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View Full Version : When you make that much money, why bother coming up with a new story? EL James rewrote 50 Shades...



Perks
06-01-2015, 08:54 PM
... from Christian Grey's point of view.

Wow.



Fifty Shades fans eager to get into the head of the books’ mysteriously sexy bondage enthusiast will now have the chance: EL James has written a version of the novel from Christian’s perspective and it will be released this summer.

James announced on her social media accounts that the book, titledGrey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian, will be published on June 18 — in honor of the character’s birthday. According to an announcement from Vintage Books, James writes in Grey that the book “is dedicated to those readers who asked…and asked… and asked… and asked for this.”

http://time.com/3903108/el-james-fifty-shades-of-grey-christian-grey/

Cyia
06-01-2015, 09:12 PM
Considering the novel's roots, it's no surprise that she's done this. Midnight Sun was Twilight from Eddie's POV.

Perks
06-01-2015, 09:18 PM
I wonder what the projections are? Similar intake to FSoG? More? Less? I don't know much about the print erotica market.

Old Hack
06-01-2015, 10:19 PM
I'd like to see FSoG rewritten as a memoir of an abusive relationship. Seriously. It's like a textbook sometimes.

LJD
06-01-2015, 10:33 PM
This has been done for a bunch of new adult romances in the past few years. eg. Easy/Unbreakable (Tammara Webber) and Beautiful Disaster/Walking Disaster (Jamie McGuire)

veinglory
06-01-2015, 10:35 PM
It has also been done by Anne McCaffrey and many other authors. I don't happen to be a fan of it but many people are.

heza
06-01-2015, 10:45 PM
It has also been done by Anne McCaffrey and many other authors. I don't happen to be a fan of it but many people are.

I once wrote from Edward's perspective in a collaborative fanfic/roleplay writing thing, so I actually appreciated the Meyer's piece. But that was academic. I suppose that really hardcore fans are going to eat it up, like they'd eat up anything with even a whiff of FSoG. But given the topic/category, is reading this thing from the male perspective going to have the same appeal for a general audience the way the original did? I admit I've never read erotica from a male viewpoint, but I'm assuming it might mess with the self-insertion viability a little?


I, too, found it all very meta, considering the source material.

Dennis E. Taylor
06-01-2015, 11:21 PM
Uh, when I first read the posting up at #1, I got "EL James has written a version of the novel from A Christian’s perspective", and I have to admit I was kind of curious about how the author would pull that off... :tongue

Robert Dawson
06-01-2015, 11:27 PM
I admit I've never read erotica from a male viewpoint, but I'm assuming it might mess with the self-insertion viability a little?

That's, as it were, one way of putting it.

CassandraW
06-01-2015, 11:32 PM
I'd like to see FSoG rewritten as a memoir of an abusive relationship. Seriously. It's like a textbook sometimes.


I agree.

heza
06-01-2015, 11:39 PM
That's, as it were, one way of putting it.

:tongue

It crossed my mind when I wrote it, but I did it anyway.

Usher
06-01-2015, 11:44 PM
I once wrote from Edward's perspective in a collaborative fanfic/roleplay writing thing, so I actually appreciated the Meyer's piece. But that was academic. I suppose that really hardcore fans are going to eat it up, like they'd eat up anything with even a whiff of FSoG. But given the topic/category, is reading this thing from the male perspective going to have the same appeal for a general audience the way the original did? I admit I've never read erotica from a male viewpoint, but I'm assuming it might mess with the self-insertion viability a little?


I, too, found it all very meta, considering the source material.

Surely if self insertion were the only reason women read romance then M/M wouldn't be so popular with straight women.

heza
06-02-2015, 12:06 AM
Surely if self insertion were the only reason women read romance then M/M wouldn't be so popular with straight women.

Well, I'm not trying to argue that market doesn't exist. I know very well it does. Slash fan fiction is written and read primarily by straight women from what I've seen. I've even read lots of articles about the possible reasons behind it.

I was assuming, though, in this case, the majority of the market (admittedly, going solely by the RL people I know who've read it and those I've seen interviewed on the news, etc.) was made up of straight, female, non-M/M reading, probably not-really-well-versed-in-erotica-at-all readers. And that might be a poor assumption on my part.

Marian Perera
06-02-2015, 01:49 AM
Well, at least there won't be too much "oh my", "holy cow" and "inner goddess".

ShaunHorton
06-02-2015, 01:59 AM
Wasn't FSoG started as a Twilight fan-fiction, that was actually a collaboration by several people writing bits and pieces for it online until James just yanked it and passed it off completely as hers? Or was that mere rumor?

If that is the case, I can't see it being any surprise that the author has too little imagination (or work ethic?) to try coming up with something new and somewhat original.

CassandraW
06-02-2015, 02:04 AM
Well, at least there won't be too much "oh my", "holy cow" and "inner goddess".

One can only hope. Only I have a bad feeling that Anastasia Steele might have shouted that stuff out loud at crucial moments in the action.

It would be pretty awesome if Christian Grey secretly found it annoying. Unfortunately, I think it's unlikely.

Viridian
06-02-2015, 03:55 AM
If fans want it, and she enjoys writing it, then what's the big deal?

Fifty Shades is, erm, not to my taste, but... I dunno. Frankly, I'm curious about how this turns out.

MDSchafer
06-02-2015, 04:46 AM
I've been saying for a while people like what they know. Although, in fairness everything I know about Fifty Shades of Grey come from this video


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iopcfR1vI5I

elindsen
06-02-2015, 04:49 AM
I think it could either be awesome or bad. Like mentioned, does Christian get annoyed? Or even to the abuse question, it could be interesting if he knows he's doing it but has to... If that makes sense. I know a few abusers who knew they were doing it but we're driven by the obsession. Something tells me the novel won't take that dark of a turn, but it would be interesting.

elindsen
06-02-2015, 04:51 AM
To another point, I think readers want it because Christian is this god to them. As a debut I don't know if it would work, but as fan service, which seems to be how it's being marketed, it works.

CassandraW
06-02-2015, 05:12 AM
I've been saying for a while people like what they know. Although, in fairness everything I know about Fifty Shades of Grey come from this video


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iopcfR1vI5I

This made my night. Thank you for posting it!

jjdebenedictis
06-02-2015, 05:24 AM
I'm pretty sure EL James won't sell at the same levels she did with 50SoG with anything except a book that is related to 50SoG.

She might genuinely enjoy the series too much to leave it, or she might just be making a wise financial decision to keep cashing in on her one bestseller property. I can't fault the woman's hustle.

Emermouse
06-02-2015, 06:04 AM
In all honesty, I have been nothing but baffled by the success of this series. I know, no one ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the public, but in this era where you can get all the porn or erotica you want for free on the Internet, I'm baffled that there's still a market for the Fifty Shades series. I'm forced to conclude that the general demographic of that series consists of pre-teen and teenage girls who want the illicit thrill of reading something edgy involving sex but not so edgy that it'll freak them out or women over forty too scared to do a simple Google search. I know unfair generalizations are unfair, but that's just the impression I get.

C.bronco
06-02-2015, 06:16 AM
I only read the lolcat synopsis of Twilight, which was enough for me. I hope no cats are subjected to a 50 Shades version, which is a book I have no interest in reading.

BenPanced
06-02-2015, 06:22 AM
Or it'll be abuse excuse.

Viridian
06-02-2015, 06:42 AM
In all honesty, I have been nothing but baffled by the success of this series. I know, no one ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the public, but in this era where you can get all the porn or erotica you want for free on the Internet, I'm baffled that there's still a market for the Fifty Shades series. I'm forced to conclude that the general demographic of that series consists of pre-teen and teenage girls who want the illicit thrill of reading something edgy involving sex but not so edgy that it'll freak them out or women over forty too scared to do a simple Google search. I know unfair generalizations are unfair, but that's just the impression I get.
It resonated with the general public. That's the one thing books need to do: resonate with people.

Look, I think that book is boring and badly written. I'm a real-life submissive, and the way E. L. James portrays BDSM is outright insulting. But no one should feel ashamed for enjoying a book.

You seem like a pretty cool person, and I'm not trying to start a fight. But please reconsider what you're saying. You're insulting people you've never met just because you don't like their favorite book. Imagine if someone did that to you.

Judge not, lest ye be judged. My favorite book is unrealistic and exciting as hell. It even has some sketchy sexual politics. I ain't ashamed. Not even a little.

You said generalizations are unfair. You're right. They are.

bearilou
06-02-2015, 03:10 PM
In all honesty, I have been nothing but baffled by the success of this series. I know, no one ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the public, but in this era where you can get all the porn or erotica you want for free on the Internet, I'm baffled that there's still a market for the Fifty Shades series.

Fans of 50SOG don't just want erotica. They want 50SOG erotica. So all the free erotica on the internet is not going to scratch that itch with fans.

This book will.


I'm forced to conclude that the general demographic of that series consists of pre-teen and teenage girls who want the illicit thrill of reading something edgy involving sex but not so edgy that it'll freak them out or women over forty too scared to do a simple Google search. I know unfair generalizations are unfair, but that's just the impression I get.

That's the great thing about readers. There are books to hit every segment of the population and there are segments of the population who will read the books out there that hit their sweet spot. And your unfair generalization (and it is unfair) can be applied to just about any genre. I'm sure there are people out there that if they looked at what you liked to read would come up with some pretty unfair generalizations about you.

veinglory
06-02-2015, 06:08 PM
Saying all erotica is the same so people should not have author preferences is pretty denigrating of the genre. Erotica is not just an "any fucking will do" non-genre.

And saying it is abuse supporting is saying that women who want to have this fantasy have a "wrong" fantasy and should be ashamed, which is essentially making judgements about what is in their unconscious minds and fantasy life.

I have zero interest in reading 50 Shades but I object to people being shamed over their interest in reading it or indeed their choice of how/what to write. These are valid creating and consuming choices and I think on balance they should be celebrated.

Jamesaritchie
06-02-2015, 08:44 PM
I haven't read Fifty Shades of Porn, and won't, but the reason writers do this should be obvious. They find it bot lucrative and fun. Either reason is good enough. Both together makes it irresistible.

DanielaTorre
06-02-2015, 09:29 PM
I'm also not surprised considering the source material. With a highly successful fanfic of a highly successful novel, she'd be crazy not to emulate Meyers once again. Because of the leak, Meyers missed out on cashing in on Midnight Sun while Twilight was at its peak. It's a sound financial decision both on her part and her publisher's. I'd feel icky about it if I were her, considering she is once again ripping a page from Meyers' book (pun intended), but neither her reputation nor her bank account has suffered for it, so kudos to her.

ETA: On another note, I hope E.L. James is not attempting to provide further excuse to Christian Grey's actions. I have this sick feeling that she's going to attempt to get into the head of a person that's emotionally and physiologically abusive in order to justify his actions. I don't care about the BDSM part. Women shouldn't be shamed for enjoying it. But Christian Grey borders on predatory and is merely excused on the grounds of his past traumas and the fact that he is wealthy and good looking. This is only going to make him seem more forgivable which is disturbing. This is reminiscent of Nabokov's "Lolita" wherein the narrator is completely unreliable and his interpretation of the object he desires is warped to the reader.

Old Hack
06-02-2015, 11:37 PM
And saying it is abuse supporting is saying that women who want to have this fantasy have a "wrong" fantasy and should be ashamed, which is essentially making judgements about what is in their unconscious minds and fantasy life.

I have zero interest in reading 50 Shades but I object to people being shamed over their interest in reading it or indeed their choice of how/what to write. These are valid creating and consuming choices and I think on balance they should be celebrated.

I disagree.

The books clearly display an abusive relationship. Pointing that out does not condemn anyone who enjoys their fantasies, nor does it shame anyone who enjoyed the books: it's just pointing out that healthy relationships don't work that way.

jjdebenedictis
06-03-2015, 01:46 AM
After hearing how the two lead actors in the 50SoG movie didn't get along, I had a bit of a fantasy about the next director purposefully subverting the story and making use of the fact the leads didn't have good chemistry.

You could portray whatshisface Grey and Anastasia as two people seeing what they want to see in their partner and not what actually is. Done carefully, it could be a creepy little arthouse film about self-delusion, with the actors essentially acting off someone who isn't there. You could keep all the abusive stuff in the film and still show how neither Anastasia nor Christian (right, thatshisface! I forgot his name) sees it as abuse. The climax of the story could be the moment when they both finally figure out the person opposite them is not operating on the same wavelength as they are. It could be a nice little psychological crisis.

I even came up with a suitably creepy line for Christian to use regarding a "goddess" being indestructible, which is why he wants a goddess as a bed partner -- so he can beat the crap out of her without worrying about damage. That would play nicely (evil-nice) off Anastasia's interpretation of what her inner goddess is supposed to be.

It's almost too bad I've never read the source material and don't want to, because I feel like I've the seed of a good fanfiction rolling around in my brain. All the better if I could perpetuate the cycle by filing off the serial numbers and then making a zillion dollars off my crappy fanfic-of-a-fanfic. :D

growingupblessings
06-03-2015, 02:18 AM
I've been saying for a while people like what they know. Although, in fairness everything I know about Fifty Shades of Grey come from this video


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iopcfR1vI5I

"This story's bout as sexy as rabies right now." :roll:

Williebee
06-03-2015, 03:07 AM
I'd like to see FSoG rewritten as a memoir of an abusive relationship. Seriously. It's like a textbook sometimes.
This.

