run off. Intentionally or not, SM totally flubbed that detail so she could have the showdown in the ballet studio. "

Ah, yes- that is another good point that I hadn't thought of. Alice should have seen exactly what was going to happen as soon as James came up with his plan (you'd think she'd be concentrating on his future, since he was the danger), or at the very least the instant that Bella decided to go off by herself.


Kirby Mochaspresso wrote: "I just felt that they under-reacted. I felt that what he did was very serious and something that any parent would at least sit their son down and address in some manner. Charlie addressed Bella's unhealthy behavior, or at least attempted to. The point is that someone within the novel addressed the fact that Bella's behavior was not healthy. That didn't really happen in the same manner with Edward. The Cullen's seemed very passive about it."

Another very valid point I'd never noticed. I do agree that Carlisle and Esme were for all intents and purposes the parents of a teenage boy. I will say that- after actually considering it- I wonder if it could be explained away by the fact that no one needed to actually say anything aloud in order to let Edward know exactly what they thought about his behavior. But that may just be me reaching too hard to excuse the oversight, ha ha!


Mochaspresso Kirby wrote: Another very valid point I'd never noticed. I do agree that Carlisle and Esme were for all intents and purposes the parents of a teenage boy. I will say that- after actually considering it- I wonder if it could be explained away by the fact that no one needed to actually say anything aloud in order to let Edward know exactly what they thought about his behavior. But that may just be me reaching too hard to excuse the oversight, ha ha!


Lol. Over-reaching or not, what you said is technically true, though. I forgot about his mind reading abilities. It's a plausible scenario.


Jeanie Mochaspresso wrote: "Kirby wrote: Another very valid point I'd never noticed. I do agree that Carlisle and Esme were for all intents and purposes the parents of a teenage boy. I will say that- after actually considerin..."

Also don't forget that these stories were from Bella's POV. We don't actually know what was said--or thought--to Edward in the privacy of the Cullin home. And I also assert that the perception of Carlisle and Esme as parents to a teenage boy was Bella's. The members of the Cullin clan voluntarily assumed the roles devised for their existence in the human world and they all respected the father figure of Carlisle, but they were in fact adults with the right to make their own choices.


message 18: by Rel8tivity (last edited Dec 03, 2013 01:25AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rel8tivity Mochaspresso wrote: "I don't think J. Jenks role was to simply forge the documents, though. He was an attorney and had the necessary connections to make sure that those documents were in fact actually "legal". "

Well, I took my understanding from these Q&A comments by SM:

"The Cullens are criminals. Extensive forgery is definitely a part of their lives. They have to have new birth certificates, driver’s licenses, diplomas, passports, etc., every few years. Carlisle has to keep changing the dates on his certificates. But he does return to school occasionally. The "kids," too, go to medical school now and then to keep him current. Edward’s been twice, Rosalie once (summa cum laude from Columbia). They do pay taxes–the IRS doesn’t check your photograph, they just want your money. Every seventy years or so, they have to fake a death to make that right. It’s very, very complicated. Lucky for them, they’ve got lots and lots of free time with the no sleep thing. And as for being criminals, well, most of them have committed LOTS of murders…"

"This is a really BIG house. Also, there’s a lot of unaccounted for space on the third floor euphemistically dubbed the “library.” This is where they do things that are technically illegal–like document forgery and computer hackery and all kinds of other shady stuff."


My take-away from this, is they're not likely to be overly concerned with legality. They have the skills and tools it takes to create fake documents and break into government systems to make them "legal" themselves. I'm sure J. Jenks does other things as an attorney (a shady one at that), but Bella wasn't going to him for those services. As this was the thread for bad writing examples, this struck me as one that was unnecessary if the point was just getting fake documents. It could have been edited out to streamline the story.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Bella having to chose: ( She couldn't have both


Mochaspresso Rel8tivity wrote: Well, I took my understanding from these Q&A comments by SM:

"The Cullens are criminals. Extensive forgery is definitely a part of their lives. They have to have new birth certificates, driver’s licenses, diplomas, passports, etc., every few years. Carlisle has to keep changing the dates on his certificates. But he does return to school occasionally. The "kids," too, go to medical school now and then to keep him current. Edward’s been twice, Rosalie once (summa cum laude from Columbia). They do pay taxes–the IRS doesn’t check your photograph, they just want your money. Every seventy years or so, they have to fake a death to make that right. It’s very, very complicated. Lucky for them, they’ve got lots and lots of free time with the no sleep thing. And as for being criminals, well, most of them have committed LOTS of murders…"

"This is a really BIG house. Also, there’s a lot of unaccounted for space on the third floor euphemistically dubbed the “library.” This is where they do things that are technically illegal–like document forgery and computer hackery and all kinds of other shady stuff."

My take-away from this, is they're not likely to be overly concerned with legality. They have the skills and tools it takes to create fake documents and break into government systems to make them "legal" themselves. I'm sure J. Jenks does other things as an attorney (a shady one at that), but Bella wasn't going to him for those services. As this was the thread for bad writing examples, this struck me as one that was unnecessary if the point was just getting fake documents. It could have been edited out to streamline the story.



