I love fanfiction just as much as the next person but I love it because it’s not really quality writing. It’s entertaining in that it’s bad. It’s fun because it’s people taking their wants from a fandom and bringing it into the world but over all it isn’t worthy of actual publishing. Is it? I’m not so sure. This post is delving into why I don’t agree with the fanfictions being turned into ‘legit’ novels that being published.
I know that it’s probably a bit harsh and maybe some of you will disagree with me, which would be wonderful to be honest. I love to read other points of views. Thinking that this might come under fire I do want to say that there is nothing wrong with liking what you like. This is only my opinion and sometimes that doesn’t line up with other people. That’s okay. We can all like different things!
Fifty Shades of Grey. Need I say more? This is the worst book that I’ve never read. I will never read it. I know that makes my opinion on it being the worst kind of unfair but lets break down the plot of this ‘gem’ and on exactly why I think that it’s a shining example of why Fanfiction shouldn’t be turned into published work.
So basically the idea is that a girl who is a virgin, doesn’ think of herself as pretty and feels basic, meets a uber hot, rich, business dude. There is a connection as it were and in their meeting he stalks her, forces himself further into her life, convinces her to do that whole “BDSM” thing with him without really explaining what it is or means. Expects her to just come when he rings a bell and obey and shit.
Now, I’m not against BDSM. I think that there is nothing wrong with that and it’s a lifestyle that I respect. Fifty Shades is not BDSM, it is not a proper portrayal of that lifestyle and I’d probably be offended if I was a part of it myself. I don’t think that hurting women is really the whole point of a lot of it. I’m not well versed so I could be wrong but it always came off as a relationship with a foundation of trust and respect. I’m sure there are people that are like Christian Grey but they are not the norm and as I recall a lot of people in that culture were really upset by the book.
So the book ends, as far as I’m aware, with Anastasia being like NOPE and leaving. She was not wanting anything to do with that crazy dude and his pain kink. I don’t really blame the girl. For Twilight fanfiction this is pretty ridiculous of a premise. I wouldn’t have read it as fanfiction myself and I’m sure I would have rolled my eyes if I had read it.
I guess one of my issues is that the author paints stalking, possession, obsessiveness and all that in such a light. Like we are supposed to be pleased to have some rich asshole follow us around and demand we drop to our knees. Sorry. Not my thing. I don’t get the appeal at all. Honestly, it’s kind of gross.
But aside from the issues I have with the plot itself the writing is where I get really pissed off. To be frank, it sucks, and that is just an understatement. I don’t think I could fully express just how poorly written this book actually is without throwing in some bits. So Goodreads gave me some lovely quotes to share. Now just as a warning there is some found language coming up but I’m not for censorship so skip over of you don’t like f-bombs used in sexual contexts.
“- “Why don’t you like to be touched?”
– “Because I’m fifty shades of fucked-up, Anastasia”E.L. James
“Does this mean you’re going to make love to me tonight, Christian?” Holy shit. Did I just say that? His mouth drops open slightly, but he recovers quickly.
“No, Anastasia it doesn’t. Firstly, I don’t make love. I fuck… hard. Secondly, there’s a lot more paperwork to do, and thirdly, you don’t yet know what you’re in for. You could still run for the hills. Come, I want to show you my playroom.”
My mouth drops open. Fuck hard! Holy shit, that sounds so… hot. But why are we looking at a playroom? I am mystified.
“You want to play on your Xbox?” I ask. He laughs, loudly.
“No, Anastasia, no Xbox, no Playstation. Come.”… Producing a key from his pocket, he unlocks yet another door and takes a deep breath.
“You can leave anytime. The helicopter is on stand-by to take you whenever you want to go, you can stay the night and go home in the morning. It’s fine whatever you decide.”
“Just open the damn door, Christian.”
He opens the door and stands back to let me in. I gaze at him once more. I so want to know what’s in here. Taking a deep breath I walk in.