DancingMaenid
06-03-2015, 03:26 AM
Considering the novel's roots, it's no surprise that she's done this. Midnight Sun was Twilight from Eddie's POV.

Not only that, but with fanfic in general, retelling and exploring existing territory is pretty standard. There's a ton of fanfic that explores the canon story from a different perspective, such as focusing on another character or showing "deleted scenes" between the characters. So it's not entirely surprising to me that a writer who got started in fanfic would be inclined to do that with their original fiction. And I know that with my own work, I come up with tons of ideas about my characters that I can't actually use in the main stories because there's no room or they'd deviate from the story too much.

The problem is that fanfic and original fiction are different. The whole reason why a lot of people write fanfic is because the original canon left them wanting more. The canon didn't completely tap all of the potential. I think writing a story that feels complete but that leaves people wanting more is a great accomplishment. The problem is, if you actually do give the readers more, sometimes the magic is lost. There can come a point where you can't live up to their expectations anymore, or you're tapping all the potential, or you're just run out of decent material. Sometimes more isn't better, and there's a lot to be said for stopping while you're ahead.


Fans of 50SOG don't just want erotica. They want 50SOG erotica. So all the free erotica on the internet is not going to scratch that itch with fans.


If anything, I think erotica readers can be especially particular, because many are looking for something that appeals to them, personally. Some people will read just about anything, but for some, a good story or compelling characters aren't going to be enough if the basic pairings, kinks, or tropes involved don't titillate them.

Also, I think part of 50SOG's appeal is that it felt accessible to the masses, including some people who hadn't read erotica much before or who might find a lot of the stuff on free sites too extreme.

Katharine Tree
06-03-2015, 04:11 AM
Frances Hodgson Burnett did it (A Lady of Quality/His Grace of Osmonde). I'm down with this being an appealing project for an author, but she'd better do it really well or it will bore the readers, who already know how the story ends.

jjdebenedictis
06-03-2015, 04:11 AM
"This story's bout as sexy as rabies right now." http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/Emoterofl5.gifThe altered lyrics in the song were the best, weren't they? :D

"Wish somebody would taze me right now."
"Just go and watch a porno."

CassandraW
06-03-2015, 04:13 AM
I've watched it three times now, and giggled a little more each time.

SerenaAkeroyd
06-03-2015, 04:35 AM
Uh, when I first read the posting up at #1, I got "EL James has written a version of the novel from A Christian’s perspective", and I have to admit I was kind of curious about how the author would pull that off... :tongue Excuse it away as flagellation, Angry Guy ;) It might just be possible... :P

Channy
06-03-2015, 07:45 AM
http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mc11vblgIt1qdoo05o1_250.gifhttp://33.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mc11vblgIt1qdoo05o2_250.gif

I wish I could just overload AW with gifs from Community, but I'd probably be banned after a point. This is just... it's... argh. I can get behind milking a franchise, I understand it. I can get not wanting to leave your favourite world behind by revisiting it and bringing it back to the fans. But nothing good will come of this.


ETA: On another note, I hope E.L. James is not attempting to provide further excuse to Christian Grey's actions. I have this sick feeling that she's going to attempt to get into the head of a person that's emotionally and physiologically abusive in order to justify his actions. ... This is only going to make him seem more forgivable which is disturbing. This is reminiscent of Nabokov's "Lolita" wherein the narrator is completely unreliable and his interpretation of the object he desires is warped to the reader.

This is what will happen. We will get this shitty book about a shitty character with a shitty personality and she's going to justify every threat, every argument, every jealous action, every stalking motion that he's made throughout the three books, into just "Oh, well, he's messed up. He's had a rough childhood and his mom was a crackwhore (true story) and so he takes it out on women who look like her, but he loves Bella Ana. He wants to change for Ana. Ana is the light n his bleak black heart and she'll save him. and these are his thoughts so you know that she's saving him."

Except there's no actual saving. There's no strength in Ana. There's no change in Christian. There's only words from E.L. James beating the reader by other characters stating that "Ana is so smart and strong" when she doesn't do a single thing to support it. And that's what she'll do. She'll just beat readers again with internal monologue from Christian's POV about how tortured he feels while he's beating her, and stalking her, because he can't live without her. But the whole thing, it's just toxic.

Urgh.. sorry. These books make me mad.

quicklime
06-03-2015, 09:35 AM
..... This is reminiscent of Nabokov's "Lolita" wherein the narrator is completely unreliable and his interpretation of the object he desires is warped to the reader.


I have not read 50 Shades and am not in a position to judge it. My wife did and mentioned James had some lines she clearly loved, because they, like the characters, came again and again......

that said, I have difficulty accepting that Lolita sensationalized or sympathized with Humbert Humbert. He WAS an unreliable narrator, and we got his story, from his eyes......given that, there was no way to step back and say "er, that's fucked up" besides the reader knowing better, there was no soap-boxing or moralizing in the book, but....it was a love story about a fucked-up guy, TOLD by that same fucked up guy. I found parts of it "I need a shower now" yuck, but the book would have been deeply flawed, even if somehow morally gratifying, of presented in a more "societal" manner. It was a dissection of love, both the realities and the falsehoods we twist it into, as told by a disturbed guy.

Again, the narrator WAS the problem, so the reader has to get the big-boy pants and make some decisions of his own or at some point the author has to intrude and say "wait, though, just so we're clear, this IS wrong...." and of the two, Nabokov took the less false evil and kept the book true to its messed-up narrator.

Samsonet
06-03-2015, 01:16 PM
I just thought of this. You know what would be cool? If Grey's version of the story is wildly different than Ana's. If it turned out she was flat-out lying about a lot of the events of the other books, stuff like that.

My headcanon is that Ana was a con artist out to steal all his money. Obviously she succeeded. Kind of.

That's the real​ story.

Definitely.

matthew86
06-03-2015, 01:38 PM
What's the point of rewriting the same story again? I don't think it's gonna be as successful as previous three.

Usher
06-03-2015, 02:37 PM
What's the point of rewriting the same story again? I don't think it's gonna be as successful as previous three.

It's actually a lot of fun to rewrite a story from a different perspective - maybe she'd already done it.

CassandraW
06-03-2015, 04:11 PM
I have not read 50 Shades and am not in a position to judge it. My wife did and mentioned James had some lines she clearly loved, because they, like the characters, came again and again......

that said, I have difficulty accepting that Lolita sensationalized or sympathized with Humbert Humbert. He WAS an unreliable narrator, and we got his story, from his eyes......given that, there was no way to step back and say "er, that's fucked up" besides the reader knowing better, there was no soap-boxing or moralizing in the book, but....it was a love story about a fucked-up guy, TOLD by that same fucked up guy. I found parts of it "I need a shower now" yuck, but the book would have been deeply flawed, even if somehow morally gratifying, of presented in a more "societal" manner. It was a dissection of love, both the realities and the falsehoods we twist it into, as told by a disturbed guy.

Again, the narrator WAS the problem, so the reader has to get the big-boy pants and make some decisions of his own or at some point the author has to intrude and say "wait, though, just so we're clear, this IS wrong...." and of the two, Nabokov took the less false evil and kept the book true to its messed-up narrator.

Yeah, except James ain't Nabokov, and she pretty clearly isn't clued in to the abusiveness of the relationship.

I did read the book (the first), in a single wine-soaked evening, and the only thing that got me all the way to the end was that I would be better able to mock it if I finished it. It's dull, dull, dull, except for the parts where I snorted out loud at the dialogue, or became disturbed by the abusiveness of the relationship. Sexy as rabies, indeed. There's much better erotica out there -- I really don't get why this, of all things, took off.

heza
06-03-2015, 08:27 PM
I just thought of this. You know what would be cool? If Grey's version of the story is wildly different than Ana's. If it turned out she was flat-out lying about a lot of the events of the other books, stuff like that.

I think that's what a different writer would be able to do with it but not James. This book is going to appeal to the fans of her previous work, those who mostly accept her version of Christian. If she rewrites the story from his perspective and his perspective is completely different from what her fans bought into from Ana's POV, that's not going to go over well. I think her fans would feel betrayed... would think Christian had been betrayed.



I disagree.

The books clearly display an abusive relationship. Pointing that out does not condemn anyone who enjoys their fantasies, nor does it shame anyone who enjoyed the books: it's just pointing out that healthy relationships don't work that way.

You know, I'd agree with that statement if this had been a YA contemporary novel. I'm not so sure I think the same way where erotica is concerned. I'll state, upfront, that I'm not well-read in erotica and that I'm not deep into the community, so I have surface knowledge. There might very well be lots of literary erotica that illustrates the human condition and attempts to teach us lessons about ourselves. By and large, I feel like the erotica I've read has been about exploring sexual fantasies, titillating with taboo yet safe (because they're not real) situations, and turning people on (and/or getting them off).

I think there are a lot of readers of FSoG who love the books, revel in the story, but if presented with the opportunity would probably say, "Oh, no thank you. I really just liked reading about it." In fact, there are likely lots of people who seek out representations of their fantasies who know, full well, their particular fantasy wouldn't actually play out satisfactorily in real life and don't seek it there. (That's not to say that BDSM is necessarily one of those fantasies. Lots of people enjoy safe, consensual BDSM. And some people enjoy other things that your average person wouldn't—for self preservation reasons. Like, someone people might have fantasies about being eaten... very few of that whole number will actually go out and hook up with a cannibal... and yet, some do.)

So I'm hesitant to say that erotica has an onus to portray healthy sexual relationships or even acknowledge what's problematic about unhealthy ones so long as the content is hot. It's fulfilling a very specific need. But it might also be that this is a conversation people want to have because of the mainstream popularity of FSoG among people who don't always understand what erotic is and isn't.

CassandraW
06-03-2015, 09:09 PM
To be clear, it's not the BDSM in the book I found abusive. It's not my thing, but even so, I found the BDSM in the book pretty vanilla. I mean, a rough spanking at the end is as bad as it gets. Mostly he ties her up with a silk tie, tickles her with something, and talks dirty. (Moreover, I do not think consensual BDSM between two adults who know what they're getting into and doesn't cross any boundaries both parties agree to is abusive.)

I yawned, I giggled -- but I wasn't in the least shocked (or turned on) by any of the sex scenes in the book.

It's the way he controls and stalks her out of bed that I find abusive and offensive. For pity's sake, he follows her across the country and intercepts her weekend with her mom, tracks her via her cell phone, tries to control what she eats... This is BEFORE she signs the contract to become his submissive -- she barely knows him. And she's supposed to be a 21-year-old virgin who's never been in a relationship -- indeed, she's allegedly never been kissed before this creep came along.

Basically, his appeal to her is that he's devastatingly handsome and incredibly rich. She goes along with his kink for that reason -- she is never into it. She just wants a normal relationship, which he repeatedly tells her he doesn't want. But she figures she can "fix" him if she just goes along with it. Ick. Ick ick ick.

Yeah. Not cool. Not cool at all.

BenPanced
06-03-2015, 09:15 PM
It really shouldn't matter if it's in YA or general adult fiction: Fifty Shades of Meh portrays the classic examples of an abusive, controlling relationship:



controlling, stalkerish behavior to the point where she has to watch what she says or does, lest she set him off
unequal sexual expectations (she has to be available at any given moment for whatever whim he has, but she doesn't have the same purchase)
cut off from friends and family
removed to unfamiliar territory with no way of getting back home


The fact that it's presented as romantic is the bone of contention.


So I'm hesitant to say that erotica has an onus to portray healthy sexual relationships or even acknowledge what's problematic about unhealthy ones so long as the content is hot. It's fulfilling a very specific need. But it might also be that this is a conversation people want to have because of the mainstream popularity of FSoG among people who don't always understand what erotic is and isn't.
Yes, some people find the content to be exciting but many, many people will be and are put off by the abusive nature of the relationship in the book. When presented with such a situation, readers won't find the content hot; they'll be squicked the hell out and want to put the book down or throw it across the room.

Speaking from personal experience, having been involved in BDSM situations, what's presented in these books is NOT sane, NOT safe, and sure as shit IS NOT consensual. Ana is twisted and manipulated into being his disposable plaything. People have argued she's going into it with her free will but Christian goads her into things by making her feel bad for not playing along because she really, honestly, truly WOULD play these games with him IF SHE REALLY LOVED HIM. He's playing on her guilt and lack of experience to make her do as he wants, regardless of whether she wants to or not. Many Doms and subs I know cringed in horror when these books came out because they are an ill reflection on BDSM.

heza
06-03-2015, 09:40 PM
It really shouldn't matter if it's in YA or general adult fiction:


We're talking about two completely different things, then. I didn't realize that FSoG was officially considered general fiction. I considered it Erotica that just happened to break into mainstream.

Nevermind.

stormie
06-03-2015, 09:51 PM
The writing was poor (I barely made it through the first half without groaning or laughing), but obviously the publisher saw a book the general public would buy. And they did. So now the publisher wants to rake in more money (and why not), the trilogy is already out there, so the next thing is a book as told through the eyes of whatsisname. By this time next month, we'll know if it flopped or not. My bet is that it will.

elindsen
06-04-2015, 12:02 AM
I am kinda curious how Christian is going to narrate the Mrs. Robinson scenes since in the books he's so oblivious to that disaster. Was he really excusing a pedophile (he was underage if I remember?) or was there something else?

