It all began with a dream: The inspiration for Stephanie Meyer’s ‘Twilight’

Stephanie Meyer Twilight author

In honor of Twilight movie franchise coming to a close this week with the release of Breaking Dawn Part 2, we’re sharing how it all began: with author Stephanie Meyer’s dream.

Stephanie writes on her website that she recalls very vividly everything about the first time the idea of the Twilight story came into her head. She had dabbled in writing before, but never really got very far, and hadn’t written a word in six years, since her first son was born (she has three: Gabe, Seth and Eli.) Then she had THE DREAM.

It was June 2, 2003, she remembers this because it was the first day of swimming lessons for her children. She woke up that morning recalling this:

In my dream, two people were having an intense conversation in a meadow in the woods. One of these people was just your average girl. The other person was fantastically beautiful, sparkly, and a vampire. They were discussing the difficulties inherent in the facts that A) they were falling in love with each other while B) the vampire was particularly attracted to the scent of her blood, and was having a difficult time restraining himself from killing her immediately.

Chapter 13 of Twilight is actually is directly inspired by this scene she saw in her head, and for critics of the sparkly vampire motif, Stephanie couldn’t help it, it was in her dream!

Glittery Robert Pattinson Twilight

That day Stephanie couldn’t shake the desire to remember the dream, so she sat down and typed it out feverishly, calling the characters “he” and “she.” After that day she simply couldn’t stop writing, but three months later she still needed names for her characters.

From that point on, not one day passed that I did not write something. On bad days, I would only type out a page or two; on good days, I would finish a chapter and then some. I mostly wrote at night, after the kids were asleep so that I could concentrate for longer than five minutes without being interrupted. I started from the scene in the meadow and wrote through to the end. Then I went back to the beginning and wrote until the pieces matched up. I drove the “golden spike” that connected them in late August, three months later.

Stephanie was in love with the male vampire, so she took the named “Edward” from romantic Victorian era heartthrobs Mr. Rochester from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and Mr. Ferrars from Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. Bella was a name Stephanie had been saving for a daughter, but since she didn’t have a daughter, and felt maternal towards the female character, she anointed her “Bella.”

Bella and Edward became constant companions for Stephanie, they talked to her constantly. As a mom of a baby, she could barely keep up with her regular life because she was constantly thinking and writing about these characters. This deep emersion and genuine feeling she had for them is probably why the characters are able to resonate so deeply to such a large audience.