Bella didn't want anyone to know what she was up to, though. If anyone else knew, Aro would have been able to see just by touching their hand. Bella's was the only mind that he couldn't read. That was part of the reason why she went to Jenks on her own. But, I do agree with you that some of the meetings w/ Jenks could have been streamlined or cut. They didn't have to be described in such a lengthy and detailed manner.


Rel8tivity Mochaspresso wrote: "Bella didn't want anyone to know what she was up to, though. If anyone else knew, Aro would have been able to see just by touching their hand. Bella's was the only mind that he couldn't read. That was part of the reason why she went to Jenks on her own. But, I do agree with you that some of the meetings w/ Jenks could have been streamlined or cut. They didn't have to be described in such a lengthy and detailed manner"

That's true according to the story as written. However, I still see it as a logical inconsistency. If the Cullens are their own forgers and hackers, they had no need of J. Jenks. So there was never any impetus to have a past business relationship with him. To keep this all consistent with her own words, SM would have had to re-write these scenes so Bella could obtain the documents in another way. She could have had Bella find J. Jenks on her own, if she didn't know about the Cullens skills in forgery. But for Jasper to be an old client of his doesn't work with the other statements.


Jeanie Rel8tivity wrote: "Mochaspresso wrote: "Bella didn't want anyone to know what she was up to, though. If anyone else knew, Aro would have been able to see just by touching their hand. Bella's was the only mind that h..."

If you're like me, rarely will another person's take on things sway you unless the author can point out specific incidents and/or early comments when the book was being published.

SM never said--that I know of--but computers and high quality prnters may have made a difference in the Cullins' ability to do their own forging. Additional difficulties may have been involved when travel outside the US was necessary since a higher level of scrutiny and cross-checking might be involved. One other thing, it had been a long time--if ever--since custody documents that could pass legal muster to make Jacob Renesme's guardian.

Regardless, I land on the side of those thinking these scenes should have been cut or shortened to tighten the story.


message 23: by Mochaspresso (last edited Dec 05, 2013 11:13PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mochaspresso Rel8tivity wrote: That's true according to the story as written. However, I still see it as a logical inconsistency. If the Cullens are their own forgers and hackers, they had no need of J. Jenks. So there was never any impetus to have a past business relationship with him. To keep this all consistent with her own words, SM would have had to re-write these scenes so Bella could obtain the documents in another way. She could have had Bella find J. Jenks on her own, if she didn't know about the Cullens skills in forgery. But for Jasper to be an old client of his doesn't work with the other statements.


I don't think forging and hacking is always necessarily enough to make certain documents legal, though and I think that is where Jenks comes in. The Cullens were officially and legally living amongst society. Carlisle was a doctor legally and legitimately working in a hospital. Forged/hacked docs like a fake driver's license and degree/transcripts would not be enough to accomplish something like that. To live the way the Cullen's lived, all of their docs would also need to be made legal and official. For example, docs that need to be submitted to a court (ie legal adoptions/guardianships) or filed with a county/municipality (ie a birth/death certificate) are not necessarily done electronically. That goes beyond simple forging and hacking and that is probably why the Cullens would need someone like Jenks.


Rel8tivity Mochaspresso wrote: "I don't think forging and hacking is always necessarily enough to make certain documents legal, though and I think that is where Jenks comes in. The Cullens were officially and legally living amongst society. Carlisle was a doctor legally and legitimately working in a hospital. Forged/hacked docs like a fake driver's license and degree/transcripts would not be enough to accomplish something like that."

Well, I'm just going with what SM said on the subject. She doesn't mention doing things legally or legitimately and practically emphasizes the criminal side of the Cullens' existence.

And in another age, when paper documents were all that they worked with, I might agree with you. These days, everything is in a database somewhere. When a legal clerk gets a legal document, what do they do? They enter the information into a system. Any paper is scanned and the files stored. They don't even refer to the hard copy anymore, once it's online. If they need a hardcopy, they print what's already on the system.

That's why, if you're willing to suspend the disbelief and go with the idea that the Cullens are skilled hackers, I think they have all the tools they need. Think about what an identity thief does. All they need are certain bits of data and they can become an electronic person. How do they get caught? Somebody notices strange activity in their credit and reports it.

But what if the Cullens create a whole new person, that no one will report, since they won't report themselves? The Social Security Administration has been re-issuing SSNs of dead people. So they hack into the government system, use a SSN that would have been recycled and create a new person. They can register a new birth certificate and issue a passport themselves. They can create and upload electronic versions of those documents. As long as they don't do anything to get flagged on an NSA watch list (Google 'how to make sarin', or search for Al Qaeda websites) they should be fine. :-) If they're as skilled as SM would have us believe, they're just by-passing the clerk handling the paper form, and going straight to the database.

