Fifty Shades Darker

I can’t believe they’re making the second one, yet here we are.

My opinion of the Fifty Shades trilogy has not improved. I still loathe it deeply, and console myself that I might be a complete unknown, but at least I don’t write like a hormonal teenager with a concussion. I have no tolerance for the twisting horror that is Christian Gray’s treatment of Ana, nor of her utter vapidness.

It’s a trilogy about a sociopath and the woman he abuses, where the woman in question is a worthless non-entity. Based as it is on Twilight, this is not surprising.

You remember I said that E.L. James next book would be a flop? Well, I did not bet on her writing a version of Fifty Shades from Christian’s perspective. Of course that waste of words would sell well.

I can but hope that the Fifty Shades Darker movie will be as ridiculous as the first. I still hope for a flop, but it seems that a third movie is inevitable at this point.

//shay

Why did Fifty Shades succeed…

…when other, worthier titles failed? That was the question posted on Goodreads, and here’s my answer:

Because fanfiction porn had to break out at some point, ebooks were exploding like whoah, and E.L. James got lucky by hooking into the fanbase of Stephanie Meyer’s magnum opus on how humans would act if they had their common sense removed (a.k.a Twilight).

Fifty Shades sure as hell didn’t succeed because it’s actually worth reading.

Let’s not kid ourselves here. The book is utter crap no matter what way you cut it. That’s okay, people have their tastes ‘n’ all that, and it’s fine for them to like it, but seriously – it’s crap. It doesn’t stop being crap just because it’s a bestseller.

It was probably one of the first x-rated fanfiction porn stories to be thrown at an audience outside fanfiction. I’m convinced that people bought it because they heard about it and thought ‘hey, sex. I’m totally down for that and this Harlequin bullshit is too tame.’ Then more people (and by people I mean women) bought it because their friends said it was full of sexytimes or it was so laughably bad that they just had to read it to see how bad it was.

There’s fuck all porn for women out there that you can actually read on the bus. Blame porn producers if anything, or 99% of the mainstream media – they spent years making the same dumb shit for men and left women nothing but romance novels and sexual frustration. Some women went ahead and produced their own porn, fanfiction, but they couldn’t sell it and not many had an audience. That’s what we call an unserved demographic there, kids – and that demographic has MONEY. Lots of fucking money. Given the right circumstances (‘hardcore’ porn novel in regular stores), they will bury you up to your neck in that money. Yeah, effectively it opened up the market for a whole bunch of other, better erotica writers to start raking in the moolah, and we should probably be a little thankful for that. But just a little.

Fact is, ladies ‘n’ gentlemen, Fifty Shades made millions because it was in the right place at the right time. If the deities didn’t have a sense of humor, we might have seen a much better story rise in its place, but them’s the breaks.

I could be wrong about this, of course, so I’m going to make a prediction: E.L. James’s next book will be a flop. Why? Because Meyer’s book that came out after Twilight is practically a non-entity, and she at least knows something of how a story is supposed to go. James doesn’t even know that much. So, the definitive proof of whether Fifty Shades succeeded because it has merit or because of circumstances will be whether her next one earns anything even close to it. But my money is on the flop.

//shay

Designing this

The cat is back and it’s staring at me again. I think it’s plotting something.

I’m back to cover design. A story must have a cover, and my skills remain wholly inadequate. Still, needs must, and I can hardly reveal my secret identity to employ a proper designer. So I have to make it up as I go along, as they say, and just hope that it’s good enough until I make actual money out of this.

Amazon’s 24 hour review time is such a pain. I’ve set a deadline of Friday night anyway, which means I should have the next story up by Saturday night. From there… well, I hope to get back to a regular schedule of writing a story a week, on top of work and actual writing and, y’know, eating and sleeping and stuff.

No rest for the wicked, eh? I have fanfiction to write too. Don’t think I’ve forgotten about that. My fanfiction has a bigger audience than… whatever the hell this stuff is, I don’t know.

Someone told me today that Twilight is a poignant, touching story, and it gets a lot of flak because we, the adults, don’t get it and 14 year old girls do. It’s a ‘get-off-my-lawn’ situation – we hate it because it’s new, and different.

I gave him a strange look. “No, it gets a lot of flak because it’s a godawful piece of trash. You’ve never read it, have you?”

No, he said.

“Of course not. Read it – all of it – and if enough of your braincells survive, you’ll agree with me by the end of it.”

I don’t think he’s going to read it.

//shay

I don’t know if you noticed

…but I spend a lot of boring, boring time on buses.

I still think that the other people around me can tell. It’s like I have a sign on my head saying SEX SEX SEX and they’re just being polite and saying nothing.

Yes, this is my neuroses talking. I get it. Writers are at least partly nuts and most of us know it.

So, on to the next story. I figure some weird and probably very stupid riff on Twilight will keep me riding the sexy bandwagon. Vampires I can do, obviously, but forget about the sparkling – I have too much self-respect for that.

I think another blowjob is in order. Gotta have that whole sucking metaphor…

//shay

I wasn’t kidding

…about the gender switched Twilight story, by the way. No sir, if the masses want creepy vampire porn, far be it for me to deny them.

And it will be somewhat creepy, trust me. If you swap Bella and Edward around, you get a weird, hot vampiress who has decided that the nerdiest idiot in school is somehow irresistible. The local butch werewolf chick has decided the same thing. Drama ensues!

Ah, who am I kidding – sex will ensue. The only question is who’s doing the nasty with whom.

When you think about it, Twilight almost looks interesting from this perspective.

//shay

I’m too tired

…to write today. I expect this will have an effect on my release day tomorrow, unless I can somehow get my groove on and finish up the next story tonight.

Maybe I need to have sex or something. Or maybe watch some bad movies. I’ve been watching really old sitcoms lately, like from the 1960’s, and although they’re hella funny, they ain’t exactly chock full of sexytimes.

I’m also debating what to write next week. I wonder if I should try the lesbian cheerleaders idea? The problem, of course, is that it’s always about something other than the sex. If it were all about the sex, it’d just be porn without plot. As long as it’s not that, the sex needs to be a convenient plot device and nothing more.

Oh – oh no, I got a better idea!

In honor of the fact that crappy Twilight fanfiction can get publishing deals, I shall write a story loosely based on what I’ve read of Twilight.

But with the aaaaall the genders reversed.

*evil cackling*

//shay

What if Twilight…

…was actually a good love story?

No seriously, hear me out. It’s not half as terrible as I think it is, in terms of the plot – the execution is just so woeful it’d make a strong man cry. So it begs the question: what could make Twilight good?

Let me count the ways… You’d have to give Bella a personality. No, I mean a human personality, silly. What she has right now does resemble a personality, yes, but it would probably count as normal for a space alien.

Dial the stupid descriptions right the hell down. We don’t need to know that Edward is perfect in every damn scene he’s in.

More emotional connections, less physical prose.

Give Bella a brain. No really, she’s made out as being smart and still acts stupid for no reason. If she’s actually intelligent, make her intelligent with some kind of consistency.

Make Edward actually remorseful about how screwed up he is. Make him angry about being a vampire. Hell, make Bella his last connection to his humanity, and build his love for her on that.

Make Bella feel sorry for him, and see him as vulnerable and imperfect in spite of his looks. Let her come to love him out of a desire to help him, not because he’s hot.

Of course, that’s just for starters…

//shay