DancingMaenid
06-04-2015, 12:05 AM
that said, I have difficulty accepting that Lolita sensationalized or sympathized with Humbert Humbert. He WAS an unreliable narrator, and we got his story, from his eyes......given that, there was no way to step back and say "er, that's fucked up" besides the reader knowing better, there was no soap-boxing or moralizing in the book, but....it was a love story about a fucked-up guy, TOLD by that same fucked up guy. I found parts of it "I need a shower now" yuck, but the book would have been deeply flawed, even if somehow morally gratifying, of presented in a more "societal" manner. It was a dissection of love, both the realities and the falsehoods we twist it into, as told by a disturbed guy.

Again, the narrator WAS the problem, so the reader has to get the big-boy pants and make some decisions of his own or at some point the author has to intrude and say "wait, though, just so we're clear, this IS wrong...." and of the two, Nabokov took the less false evil and kept the book true to its messed-up narrator.

I think with Lolita, even though Humbert's narration is unreliable and he really believes that it's a love story, the story itself is more realistic. Humbert and Lolita don't live happily ever after. Though Humbert loves Lolita, we can see through his own narration that he has an unhealthy fixation on young girls and isn't really able to have a fulling relationship with an adult woman. If I recall correctly, Lolita herself doesn't come across as being all that happy with Humbert or her life, even though she doesn't seem to understand just how wrong things are or just how much Humbert has taken advantage of her. Ultimately, Humbert's abuse of Lolita does have some consequences.

I think that's part of the complaint many people have about 50SOG. It's not that the relationship is unhealthy, per se, but that Christian's abusive behavior doesn't really have consequences. It's still treated like a wish-fulfillment fantasy of a young woman being seduced by a billionaire, and ultimately marrying him. I don't think there's anything wrong with erotica that plays with sexual fantasies that aren't particularly realistic (I read and write plenty of that), but when the narrative doesn't seem to realize that the situation isn't normal, that can lead to some dissonance.

For example, a while back, I read some amateur BDSM erotica about a relationship that was clearly unhealthy and non-consensual. I was enjoying it for what it was: dark erotica centered around a particular fantasy. But then, toward the end, the writer seemed to want to soften things a bit, so abruptly, the characters started talking about safewords and negotiations, and ultimately got married. Saying that the relationship was loving and consensual didn't actually make it so. Not after half the story had been about the dominant character blatantly ignoring the sub's wishes.

Parametric
06-04-2015, 12:07 AM
If I made an absolute fortune from my books and publishers were falling over each other to buy my next project, I'd take great pleasure in writing whatever the heck I liked. Must be a nice feeling.

brainstorm77
06-04-2015, 12:28 AM
Very much this :)

CassandraW
06-04-2015, 12:43 AM
I am kinda curious how Christian is going to narrate the Mrs. Robinson scenes since in the books he's so oblivious to that disaster. Was he really excusing a pedophile (he was underage if I remember?) or was there something else?

Yes, it seemed to me he was justifying a pedophile -- a pedophile who initiated an underage boy into BDSM.

Which perhaps is why he thinks it's ok to manipulate an inexperienced virgin into sexual acts she obviously is not comfortable with, knowing that she succumbs not because she wants the BDSM, but because she hopes she can change him.

Ick. Ick. Ick.

Maybe it's me. I would not feel good about writing this book, however much money it brought me. Seriously.

ElaineA
06-04-2015, 01:02 AM
Maybe it's me. I would not feel good about writing this book, however much money it brought me. Seriously.

It's not just you. This is how I feel about it, too. For me. Not saying ELJ shouldn't, just that I couldn't.

BenPanced
06-04-2015, 04:19 AM
The writing was poor (I barely made it through the first half without groaning or laughing), but obviously the publisher saw a book the general public would buy. And they did. So now the publisher wants to rake in more money (and why not), the trilogy is already out there, so the next thing is a book as told through the eyes of whatsisname. By this time next month, we'll know if it flopped or not. My bet is that it will.

Yeah. Rather than selling 10,000,000 copies, it'll sell "only" 9,000,000.


We're talking about two completely different things, then. I didn't realize that FSoG was officially considered general fiction. I considered it Erotica that just happened to break into mainstream.

Nevermind.
You can buy her books at Target and Wal*Mart. That's probably about as mainstream as it gets.

C.bronco
06-04-2015, 05:47 AM
It is what it is, but that doesn't stop young women from thinking it is something they should desire. People always take things the wrong way as much as they do in a discriminating manner. Before embarking on prep school, I read The Preppy Handbook as if it was a golden key that would guide me through the world I was about to enter, and blend. At age 13, I knew it was a satire, but studied it anyway.

Twenty-somethings are going to be intruiged by FS o G, and it will be good if any of them read our comments and then make determinations for themselves.

benbradley
06-04-2015, 07:46 AM
If I made an absolute fortune from my books and publishers were falling over each other to buy my next project, I'd take great pleasure in writing whatever the heck I liked. Must be a nice feeling.
Nice? I'll bet it's more than a feeling (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_kokTee01k)!

jjdebenedictis
06-04-2015, 09:31 AM
It is what it is, but that doesn't stop young women from thinking it is something they should desire. People always take things the wrong way as much as they do in a discriminating manner. But that's always been true, for young women and young men, for every kind of popular culture for as long as there has been popular culture.

I don't think there's any merit in wishing popular culture would provide wise propaganda to the masses. Every crop of young people muddles through their youth inside a cloud of the previous generation's good and bad attitudes. Seeing both, and being able to discuss the relative merits of each, is where better attitudes get forged. 50 Shades of Grey cast a spotlight on a subject that needed to be discussed, and then it did get discussed, widely and publicly. Who's to say the world would be better if the book had been less problematic? Maybe it was more useful than it was harmful.

CassandraW
06-04-2015, 03:08 PM
What subject needing discussion did FSoG shed light on? BDSM? From what I've heard, people who are into BDSM think the "light" shed by FSoG was false and if anything, harmful.

Viridian
06-04-2015, 06:58 PM
But that's always been true, for young women and young men, for every kind of popular culture for as long as there has been popular culture.
Sweet Jesus. Thank you.

Boys do not need to be saved from violent videogames.

Men don't need to be saved from unrealistic porn.

Why do we need to save women from romance novels?

heza
06-04-2015, 09:20 PM
You can buy her books at Target and Wal*Mart. That's probably about as mainstream as it gets.

It doesn't matter how it's sold. When you judge a work, you have to take into account what audience it was written for. You can say whether you like or dislike a work and whether you thought it was a good book, but that's a far cry from condemning other people who are reading it with the understanding of what it was meant to be.

If a book is written as erotica, for an audience that consumes erotica of a particular bent, then I don't think it needs to be socially responsible in having appropriate real-world consequences just because it happened to go mainstream after it was written. It was written for an audience with that kink, and I don't think people who enjoy the book because they enjoy that particular fantasy should be judged for it. We can certainly have the conversation about how this was written as erotic, where the goals of narrative are perhaps different than the goals of general fiction, and that it shouldn't be a template for relationships. But I think condemning the book for it's failure to be real-world appropriate is unfair (though you can condemn it all you like for the quality of writing or pacing or inaccurate portrayal of BDSM or because, frankly, it's just not sexy).

To me, it's like saying I wrote a children's book that happened to cross over to adult audiences... and then people started complaining that it was unrealistic that the children saved the world, that it should have been the adults who solved the problems because it would be unrealistic (and dangerous for the children) otherwise. But that's how it is in MG; children are the heroes, even if it's not realistic to an adult, because the audience is children. Erotica might not show real-life consequences for particular kinks because people who enjoy that kink don't really want to have the realistic results marring their good time.

Basically, we should have discussions about what's good and bad in real life and how certain books don't reflect that well, but I don't think we should judge the merits of books way outside their category and genre expectations, even when people outside those categories and genres start reading them.

- - - Updated - - -


What subject needing discussion did FSoG shed light on? BDSM? From what I've heard, people who are into BDSM think the "light" shed by FSoG was false and if anything, harmful.


Stalking and psychological abuse in relationships, I think.

Anarchic Q
06-04-2015, 09:23 PM
She's writing fanfic of her fanfic.
Amazing.

BenPanced
06-04-2015, 09:29 PM
It doesn't matter how it's sold. When you judge a work, you have to take into account what audience it was written for. You can say whether you like or dislike a work and whether you thought it was a good book, but that's a far cry from condemning other people who are reading it with the understanding of what it was meant to be.

<snip!>

Basically, we should have discussions about what's good and bad in real life and how certain books don't reflect that well, but I don't think we should judge the merits of books way outside their category and genre expectations, even when people outside those categories and genres start reading them.
I was commenting on where the book is sold and how it's found a mainstream audience. Nothing more. Nothing less.

*banninates self from thread*

DanielaTorre
06-05-2015, 12:50 AM
:roll::roll::roll:

In all honesty though. She wouldn't have been published if someone didn't see the potential in her work. The millions of books sold are a testament to her success as a writer, regardless of what she writes. Each and every one of us would kill to be in her shoes. So let's rejoice in the fact that a fellow writer has becomes successful in what we all love to do. Same goes for Meyers.

Wow. That was extremely sappy of me. But I ain't gonna hate. Merit is given where merit is due in spite of my personal feelings toward the message these book send.

CassandraW
06-05-2015, 01:14 AM
I really do wish people would stop insisting that "each and every one of us" wants to be her. Many of us do not. Me, for example. I think the book is utter dreck (and worse than dreck), and I'd rather write something I think is good than make millions on something I'd find embarrassing. I am not in this for the money -- that's what my day job is for.

In all sincerity, I'd rather write something I truly thought was good and have a single discerning reader I respected praise its quality than have $95 million (or however much it is at this point) and be world-famous for writing something like FSoG.

I also, for the record, don't want to be Kim Kardashian.

ETA:

And no, I'm not going to feel bad about panning it. She wrote large parts of the damn thing on her Blackberry on her way to work, for heaven's sake (http://www.businessinsider.com/fifty-shades-of-grey-written-on-blackberry-2015-2)! A carefully-crafted labor of artistic love it was not.

ap123
06-05-2015, 01:33 AM
:roll::roll::roll:

Each and every one of us would kill to be in her shoes.

Nope.

Initially, I my thoughts were similar to yours. Then I read the book.

Would I love her financial success? Absolutely. But I would not love it as a result of being the author of FSoG. Not because it's erotica; to each their own. Not because of the quality of writing; what do I know? I think my words are damned fine, but no one has offered me a cent for any of them. ;) I would not want to be in her shoes because I believe the book as written is bad for women. It romanticizes an abusive relationship and perpetuates the myths that stalking, psychological, and physical abuse are a-ok because that's what true love is. Who needs respect when you've got a helicopter with your name on it?

This isn't an exploration of a harmless fantasy or alternative lifestyle between consenting adults with clear and respected boundaries.

DanielaTorre
06-05-2015, 02:04 AM
I really do wish people would stop insisting that "each and every one of us" wants to be her. Many of us do not. Me, for example. I think the book is utter dreck (and worse than dreck), and I'd rather write something I think is good than make millions on something I'd find embarrassing. I am not in this for the money -- that's what my day job is for.

In all sincerity, I'd rather write something I truly thought was good and have a single discerning reader I respected praise its quality than have $95 million (or however much it is at this point) and be world-famous for writing something like FSoG.

I also, for the record, don't want to be Kim Kardashian.

ETA:

And no, I'm not going to feel bad about panning it. She wrote large parts of the damn thing on her Blackberry on her way to work, for heaven's sake (http://www.businessinsider.com/fifty-shades-of-grey-written-on-blackberry-2015-2)! A carefully-crafted labor of artistic love it was not.

You misinterpreted. I didn't say each and everyone of us want to be her. I said each and everyone would kill to be in her position, which is quite different. And that doesn't mean the money. It means having loads of people read and enjoy the stories you put out, having people actively talking about your work, and having people who hate the book (such as yourself) talking about it as well. For you see, your opinion does matter, because it gets people talking. Any publicity is good publicity.

That is being a successful writer.

As for the Blackberry thing, I'll have you know that in the spur of the moment, when we don't have a pen and paper in hand, a phone is the next best thing. It's the 21st century. I have found myself doing the same on many occasions. It's essentially a computer. Isn't a computer what you write your stories with? Please criticize the work, not the author.


Nope.

Initially, I my thoughts were similar to yours. Then I read the book.

Would I love her financial success? Absolutely. But I would not love it as a result of being the author of FSoG. Not because it's erotica; to each their own. Not because of the quality of writing; what do I know? I think my words are damned fine, but no one has offered me a cent for any of them. ;) I would not want to be in her shoes because I believe the book as written is bad for women. It romanticizes an abusive relationship and perpetuates the myths that stalking, psychological, and physical abuse are a-ok because that's what true love is. Who needs respect when you've got a helicopter with your name on it?

This isn't an exploration of a harmless fantasy or alternative lifestyle between consenting adults with clear and respected boundaries.

I have the same sentiment. It's clearly an abusive relationship. But the way I think of it is that we all have to make educated decisions. Sometimes I see Twilight and FSoG and compare it to violent video games. Does violence in video games translate into violence in real life? No. We're big boys and girls. Just because Mario bashed a turtle's head in with his foot doesn't mean I'm going to go out and do the same. The same applies to other forms of media.

The message these books send are bad. I don't enjoy it. These are silly books. But these women are adults who can make their own decisions. We can only educate, not make decisions for them.

CassandraW
06-05-2015, 02:17 AM
If you can write quality prose on a phone, bless your heart. I can do a coherent text or email. Usually. But I sweat over my "real" writing in a way that I couldn't possibly do on a phone, typing with my thumbs on a tiny screen.

And thanks for the reprimand, but actually, I am criticizing the work.