If you can't suspend the disbelief, well, then you can't. But that's my reasoning why I think J. Jenks was unnecessary. About the only purpose I could see of that trip, was to have men drooling over Bella, and for her to step out in a nice car and fancy clothes.


message 25: by Mochaspresso (last edited Dec 08, 2013 09:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mochaspresso Rel8tivity wrote: "Mochaspresso wrote: "I don't think forging and hacking is always necessarily enough to make certain documents legal, though and I think that is where Jenks comes in. The Cullens were officially an..."


Part of what you are saying is partially true, but official court documents go through a specific and set procedure before they end up on a database, though. While it is true that certain things can get by just by inserting it into a database with no actual hard copy documentation somewhere, there are certain legal documents where you do also run the risk of a real life clerk or government employee somewhere being able to definitively say "Wait a minute, I never signed/stamped/processed that. Something isn't right here." This very thing has actually come up recently w/ inmates submitting falsified court documents regarding their cases and sentences.

http://nypost.com/2013/10/21/cops-ple...

There are certain things where it wouldn't be enough to just be a good forger or hacker. There are some things where you would have someone w/ connections on the inside to cover your tracks and any potential loopholes for you. That's probably where Jenks, as a shady attorney, comes in. His role in the story made complete and total sense to me, as did Bella deciding to use him. She was new to the Cullen family. She might not have learned how to do the forging and hacking that they did yet and she also didn't want anyone to know what she was up to.


Rel8tivity Mochaspresso wrote: "Part of what you are saying is partially true, but official court documents go through a specific and set procedure before they end up on a database, though. While it is true that certain things can get by just by inserting it into a database with no actual hard copy documentation somewhere, there are certain legal documents where you do also run the risk of a real life clerk or government employee somewhere being able to definitively say "Wait a minute, I never signed/stamped/processed that. Something isn't right here." This very thing has actually come up recently w/ inmates submitting falsified court documents regarding their cases and sentences."

Funny, I was thinking about the exact same case while considering this discussion. :) The problem with that case was, the penal system failed utterly. They took somebody's forged document and didn't verify it. The proper checks and balances were not carried out. The escapees even checked in with their parole office as was required by law, and the parole office missed it. How did they get caught? Because the victims were notified that the convicts were being released, as part of the victim notification system. They knew it was too soon, and called authorities. Only then was the alert raised.

The reason I have such confidence in the Cullen's supposed hacking skills is because I work as a programmer and a sys admin. Whoever owns the database is king (or queen). With a simple command, you can falsify any electronic records you want. You can cover your own tracks by falsifying the audit trail. If you take control of a system, and use their own application, it's just the same as if one of the clerical staff did it. I've also observed bureaucrats and clerical staff in action. If they pull it up on their screen, there's no further questions asked. That's why I'm willing to accept SM's premise in this case, because once it's in the system they're good to go.

So what official documents would the Cullens need? Birth certificates, driver's licenses, passports and SS cards are the basics. School transcripts they can generate as they go to school, as well as degrees. If they travel, as long as no Interpol/NSA alerts show up when the passport number is scanned in, they're fine. They're trying to fit into normal society, so I can't think of what special legal documentation beyond the main four they're going to need. Death certificates Carlisle could submit through normal channels. They're definitely not going to need a prison release court order. Pretty sure if they do get observed committing a crime, they're just going to pull up stakes and start over somewhere else.

Getting a passport for a child these days requires both parents to show up at the office with the child. This is to prevent one parent or the other from taking the child out of the country in a custody dispute. But the person doing the processing is still just a clerk. No higher authority is required, so I still think hacking the system is sufficient.

Now, remember in New Moon before Bella and Alice leave Forks? Alice asks Bella if her passport is up to date, because she doesn't have time to forge one for her. That was a hint as to the illegal activities the Cullens are capable of, and if Bella was as observent as she was supposed to be, that comment should have stuck. So it's possible that she did know about their forgery activities, and therefore the trip to see Jenks was further unwarranted.

Hope you don't feel I'm being overly argumentive about this. I just find it quite entertaining to discuss stuff like this. :)


message 27: by Mochaspresso (last edited Dec 09, 2013 01:44PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mochaspresso The docs that I was thinking of that might require a lawyer's help and that would definitely have to go through a court to appear to be legal would be things like adoption/guardianship papers for the "kids" and wills and other probate docs after they fake their deaths. Those are not typically submitted to a court electronically. They have to be filed with the court and processed.

Plus, I would think that one would have to be an extremely good hacker who covers all of the required bases to be able fake transcripts that would enable someone to legitimately attend medical school and legitimately pass the necessary background checks and certification process to become a doctor and be legitimately employed in a hospital.

I don't think the point of Jenks was merely forging documents. I think his point was making sure that all bases were covered and those docs were 100% "legit" and able to withstand any level of scrutiny. I agree with you that the Cullens had the technical skills to do a lot of things themselves but I do see the possible need for a lawyer's help sometimes.


