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Thread: 50 Shades of Grey trilogy goes from fan fiction to Random House

  1. #26
    Girl Detective AW Moderator Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Personally, I think it was done cynically, and I think it is a problem, and I don't like it one bit.

    http://jamigold.com/2012/03/when-doe...-ethical-line/


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  2. #27
    Tired and Disillusioned Momento Mori's Avatar
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    I can definitely see it as an issue that may push some authors who perhaps are not familiar with fandom to be more hardline about not permitting fanfic of their work. Obviously that doesn't make fandom go away, but I can see some IP lawyers making a lot of money out of telling them that if they don't take that attitude then it's possible that they'll be deemed to have consented to the derivative works being released.

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  3. #28
    windblown and wicked SuperModerator Stew21's Avatar
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    thanks for posting that Stacia! Very good post.

  4. #29
    Benefactor Member TrixieLox's Avatar
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    I'm actually reading it (curiosity got the better of me). My biggest issue with it is that the writing's awful. As my friends and I would say, it's 'simples' and very naive, littered with so many beginner errors, eg, a) using names all the time in dialogue, like ‘Ana, what are you doing?’ / ‘Jose, nothing, I swear!’ / ‘But Ana, surely you can see…’ b) using crutch phrases constantly, hers is ‘oh my’! c) overegging the same point and over. That’s just 3 examples. She falls into a bunch more 'first writer' traps. I'm finding it quite distracting. I'm just hoping the kink happens soon to make it all worth it ;-)

    Yup, there's no doubt it's swagger jacking Twilight. I've read Twilight and there are so many similarities to it, it's unreal. THIS is why it's popular. It's appealing to people who want more Edward and Bella with all the kink too. Yeah, sure, there's no vampires in it but really? Twilight wasn't about the vampires, it was about the relationship (if that's what u wanna call it) between sophisticated, intense, over-powering Edward and clumsy, ditzy, ordinary Bella.

    As for whether I see a problem with this? Legally, it stands. There's plenty of books that do this. But it just narks me, as a writer who writers original stuff, that this bird got millions for it. But meh, that's just life.
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  5. #30
    Boldly going nowhere in particular. Jess Haines's Avatar
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    I don't like this implications this has on defense of original works.

    It's one thing to write and post fanfic for fun. Quite another to make a buck off of it.

    It's not like fanfiction lawsuits and legal issues haven't come up or caused problems for authors before. Just not on this large of a scale with regards to money and print runs, I would imagine.
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  6. #31
    delicate #!&@*#! flower Perks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacia Kane View Post
    Personally, I think it was done cynically, and I think it is a problem, and I don't like it one bit.

    http://jamigold.com/2012/03/when-doe...-ethical-line/


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    That's a good article and the linked review. Ouch!

  7. #32
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jess Haines View Post
    It's not like fanfiction lawsuits and legal issues haven't come up or caused problems for authors before. Just not on this large of a scale with regards to money and print runs, I would imagine.
    The difference being that the book, as it stands, is not fanfiction. If it was I think we would have heard back from Meyer's lawyers.

  8. #33
    Toughen up. gothicangel's Avatar
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    What saddens me, here, is that a publisher has chosen to pick up a clone, instead of a work of original fiction.

    It feels as though the industry is growing more risk adverse by the day [if that is possible.]
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  9. #34
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gothicangel View Post
    What saddens me, here, is that a publisher has chosen to pick up a clone, instead of a work of original fiction.

    It feels as though the industry is growing more risk adverse by the day [if that is possible.]
    This. Entirely.

  10. #35
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    I think it's hard to classify fanfic as all in the same category. Say a person writes a Harry Potter fanfic that takes place at Hogwarts with all of the main players and simply adds new twist to the story in Chamber of Secrets fashion. If that person then decides to change the names and slap a different title on it, that's a problem because it's automatically recognizable to any Harry Potter fan for what it is.

    I also have a serious problem with authors intentionally trying to do make money off another author's work. I seem to remember an author not long ago who had written a Twilight fanfic and tried to sell it straight up on ebay or something. It wasn't about the writing--it was about cashing in on the popularity of another author's work and piggybacking a few dollars off of it.