And you have given one definition of being a successful writer. It's not the only definition of success, and it's not my favorite, frankly.

ap123
06-05-2015, 02:28 AM
I guess that brings me to the question, what are we teaching if we support these books?

I don't really know about video games, so it may be a spot-on analogy. But with all the killings on video games, there isn't a large percentage of youth/teens going out and murdering people. Too many? Sure, but nowhere near the percentage of teens and women who will find themselves the victims of domestic violence. Why and how so many people, particularly women, find themselves in abusive relationships (and stay in them) is complex, but I think glamorizing relationships that model abuse by calling it love has much to do with it.

I don't want to go on and on, because I've ranted about this quite a bit, but I did want to respond.

The stats I've read say 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Far too many to shrug it off, imo. If we are members of a greater community, then I believe we each have a responsibility to speak up about this, and not just blow it off.

DanielaTorre
06-05-2015, 02:32 AM
If you can write quality prose on a phone, bless your heart. I can do a coherent text or email. Usually. But I sweat over my "real" writing in a way that I couldn't possibly do on a phone, typing with my thumbs on a tiny screen.

And thanks for the reprimand, but actually, I am criticizing the work.

And you have given one definition of being a successful writer. It's not the only definition of success, and it's not my favorite, frankly.

The tools one uses to tell a story isn't indicative of one's talent. The first written stories were on the walls of caves. I mentioned Nabokov earlier. He wrote is stories on index cards.

The article you linked to clearly stated that she would beam it to her Mac and write when she got home. Which means she got the gist of it down on her phone and elaborated on it later. Dialogue, scenes, sentences, etc. It's the same as jotting down on a notebook. Insulting her for doing this is insulting many, many writers. There's no such thing as "real" writing. There's just writing.

I'm glad you feel that success isn't just money or selling a bunch of books. You value quality, which is commendable. Best of luck in your writing endeavors.

DanielaTorre
06-05-2015, 02:38 AM
I guess that brings me to the question, what are we teaching if we support these books?

I don't really know about video games, so it may be a spot-on analogy. But with all the killings on video games, there isn't a large percentage of youth/teens going out and murdering people. Too many? Sure, but nowhere near the percentage of teens and women who will find themselves the victims of domestic violence. Why and how so many people, particularly women, find themselves in abusive relationships (and stay in them) is complex, but I think glamorizing relationships that model abuse by calling it love has much to do with it.

I don't want to go on and on, because I've ranted about this quite a bit, but I did want to respond.

The stats I've read say 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Far too many to shrug it off, imo. If we are members of a greater community, then I believe we each have a responsibility to speak up about this, and not just blow it off.


I absolutely agree with you. Ironically enough, the book has achieved a discourse against the very thing it subconsciously preaches. The mere ACT of discussing a book about abuse has brought awareness to the subject.

Viridian
06-05-2015, 02:42 AM
She wrote large parts of the damn thing on her Blackberry on her way to work, for heaven's sake (http://www.businessinsider.com/fifty-shades-of-grey-written-on-blackberry-2015-2)! A carefully-crafted labor of artistic love it was not.
And I write dialogue on napkins and stick them in my pocket.

You use what's available in the time you have available.


we all have to make educated decisions. Sometimes I see Twilight and FSoG and compare it to violent video games. Does violence in video games translate into violence in real life? No. We're big boys and girls.

[...] women are adults who can make their own decisions. We can only educate, not make decisions for them.
:Hail:

Viridian
06-05-2015, 02:55 AM
There's this comic I've been looking for...

It's by queer feminist blogger Erika Moen, who is just an all-around fantastic and intelligent lady.

Go read it. (http://www.ohjoysextoy.com/50shadesofgrey/)

(ETA: that link is super NSFW.)

DanielaTorre
06-05-2015, 04:15 AM
There's this comic I've been looking for...

It's by queer feminist blogger Erika Moen, who is just an all-around fantastic and intelligent lady.

Go read it. (http://www.ohjoysextoy.com/50shadesofgrey/)

OMG. Everyone! Go read this. It's beyond perfect. :)

TheNighSwan
06-05-2015, 06:26 AM
"Cashing on a successful franchise which worked due to sheer dumb luck", "having access to a very good marketing department" and "one hit wonder" are not in fact quite the same thing as "being a successful writer".

jjdebenedictis
06-05-2015, 07:14 AM
"Cashing on a successful franchise which worked due to sheer dumb luck", "having access to a very good marketing department" and "one hit wonder" are not in fact quite the same thing as "being a successful writer".I rather think those are valuable components to being a successful writer, provided you define "successful" as "makes money".

Also, RYFW please. We can disdain the books but it's not okay to sneer at the woman.

Channy
06-05-2015, 09:33 AM
I really do wish people would stop insisting that "each and every one of us" wants to be her. Many of us do not. Me, for example. I think the book is utter dreck (and worse than dreck), and I'd rather write something I think is good than make millions on something I'd find embarrassing. I am not in this for the money -- that's what my day job is for.

In all sincerity, I'd rather write something I truly thought was good and have a single discerning reader I respected praise its quality than have $95 million (or however much it is at this point) and be world-famous for writing something like FSoG.

I don't think she actually sees the fallacy in her work. I think she legitimately thinks it's worth every penny she's made. The way she talks in interviews and with how obsessive and possessive she is about the series, slapping lawsuits on randos for either plagiarized work and/or plagiarized sex toy parties, she sounds like the person who believes that her books are the Holy Bible of romance and that there's nothing wrong with any of it. The way she's responded to questions about the abuse in her books, she wipes them off and tries to pass the blame onto the questioner, often saying that they are the ones belittling abuse survivors.

So is she embarrassed about any of it? Truthfully, no I don't think she is.

bearilou
06-05-2015, 05:01 PM
So she does what many other writers would do in her position: Write a book, publisher picks it up, it goes crazy in sales (and by these hallowed halls at this forum is most of the time attributed to 'dumb luck'), defends her copyright, and is proud of what she did (regardless to all of our feels out here in reader/aspiring writer land)...

and she's the one who gets shit heaped on her for daring to be successful and be proud of it.

Jesus, people.

Usher
06-05-2015, 05:16 PM
"Cashing on a successful franchise which worked due to sheer dumb luck", "having access to a very good marketing department" and "one hit wonder" are not in fact quite the same thing as "being a successful writer".

I'd have said they were the main components actually. Being in the right place and the right time is how you get published, being able to market the book is a huge part of selling many copies and many "successful" writers of classical works are one hit wonders.

Emily Bronte, JD Salinger, Harper Lee (until recently), Anna Sewell, Margaret Mitchell were all one hit wonders.




So is she embarrassed about any of it? Truthfully, no I don't think she is.

I don't think she has anything to be embarrassed about.

Parametric
06-05-2015, 05:16 PM
"Cashing on a successful franchise which worked due to sheer dumb luck", "having access to a very good marketing department" and "one hit wonder" are not in fact quite the same thing as "being a successful writer".

What on earth more does she have to do to be considered successful?

CassandraW
06-05-2015, 05:38 PM
She's obviously financially extremely successful. But her work displays not a shred of craft. To steal from Truman Capote, it's not writing; it's typing. And personally, I think the oblivious way she depicts an emotionally abusive relationship is gross. I'd rather be unsuccessful than successful for writing that. It downright depresses me that the damn thing sold the way it did -- i have never read anything worse.

My own definition of success as a writer would be to have respected critics praise my work as being brilliantly written. I don't think James has any reviewers saying that. Perks, our OP, fits my definition of a successful writer much better than James does.

But i've got nothing else to say, so I'm unsubscribing from this thread.

DanielaTorre
06-05-2015, 05:43 PM
Haters gonna hate. Potatoes gonna potate.

CassandraW
06-05-2015, 05:46 PM
Haters gonna hate. Potatoes gonna potate.

Indeed.

TheNighSwan
06-05-2015, 06:10 PM
For me success has a lasting quality — a successful artist is one who proves their initial popularity was in fact due to their craft by reiterating the fit many times, or one whose "one hit wonder" passes the test of time and is still popular and/or critically acclaimed many decades after the author's demise. I might be wrong, but I think the writer of Fifty Shades belongs to neither of these categories.

Amadan
06-05-2015, 06:14 PM
For me success has a lasting quality — a successful artist is one who proves their initial popularity was in fact due to their craft by reiterating the fit many times, or one whose "one hit wonder" passes the test of time and is still popular and/or critically acclaimed many decades after the author's demise. I might be wrong, but I think the writer of Fifty Shades belongs to neither of these categories.

Well, maybe her definition of success is making piles of money and having a lot of fans.

Do I respect her craft? No. But people need to get off the haterade.

Booklover199
06-06-2015, 12:22 AM
Writers keep doing this and I don't understand why. It reminds me of a zombie movie where someone has shot a zombie, but it keeps moving an you're like "Why won't you die already!"

I don't want to read the same story, because that's essentially what it is, with a few little new bits here and there. I want something new. I want new characters!

Cyia
06-10-2015, 08:28 PM
Well, I guess the Midnight Sun comparison is complete. Someone has stolen the manuscript for the Fifty Shades of Grey novel that's from Christian's POV. https://www.yahoo.com/movies/new-fifty-shades-book-stolen-before-publication-121194398922.html

veinglory
06-10-2015, 09:49 PM
I would be happy to have her success, and have no trouble getting it the way she got it had I seen the opportunity.

DanielaTorre
06-10-2015, 11:05 PM
Well, I guess the Midnight Sun comparison is complete. Someone has stolen the manuscript for the Fifty Shades of Grey novel that's from Christian's POV. https://www.yahoo.com/movies/new-fifty-shades-book-stolen-before-publication-121194398922.html

Wow. Full circle huh? Correct me if I'm wrong, but if it's already set for publication a week from now, doesn't that mean the books have already been printed and most likely boxed and ready to ship out to stores? So there's not way the publisher will back out if it does get leaked. Either way, I don't think leaking it will make any difference since it's about to come out anyway.

I think it's a pub stunt to create buzz and keep people aware of its release. And if it is a stunt, I hope they're kidding because the Twilight rip-off thing is getting ridiculously on the nose and way out of hand.

heza
06-10-2015, 11:11 PM
Wow. Full circle huh? Correct me if I'm wrong, but if it's already set for publication a week from now, doesn't that mean the books have already been printed and most likely boxed and ready to ship out to stores? So there's not way the publisher will back out if it does get leaked. Either way, I don't think leaking it will make any difference since it's about to come out anyway.

That's what it sounds like to me.

It would only really be a full circle if she got mad and refused to write the rest of it.

jjdebenedictis
06-11-2015, 12:40 AM
Well, I guess the Midnight Sun comparison is complete. Someone has stolen the manuscript for the Fifty Shades of Grey novel that's from Christian's POV. https://www.yahoo.com/movies/new-fifty-shades-book-stolen-before-publication-121194398922.htmlI'm delighted -- not that this happened, because it's a shitty thing to happen to any artist -- but with the universe. Thank you, universe, for this bit of perfect symmetry.

But then again, it's almost too good a story, you know? Too perfect. My BS meter is pinging a little, here, but oh, how I want it to be true. :ROFL:

Cyia
06-11-2015, 03:29 AM
I think it's a pub stunt to create buzz and keep people aware of its release. And if it is a stunt, I hope they're kidding because the Twilight rip-off thing is getting ridiculously on the nose and way out of hand.

Publicity stunt was exactly my thought.

BenPanced
06-11-2015, 03:37 AM
My inner child spit up on my inner goddess.

Channy
06-11-2015, 06:24 AM
Total pulicity stunt happening here for Fifty Shades of Midnight Sun. There was also this thing happening for a few days where it was auto-appearing on Amazon, not under recommended reads but before them and before the actual description of the book. Authors were upset because a lot of them didn't like it but also felt it didn't even compare to their books (some menage or gay books not even slightly BDSM). And James is all "Oh, we don't need any advertising for this. It'll sell itself to the fans that want it." And lo.

It lasted about 3 days before authors (I guess?) raised awareness about it to Amazon and they removed it.

andiwrite
06-11-2015, 09:09 AM
This has been done for a bunch of new adult romances in the past few years. eg. Easy/Unbreakable (Tammara Webber) and Beautiful Disaster/Walking Disaster (Jamie McGuire)

This is a cool idea. I've never heard of anyone doing that before, but it intrigues me.

Law-Lawson
06-11-2015, 03:39 PM
*suspicious publicity stunt alarm bells ringing all over the place*

Surely everything is electronic nowadays, if someone wandered off with a copy of the files nobody would ever know about it.

A paper copy can wander off - but it can also end up buried under a bunch of other crap too.

BenPanced
06-17-2015, 09:02 PM
No evidence of Grey theft, say Kent police. (http://www.thebookseller.com/news/no-evidence-grey-theft-say-kent-police)


“Following a report that one book had been stolen after packaging was found to be damaged, there is no evidence at this stage to suggest that an offence has been committed.”

jjdebenedictis
06-17-2015, 11:39 PM
No evidence of Grey theft, say Kent police. (http://www.thebookseller.com/news/no-evidence-grey-theft-say-kent-police)It's amazing how quickly and completely this whole foofoorah escaped my brain in between updates on it. :)

DanielaTorre
06-18-2015, 12:47 AM
No evidence of Grey theft, say Kent police. (http://www.thebookseller.com/news/no-evidence-grey-theft-say-kent-police)


Well would you look at that. I totally called it. :Wha:

Channy
06-18-2015, 05:43 AM
No evidence of Grey theft, say Kent police. (http://www.thebookseller.com/news/no-evidence-grey-theft-say-kent-police)

http://i.imgur.com/pIA5myH.jpg

jjdebenedictis
06-18-2015, 08:53 AM
Would-be Grey robbers: "We did nick it, but then we read a few pages. We don't want it, thanks. Why does anybody?"

anastasiareeves
06-18-2015, 08:45 PM
I know this will not win me any friends, but I am reading "Grey" and it is considerably more tolerable than the trilogy - yes I read all of them too. This is not the confession of an EL James fangirl. I read the trilogy because I saw the movie and was surprised how much I didn't hate it. The books were definitely not desirable. So. Take that all as you will. Just wanted to share. I don't know why...