Rel8tivity Mochaspresso wrote: "The docs that I was thinking of that might require a lawyer's help and that would definitely have to go through a court to appear to be legal would be things like adoption/guardianship papers for t..."

Even so, I think I'd still give it a guarded 'maybe', and for the following reasons. In The Illustrated Guide, on page 97, it lists Edward's many degrees. Besides two medical degrees, he has graduate degrees in literature, math, mechanical engineering, several languages, art history, international business...and law.

Now, knowing that he has a degree in law, I think it even less likely that the family would engage an outside lawyer. He has the legal knowledge, and can draw up legal documents himself. And I don't believe he has to be a member of the BAR to submit documents. People can get legal forms for things like divorce, and submit them themselves as long as it isn't complicated or contested. As long as he doesn't practice law for other people, he's fine. He can act as his own counsel. So adding legal expertise on top of the forgery and hacking skills, I'd say the Cullens have their official documentation needs covered and don't need to have an existing association with J. Jenks.

I mean, what you've been saying makes sense, if you only look at what was written in Breaking Dawn. It's just that when you take all of SM's thoughts and writings and look at them as a whole world, things don't hold together so well.

In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, this looks like it may be another artifact of the Forever Dawn draft. Kinda like the baby thing I've been harping on; she wrote it first, but when she went back and wrote New Moon and Eclipse, she wrote other characterization that didn't keep the original draft in mind, and created a conflict with the previous material.


Stephanie I believe J. Jenks involvement was to keep Edward from finding out that Bella was getting the documents for Jacob and Renesmee. It had nothing to do with the Cullen's abilities to obtain these documents themselves. It was to keep them from knowing the plan for Jacob to leave with the child if it came to that.


message 30: by Rel8tivity (last edited Dec 10, 2013 12:32AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rel8tivity Stephanie wrote: "I believe J. Jenks involvement was to keep Edward from finding out that Bella was getting the documents for Jacob and Renesmee. It had nothing to do with the Cullen's abilities to obtain these do..."

Hi. Sure, I understand the intent as it was written in BD. The point I'm focusing on, is the way it was presented implied a long-term business relationship with J. Jenks.

What I'm saying, is the things that SM wrote in regards to hacking, forgery and Edward's education make it unnecessary for them to have formed that association in the first place. Can they do it? Sure, but it doesn't make as much sense. If you're doing something illegal, you want as few outsiders involved as you can. The more things you handle yourself, the better because you have less risk of exposure. And can't you see know-it-all Edward wanting to do it himself, anyway? :)


message 31: by Mochaspresso (last edited Dec 10, 2013 04:32AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mochaspresso I understand that the Cullens have the ability to make their own documents without Jenks help. I'm not disagreeing with you on that. I just think he provides help on the other end. Such has having the necessary connections to facilitate getting those docs through various govt systems and agencies. Not every single thing is as simple as hacking a database. I don't agree that it would have been unnecessary for them to need someone like Jenks. You would need some help on the INSIDE to push forged docs through a court system. Yes, people can draft their own wills and divorce papers and submit them. However, those types of papers still need to be prepared properly, submitted to the court and processed accordingly to be deemed "legal", though.

A degree in law is not necessarily the same thing as PRACTICING LAW and knowing/understanding your local court's procedures. People who are as wealthy as the Cullens supposedly were most certainly would not handle their own probates, even if they technically had the ability to. "A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer." An estate worth millions of dollars going through probate with the family acting as their own attorneys and accountants would seem suspect, especially in a small town and the Cullens were all about appearing normal as possible and not drawing attention. Btw, Edward earned those degrees in the PAST. In the Twilight present, he and the rest of the Cullens are teens in high school living with their adoptive parents who are a doctor and a free-lance architect/interior designer. He and the others may have the knowledge to be able to do so, but he cannot technically "BE" a lawyer yet and neither can any of the Cullens based on the identities that they were currently using. That is probably why they would have a relationship with someone like Jenks.

Forging a passport or a driver's license is probably different and very easy for the Cullens to do with no help. However, I can see how they would need help in creating new "LEGAL" identities and documents for Jacob and Renesme. I really do believe that there is more to it than just hacking a few databases.


Stephanie Rel8tivity wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "I believe J. Jenks involvement was to keep Edward from finding out that Bella was getting the documents for Jacob and Renesmee. It had nothing to do with the Cullen's abilities ..."

You are missing my point. I'm not disagreeing with the fact that Jenks is unneeded due to the Cullen's skills overall. However, in this situation, he was necessary since the only person who could know about the documents was Bella. Any other Cullen's involvement in the backup plan to get Renesmee safely out of Forks would have failed because Aro would have been able to read them and discover this. Bella is the only one that was safe from this ability of Aro's.


Stephanie Mochaspresso wrote: "I understand that the Cullens have the ability to make their own documents without Jenks help. I'm not disagreeing with you on that. I just think he provides help on the other end. Such has havi..."