    That being said, I've written a couple of AU fics myself that were so far removed from the canon that they were practically original. I also have a concept for a book that I'm planning to write that's based on a concept a friend and I used ages ago for an AU fanfic. I basically took the same concept and put in new characters, a new world, etc. There is absolutely no way at all period that this book would ever in a million years be considered a fanfic or even based on a fanfic. Hell, the characters in the fanfic version were original characters to begin with.

    I think a lot of writers play around with fanfic and create essentially original stories built around familiar concepts. Some create mostly original things out of sheer lack of competence, but some do it because it's fun and interesting and a "safe" place to play around with writing.

    I guess I don't think a fanfic author turning a fanfic into an original work is necessarily nefarious.
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  11. #36
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gothicangel View Post
    What saddens me, here, is that a publisher has chosen to pick up a clone, instead of a work of original fiction.

    It feels as though the industry is growing more risk adverse by the day [if that is possible.]
    If the fanfic was hugely popular maybe to them it was the equivalent of picking up a self-pub that had sold thousands of copies. I'd actually have assumed they didn't know except for the fact that the publisher in question has a fanfic section on the website.

    However, the risk averse thing seems terribly true sometimes.
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  12. #37
    We Could Be Heroes These Mean Streets's Avatar
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    I haven't looked too deep into this issue, but I'm wondering what the difference is between something derivative like this and something like, say, these:

    Maguire's 'Wicked' and his other books set in Oz, or 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' or 'Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters' or 'Jane Slayre, Vampire Hunter' or tons of other books writers have written in worlds (and with characters) established by other writers.

  13. #38
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by These Mean Streets View Post
    I haven't looked too deep into this issue, but I'm wondering what the difference is between something derivative like this and something like, say, these:

    Maguire's 'Wicked' and his other books set in Oz, or 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' or 'Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters' or 'Jane Slayre, Vampire Hunter' or tons of other books writers have written in worlds (and with characters) established by other writers.
    None of those are based in works still covered by copyright. With 'Wicked', there's even a story about how the author wrote the book and waited until the day after copyright expired to send it to his agent. (Don't know if it's true, though.)

  14. #39
    We Could Be Heroes These Mean Streets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyia View Post
    None of those are based in works still covered by copyright. With 'Wicked', there's even a story about how the author wrote the book and waited until the day after copyright expired to send it to his agent. (Don't know if it's true, though.)
    I understand that, but my point was that derivative stories have been being printed for quite a while now.

    I'm not into fan fiction - have never read any nor had any desire to. But these bestselling stories - to me - are also fan fiction.

    I also don't like authors making money off another's work, but the fact remains that publishers, and authors, have been doing just this for quite a while now.

  15. #40
    The 1st Rule of Write Club: Write! Jamiekswriter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gothicangel View Post
    What saddens me, here, is that a publisher has chosen to pick up a clone, instead of a work of original fiction.

    It feels as though the industry is growing more risk adverse by the day [if that is possible.]
    It's like what the movie industry is doing too. 21 Jump Street the movie is almost nothing like the TV series. Unless they were trying to go for parody like Wil Ferrell's Land of the Lost.

    I totally agree with you Gothicangel. It's really disheartening that the pub picked up the clone, but what's worse is so did the audience
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  16. #41
    Hmmm... I think I disagree. Captcha's Avatar
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    An alpha male singles out an ugly-duckling and finds her inner beauty. Is that what we're talking about?

    I haven't read Twilight OR this series, but honestly, we're always going on about how there are no new plots, no new characters, and it's what authors DO with the plots and characters that matters. We mention Shakespeare, we talk about the X number of plots in the universe, etc. We acknowledge that originality comes in the execution, not the conception.

    As I understand it, if someone hadn't read about the issue, they could read 50 Shades of Grey and not pick up on the Twilight connection at all. To me, that says that the current story is far enough removed from the original. It's no longer fan fiction, if it ever was (the 'Alternate Universe' thing makes fan fiction definitions pretty confusing, for me).