BenPanced
06-19-2015, 07:25 PM
An examination of Grey reveals doubleplus unsexy writing. (http://www.buzzfeed.com/scottybryan/i-read-the-new-50-shades-book-and-it-is-absolutely-batshit?utm_term=.erePVV4Ea&fb_ref=mobile_share#.toZpR8nPjd)

Usher
06-19-2015, 08:48 PM
Yeah I'm not seeing the big deal with the passages either. I've see much worse. Also a book is a sum of its parts and not just bits of passages.

BenPanced
06-19-2015, 09:26 PM
But it's reading passages that helps me make up my mind to buy a book or not.

And these passages have helped me make up my mind to not buy this particular book.

anastasiareeves
06-19-2015, 11:45 PM
An examination of Grey reveals doubleplus unsexy writing. (http://www.buzzfeed.com/scottybryan/i-read-the-new-50-shades-book-and-it-is-absolutely-batshit?utm_term=.erePVV4Ea&fb_ref=mobile_share#.toZpR8nPjd)

I had a really long response to this but scrapped it because it should be directed at the article writer, not in this thread. I'd like to point out though, that the writer of the piece may not understand the difference between erotica and romance novels. EL James never wrote Christian Grey as Prince Charming. He was "fifty shades of f*cked up" form the start. She never masked it or put a pretty bow on it. Being obsessed with his private parts should be the least of the worries about who Christian is after reading through the book. The only thing the article writer got right is how unsexy the passages are. I read all 576 pages. And all I feel is unsatisfied.

DanielaTorre
06-30-2015, 06:45 AM
E.L. James had a Twitter Q&A that sort of backfired. I have mixed feelings about this. I have my gripes about this book, but no author deserves this. http://www.buzzfeed.com/jarrylee/fifty-shades-of-shade?bffb&utm_term=4ldqpgp#.goowEoxP2

Amadan
06-30-2015, 04:59 PM
That is funny.

Cruel, but funny.

I think funny wins.

I am a bad person.

WriterBN
06-30-2015, 06:54 PM
E.L. James had a Twitter Q&A that sort of backfired. I have mixed feelings about this. I have my gripes about this book, but no author deserves this. http://www.buzzfeed.com/jarrylee/fifty-shades-of-shade?bffb&utm_term=4ldqpgp#.goowEoxP2

I saw some of that happening yesterday when it trended on Twitter. I've only read excerpts of her books, but it was enough to leave me with absolutely no desire to read them in full. Some of the tweets were pretty funny, but I do feel bad for her. Whatever I might think of her writing ability, she's sold millions of books--and I haven't--so she deserves some level of respect for that accomplishment.

of fairytales.
07-01-2015, 07:27 AM
The whole #askELJames thing left a bad taste in my mouth. I was watching it happen at the peak of it's popularity and yeah, there were some genuinely funny comments, and some valid questions, but then there'd be comments - directed to James's fans, not her - like, "It's okay to abuse her because she likes abuse".

I think what made it worse wasn't even twitter randoms jumping in on it to be funny, but the fact that some of the people I follow on there - professional, popular bloggers and such - were sitting back and laughing about it. The same people that tweet about trolls targeting women on twitter, or the internet being a ~unsafe space~ for females, stuff like that. Like, I understand that EL James has a questionable history with how she's treated people (stories of her sicking fans onto others who question things about Fiddy Shades, etc etc), but I don't believe two wrongs make a right. I don't know, it just wasn't very funny to me as a whole, even though there were admittedly a few laugh-out-loud tweets.

Viridian
07-01-2015, 07:36 AM
Gotta agree. I thought it was funny until I started actually reading the tweets. Not funny anymore. Writing a bad book, even one with sketchy sexual politics, does not mean a writer deserves to be viciously mocked by thousands of strangers.

jjdebenedictis
07-01-2015, 11:07 AM
Sometimes, Twitter is nothing more complicated than a bunch of people cracking jokes with one another, and that's basically what happened here. People started ridiculing 50SoG--exactly the way they always have mocked it on Twitter--except now they had a hashtag to play in.

The fact the author was looking at that hashtag too became almost irrelevant; the participants were performing comedy for one another's entertainment.

On one hand, yes it was rude to the author. On the other, Twitter is not the author's platform and she doesn't get any say in how people use it. And NOTHING that got said on that hashtag was anything that hasn't been said a million times before on Twitter.

To me, the author (and her marketing team) attempted to use Twitter as a marketing ploy, and that didn't work because the users of Twitter kept using platform exactly they way they always have.

Were they being rude? Well, yes, but why shouldn't they be? It's their space as much as anyone's, and they've always joked around in that space. It's unreasonable for E. L. James to expect the social norms to change just because she showed up, and the hashtag was not something she owned.

It's a bit like making a thread here on AW. The OP doesn't get any say in what direction the thread goes in or who is allowed to express what opinions. They might have got the ball rolling, but they don't own that ball.

Usher
07-01-2015, 11:37 AM
Sometimes, Twitter is nothing more complicated than a bunch of people cracking jokes with one another, and that's basically what happened here. People started ridiculing 50SoG--exactly the way they always have mocked it on Twitter--except now they had a hashtag to play in.

l.

Bullying isn't funny no matter who it is aimed at. And whilst it might be the way the platform is used I don't think it should be called as anything less than it is - pack mentality bullying. In real life they'd be kicking the crap out of her whilst she lay on the ground and laughing like hyenas.

Had we behaved that way on AW I am sure a mod would have had a quiet word.

Amadan
07-01-2015, 05:42 PM
Writing a bad book, even one with sketchy sexual politics, does not mean a writer deserves to be viciously mocked by thousands of strangers.

Deserve to be mocked personally, no. Deserve to have her book and her writing mocked? Why not?


Bullying isn't funny no matter who it is aimed at. And whilst it might be the way the platform is used I don't think it should be called as anything less than it is - pack mentality bullying. In real life they'd be kicking the crap out of her whilst she lay on the ground and laughing like hyenas.


That's a stretch.

Public figures being publicly ridiculed is not nice, but it is not bullying. And comparing snarky comments on Twitter with "kicking the crap out of her whilst she lay on the ground and laughing like hyenas" is extreme hyperbole.

Usher
07-01-2015, 06:38 PM
That's a stretch.

Public figures being publicly ridiculed is not nice, but it is not bullying. And comparing snarky comments on Twitter with "kicking the crap out of her whilst she lay on the ground and laughing like hyenas" is extreme hyperbole.

Yes it's bullying - just because we accept it as part of society doesn't make it right. And yes it's an exaggeration/metaphor but it's the same kind of pack mentality. She can't respond because she's an author and doesn't have JK Rowling's ability to do it with humour. She's "prone on the ground" and is an easy target. Are you saying people weren't laughing?

"OOH she wrote a book let's be mean because it's so much fun. Not like she's human - she's only an author."

It's not fun, it's not funny and whilst I accept it's a potential occupational hazard and I have a rhino skin it's not something I would want to happen to me either. One of the very first pieces of work I posted online was a piece with a couple of gay police officers -- it was 6 years ago and things have moved on but ouch!

I can accept it happens but it's still cyberbullying.

Amadan
07-01-2015, 07:01 PM
Yes it's bullying - just because we accept it as part of society doesn't make it right. And yes it's an exaggeration/metaphor but it's the same kind of pack mentality. She can't respond because she's an author and doesn't have JK Rowling's ability to do it with humour. She's "prone on the ground" and is an easy target. Are you saying people weren't laughing?

"OOH she wrote a book let's be mean because it's so much fun. Not like she's human - she's only an author."

It's not fun, it's not funny and whilst I accept it's a potential occupational hazard and I have a rhino skin it's not something I would want to happen to me either. One of the very first pieces of work I posted online was a piece with a couple of gay police officers -- it was 6 years ago and things have moved on but ouch!

I can accept it happens but it's still cyberbullying.


Sure, people were laughing. I was laughing. Because it was funny. Because EL James the author was not "prone on the ground." Her book was being shredded. That's all.

Cyberbullying is stalking someone online, directing abusive emails and Tweets at them, and going after them personally. If people are Photoshopping her image, making fun of her looks, harassing her, that crosses into bullying behavior.

Making fun of a book is not bullying.

anastasiareeves
07-01-2015, 08:20 PM
Sure, people were laughing. I was laughing. Because it was funny. Because EL James the author was not "prone on the ground." Her book was being shredded. That's all.

Cyberbullying is stalking someone online, directing abusive emails and Tweets at them, and going after them personally. If people are Photoshopping her image, making fun of her looks, harassing her, that crosses into bullying behavior.

Making fun of a book is not bullying.

Did you read the entire Twitter fiasco? Because it was not the book being shredded. It was her character. They accused her of being a stalker (of Stephanie Meyer), they accused her of being a woman hater. They accused her of being lazy for not researching BDSM more carefully. That has nothing to do with the book. It has to do with her.

Where does the book end and the author begin? Aren't we as writers always a tiny bit a part of our books? I'm all about tearing apart a book word for word, but lobbing accusations at an author because they had the audacity to write something you didn't like, that goes beyond criticism.

We have a tendency to pick and choose who we bully and how we allow it. It's okay that EL James is being bullied because she wrote a book that although popular, is poorly written. We let others off the hook because they're proven writers. We might rail against the latest Stephen King book, but no one has ever accused him of being a terrible person because he wrote it.

And just because "that's what Twitter is" it doesn't make it any less gross that she was attacked the way she was.

Amadan
07-01-2015, 08:35 PM
Did you read the entire Twitter fiasco? Because it was not the book being shredded. It was her character. They accused her of being a stalker (of Stephanie Meyer), they accused her of being a woman hater. They accused her of being lazy for not researching BDSM more carefully. That has nothing to do with the book. It has to do with her.

So an author was accused of being lazy for not doing her research.

Pretty sure the accusations of stalking Stephanie Meyer were a joke.

I'm sure some of the tweets crossed a line. Yes, that is what Twitter is. I'm not saying everything said to her was nice, or even that some of it wasn't inappropriate. I'm saying a bunch of people making fun of her book is not bullying. People saying mean things about her career and her writing is not bullying. It is called being a public figure.

anastasiareeves
07-01-2015, 08:42 PM
So an author was accused of being lazy for not doing her research.

Pretty sure the accusations of stalking Stephanie Meyer were a joke.

I'm sure some of the tweets crossed a line. Yes, that is what Twitter is. I'm not saying everything said to her was nice, or even that some of it wasn't inappropriate. I'm saying a bunch of people making fun of her book is not bullying. People saying mean things about her career and her writing is not bullying. It is called being a public figure.

For what it's worth, I have no problems with her being accused of being lazy for not researching properly, I brought it up because it was part of the character assassination she was being put through.

The Stephenie Meyer stuff, not jokes. It was not one simple "haha you're a stalker!" There were several tweets asking her if she was waiting for Meyer to write her answers for her, along with the ones about her having to stay a certain distance away from Stephenie.

So. Being a public figure = no longer being human. Noted. I hope you remember that should you ever become a public figure, if that is your goal. I hope that I handle myself as well as EL James does when faced with this stuff. She hasn't backed down and even as the Twitter shit was hitting the fan, she was announcing 2 new books not in the Fifty Shades world.

CassandraW
07-01-2015, 08:44 PM
Sure, people were laughing. I was laughing. Because it was funny. Because EL James the author was not "prone on the ground." Her book was being shredded. That's all.

Cyberbullying is stalking someone online, directing abusive emails and Tweets at them, and going after them personally. If people are Photoshopping her image, making fun of her looks, harassing her, that crosses into bullying behavior.

Making fun of a book is not bullying.

I'm with Amadan 150%.

I find it mildly ridiculous to equate the Twitter mocking of a woman who made a couple hundred million dollars off appallingly bad books with bullying. It dilutes the definition of bullying into meaninglessness.

Amadan
07-01-2015, 08:51 PM
The Stephenie Meyer stuff, not jokes. It was not one simple "haha you're a stalker!" There were several tweets asking her if she was waiting for Meyer to write her answers for her, along with the ones about her having to stay a certain distance away from Stephenie.

I read those. They were clearly jokes.



So. Being a public figure = no longer being human.

No, it means needing to have a thick skin because people will say mean things about you.


Noted. I hope you remember that should you ever become a public figure, if that is your goal. I hope that I handle myself as well as EL James does when faced with this stuff. She hasn't backed down and even as the Twitter shit was hitting the fan, she was announcing 2 new books not in the Fifty Shades world.

Sounds like she is coping well with her "bullying" then. If I were making that kind of money, I'd be happy to accept people saying mean things about me on Twitter as the price of admission.

brainstorm77
07-01-2015, 09:11 PM
The first thing that came to my mind about the whole Twitter mess was wow, what great publicity! I wonder what the rise in book sales was after the Twitter episode?