And it feels like I’ve time-traveled back to the sixteenth century and the Spanish Inquisition.
Holy fuck.”E.L. James
“He grabs me suddenly and yanks me up against him, one hand at my back holding me to him and the other fisting in my hair.
“You’re one challenging woman,” He kisses me, forcing my lips apart with his tongue, taking no prisoners.
“It’s taking all my self-control not to fuck you on the hood of this car, just to show you that you’re mine, and if I want to buy you a fucking car, I’ll buy you a fucking car,” he growls.”E.L. James
Now after those tasteful, -cough- Sarcasm-, quotes how could you not love Mr. Grey. I mean he says fuck and everything! God it’s trite.
“I gasp, and I’m Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he’s the serpent, and I cannot resist.”E.L. James
Oh honey, no. Just no. I’m cringing so much right now.
I don’t have a problem with fanfiction but I don’t understand how this happens. And Fifty Shades isn’t the first book that was fanfiction. So it begs the question…is this harming writers? Writers who spend years crafting novels that are based on NOTHING but their imagination. Writers who can’t get a book deal, who can’t even get an agent. Not because their work isn’t good but because this is what the masses what? Garbage?!
It’s discouraging to say the least. Of course the other side of the coin is how isn’t everyone getting published if this crap can get a three book deal and more. Plus three damn movies. Make millions. AND IT’S SHIT! Okay. Now to be fair, I know that there are people that really liked it. Just like there are people that legit love Twilight. And again that’s cool, I can’t agree with you on that but you do you man.
So I decided that in this quest I was going to see what else was out there that originally was fanfiction and let me tell you that I was shocked okay. I was taken aback okay. I was…what is happening? But seriously here are some books that apparently were fanfiction and I didn’t even know some of these were fanfiction!!
The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare
This is Harry Potter Fanfiction. I didn’t mind this book to be honest. Probably because it wasn’t full of unnecessary amounts of sex…and is classified as a YA. I only read the first book, I did buy two more but never got around to reading them. I bought them before I finished the first one if I remember correctly and then I finished and there was some weird like incest twist with the two main characters so I was like um..what? But overall it wasn’t a bad book and I am pretty sure that it was on my listed of YA Books that I liked. Go figure.
After by Anna Todd
This is a real life fanfiction that was based on One Direction. Yes the main guy is actually Harry Styles. Talk about weird. And that is now a movie! What is the world coming to people?
Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard
I had never heard of it so I looked it up on Amazon and it’s what you’d expect for Twilight Fanfiction. I guess. Doesn’t look like anything I’d want to read but I mean…that’s kind of my point here right?
Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren
Also Twilight fanfiction. I mean these last two I’ve never heard of and only learned of them from the power of google but like…I dunno. The more I read the more I’m just like why is this even a thing?
Now other books that qualify are books that are set in the same world as the original but change aspects to make them their own. I’m not saying that I’d read them but at least they aren’t pretending to be legit original work. So I’m far less bothered by the idea of them than the idea of writing crap with other characters names and then somehow finding a publisher that is like “YES WE WANT THAT”
I’m ranting so I’m sorry. The basic problem that I have is that the bar for being published is supposed to be high. It’s supposed to be difficult right? That’s what makes getting published such a big deal. That your work was chosen. That it was good enough to get printed. But now, the bar is still high for the rest of us but SUPER low if you are writing about characters that were already created by someone else, all you did was put them in a different setting.
That’s kiiind of original, I guess? What do you think? I went hard on this and I’m sure I’ll catch some flack for it. Can’t please everyone but be honest. I have nothing against anyone that did like this book or any of the others mentioned. I’m sure I have loved books that people hated so I hope there will be no hard feelings if you’ve gotten this far!
Did you read Fifty Shades and think it was great literature? Did you read it and think that it was the best thing you’ve read since…I dunno, Twilight? Or are you like me? I’d love to know! Comment below!