    We have an author writing a conflict that's been written a million times. I have no idea if she does it well; it sounds like she probably doesn't. But I've heard the exact same criticism made of Twilight itself. People want to read characters like these, and lots of authors are giving readers what they want. I don't see a reason to judge this author more harshly than others just because she marketed herself effectively.

  17. #42
    Holding out for a Superhero... Sheryl Nantus's Avatar
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    All I care about is that people are reading.

    When they finish *this* book they'll be looking for *another* book.

    Which, God willing, will turn out to be mine.


  18. #43
    A bit of a wallflower absitinvidia's Avatar
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    All I can say is, if I put a bunch of time into beta reading this and helping the author polish it up, and it got picked up for the big bucks and the published book was 89% similar to my edits, I would be hugely pissed off.

  19. #44
    Hmmm... I think I disagree. Captcha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by absitinvidia View Post
    All I can say is, if I put a bunch of time into beta reading this and helping the author polish it up, and it got picked up for the big bucks and the published book was 89% similar to my edits, I would be hugely pissed off.
    Yeah, personal relationships, whatever, we can guess at those, but we can't know for sure. That's up to the individuals involved to resolve, I'd say.

    But as readers? As other writers? What are we complaining about, really?

  20. #45
    DenturePunk writer bearilou's Avatar
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    Silly me. And here I was leaving my fanfiction on my hard drive and trying to write something completely original when all I needed to do was write fanfic, scrub it clean of fandom references and ship it off for publication.

    I'm doing it wrong!
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  21. #46
    windblown and wicked SuperModerator Stew21's Avatar
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    Captcha, if you go to the links to the review and the link Stacia provided, you'll see what the complaints are.

  22. #47
    windblown and wicked SuperModerator Stew21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearilou View Post
    Silly me. And here I was leaving my fanfiction on my hard drive and trying to write something completely original when all I needed to do was write fanfic, scrub it clean of fandom references and ship it off for publication.

    I'm doing it wrong!
    First you have to post it somewhere that all the fanfic readers can read it for free; they'll create a buzz for you. THEN change the names and ship it off for publication.

  23. #48
    practical experience, FTW KalenO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captcha View Post
    We have an author writing a conflict that's been written a million times. I have no idea if she does it well; it sounds like she probably doesn't. But I've heard the exact same criticism made of Twilight itself. People want to read characters like these, and lots of authors are giving readers what they want. I don't see a reason to judge this author more harshly than others just because she marketed herself effectively.
    I don't think the issue is just the plot. Take Stacia's post for instance....from her perspective, its not even the story so much as how the author capitalized on her fanbase (Meyer's fanbase originally, given they only read her fanfic because it was in the Twilight section) to sell her 'transformed' fanfic in large initial numbers that were critical in gaining her the attention she has thus far. There are a number of factors drawing people's attention here, and the question of derivative works is only one of them.

  24. #49
    DenturePunk writer bearilou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stew21 View Post
    First you have to post it somewhere that all the fanfic readers can read it for free; they'll create a buzz for you. THEN change the names and ship it off for publication.
    Oh! You're right. I will amend my agenda post-haste!
    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeal View Post
    The first draft is a huge pile of clay that you've laboriously heaped on your table, patting it into a rough shape as you go along. From the second draft onward, you'll cut away chunks, add bits, pat and punch and pinch, until you finally have a gorgeous figure of, oh, Marcus Aurelius. Or a duck. But a damn fine duck.
    Quote Originally Posted by KTC View Post
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  25. #50
    Hmmm... I think I disagree. Captcha's Avatar
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    Yeah, I read the linked post, and I understand that this is... I don't know quite what. I'm not really trying to champion the author, just saying that I don't personally have a problem with it.

    Honestly, most of the buzz I'm reading, from non-AW sources, is about how this book has housewives reading porn. Yes, those are aggravating stereotypes in a couple of directions, but I don't think the success of the story can be tied TOO closely to the fanfic community it came out of.

    I don't think Dr. Drew had a show about the book because of its fanfic links, I think he talked about it because it's porn for the mainstream. So this book is successful for a variety of reasons, not just because an ambitious author capitalized on a fanfic community.

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