BenPanced
07-01-2015, 09:20 PM
They accused her of being lazy for not researching BDSM more carefully.

(My emphasis.)

This is not bullying in the least. This is cold, hard fact. By not researching BDSM, she's not only painting an unfair, inaccurate portrait of the fetish, she's exposing her readers who are stupid enough to reenact scenes from the books to injury and possibly even death (asphyxiation, dislocated/broken limbs, infection from open wounds). This shit's dangerous in the hands of the uninitiated; coupled with the scenes of a controlling, abusive relationship, James deserves all the criticism she's getting and in spades.

I'm speaking from personal experience. I've played in the BDSM scene and everything portrayed in her books goes against the creedo: safe, sane, consensual. Nothing in her books is safe, Grey is far from sane, and Ana being goaded and cajoled "you'll do it if you love me" into playing his games when she has serious reservations is hardly consensual. The majority of this criticism is coming from people much, much, much more experienced than James in these practices.

And we're always talking about "do your research" here on AW. Why shouldn't we criticize her for not following this advice? If she wanted to have a more accurate book, she very easily could have gone online and found some Doms and subs of any gender that would have been willing to be interviewed or read her manuscript as betas. Instead, these books are reflecting badly on the entire scene with their inaccurate portrayal of a BDSM relationship. So, yeah, I'm seriously pissed about this. Coupled with the bad writing, she deserves the criticism of being a lazy writer.

ErezMA
07-01-2015, 09:21 PM
I still can't believe the sequel to 50 Shades of Grey wasn't called 51 Shades of Grey.

jjdebenedictis
07-01-2015, 11:17 PM
It's easy to bring your own baggage to a discussion like this. Let's hypothetically take this out of our arena for a moment.

Say you've got a website devoted to ridiculing politicians who engage in hypocritical behaviour, for example railing against the morals of others, or attempting to curtail other people's actions via laws, and then being caught in a very comparable scandal themselves. Say you don't make a point of drawing the politicians' attention to your website, but it's public access. Anyone can look; anyone can participate. Is what you're doing on that website nice? Not at all, but it's arguably in the public good and the criticisms made are valid points, at least some of the time.

Say the website gets popular. Say a politician, who is not well-liked by certain members of the site for valid reasons, decides they're going to host a public town hall meeting on the site because that website draws lots of eyeballs, i.e. it's a good way to access the public's attention. That's not necessarily a smart decision, but it's not automatically one based on faulty logic either. Say the politician doesn't ask the site owners whether they can host this meeting on the site, nor do they need to, because the online event they want to have is expressly permitted by the site's rules.

If the politician gets raked over the coals when they enter what had been a safe place for people to crack jokes about that politician, and other politicians, how much right does the politician have to get upset about it?

I feel the politician has every right to be upset, and to call it rude, but no right at all to say that it shouldn't be allowed to happen.

There is always a gap between what is allowed and what is considered good public behaviour. That gap exists for excellent reasons, because enforcing good behaviour leads to the silencing of dissenting voices, and that's a greater evil -- both for society and for individuals -- than occasionally having your feelings hurt because someone didn't like your words or actions and said so publicly.

Also, note that aim of bullying is to terrorize the other person, not to protest their words or actions. Where the line gets crossed is a murky area to quantify, because public shaming can be used as either a protest or as a weapon of interpersonal terror, but the intent behind criticism and bullying does differ.

Personally, I think E L James' reception on Twitter was both incredibly rude and completely acceptable behaviour, because she was facing criticism, not bullying. No one sought to scare her, only to shame her for her books and the implicit messages they contain.

CassandraW
07-01-2015, 11:25 PM
Yes to everything jj just said..

Liosse de Velishaf
07-02-2015, 12:15 AM
Because they hi-jacked her publicity event, intended for fans to do what fans love to do, ask questions of a favorite author, and because they directed these quotes essentially to her face, I have to say I feel some of this crossed the line into bullying. Could her publishers have thought this through better? Yes. Doesn't excuse bullying. If someone had asked serious questions about her research into and portrayal of BDSM, say, totally fine. A bunch of rhetorical questions with a clear lack of intent to be answered such as are exemplified in many of the tweets to the hashtag is legal, perhaps, but it's still bullying.

If Tweeters had wanted to organically start a hashtag for the purposes of mocking the books to each other, I'd be fine with that. They could have done a parody tag for this stuff. But they chose to go for the throat with bullying and ad hominem. Not okay.

Amadan
07-02-2015, 12:22 AM
Because they hi-jacked her publicity event, intended for fans to do what fans love to do, ask questions of a favorite author, and because they directed these quotes essentially to her face, I have to say I feel some of this crossed the line into bullying.

"Bullying" is not all mean words that make someone feel bad, however much some people wish to redefine it that way.

A public event is a public event, and Twitter is about as public as you can get.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-02-2015, 01:25 AM
I have no wish to redefine bullying. This is a fairly simple and accurate application of the term. Bullying is not only mean words that would make the person denying it feel bad, however much some people may wish to redefine it that way.

Amadan
07-02-2015, 01:59 AM
Bullying is not only mean words that would make the person denying it feel bad, however much some people may wish to redefine it that way.

That sentence does not parse.

The simple and accurate application of the term "bullying" would be harassing and intimidating someone who has no ability to avoid or resist it.

Saying mean things: not harassment, not intimidation, at least not by itself.

Author on Twitter: not defenseless, not unable to disengage.

If a gang of critics began sending EL James nasty Tweets directly, persistently, and outside of a public event, you could perhaps argue that they were bullying her, or trying to.

Someone saying "You suck" is not bullying. Someone saying something that hurts someone's feelings is not bullying. A bunch of people mocking a book is not bullying.

Bullying should not be redefined as anything that causes feelbads.

DanielaTorre
07-02-2015, 02:12 AM
I think the word you all are looking for is "heckling", not bullying.

The way I see it, directly bashing an author because of how you choose to interpret a book is the equivalent of blaming McDonalds because you're fat. The food was offered as a choice. Nobody shoved it down your throat. People need to realize that they are grown adults capable of making decisions about what they consume and what they interpret. Leave others to do the same. And if they don't, you educate them and hope they take this new information to come to informed conclusion.

That said, EL James was doing her job. These people interrupted that. They also interrupted the fans who were merely enjoying.

All that aside, the only thing that irked me was the tag below her Twitter pic. "...50 Shades of Grey. A LOVE story." For shame.

jjdebenedictis
07-02-2015, 04:33 AM
Because they hi-jacked her publicity event...Again, is it "hers" when it's not hosted on her own platform? Of course she doesn't get a say in how people behave in someone else's space.

And I very much agree with DanielaTorre's distinction between "heckling" and "bullying". Heckling is the more accurate word; this was not bullying.

heza
07-02-2015, 06:42 PM
Again, is it "hers" when it's not hosted on her own platform? Of course she doesn't get a say in how people behave in someone else's space.

:Shrug:

I mean, it's not her space, but she and her fans were using a portion of it that other people didn't have to come into. It feels like if I were having a family reunion in bit of the park off to the side and a fraternity decided to play football right in the middle of it. Is it their park too? Certainly. Is this how they've been using the park every Saturday for forever? Possibly. Is it still a bit rude to interrupt an in-progress party that way? I think so.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-02-2015, 09:21 PM
Heckling can be bullying, but for the moment, I'll go with the labeling of their behavior as heckling. Whether or not bullying is accurate, heckling certainly is.



As heza said, it is public space. However, there is essentially infinite space on Twitter. It does not appear these people were using this hashtag prior to her using it for publicity. Therefore, I consider the use of it to heckle her unnecessary, certainly rude, and really rather immature.

Usher
07-03-2015, 12:05 AM
I'm not watering it down. When it became a "gang" it was a superior position and they were doing it to someone who was in a position of not really being able to fight back. They know that if she tries to fight back she can endanger her career and make the situation worse. It wasn't funny, it was unpleasant and either we tolerate bullying or we start to speak out against it.

Usher
07-03-2015, 12:10 AM
I'm with Amadan 150%.

I find it mildly ridiculous to equate the Twitter mocking of a woman who made a couple hundred million dollars off appallingly bad books with bullying. It dilutes the definition of bullying into meaninglessness.

At which point did she stop being a human being? Similar things have happened to people in far more vulnerable positions it does not make it right just because someone is a millionaire.

ElaineA
07-03-2015, 12:55 AM
They know that if she tries to fight back she can endanger her career and make the situation worse.

You mean the woman who sent a gif of someone throwing a book at someone's head to an abuse victim? That helpless author who didn't seem to care about making a situation worse? I think the whole social media mob thing is awful in all its forms, and the small sample size of replies I saw did include some very personal attacks, but let's not completely discount that ELJ isn't a noob. She's dished out quite a load of unpleasantness along the way. I highly, highly doubt she feels her career would be endangered if she "tries to fight back." She's already proven as much.

No one can convince me she didn't have some (perhaps more than an) inkling this would happen. Whether she decided it'd be worth the short term discomfort to keep her book high on the public radar, only she and her people know. Which doesn't excuse the heckling or the personal attacks or the invasion of her hashtag or throwing a football in her potato salad. It's only, the whole mess was entirely predictable

jjdebenedictis
07-03-2015, 01:04 AM
Nobody here or on Twitter stopped considering her a human being. Why do you keep making that claim?

I agree the behaviour was rude, unnecessary and immature.

But I also think it's allowed to happen. What do you want? If you just want people to agree it was bad behaviour: done. If you want to stop people acting like that, then I'd like to know what methods of suppressing their speech you suggest, because I suspect I won't agree with you or anyone else doing that to your fellow human beings.

And again, this was not bullying.

Amadan
07-03-2015, 05:29 AM
Ditto what jjdebenedictis said. No one is disputing that the behavior of the Twitter hecklers was rude and obnoxious. No one is saying it was "okay." And certainly no one is saying that EL James isn't a human being. You can disagree with someone, and even be mean to them, and still consider them a human being.

But sorry, I don't actually feel guilty that I also thought it was pretty damn funny, and call it bullying a thousand times, a thousand times I will say "No it isn't."

gingerwoman
07-03-2015, 05:48 AM
I wonder what the projections are? Similar intake to FSoG? More? Less? I don't know much about the print erotica market.
It's been number one or two on Amazon for a while now. FSOG goes way way beyond the "erotica market", it's very mainstream, which has always been puzzling to all the people who wrote women's erotica before FSOG existed. However she clearly built a name for herself in the fan fic community before it was published commercially by WCS, and benefited from the Twilight fan fic community's enthusiasm immensely.

gingerwoman
07-03-2015, 05:52 AM
I'd like to see FSoG rewritten as a memoir of an abusive relationship. Seriously. It's like a textbook sometimes.

Are you sure this hasn't been done already? There were a plethora of parodies that came out when it was first hitting the best seller lists.

Rhoda Nightingale
07-03-2015, 04:14 PM
I agree with Elaine and JJ. The troll got trolled. This is like a high school bully going back to their alma mater and acting surprised when their old victims gang up and stuff them in a locker. It's not mature, it's not nice, it's not reasonable, but it's everything she and her publicity team should have expected.

I think it was someone here who originally said this, but I can't remember the original context: If you show your ass on the Internet, the Internet will show you its ass back.

gingerwoman
07-09-2015, 09:22 PM
Saying all erotica is the same so people should not have author preferences is pretty denigrating of the genre. Erotica is not just an "any fucking will do" non-genre.

And saying it is abuse supporting is saying that women who want to have this fantasy have a "wrong" fantasy and should be ashamed, which is essentially making judgements about what is in their unconscious minds and fantasy life.

I have zero interest in reading 50 Shades but I object to people being shamed over their interest in reading it or indeed their choice of how/what to write. These are valid creating and consuming choices and I think on balance they should be celebrated.

What's funny to me with all the talk of "erotica" around 50 shades is that there isn't any sex in the whole first half of the book.

CassandraW
07-09-2015, 10:44 PM
The first sex scene is about one quarter of the way into the book, if I recall.

I find the use of "erotica" in connection with the book funny because I found the sex scenes either boring, snort-worthy, or both --but not in the least erotic.

BenPanced
07-10-2015, 06:09 AM
The erotica I've read? Boom. Right there. First chapter.

CassandraW
07-10-2015, 06:28 AM
The erotica I've read? Boom. Right there. First chapter.

Yep. Usually, what, around page 9 or so?

BenPanced
07-10-2015, 07:10 AM
Right after they've described all of the participants and the setting.

jjdebenedictis
07-10-2015, 07:53 AM
Right after they've described all of the participants and the setting.I remember a guy once saying he hated to miss the first five minutes of a porno, because if you did, you had no idea what the plot was.

Amadan
07-10-2015, 03:43 PM
I remember a guy once saying he hated to miss the first five minutes of a porno, because if you did, you had no idea what the plot was.

Ba-dum-bump ching! (And wakka wakka wowow....)

jjdebenedictis
07-10-2015, 09:25 PM
Personally, I don't see how knowing that TAB A = broke varsity student and SLOT B = frisky landlady really improves the viewing experience.

Emermouse
07-11-2015, 03:37 AM
I find the use of "erotica" in connection with the book funny because I found the sex scenes either boring, snort-worthy, or both --but not in the least erotic.

