Friday, June 1, 2012

50 Shades - The FanFic Hypothesis

When I talked about Why Fifty Shades of Grey Matters last week, it was an innocent commentary on a customer's view of the book.

One of my regular commenters, author Angie Benedetti, mentioned a fascinating post about the id in the writer's mind by Maculategiraffe. Go read it; I'll wait.


Did James hit something in the Twilight fans' collective id that made them say, "Oh yeah, I want that!"?

All this made me start digging. Someone had posted a cached copy of the original version of Fifty Shades, called Master of the Universe. (So sorry! I thought I bookmarked it, but now I can't find it.) Anyway, other than the names, descriptions and a few personality quirks of Edward and Bella, James's story had nothing to do with the Twilight universe. I wouldn't consider it even an Alternate Universe.

I'd like to point out I never said E.L. James violated Stephenie Meyer's copyright. It would take very little editing to make Master of the Universe a totally separate animal, which I believe James has done. The only reason it's even mentioned in the same breath as Twilight is because it started life on a Twilight fan fic website.

Here's Stephanie's thoughts on Fifty Shades in her own words:

I've heard a lot of people ranting about E.L. James's grammar, or lack thereof. So, last Sunday, I flipped through the book while at Barnes & Noble, reading the first chapter, then a few pages here and there. To me, it's not as spectacularly bad as some people make it out to be on the technical front.

I have to agree with Angie's comment. Someone's ability to tell a story overrides grammar pecadillos. I LOVED the Harry Potter series! I don't give a flip what anyone says about J.K. Rowling's craft abilities. She captured my attention. The same with many authors on my keeper shelf.

My problem with a story occurs when the author does something so illogical that it rips me out of my suspension of disbelief. Unfortunately, that's what happened to me while reading the first chapter and a few other excerpts of 50 Shades of Grey. I'll post my thoughts on why my suspension of disbelief collapsed on Monday.


  1. This I can't read...I know it's about a college girl and an older man...I have a college girl!!! This would be my worst nightmare!

  2. Really, Tess? This is your worst nightmare? Because I'm always paranoid having GK in any public place after six-year-old Adam Walsh was kidnapped and beheaded.

  3. You make a valid point, abduction (and worse) has always been my biggest fear with both my kids.

  4. But if my daughter became involved with a much older man (or any man) and he has certain influences over her...yes, that is still one of my nightmares.