Very true, also I'm sure there are times when needing a lawyer was necessary. Sometimes things do require you to set foot inside a court house. That isn't always possible for the Cullen's. So I believe there may have been a plausible reason for the connection to Jenks.


Rel8tivity Mochaspresso wrote: "I understand that the Cullens have the ability to make their own documents without Jenks help. I'm not disagreeing with you on that. I just think he provides help on the other end. Such has havi..."

Interestingly, I came across some more discrepancies when I was looking things up (yeah, I know, I need to get a life).

In The Illustrated Twilight Guide, there is a timeline, and it lists the following:

1936 The Cullens move to Hoquiam, Washington and make the treaty with the Quileutes.
1950 Alice and Jasper join the Cullens.
2003 The Cullens move back to Forks.

According to the blurb on Jenks, Jasper started working with him in the 1980s. Why would they do that if they're not living in the Seattle area? They move every 10 years or so because of the non-aging thing. I got the impression from the books that the Cullens had not returned to the area since they left Hoquiam the first time. So they wouldn't have been near Seattle in 1980. More world-building details that SM missed.

Now, to me this raises another reason why the Cullens would want to be self-sufficient, and not need the services of somebody like Jenks. They move every ten years or so, so it makes no sense to have to travel back to Seattle, just to get fake documents or legal services. Can they do it? Sure, but it isn't practical. And to have to cultivate a shyster lawyer in every place they live? Also not practical, and opens themselves up to risk of further exposure.

But, I digress. Let me address your comments.

There's no indication as to WHEN Edward took any of his coursework, so you're making an assumption that he's working on old law information. For all we know, that could be the last graduate degree he took, and his law education is the most up to date. We can leave that as an unknown, but the point remains that he has a law degree. As for current and local procedures, what's preventing him from finding out what he needs to know from the mind of an existing lawyer?

What is the difference between a graduated law student, and a newly minted member of the BAR? One of them took a test, and is now licensed to practice in that state. They can give legal advice to a client and represent them. The level of expertise is the same, and with Edward's perfect recall, is there any question that he could pass the BAR if he wanted to? All he'd have to do is read the BAR exam prep materials and I guarantee he'd retain more of it than any human. It's just like his medical degrees; he has the knowledge but he chooses not to practice.

As for needing a lawyer to shepherd their estate through probate, I say it won't happen. The Cullen's have been managing their money into a vast fortune for decades, so they're not going to start mismanaging it now. They'll do the proper trusts and estate planning, and Edward can file those for them. It doesn't require a lawyer for those either.

The brief search I did on adoption and legal guardianship also showed no requirement for a lawyer, except in the case of a contested adoption. And the Cullens aren't going to contest themselves. About the only thing I can see that might require a lawyer is for litigation, and pretty sure the Cullens won't do that because it will attract attention.

Furthermore, I'm thinking you may be making assumptions that Jenks does more than just forge documents, and that he also makes them 'legal'. I don't see any written support for that; all it says in The Illustrated Guide is that he makes a side business in forgery. He learned it from his partner, and took the business over from him when he retired. Bella requested 2 passports, 2 birth certificates and a driver's license. When Jenks gave the documents to her, he only asked her to reassure him that Renesmee wasn't being abducted. There's no mention of any further processing. It doesn't say he does, but it also doesn't say he doesn't. So that's another unknown.

And I think it would also be an easy matter for the Cullen's to establish new identities LEGALLY if they wanted, without hacking or forging. When we applied for a SSN for my kids, the only thing needed was a birth certificate, and to fill out a form. No lawyer was needed. As I said before, Carlisle can issue a birth certificate. Once you have an SSN, you're a real person to the government, whether you have a body or not. Just look at how many dead people still get sent benefits after they die.

Anyway, it looks to me as if we may be at an impasse based on our various assumptions. You feel that there are legal things the Cullens need help with, and I feel they can do just fine by themselves. I see nothing wrong with the Cullens handling their legal and financial matters by themselves, even for a large estate. People used to do it all the time. In the absence of any definitive information from SM, it's not likely we'll get a directive one way or the other. Shall we agree to disagree? :)


Rel8tivity Stephanie wrote: "You are missing my point. I'm not disagreeing with the fact that Jenks is unneeded due to the Cullen's skills overall. However, in this situation, he was necessary since the only person who could know about the documents was Bella. Any other Cullen's involvement in the backup plan to get Renesmee safely out of Forks would have failed because Aro would have been able to read them and discover this. Bella is the only one that was safe from this ability of Aro's."

Oh no, I agree with you. In that situation, as it was written Bella would have needed Jenks. With only the material in BD, that was correct.

I'm just saying that in order to be consistent with other comments that SM made, she should have written it differently. This is the bad writing example discussion, so I'm pointing out a logical inconsistency.


message 36: by Mochaspresso (last edited Dec 11, 2013 05:22AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mochaspresso Rel8tivity wrote: "Mochaspresso wrote: "I understand that the Cullens have the ability to make their own documents without Jenks help. I'm not disagreeing with you on that. I just think he provides help on the oth..."