I find use of the word "erotica" in comparison with the latest Grey book, because while I don't claim to be an expert on the genre, I thought erotica was supposed to, y'know, arouse the reader, get them all hot and bothered and whatnot. Based on what I saw in that Buzzfeed article...Grey fails in ever sense of the word. Pictures taken of the later-stages of Syphilis would be more arousing than Christian Grey's narrative! I'd say Christian Grey sounds like Ted Bundy, but by all accounts, Ted Bundy was charming. Whereas Christian Grey has all the appeal of hot gravy poured in your lap.

jjdebenedictis
07-11-2015, 07:18 AM
Whereas Christian Grey has all the appeal of hot gravy poured in your lap.Pouring hot gravy in Anastasia's lap sounds like something Christian Grey would think pretty erotic, actually.

CassandraW
07-11-2015, 07:19 AM
It would be sexier than what he really did. Tastier, at any rate.

Marian Perera
07-11-2015, 07:21 AM
Pouring hot gravy in Anastasia's lap sounds like something Christian Grey would think pretty erotic, actually.

Unless she's not allowed to eat gravy. Check the contract.

CassandraW
07-11-2015, 07:23 AM
She needn't eat it. Just wear it.

Of course, the contract probably covers that, too.

BenPanced
07-11-2015, 08:04 AM
Grey should hire me, then. I make perfect gravy from scratch and I'd never ask questions why I'd need to put a paintbrush into the gravy boat instead of a ladle.

Channy
07-12-2015, 09:11 AM
I came in here with multiquotes posts,, ready to argue floor to ceiling that EL James had every bit of that behavior coming to her....

...then I get to the last page here and people have calmed down and are making witty banter about the farce of the book instead. Happy forum.. :)

Laer Carroll
07-14-2015, 01:46 AM
Why bother? Because the author wanted to write the story. And because lot's of reader wanted to read it, as they proved with their pocketbooks.

Does there have to be a socially acceptable "higher" reason to write? That seems to be a very Puritanical attitude to me.

Channy
07-14-2015, 05:10 AM
Has nothing to do with how bad the book is (which it is, terrible) or blaming people how/why they can enjoy such drivel, but mostly because of James' dismissive attitude towards survivors of domestic abuse.


James says she “freaks out when she hears people say that her book encourages domestic violence. “Nothing freaks me out more than people who say this is about domestic abuse,” she says. “Bringing up my book in this context trivializes the issues, doing women who actually go through it a huge disservice. It also demonizes loads of women who enjoy this lifestyle, and ignores the many, many women who tell me they’ve found the books sexually empowering.”

She's totally blind and passes the people off as saying that the BDSM are the abusive parts.. no no, it's the relationship. And she continues or refuses to see it.

See here (http://jennytrout.com/?p=966) and her (https://50shadesisabuseblogring.wordpress.com/)e (https://50shadesisabuseblogring.wordpress.com/)and original interview here (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/9729588/Mommy-Porn-How-dare-men-put-down-womens-sexual-fantasies.html)

Liosse de Velishaf
07-14-2015, 05:24 AM
In real BDSM it's about knowing the other person's boundaries and coming up as close to the line as possible without violating their limits. It's not actually about mentally enslaving another person against their will, and in most relationships it's kept inside the bedroom. Where it isn't the above still applies, and stalking without prior consent is not considered appropriate. The thing that actually trivializes domestic violence and demonizes/demeans women who enjoy a BDSM lifestyle is E.L. James's writing.

My sources: Friends who are into both the lifestyle and the scene and read the book. Plus BDSM's version of activists/allies/defenders and their myriad statements on the topic.

anastasiareeves
07-14-2015, 06:16 AM
EL James did not write a how to BDSM instruction manual. It is not up to her to decide how the reader uses her book. It is on book shelves under fiction. Yes, she should have done better research on the lifestyle and yes, she is not a great writer. But holding her responsible for creating fictional characters and bringing them on their own journey is unfair.

Fifty Shades of Grey is nothing more than a poorly written fictional account of two fictional characters and their fictional relationship. Is Tolkein responsible for his readers going out looking for magic rings, elves, hobbits, dwarves and dragons? Is JK Rowling responsible for people who think they can do magic by waving a stick and saying made up words? If an idiot jumps on a broom and tries to fly it, is it her problem because she wrote about it in her books?

I get it. BDSM exists and those examples are fantasy. But people who are in BDSM relationships or looking to be in them are not looking to 50 Shades to tell them how.

EL James is responsible for one thing: writing poorly. Everything else is just the stuff being made up to be extra, extra mad at her.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-14-2015, 06:57 AM
I'm not extra mad at her. I don't even think about her on a given day. But she goes out of her way to argue that her book accurately portrays BDSM, and therefore I reserve the right to tell her she's wrong. Also saying her book portrays an abusive relationship is not an attack on her. It's an attack on her bad writing.


Also, people do look to fiction to inform their lives. Is EL James responsible for that? No. Is it fair to criticize her writing on those grounds? Yes. Shit, if we can criticize authors for racist portrayals and sexist portrayals, we can certainly criticize her for bring a false picture of BDSM to the public. Because many people don't have a friend into it who can correct their misunderstandings. Millions and millions of people now have EL James's book to reinforce them.

CassandraW
07-14-2015, 07:06 AM
I think it's a bit presumptuous to tell us all why we do and do not dislike FSOG, E.L. James, or anything else.

I both think the book is poorly written, and dislike its depiction of a manipulative and abusive relationship (which has nothing to do with the very vanilla BDSM).

Latina Bunny
07-14-2015, 07:08 AM
OMG, does she really say that her books are accurate portrayals of BDSM? No wonder I see BDSM community ticked off at her. If she's claiming that, then she obviously hasn't done her research on the subculture.

Dudette, EL James, if you're claiming such things, then please do your research, just like we tell other writers to do research on any other cultures/races/lifestyles/sexuality/etc, etc.

I respect her as a person, and I don't begrudge her success. Good for her that she managed to write something that engages readers. :)

I just don't like the part where she's saying her books are accurate of a subculture, and that the relationship portrayed is healthy, etc, etc, that is all.

anastasiareeves
07-14-2015, 07:20 AM
Not trying to make anyone like her or the books for any reason. Asking why the author is responsible for her readers mis-using her fictional novels and why we think it's ok to drag her name into Hell just because she has a poor grasp on writing technique. In her mind she may well believe Shades is an accurate portrayal because she doesn't see the writing is faulty.

As a writer I do more research than I do writing because I fear these things. But also as a writer I shudder to think that if I write a terrible sentence I am suddenly responsible for how the world uses those words and the characters I have had say them.

Latina Bunny
07-14-2015, 07:31 AM
I don't hate her. I respect her as a writer and as a living person, of course.

I just think she may be a tiny bit ignorant, is all, lol. :P Like if a person wrote about Black or Native American culture, and claims it's accurate...

I don't get the super-extreme hate, though. There are other authors who are also...offensive or ignorant about certain things, too.

I hope she hasn't gotten death threats. :( If the gaming community has taught me anything, it's that women tends to get death threats (or stalked or harassed, etc) when some questionable people hate their stuff....

CassandraW
07-14-2015, 07:35 AM
The bad writing is a separate issue from the abusive relationship or the inaccurate betrayal of BDSM.

Grey is a stalker who does his damndest to manipulate and control a young woman's life. This is depicted as being glamorous and sexy rather than as creepy and wrong. That's not her writing style. That's not technique. That's her entire plot and concept.

Eta:

Death threats -- yeah, she doesn't deserve that. No one deserves that. Criticism, though, she has earned, along with her hundreds of millions of dollars.

Latina Bunny
07-14-2015, 07:43 AM
Random: Has anyone read that Grey book yet? I'm wondering about how his thought process is approached from his POV?

Oh, to answer OP's topic: I don't think it's uncreative or pathetic to retell the same story from another person's POV. I see it in fanfiction and I think maybe some other books, too. The Selection series by Kiera Cass has some novellas telling from the Love Interests' POVs. So did Divergent with Four, though that may be a prequel, though? Didn't some other YA author do something similar?

If if the fans want more, then that's fine.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-14-2015, 07:55 AM
For the record, I have no issue with the concept of James retelling the story from Christian's perspective. A perfectly reasonable, and possible even incredibly interesting premise. That James may or may not have an execution worth the hype is kind of irrelevant until we see the actual product. If it's bad, it has nothing to do with her story idea.

BenPanced
07-14-2015, 08:41 AM
Random: Has anyone read that Grey book yet? I'm wondering about how his thought process is approached from his POV?

I've read segments of her work (give it up for free samples on B&N and Amazon). I think it stinks on ice, regardless of how much research she did or didn't do or whose POV the story's in.

No, she doesn't deserve death threats for her lousy writing. Nobody does (not even Salman Rushdie, who committed the ultimate sin of writing: I found his work boring). What we've tried to engage in here, unlike what happened on the Twitter feed, is a critical approach on why we do or don't like her writing, which includes any shortcomings in her technique/structure/word choices and her lack of research. Of course, she's bound to defend her writing -- every author can probably expect to at any point in their career -- but to blatantly dismiss it because she's correct and unwilling to listen to criticism? Then she's going to commit Ultimate Writing Sin #2: she's not going to grow and improve as a writer.

Latina Bunny
07-14-2015, 08:54 AM
Oh, criticism is fine. :) I don't know if she could grow as a writer. I wonder what's next for her? Maybe depends on the sale of the Grey book. It would be interesting to see.

Maybe she will do fanfic of her fanfic... And I wonder about the movies, too...

I've just googled some blogs with excerpts from it. Looks like Grey loves mentioning his penis every time (in almost similar ways), lol.

I've tried reading excerpts from her original trilogy, but my inner goddess just couldn't handle it.
....
....
....

My inner goddess needs to be punished now.

Laer Carroll
07-17-2015, 07:24 PM
I've avoided the 50 Shades books because they didn't sound interesting. But some the comments in this thread led me to look at the writing sample on Amazon and skim through the plot summary on Wikipedia of the third book.

Writing

I did not find E. L. James writing "bad," as so many have claimed. That word is so general as to be meaningless. What do you mean? Specify, please.

Do you mean style? I found it no worse than a lot of other published popular writing. "Sufficiently competent" is my verdict on the style.

"Bad" can also refer to plotting, characterization, and setting description. Again, skimming through the sample and reading the plot summary suggests to me that is was good enough to get published.

(I imagination we owe much of that quality to some poor suffering editor who did a spruce up, who learned once again that universal truth so trumpeted by the world's highest religious authorities: Suffering is good for the soul!)

Accuracy

In real life there are plenty of sick, abusive relationships. They do little good to any of the participants, including the abusers. The Grey series is fantasy, maybe in some roundabout way a reaction to reality - Hell tricked out as an exotic subdivision of Heaven.

As for the BDSM life style, I've had two prolonged exposures to it. I discovered that, contrary to popular impression, most of the participants are no sicker generally than the general population. (Not that THAT is a ringing endorsement!)

Also, few of them live the style outside their bedrooms. Or even in it. The more elaborate practices take time, money, and dedication. At some point, many people say "Hell, I'm tired tonight. Let's do it vanilla."

A goodly number of people band together to support each other and act as a dating pool. Sometimes they'll have a group activity, a long weekend on some private property. The one time I visited such an event I was amused to find all the trappings of other hobbyist activities: booths, books and other things for sale, discussion or "sharing" groups for specialized activities, and evening dances and mixers.

Another fact I found was that that "tops" are women about as often as they are "bottoms," and "bottoms" are men about as often as "tops."

Another, bottoms are highly prized. They more than the titular dominants control what really happens and with whom.

Story arc

A lot of the commentators ignore or don't know of the Grey series story arc: Ana resists Christian's controlling ways and ends up saving him from his own abusive past. Along the way she encounters a real abuser and escapes him. In the end Ana and Christian end up happily married with two kids. Much of it because of the actions of the stronger of the two lovers: Ana.

(The story takes a LOOONG time to get there, with lots of detours for happy readers into exotic and expensive places. I suspect for many readers this is the real appeal of the series, not the story.)

So, in an odd way (and what would be more appropriate for such a story as to be odd!) the Grey trilogy is a story of redemption. An odd couple descends into Hell and triumphs over it by becoming someone better.

Latina Bunny
07-17-2015, 08:18 PM
I've avoided the 50 Shades books because they didn't sound interesting. But some the comments in this thread led me to look at the writing sample on Amazon and skim through the plot summary on Wikipedia of the third book.

Writing

I did not find E. L. James writing "bad," as so many have claimed. That word is so general as to be meaningless. What do you mean? Specify, please.

Do you mean style? I found it no worse than a lot of other published popular writing. "Sufficiently competent" is my verdict on the style.

"Bad" can also refer to plotting, characterization, and setting description. Again, skimming through the sample and reading the plot summary suggests to me that is was good enough to get published.


Story arc

A lot of the commentators ignore or don't know of the Grey series story arc: Ana resists Christian's controlling ways and ends up saving him from his own abusive past. Along the way she encounters a real abuser and escapes him. In the end Ana and Christian end up happily married with two kids. Much of it because of the actions of the stronger of the two lovers: Ana.

(The story takes a LOOONG time to get there, with lots of detours for happy readers into exotic and expensive places. I suspect for many readers this is the real appeal of the series, not the story.)

So, in an odd way (and what would be more appropriate for such a story as to be odd!) the Grey trilogy is a story of redemption. An odd couple descends into Hell and triumphs over it by becoming someone better.

For me, it's just I can find similarly or better written erotica stories (and even fanfiction) that may have similar themes and better BDSM elements for free online. (As well as published erotic romances, both ebooks and non e-books.)

Oh, wait. This was a fanfic, wasn't it, lol? (Can't remember at the moment, seriously.)

