Monday, August 27, 2012

"Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey"

Before I get into Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey I'm linking to an article that talks about future film plans for FSoG, here.

Best selling author E L James has finally broke her silence on whether "Fifty Shades of Grey" will remain a trilogy on the big screen. The film rights were purchased in March by Universal Pictures yet there was no discussion on how many films would be made. Although there has been no official announcement, E L James has taken to her favorite social media outlet, Twitter, to answer the question. On August 25 a fan asked James, "is the film going to be a combination of all books wrapped up?" Within minutes the author responded by stating, "three films hopefully :)." This is exciting news to fans who have been wondering for months how the novels would be depicted on film.

The article goes on to talk about who might be cast in the lead roles...none of which are Matt Bomer, unfortunately.

There's also a non-fiction book coming out this fall titled Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey. You can check it out here on Amazon. I participated in the book with an essay about my thoughts and feelings about FSoG, and went into detail about my reading experience, how I found FSoG on a review site, and how it actually inspired me to write my own BDSM novel, Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street. I'd like to emphasize that Jonah Sweet is not a parody of FSoG and does not even come near the storyline. In fact, in my book, after reading what so many loved and hated about FSoG in reviews, and then weighing them and examining the reasons why some either love it or hated it, I decided to write a BDSM novel that was NOT like FSoG.

But when asked if I was interested in contributing to Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey, I couldn't wait to get started. It wasn't easy to keep it short. I could have written a chapter if there'd been room. What I found most interesting about FSoG was that the people who seemed to dislike it were very into the BDSM lifestyle and almost felt insulted at the way BDSM was handled in FSoG. I'll admit that I didn't get that at first. Now I do get it.

On the other hand, the mainstream...people who know nothing about BDSM but are curious about it, including me...embraced the book in ways no one ever expected. And these mainstream readers gave FSoG great reviews. I NEVER talk about my own reviews here. But I think I can say this without offending anyone. I had one review for Chase of a Lifetime a few months ago where the author of the review talked about what she hated in my book and what she loved in Fifty Shades of Grey. Being that Chase of a Lifetime and Fifty Shades of Grey are nowhere even close to being identical books...not in any way, shape or form...I found that interesting. There isn't even BDSM in COAL. In fact, I would not hesitate to say that Fifty Shades of Grey and Chase of a Lifetime are completely different books all the way around.

And yet a reader went out of his/her way to compare my book to FSoG. I'm sorry the reader didn't like my book. And there's nothing I can do about that. It's happened before and it will happen again and I'll live. But that was one negative review that I did learn from. It gave some good solid information that helped inspire my essay in Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey. I also think the reader may have been tempted to read one of my books because of Fifty Shades of Grey. I can't be sure about that. But I've heard other authors of erotic Romance say this is true.

I think this is important to add. I wrote my essay for Fifty Writers from the POV of being a mainstream reader who knows nothing about BDSM. And even though FSoG inspired me to write a BDSM novel, it did not inspire me to the point where I wanted to write FSoG fanfic. I didn't like it that much. I've also read that most people who bought FSoG and helped make it the blockbuster hit its been, allegedly did not bother to finish it. They have ways of tracking these things now with e-readers, and from what I hear this is based on clinical data. Evidently, only one in ten readers actually finish the book.

I will post more about Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades as we get closer to a release date. I'm curious about what the other forty-nine writers thought about FSoG. From what I've been told the essays include opinions and thoughts from writers who did not all share the same opinions.


Jennie Brumley said...

I've tried starting FSoG 3 times and haven't made it past page 5. I think the problem is, every time I try reading it, my mind suddenly digs up every review I've read about this book, good, bad or indifferent. So much so that I feel my own thoughts get squashed under the weight of them all. For the time being I've given up trying to read it. I may go back to at some point, I may not.

Speaking with fellow authors about the book, many of them take issue with the fact that's it's just not very well written or edited. Speaking with friends in the BDSM community, most of them dislike the way in which many safety issues are glossed over, and how the Hero is portrayed as having something "wrong" with him because he's into kink. Even worse still is how he's miraculously "cured" of his shameful ways by the end of book 3. If EL James did any research into the lifestyle it is not apparent, and yes some people find this book downright offensive because of it.

On the other hand, I've read plenty of comments from other romance authors and people who are into kink who simply take the book for what it is and enjoyed it immensely.

I do like the factoid about only 1/10 people actually finishing the book. I suppose the number crunchers don't care if people read it or not, just so long as they buy it.

ryan field said...

When I read FS I'd only seen one review, a bad review. Because I typcially love all books that get bad reviews on this one particular web site I bought FS just for that reason. As is always the case, I like the book...thanks to that bad review. And this was months before FS went mainstream and became a big book.

As someone who didn't know much about the lifestyle, I didn't get why people were so upset about certain things. But after I did my own research for my own book I did begin to understand.

I think it's simply a book meant for entertainment purposes, plain and simple. The basic plot resembles a TV plot on a sitcom and I don't think that's a bad thing. It's escapism for readers. But I will admit the facts about people not finishing the book surprised me.