Just some random thoughts on what you mentioned in no particular order....

While it may technically be done (and I'm not entirely convinced of that, though)....I don't know ANYONE who has legally adopted a child without using an attorney. If there is any legal proceeding where every single t needs crossing and i needs dotting in order for it to go through smoothly, contested or not, it's adoptions. I'm inclined to think that you might be missing the bigger picture of why one needs a lawyer for certain things in the first place. It's sort of like paying someone to do my taxes. I can technically sit down read through the forms and instructions and do them myself if I wanted to...but it's time consuming and not always the smartest thing for me to do. A good tax professional has the experience to do it much more efficiently than I can and knows certain ins and outs that I might not be privy to....such as what things commonly raise a red flag and trigger an potential audit with the IRS since that tax professional deals with them on a regular basis. I think the same is true of attorneys.

Sure, we can agree to disagree.....although, I will say that to get the SSN for your daughter, you had to give that form that you filled out and the original birth certificate (...I assume that it also had to be an official one with a raised seal...) to someone else to process and I'm guessing that was something that you likely did during the day.....something the Cullen's might not always be able to or desire to do. I think the point of Jenks is no forms to fill out and no visits to govt offices or agencies on your end and all of your requested docs are valid and in good order. It could also be that the point of Jenks is convenience. Like you pointed out, Alice says that forging a passport takes time. Maybe they'd rather pay for Jenks' services than spend the time doing it themselves.

Yes, Edward can read minds, but his gift doesn't work like Aro's. He only reads current thoughts as they are occurring. Which is why Alice recites boring speeches when she doesn't want Edward in her head. He can't just go into a lawyer's mind and pick out the info that he needs if they aren't thinking about it at that specific time.

Yes, there is a difference between someone who has been admitted to the bar yet doesn't actively practice law and someone who actually practices. Especially, when it comes to dealing with the courts. Either one can technically do the job you need done but the one with experience is likely to get it done more efficiently, mainly because they don't have to ask, research or telepathically pick someone's brain for that same info.


When I was younger, I used to work as a c/s rep for a credit card issuer. A common complaint call that I used to get would be people complaining that it was taking so long for their online bill payments that they did with their banks to post. The customer was under the impression that since it was being done electronically on their end that it was also being done electronically on our end and shouldn't take long to post. I would then have to go into a whole lengthy schpeel about how when they do an online bill pay, their banks actually batches all of those customer bill pays to us from their customers and periodically mails ONE check to us with a list of names, acct#'s and payment amounts. When we get that check, a data entry person enters the payments into our system and that is why online bill payments take a few days to post.....or in some cases, how a payment may have accidentally posted to the wrong account. Now can someone from the outside hack into that system and post fake payments? I guess so, but eventually something like that would be caught because someone on the accounting side of things is going to eventually notice a discrepancy between the money and the posted payments. A truly sophisticated hacker would need someone on the inside who knows which accounts and systems to hack into to cover all of their tracks. Most hackers are interested in being quick and being long gone before getting caught. The Cullen's were not like that. They wanted to live amongst society as legitimately as they possibly could. I don't think that randomly hacking into systems without any of the back office legwork would have allowed them to do that. Sure, the Cullens could take the time to forge a birth certificate, hack into databases and even break into county offices to get the appropriate seal......or they could pay someone like Jenks who has the necessary connections to do it for them.


Naati Peltz Marilyn wrote: "I'm probably gonna get a lot of flame over this, but I honestly didn't feel like the story is anything special. I mean, we see a lot of romances that incorporate love triangles. Vampire romances a..."

I get what your saying, but there are so much more love triangles now than there were before... I think. Twilight is known, it doesn't mean it has to be special. Stephenie just had an idea that a lot of people liked.


message 38: by Naati (last edited Dec 11, 2013 05:26PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Naati Peltz Rel8tivity wrote: "Kirby wrote: "Finally, I hated the entire baseball game situation. I don't really think the physics of the game hold up- like, if the ball is being hit hard enough to make it sound like thunder, wh..."

No, James took the decision of drowning her to that place.


Stephanie Rel8tivity wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "You are missing my point. I'm not disagreeing with the fact that Jenks is unneeded due to the Cullen's skills overall. However, in this situation, he was necessary since the only ..."

Well being unaware of any comments that she may have said, I have to go with what was wrote in the book. I don't have all the extra books that came out nor did I read any interviews of hers. I've read some of the FAQs on her website but none of them are regarding this.


Stephanie Where is this Q&A with SM everyone is referencing?


message 41: by Rel8tivity (last edited Dec 12, 2013 02:28AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rel8tivity Mochaspresso wrote: "Just some random thoughts on what you mentioned in no particular order."

Same here. :)

I think it's a testament to SM's haphazard world-building that we can have these lively discussions. Continuity is the key to any fantasy world, and if SM had kept things together, we would have less to talk about. :) As it is, she leaves some things that aren't clear, or in the case of the baby, outright contradictory.