Nothing against her being a former fanfic writer! (I love :heart: fanfic)

Her writing's ok. Maybe repetitive and plain in some areas, but ok. To me, it doesn't feel erotic and/or romantic to me at all compared to other erotica / erotic romances / fanfiction I've read (including the free stuff online).

I also don't like reading about abusive relationsips being romantic, and it being called an accurate BDSM lifestyle when it's not.

I guess it's good there is a story arc, but if it takes a long time to get there, I would rather read the free stuff online or erotic romances (both published novels and free stories online).

If readers like her books, good for her and her readers. :) It's good when people find books they love.

anastasiareeves
07-17-2015, 08:26 PM
^Thank you for that. I wanted to try to say all those things but they never seemed to come out right.

I know that I have been all over this thread but I have reasons. I hated the mere idea of this series for a long time. I heard all the things people were saying. They're stolen from Twilight. They're not well written. They're a bad betrayal of BDSM. All of those things made me stay far away. And then I actually took the time to read them. And I disagreed with almost all of it. I don't want to debate what is and is not abusive and I have absolutely no clue about the BDSM part, save a few minor details I have been privy to from a friend who partakes. But I was intrigued by the story and it kept me reading which is more than I can say about a lot of well-touted authors (cough GRRM cough).

Bad writing: Maybe I'm using the term wrong. But you have to read all 2000 or so pages of the series to understand that James writes poorly. Ana, while a strong woman with her own mind and her own agenda, also comes off as extremely whiny. The dialogue James has her and Christian say makes one wonder if the story takes place in Victorian England, modern-day Seattle or whatever porn video she watched that day. Christian calls Ana baby while fucking her and it's cute once, but by the 575th time I yelled, out loud "SHUT UP!" And Ana. Her dialogue varied between "why are you like this Christian!" in a child stamping its feet because it didn't get its way manner and "Oh my" in a my stars he wants to have the sex with me way. Surely there were better ways to portray Ana as young and innocent and Christian as good in bed.

Here's the thing. EL James wrote fan fiction about Bella and Edward in a BDSM relationship. She got good traction online and decided to publish it. Someone paid her. Someone printed it. Someone put the books out there. Not one editor put up a red flag. "Hey maybe this isn't the kind of thing you want out there." "Hey maybe we should fix the missing words and incorrect spelling and grammar." No one. They saw dollar signs. That is not ALL EL James fault. Many of us here are on this site to learn about writing and take criticism and learn from our mistakes. No one told EL James anything was wrong with her writing when she went through the publishing process. And the result is a subpar retelling of Twilight with a BDSM twist. I don't need anyone to like EL James. I don't like EL James. What I am asking for is compassion. On this site more than anywhere else you'd think there'd be an understanding. She's a newbie writer who hit the lottery. So laughing at her being tarred and feathered on Twitter, or anywhere else, just feels icky to me.

Amadan
07-17-2015, 08:42 PM
Come on. No one has ever told her her writing is terrible?

Maybe she doesn't care, or maybe she is convinced otherwise. But the idea she's just some naif who didn't know any better is awfully silly.

Also, I'm sure the criticism make her cry herself to sleep every night on her bed made of $1000 bills.

anastasiareeves
07-17-2015, 08:47 PM
Come on. No one has ever told her her writing is terrible?

Maybe she doesn't care, or maybe she is convinced otherwise. But the idea she's just some naif who didn't know any better is awfully silly.

Also, I'm sure the criticism make her cry herself to sleep every night on her bed made of $1000 bills.

Not when they were telling her that her books were perfect and needed to be on shelves. Not when they were seeing dollar signs themselves. Now, yes. Now she's very aware of what people think of her and her writing. We've made sure of it. And Grey shows significant improvement, though it still has its own issues.

Amadan
07-17-2015, 08:50 PM
How do you know they told her it was perfect?

Fact is, we have no way of knowing what level of self - awareness she does it does not possess.

If she is improving her writing, good for her.

anastasiareeves
07-17-2015, 08:59 PM
You are right. I have no idea what went on when the deal was made to publish Fifty Shades. I don't know what they told her or what happened. What I do know is this: someone paid money to put them out there as is. She didn't print them at home and hand them out to friends and family as Christmas gifts. She got paid to have them professionally printed and stacked on store shelves. If someone came to you and handed you a check for your writing wouldn't you believe, even just for a moment, that you were good at it because you're getting paid?

Arguing the point of what she does and does not know is kinda silly.

Fine. Maybe she doesn't care one iota about how she's being treated. Maybe she's laughing at her full pockets and overflowing bank account. But why does that give anyone the right to do it anyway?

Amadan
07-17-2015, 09:19 PM
Because people in the public eye are fair game for criticism.

Viridian
07-17-2015, 09:20 PM
Another, bottoms are highly prized. They more than the titular dominants control what really happens and with whom.
Sorry to jump on you for this, but I absolutely HATE it when people say this.

I'm a sub. No, I do not have more control than my top. I set the rules. He plays the game. Sure, he's not allowed to cross my boundaries, but I'm also not allowed to cross his. How could I possibly have more control than him? If I want to do something and he doesn't, I can't make him. If he wants to do something and I don't, he can't make me. The only difference between us is that he's the active partner and I'm the passive partner.

We're like a little government. He has the power to propose bills. I have the power to veto. That does not mean I'm in control. It's a give and take relationship. We both have some measure of control. I happen to have slightly less.

.:Soapbox:

anastasiareeves
07-17-2015, 09:27 PM
NVM

bearilou
07-18-2015, 12:25 AM
Honestly, who, of the thousands upon thousands of comments about her writing, the reviews and the 'critiques' offered for her work, can figure out what to listen to and what not to listen to?

Let's say she did take the 'criticism' to heart with the intent of improving.

Now what? What is she supposed to do with a book that has already been printed so many times that whole forests have died for her? How is she supposed to change and 'improve' her writing of those books?

Sure, she should seek to improve moving forward. Does anyone have any proof that she isn't? That she isn't trying?

Has anyone read the book and can comment on it without all the damn hatred for the books and for the woman and notice, with an unbiased eye, if there's been an improvement?

Another question. anastasiareeves brought up a good point.

What happened to the editors? Didn't they have a job to do? Does anyone know for certain that she STET every suggestion out of existence? If she didn't, then what happened? If she did, then she may deserve all the scorn heaped on her. But if she didn't...who's responsible? Should they be held responsible? Would they? Does the publisher care? Why should they care?

anastasiareeves
07-18-2015, 12:58 AM
I read Grey for two reasons: 1) I liked Christian despite all the flaws and 2) I wanted to see if James' writing improved. I can say that I was happy to see that there were significant improvements. I have no hatred for the author or the series. I have my own issues with the dialogue and the characterization but no hate. Grey benefited from a better editor, or one at all, and I feel that James took some of her criticism to heart and made an effort to improve where she had failed in Fifty Shades. During Twitter-gate it was announced that she is writing new stories, not in the Shades world. At this point we have to wait to see if the improvements are really significant because there was no way she was going to full on overhaul all of Grey just to prove she got better. Fans would be angry and it just wouldn't be an actual "sequel" novel if it was so different that Christian became unrecognizable.

gingerwoman
07-26-2015, 10:06 AM
^Thank you for that. I wanted to try to say all those things but they never seemed to come out right.

I know that I have been all over this thread but I have reasons. I hated the mere idea of this series for a long time. I heard all the things people were saying. They're stolen from Twilight. They're not well written. They're a bad betrayal of BDSM. All of those things made me stay far away. And then I actually took the time to read them. And I disagreed with almost all of it. I don't want to debate what is and is not abusive and I have absolutely no clue about the BDSM part, save a few minor details I have been privy to from a friend who partakes. But I was intrigued by the story and it kept me reading which is more than I can say about a lot of well-touted authors (cough GRRM cough).

Bad writing: Maybe I'm using the term wrong. But you have to read all 2000 or so pages of the series to understand that James writes poorly. Ana, while a strong woman with her own mind and her own agenda, also comes off as extremely whiny. The dialogue James has her and Christian say makes one wonder if the story takes place in Victorian England, modern-day Seattle or whatever porn video she watched that day. Christian calls Ana baby while fucking her and it's cute once, but by the 575th time I yelled, out loud "SHUT UP!" And Ana. Her dialogue varied between "why are you like this Christian!" in a child stamping its feet because it didn't get its way manner and "Oh my" in a my stars he wants to have the sex with me way. Surely there were better ways to portray Ana as young and innocent and Christian as good in bed.

Here's the thing. EL James wrote fan fiction about Bella and Edward in a BDSM relationship. She got good traction online and decided to publish it. Someone paid her. Someone printed it. Someone put the books out there. Not one editor put up a red flag. .

Just for accuracy sake, I'm pretty sure she wasn't paid an advance originally, and I don't think it was printed originally. She was accepted by an Australian epublisher in the first instance-so royalty only payments.

But the book took off at such an incredible rate, and people wanted print versions, which the epub could not keep up with the demand for, so the small epub eventually sold the rights to Random House.

(Before all this happened I believe she had quite a following on a Fan Fic site, from which she was eventually banned for posting sexually explicit material.For awhile afterwards she took to posting her stories on her own website. Her fans followed her to her website, and encouraged her to become a published author.)

I was impressed that I finished Fifty Shades of Grey the original first book. I expected from all the talk of how bad it supposedly was to get bored, and drop it.

But she's a good enough writer to keep you reading with suspense, mystery and tension. So I'll say that for her writing skills.

I kept reading because she made me want to find out why Christian was "fifty shades of fucked up" basically.

Also re this thread's title I picked up Grey and read the Acknowledgements, in which she said that she was responding to fans who begged and begged and begged for her to write a book from Christian's point of view. (Which is something other popular authors have done ie... Walking Disaster etc...) So the implication in the title that she wrote the same story over again purely to make more money also seems pretty inaccurate.

I did however get bored halfway through Fifty Shades Darker, and never finished that one.

gingerwoman
07-26-2015, 10:12 AM
What happened to the editors? Didn't they have a job to do? Does anyone know for certain that she STET every suggestion out of existence? If she didn't, then what happened? If she did, then she may deserve all the scorn heaped on her. But if she didn't...who's responsible? Should they be held responsible? Would they? Does the publisher care? Why should they care?

My guess would be she had some basic editing from the Writers' Coffee Shop her first small Australian e-publisher, and then when the sales turned out to be insane, and Random House bought the rights, well... my guess is that the more experienced editors at Random House didn't want to touch a word of the goldmine.

And seriously do you think they should have risked tampering with something that was so insanely popular? Would that have been wise? I can't say I blame them, for just leaving the damn thing alone. lol

Filigree
07-26-2015, 11:56 AM
Amen to that. At risk of sounding snobbish, I have seen what I consider to be utter fanfic garbage (out of character, poor plotting, worse writing) posted on Archive of Our Own, and get thousands of views and gushing comments in a week. The only thing I can think of is that a whole lot of readers are far less sensitive to flaws.

I might read Grey, eventually. Couldn't stand the first series, and only read into the first few chapters of the first book. Each to their own, I guess.

I feel sorry for James in that she seemed genuinely hurt and puzzled when people pointed out her writing flaws. I feel less sympathy for her, because of the way she rolled Twilight fans for fast money.

jjdebenedictis
07-26-2015, 11:27 PM
Amen to that. At risk of sounding snobbish, I have seen what I consider to be utter fanfic garbage (out of character, poor plotting, worse writing) posted on Archive of Our Own, and get thousands of views and gushing comments in a week. The only thing I can think of is that a whole lot of readers are far less sensitive to flaws.**nods** Being a writer of any skill requires you to start thinking about what works and what works better, and that makes all of us a lot more trigger-happy about blasting weaker writing.

The book I read and re-read and adored in high school is one I can't read anymore because the adjective abuse drives me squirrelly. My brother reads voraciously (three books a week, unless he's busy with work), but he's mildly dyslexic and he doesn't even see misspellings and punctuation errors. His reading enjoyment is untouched by the sorts of errors that make me spitting mad that any editor could let a typo so blatant through.

gingerwoman
08-04-2015, 01:19 PM
I feel sorry for James in that she seemed genuinely hurt and puzzled when people pointed out her writing flaws. I feel less sympathy for her, because of the way she rolled Twilight fans for fast money.

Except I don't think she did. She had no earthly way of guessing she'd be anything like the phenomena she is.

She had a lot of fans of her fan fic saying "You're so great, you should be a published author" so she submitted to a small epub.

And again she says in the acknowledgements that she wrote Grey, because of hordes of fan begging her to write the book from Christian's point of view, as numerous other authors have done with NA.

gingerwoman
08-04-2015, 01:53 PM
I've avoided the 50 Shades books because they didn't sound interesting. But some the comments in this thread led me to look at the writing sample on Amazon and skim through the plot summary on Wikipedia of the third book.

Writing

I did not find E. L. James writing "bad," as so many have claimed. That word is so general as to be meaningless. What do you mean? Specify, please.

Do you mean style? I found it no worse than a lot of other published popular writing. "Sufficiently competent" is my verdict on the style.

"

She was able to sustain enough tension to keep the reader asking questions and wanting to find out the answers, so that's a point in her favor as a writer.

The opening paragraph where she has the heroine describe herself while looking in the mirror is "bad," as it's a cliche writers are generally warned against, as something very amateurish, but the writing improves as the chapter continues.

Another specific thing that I did think was "bad" was that we are supposed to believe this story is set in Seattle, Washington, when so much of the writing sounds so very British, as to make you laugh.