twilight*SPOILER ALERT: THIS BLOG CONTAINS REFERENCES TO BREAKING DAWN, THE FINAL BOOK IN THE TWILIGHT SAGA*

Author Jordan Scott recently accused Stephenie Meyer, acclaimed author of the hit Twilight saga, of plagiarizing Scott’s The Noctourne in Meyer’s Breaking Dawn (the final book in the Twilight series).

Meyer’s Breaking Dawn tells the story of modern-day vampires and werewolves, and Scott’s The Noctourne is the love story of a young sorcerer set in fifteenth century France.  Scott sent Meyer a cease and desist letter demanding: (1) that Meyer stop any further publication of Breaking Dawn, and (2) compensation for Scott’s damages.  In that letter, Scott alleges that she began writing The Noctourne in 2003, and published various passages and whole chapters on her website during the drafting process.  The Noctourne was later published in 2006.  Scott asserts that these events provided Meyer with access to The Noctourne prior to publishing Breaking Dawn in 2008.  Scott’s letter includes fourteen pages of side-by-side excerpts from The Noctourne and Breaking Dawn which, arguably, illustrate nearly identical passages between the books.  Scott specifically focuses on the plot and dialogue similarities between The Noctourne and Bella and Edward’s wedding, post-wedding sex, and Bella’s transformation into a vampire in Meyer’s Breaking Dawn.  Scott’s attorney told Entertainment Weekly that he intends to file a motion for a preliminary injunction stopping the distribution of Breaking Dawn.

In response to Scott’s letter, Hachette Book Group, Meyer’s publisher, issued a statement asserting that Scott’s plagiarism claim against Meyer is “completely without merit.”  Hachett further claims that neither Meyer nor her representatives had any knowledge of Scott or The Noctourne.  Hachett assumes that Scott’s plagiarism claim against Meyer is merely an attempt to “ride the coattails of [Meyer and the Twilight saga's] success.”

Before addressing the validity of Scott’s claim, let’s pause to provide a little background for the non-Twilighter readers.  When Meyer first set out to write the Twilight series, Twilight’s sequel was not New Moon, but rather Forever Dawn.  Upon learning that Twilight was accepted for publication, Meyer determined that Forever Dawn would not serve as an adequate sequel.  Meyer quickly finished Forever Dawn, gave it to her sister as a birthday gift, and then began writing New Moon (which was immediately followed by Eclipse, and then Breaking Dawn).

Meyer’s Forever Dawn may offset Scott’s plagiarism claim.  Although biased, Meyer’s fansite recently uncovered facts indicating the authenticity of Breaking Dawn.  Apparently, Breaking Dawn’s basic story is the same as Forever Dawn’s storyline.  Among the many similarities, in both books: Bella and Edward marry, Bella gets pregnant with Renesmee, Renesmee’s birth nearly kills Bella, and Edward transforms Bella into a vampire.  Meyer’s fans additionally found that Forever Dawn was copywritten and, as stated in the copyright, created in 2003, well before The Noctourne’s publication.

This is, arguably, the first genuine plagiarism claim against Meyer.

Laura Robinson

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