I suppose it depends on which part of SM's writings you believe in more: the background information SM wrote and how she portrayed her vampires, or J Jenks in BD.

I believe that SM was trying to portray her vampires as superhuman, and able to easily do things that we humans find hard. Their physical and mental abilities far surpass what we can do, and they have infinite amounts of time to hone their skills and increase their knowledge. Whether it's music, art, science, law...or computer hacking and forgery, they do it better than we do and make it look easy. I believe that is what she meant when she answered the fan about whether the Cullens are criminals.

I think the question is, can you suspend your disbelief that this is sufficient to get by in life, or not? In your case, the answer would be most likely not. I can accept SM's premise in this case, and that's why it seems odd for them to cultivate a relationship with an outsider. While Jenks doesn't know that the Cullens are vampires, he does know that they are supernatural, and that comes very close to breaking the Volturi's prime directive. In fact, that's a subject for another debate: Aro knows about Jenks from his contact with Alice. Will they or won't they have him executed, and the Cullens as well, for exposing the secret?

Yes, I'm aware of the difference between Edward's and Aro's gifts, but it just takes Edward a little more time. He can make an appointment for a consultation, pay the fee, and ask the lawyer what happens if he needs to go through a particular legal process (I've done this myself). Not only will the lawyer tell him what it is, he has to think of the process to speak of it, so Edward can glean whatever he needs there. If he hears the lawyer thinking of an area that's forbidden, he can still ask leading questions, and lead the person to think of the details.

Humans need attorneys and accountants because the tax codes and laws have gotten very complex. They need people whose main purpose in life is to understand those statutes, if their lives are affected by them. BUT - depending on how people live, they may never need to see a lawyer or an accountant their entire life and can handle their affairs themselves. And in all the areas in question (tax law, estate planning, adoption) there's no REQUIREMENT that you use one of those professionals. It's ADVISABLE for us humans to use one, but we're again talking about a super-human, with vast intelligence and resources. Edward reads really fast, doesn't forget a thing, has a degree in law, is very meticulous and has lots of time on his hands to learn what he needs. I'm pretty sure he could handle it. Watching the way Edward was comfortable dealing with the principle and with Ms. Cope, I don't have any reason to believe he would shy away from visiting a court house.

CAN they use someone like Jenks for the time-savings and convenience? I suppose so. However I think the comment by Alice was more about not having time. It would have taken even more time to get a passport from Jenks, than to create one herself. Contact with an outsider also increases their risk for exposure, so they would have incentive from the Volturi not to work with one. And on top of that, the timeline artifact makes me question whether Jenks was an error she just didn't clean up.

One thing though, even going through a lawyer does not absolve you from dealing with forms. There are always forms that require the signature of the client. So since they have to handle the forms anyway, why not do the whole thing themselves? And now that I think about it, I wasn't the one who filled out the form for the birth certificate, it was a hospital worker. I remember because they held onto it while we decided how to spell our kid's name. :) So again, Carlisle could issue it.

Night or day is not supposed to matter with these vampires, only sunny days. So they won't visit the courthouse or a lawyer on a sunny day. They can wait. And I don't know why SM didn't allow her vamps to wear big hats, gloves and long sleeves on sunny days. Lots of people cover up to protect against skin cancer these days.

One thing that people assume about hacking, is that it's purely done with a computer, but that's not the whole picture. Social hacking - gaining information from inside people through subterfuge - is common and greatly contributes to a successful operation. Infecting workstations with viruses that send keystroke sequences to a waiting server can give you not only username & password combinations, but machine identities too. Is it easy? Not for most humans. But these are super-intelligent, highly skilled beings with the patience of a spider and vast amounts of time. You can accept that SMs vampires are superhuman, why can't you accept that they can easily do what we can't?

I'm afraid I don't see where you got the impression that they want to live their lives legitimately. The impression I got from SM's writings is totally the opposite. Instead of a life as wandering nomads, or recluses like the Volturi, they choose to live among humans, and they're willing to do whatever deceipt is necessary to live their life. The way they nonchalantly steal cars, talk about forging documents, lie to hide their true nature, and break speeding laws? It's more like they live outside the law, and they know it. They're constantly vigilant and if somebody in town is suspicious, they move. But that's their life and the cost of living it. To me, that doesn't sound like they want to "go straight" or live legitimately. Or am I missing what you mean?

At the end of the day, it all depends on what your suspension of disbelief will allow. I'm just taking SM at her word that the Cullens are complete criminals, have lots of time to commit their crimes, and won't hesitate to commit them to further their lives.


Rel8tivity Stephanie wrote: "Where is this Q&A with SM everyone is referencing?"

You can find it on Twilight Lexicon, in Personal Correspondence.

