Fifty Shades of Grey- E. L. James

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Harlequin
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Re: Fifty Shades of Grey- E. L. James

Postby Harlequin » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:28 pm

-Takes a deep breath-
First off, I'm not talking entirely through my hat here. I'm a published author (short fiction). I'm not famous... I'm not even somewhat known. I do know a bit about writing, publishing, etc.

First off, the success of 50 Shades is a sign of something that has been somewhat known for awhile, and that is that the e-reader revolution allows people to read stuff they normally wouldn't without being questioned.

There's been a rise of both the Mommy-porn and what we'd call Pulp, or Dime store, novel in the e-verse. i'm not complaining about that... one of my serials that I actually sold is pure pulp. It's fantastic, really, and is allowing writers to play around and experiment, and maybe churn out something that's just "fun", maybe a bit trashy.
It may not be art, but a fun read is just as important as art.

That being said.

50 Shades of Grey was... a book written without an editor. It's not that it's a dirty book... hell, the Sleeping Beauty stuff wasn't too terrible... but the prose and writing...

I'm sorry, I tried. I got about 10 pages in before I simply couldn't take it anymore. There are writers who use simple prose and through that carry an earthy power, like Hemmingway.
There's writers who use simple prose to help get a fascinating story out, like in Go Go Girls of the Apocalypse.
There's writers who have a simpler style, but the -content- is so stylish you can't help bt love it, like Jim Butcher.

And then there's writers who write simple prose because they're not very good, and who reuse the same crutch words 1000 times.
we all do it. Hell, my blog posts have more crutches than an ER. But that's something that goes away with editing.

and this stuff... isn't edited.

Plus, this guy? From what i can see, he's the type of guy that in the real life BDSM scene, no one interacts with because he's a creeper who has a string of failed relationships. I get fantasy, but christ. Don't give me a creepy guy then try to convince me he's not creepy by simply repeating how awesome he is.

And I swear to god, her Inner Goddess needs to be chained to a truck and roadhauled.
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Elle Couerblanc
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Re: Fifty Shades of Grey- E. L. James

Postby Elle Couerblanc » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:19 pm

Harlequin wrote:Plus, this guy? From what i can see, he's the type of guy that in the real life BDSM scene, no one interacts with because he's a creeper who has a string of failed relationships. I get fantasy, but christ. Don't give me a creepy guy then try to convince me he's not creepy by simply repeating how awesome he is.


The Christian character was a huge FAIL! I actually liked Anastasia and wanted to know more about her. But Christian - stalker much? I mean come on - my extremely naive coworker who seems to be really intrigued about the BDSM culture would sense the creep vibe from him!
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Re: Fifty Shades of Grey- E. L. James

Postby Sempati » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:22 pm

I did have a morbid sense of curiosity about the book, but given the review Treat posted and other views I think I'll save myself the headache. Really it sounds like it is a poorly written knock off of Story of O and the Beauty series.

So thank you are for killing that curiosity so I can focus on something interesting. Like finding some tits to fondle in RP.
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Harlequin
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Re: Fifty Shades of Grey- E. L. James

Postby Harlequin » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:42 pm

You know what though? All that being said...
Congratulations to her. She got books published, and frankly as much as I dislike her books and prose, that's still a huge freaking accomplishment.
And I say that because I don't want to seem bitter just 'cause someone else got published. Her stuff is, in my view, terrible, but as King said, any writer that pays a bill with their fiction is a great writer.
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Re: Fifty Shades of Grey- E. L. James

Postby Glaucon » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:39 pm

Hmmm, while I suspect that I would not like this book at all, would get very annoyed with her, and even more so with him, and would think that I had read much better erotica and that nearly all the non-erotica I read was better anyway...

... it is a bit odd for us to be so hard on a adult novel BDSM-themed pulp fiction writer that really could have used an editor, while we all play in the world and discuss the work of a adult novel BDSM-themed pulp fiction writer that really could have used an editor. :)
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Re: Fifty Shades of Grey- E. L. James

Postby TreatRothschild » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:46 am

*laughs*

All sorts of good insights today, Glau.
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Harlequin
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Re: Fifty Shades of Grey- E. L. James

Postby Harlequin » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:15 pm

Not really... I think Norman's stuff is even worse tbh. And more than just an editor, re-reading a few passages of 50 Shades... this desperately needs a second draft, too. This stuff literally reads like a published first draft, which is insane.
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Re: Fifty Shades of Grey- E. L. James

Postby ... » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:50 pm

Harlequin wrote:Not really... I think Norman's stuff is even worse tbh. And more than just an editor, re-reading a few passages of 50 Shades... this desperately needs a second draft, too. This stuff literally reads like a published first draft, which is insane.


It started out as an ebook and POD, which suggests that the publishers had very little faith that it'd actually sell at all. I'd guess they didn't consider it worth sending through a full pre-production phase. I shouldn't imagine it matters a great deal to a huge majority of the people who read it. You're (presumably) just used to reading as a writer, so it's like nails on a chalkboard. :P

As for the book itself... there's so much I could rant about. The main character (who we're apparently supposed to like) being the most ridiculously naive, irritating, dishonest little twerp I've ever had the displeasure of reading; basically the best example I've ever seen of what can go wrong when an unimaginative middle-aged woman tries to write an intelligent young woman. The whole "he's broken so he's kinky" thing. The lack of plot. The repetitive use of descriptors. But most of all... holy cow... most of all... people with an allergy to genital words should not write erotica.

On the plus side though, it's given a lot more attention to authors who've written good erotica, and it's got people reading again. As a writer too, I'm happy when people talk about books. It makes them likely to buy more...

I'm also a bit jealous of her massive pile of dragon gold from shit prose. :P
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Harlequin
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Re: Fifty Shades of Grey- E. L. James

Postby Harlequin » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:13 am

Oh I'm jealous. that's why I added that whole "Well good for her to be published" part.

It covers my seething all consuming jealousy.
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Re: Fifty Shades of Grey- E. L. James

Postby Gretchen » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:02 am

I agree with everything that Harlequin said in his post, and Oor too. I read the book, even if it is mostly just.. ugh. I have students in my classes that write far better than that, though I don't want to know if they are even writing erotica. =P

I was able to make my way through most of the books by treating like I treat papers when I am in the editorial mode, and well, yeah, I tend to agree about the prose being mostly crap. The main character just makes me face palm, but I have to say that she is laughing on her way to the bank with the way that the books sold. Toss in the movie deal, and it was a good day for her.
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