Thursday, 28 June 2012

I promised myself I wouldn’t do it…

But here I am doing it anyway. And my reasons?

    “I don’t see what all the fuss is about other than the fact it’s very graphic” really?

    “I couldn’t read the first one to the end” I can’t believe that!

    “It is immoral and disgusting” To whom? ‘cause I didn’t see that.

Is it clear what I’m talking about yet? No? I’m talking about the 50 Shades trilogy. Until now, I’ve not voiced any strong opinion on these books other than to say I’ve read and enjoyed them. Haven’t joined in on the social media debates and definitely haven’t dissed them.

In fact, I don’t think I could diss (slander) the books because, like everyone else, I’d been hooked in by the publicity and propaganda. The reason I’m breaking my rule of not expressing my opinion of these books today are the heated discussions bombarding my personal Facebook account. Oh, and I read a ridiculous review last week that riled me. So, for what it’s worth, here’s my take on 50 Shades and those who scorn it.

I’d never read a BDSM erotica before, but I do write detailed sex scenes in my stories. When I picked up 50 Shades of Grey, I didn’t really know what BDSM was, or what to expect from it. So, I delved into the book, a little shocked when I got to ‘The Contract’ but it didn’t stop me from reading. In fact, it only made me more determined to find out what the hell was going on.

I admit, sometimes I wanted to grab Ana and shake her. Other times I wished she’d punch Christian for being such an arse.

The thing is though, they would be my reactions. As a person, I wouldn’t allow Christian to treat me the way he does Ana, but I’m not her. Being an author, I have the pleasure of creating different characters. If they were all like me it would make a damn dull read.

What irritates me the most about the awful reviews and bitching? Most of the slanderers are scared to admit that they actually like the series. I mean, how shocking is it, really? Most of the people I’ve heard dissing the books are parents. Surely they know about sex? How on earth would they have conceived otherwise?

I get the BDSM aspect to people (like myself) who haven’t read it may find it shocking and disturbing. But I suggest they google what it actually means. There are people in the world, real life people, who live their lives this way because it’s what they enjoy. Perhaps they look upon us and all our vanilla ways and have the same strong opinions. Who knows?

At the end of the day, I liked the books. I read all three, other commitments be damned, in two weeks and although James doesn’t write like me, or in a way I’d aspire to, I still couldn’t put ‘em down and I fell for the characters.

A good romance has protagonists with flaws. Their internal and emotional conflicts should be inherent in the story and push it forward. Both the hero and the heroine should grow and change and overcome their issues together. The bigger the hurdles, the more I, as a reader, want them to have their happily ever after. I want to feel like they really earned it and have been through the mincer to get there. That’s the kind of stories I aspire to write.

In my opinion, that is exactly what James did with 50 Shades. She took the insecure, innocent Ana and threw her at the guy who should be all wrong for her. Christian is, by his own admission and quite clearly shown throughout the series, fifty shades of fucked up. Being together make each other want to be better people. In the end, I was desperate for all the angst and internal suffering to stop. I honestly didn’t think I could take anymore. But all that drama, all those hurdles, made this story (in my eyes) a great romance.

Yeah, I don’t write like her. I have my own style and my own techniques, but I’m not going to diss another author for writing a story I thought was great.

*Getting off my soapbox*




  1. Amen sista! LOL at thinking Ana should punch Christian, I can't believe she never once did!

    1. Mwahaha. I think that was my only gripe ;)

  2. So as a writer you defend prose like this? Cos sweetheart it makes me wonder about yours. ....... He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string… what! And… a gently pulls my tampon out and tosses it into the nearby toilet. Holy fuck

    1. Yes, I admit, that grosses some people out, myself included. I did say at times I wished Ana would punch him...

      I'm merely showing my gratitude for her bringing romance to a commercial front and saying, as a whole, I enjoyed the books. I don't write so explicit, and I would never write a sex scene when the heroine was "on". But that is my choice and preference. James has hers and people are into it. A few million or so people if the media are correct.

    2. I loved the tampon scene because it's just so wrong! None of us would actually do that and I think that's the whole point. I think James was going for "Oh my gosh, that's just shocking" and she achieved it. It highlights how sexually disturbed Grey is, but it also highlights that he isn't intimidated by the natural changes women go through each month.

      Also, Anonymous above, I'm assuming you are not a writer, judging by your comment's format and the fact as a writer you would know better than to launch a personal attack on another writer.

    3. Thanks other anonymous :o). I know people who have done such things, but they've been in loving relationships. It’s so not for me, but it does have the shock factor, and I think you’re right, that seems to be what she was going for.

      For clarity, this post isn't about approving or disproving anything, it’s a post to say that I liked the series and, even though I can understand why some don't, I don't understand why people would go out of their way to publically slander a story they couldn’t put down. I came to that conclusion because three people on my Facebook page (the one for family and close friends) did nothing but bitch for a month about how disgusted they were. Each one read all three so they can’t have hated it that much, else they wouldn’t have read past the first.

      I know ‘sex’ in books can be a taboo subject for some, but why diss something you don’t like? Why not write it off as just not for you instead of telling the world what a joke you thought it was? That was the point of this post. As an author, I understand not everyone will like what I write. I expect it as I don’t love everything I read. But I’d never publically diss anyone.

      After all, I know the blood and sweat that goes into creating a story and can respect the author’s hard work, even if it didn’t particularly do it for me.

      Off me soapbox again ;)