Here's the particular quote for convenience:

Q. I’m also really curious as to how no one so far has caught on to the fact that Carlisle, being a doctor (and most likely using the same name) is the same doctor from the early 1900's. I mean, don’t you have to have medical credentials and degrees or can he just make it up? Also, what about the IRS? How are they filing taxes and things like that? or are they using fake identities which would make them criminals...?

A. The Cullens are criminals. Extensive forgery is definitely a part of their lives. They have to have new birth certificates, driver’s licenses, diplomas, passports, etc., every few years. Carlisle has to keep changing the dates on his certificates. But he does return to school occasionally. The "kids, " too, go to medical school now and then to keep him current. Edward’s been twice, Rosalie once (summa cum laude from Columbia). They do pay taxes–the IRS doesn’t check your photograph, they just want your money. Every seventy years or so, they have to fake a death to make that right. It’s very, very complicated. Lucky for them, they’ve got lots and lots of free time with the no sleep thing. And as for being criminals, well, most of them have committed LOTS of murders...


There's a lot of material on this website that is duplicated in The Illustrated Guide, and some that is not.


Rel8tivity Naati wrote: "No, James took the decision of drowning her to that place."

I'm sorry, what did you mean? I don't remember James wanting to drown Bella. Torture her, I think was his intention, to really stick it to Edward.


Jeanie Don't forget that the Cullens had to cope long before personal computers existed, let alone became commonplace. They had to have a system in place for managing, and relying on a single firm of lawyers would lessen the risk--like Dracula and his faithful henchman. Old habits die hard, especially for vampires--think of how technophobic many older people still are--and they likely clungto their tried-and-true methods long after technology allowed them to do it themselves. Jasper was the usual go-between and, whether he could do it or not, he likely liked having the human layer between himself and the authorities.
As time goes on, the Cullins might take over their own creation of documents, but it doesn't seem all that improbable to me that they would have held on to past practices up through the timeline of the books. I mean, think about it, Edward had a huge music CD collection... how does that strike people nowadays? We tend to forget how quickly technology has moved in the past decade alone and that the Cullins' use of it for some things didn't mean they were totally comfortable with relying on it for everything.


Stephanie Rel8tivity wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "Where is this Q&A with SM everyone is referencing?"

You can find it on Twilight Lexicon, in Personal Correspondence.

Here's the particular quote for convenience:

Q. I’m also re..."


Okay that helped a bit, but as I said it was necessary to keep Edward out of the whole process.

As far as some of these other comments, keep in mind that she is trying to write from the POV of a recently turned vampire that is barely 18 and a girl. She has fallen in love with not just one person and had to make a choice that someone even more mature would have a hard time coping with. Then she got married and while on her honeymoon got pregnant. This is a lot to take in for a teenage girl. Take a moment to step inside her mind for a moment and imagine how jumbled it is and then add to that her new family being threatened. There are going to be inconsistencies, in my opinion anyway.


Mochaspresso Rel8tivity wrote: "Mochaspresso wrote: "Just some random thoughts on what you mentioned in no particular order."

Same here. :)

I think it's a testament to SM's haphazard world-building that we can have these livel..."


No that isn't exactly what I meant by legally or legitimately. It's quite clear that the Cullens are not above breaking laws if they have to. What I meant was that they wanted to live among humans and appear to be upstanding citizens. Sort of like a mob boss laundering money, buying a few legit businesses and sending his kids to prep school. To straddle both worlds like that, every single thing can't be hacked and forged. Some things would have to at least appear to be on the up and up. Even the Godfather had a Consigliere.

In any event, I do agree with you about some of the holes in SM world building and how much one is willing to suspend belief. Imo, she shouldn't have tried to explain her vampire's physiology or the existence of Renesme with "science". No one with even the most marginal of interest in Sci-fi was going to buy that explanation anyway. She should have left it alone. Her fans would have accepted it if she'd just if up to their own imaginations. Imo, it seems that she likened Edward to marble and statue and stone and called him cold and dead a lot in the early books and then had to do some retro-active continuity later on in her guide to explain how he manages to do things that he shouldn't be able to do.


message 47: by Rel8tivity (last edited Dec 16, 2013 12:13AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rel8tivity Mochaspresso wrote: "No that isn't exactly what I meant by legally or legitimately. It's quite clear that the Cullens are not above breaking laws if they have to. What I meant was that they wanted to live among humans and appear to be upstanding citizens. Sort of..."

Ah, I see what you mean. It does make sense, but I'd still feel better about it if the Consigliere was part of the family. Even though Tom wasn't blood related, he was still just as tied to the family as Sonny or Michael. He wasn't about to betray the family or Michael.

Yeah, I don't remember where I heard it, but supposedly SM thought her vampires symbolized science, and the wolves symbolized magic, in addition to representing life and death. That may be why she tried to explain with "science." Problem is, her understanding of the science involved was incomplete. You'd think her editor or somebody would ask a scientist to look the stuff over or something.

Totally agree about the retcon in her guide. The differences I see are subtle, but by making those changes, she can make the claim that her vampires aren't COMPLETELY unchanging stone.


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