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Jacob or Edward? 'Twilight' screenwriter can't decide

By JD Cargill, CNN
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Taking 'Twilight' from book to script
  • Melissa Rosenberg has been the screenwriter for all three "Twilight" films
  • Her work on trilogy makes her one of most successful female screenwriters in Hollywood
  • Her resume also includes "The O.C.," "Party of Five" and "Dexter"

(CNN) -- Long before Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson or Taylor Lautner ever stepped foot onto a set or soundstage for the mega-hit "Twilight" films, Melissa Rosenberg was hard at work for months deciding exactly what their characters would say, what they wouldn't say and how they would interact with each other -- she's the film's screenwriter.

When asked about her phenomenal success converting each one of Stephenie Meyer's best-selling novels into a script, Rosenberg has this to say, "I know what I have and I appreciate it. I'm so grateful to the universe."

Rosenberg definitely has a lot to be grateful for. The box-office success of the "Twilight" films makes her one of the most successful female screenwriters in Hollywood history.

According to the Writers Guild of America, 24 percent of film and television writers are women. Rosenberg said she hopes her career and "Twilight" success will inspire more women to join the ranks.

"I'll go to some event, you know signing DVDs or something like that, and there's always one little girl in the audience who loves these books, but will say to me, 'I want to be a screenwriter.' And it just, ah, it fills me up. That someone would be able to look at me and say, 'Wow, someone is doing that, I could possibly do that.' That's an incredible thing."

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And while Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the films, has opted to switch out directors for each installment, Rosenberg has been a staple, telling CNN, "On one hand, it's getting easier, because I know the characters better. ... On the other hand, you have this phenomenon Video going on which on a day-to-day basis I don't encounter, but every once in a while I'll have some inkling of what's going on out there and the pressure is very intense."

Rosenberg is perhaps perfectly tailored to tackle the themes most prevalent in Meyer's works -- youth-inspired passion and bloodthirsty antics. Her previous gigs have included "The O.C.," "Party of Five" and most recently head writer on Showtime's hit series "Dexter."

For the native Californian a strong grasp of the craft of screenwriting has been key to her success. "Dialogue is actually the icing on the cake. The cake itself is about structure and character arcs and creating scenes," she said.

As for the ultimate "Twilight" question -- team Edward or team Jacob -- this scribe refuses to pick sides.

"I go back and forth. Because there's something so attractive about the elegance and sophistication of Edward, the quiet, romantic figure. And yet there's also something very attractive about that passionate, fiery, earthbound guy that Jacob is. And in my life I've gone back and forth."