Fifty shades of blah
I think the whole world has heard about E.L. James’s ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, which started life (so I’ve heard) as a ‘Twilight’ fan-fic and developed a life of its own. Rather like Frankenstein, if some of the reviews are to be believed, such as this one. Judging by the comments, the readers of this blog are in vehement agreement. And I find it fascinating.
Let’s be clear; I haven’t read ‘Twilight’, I really do not understand the sexual attraction of a vampire. Out of morbid curiosity, I had a look at the opening scenes of the second film. I was on a long plane flight and it was (maybe) a way to pass the time. I got as far as discovering that Edward was over one hundred years old – and he was going to HIGH SCHOOL? Give me strength. And that’s even before I thought about it some more and decided that was just plain creepy and yuck. Okay, that’s me accounted for.
But millions of teenage girls and grown up women LOVED Twilight. It touched a nerve, sent a thrill through their bodies (or something). This 50 shades thing has latched on to whatever it was that all those people adored and ratcheted it up a notch, adding BDSM and eroticism to the mix. I can sort of understand that. Eroticism and BDSM are implied in a vampire story. I mean, vampires are hardly cute and cuddly even if they are into undying love (haha).
All the reports I’ve read say that the book is not well written, the story line is blah etc. Yet it’s walking off the shelves. I’ve read many an excellent book by a raft of Indie writers that, sadly, don’t walk off the shelves. That includes mine.
So what are we doing wrong? What can we learn from E.L. James – leaving aside the fan-fic argument? Or do I go back to my own post (the only thing that really matters is the story) about a badly written fan-fic and beat myself over the head with that?