The Fifty-First Shade of Grey – how HARD is it to write like E.L. James, anyway?

So…I have heard that E.L. James has announced that she is releasing a fourth novel in her FIFTY SHADES OF GREY trilogy, to be written from the point of view of Christian Grey.

Click here if you want a copy for your Kindle

Click here if you want a copy for your Kindle

I have to wonder if this gambit is going to work for her.

She claims that her fans have asked for it – but I would hazard a guess that the bulk of her fans like to empathize with her protagonist Ana.

“What if I were Ana?” they like to think. “Imagine if I were hanging on that hot rack of monkey-love pain and Christian Grey was practicing his best Boy Scout knotwork on me. Boy howdy, hum-diggedy-dum.”

Or words to that effect.

They might not dig hearing this story from a man’s point of view. They might not really get off on listening to Christian Grey’s inner knot-thoughts – “Hmmm, is it right over left and under or left under right and over?”

I guess we’ll have to hang in there and wait until those two happy young lovebirds FINALLY tie the knot…

Click here if you want a Kindle copy of the fourth book in the series.

Click here if you want a Kindle copy of the fourth book in the series.

All right – so let me pull my horns in just a little bit.

For starters, I did try to read the first book and I could not get past the first chapter. That’s okay. There are an AWFUL lot of books out there that I could not get past the first chapter.

It took me YEARS to get through Dick and Jane.

Yup, you can even order this one in paperback if you want to work your way up to 50 Shades...

Yup, you can even order this one in paperback if you want to work your way up to 50 Shades…

All kidding aside, I would be HAPPY to have written FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY. I would be HAPPY to have them many folks buy my novels.

At the end of the day a writer’s job is to get his words out there to the hungry eyes of as many readers as he can reach.

I know some of you noble-minded folks will say something along the lines of “Oh, I just write to fulfill my creative destiny” but all I have to say to that is piffle.

That’s right.

I said it.

Piffle.

I am sorry to use such strong language in front of your delicate eyes – but we, as writers, are craftsmen as well as artists. We are building a product that should be consumed. A book, unread, is about as useless as an unsung song. It is about as useless as a shoe that cannot be worn upon a human foot.

And if anyone says “horseshoe” at me, prepare to have a Clydesdale dropped upon your wise-cracking head.

Hi - I am a Clydesdale. My name is Clyde - but you can just call me Roadblock...

Hi – I am a Clydesdale.
My name is Clyde – but you can just call me Roadblock…

Writing is hard work – and even a novel like FIFTY SHADES OF GREY took a lot of time and effort. The truth of it is I have TRIED to write a romance twice in my lifetime.

The first time I did not know any better. I had read that a fellow can get rich writing short contemporary romances – so I wrote a novel entitled LUNENBURG LOVE.

It was bad.

It was REALLY funky bad.

Earlier this year I sat down to try and write another romance – but I got no more than a chapter into it and then this ghost showed up and this kelpie and this sea hag and all of a sudden I am writing something that you MIGHT squint at and call a paranormal but it still looks an awful lot like a horror novel to me.

I guess I just cannot do it.

It takes work, dedication and a certain degree of creativity to write ANY novel – even if it is just a hack job or something aimed at turning a quick dollar. So do not look down upon such books as FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. Any book that can sell over 90 million copies has got to have SOMETHING going for it.

I still can’t read it, you understand.

But I will not giggle TOO hard at it.

This, on the other hand, might be giggle worthy…

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

(and thanks to the folks at INK, BITS & PIXELS for the tip on this)

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4 responses to “The Fifty-First Shade of Grey – how HARD is it to write like E.L. James, anyway?

  1. I have no interest in these books and movies, but I found your blog post very entertaining and spot on with respect to the craft of writing. Maybe one day you will write that romance novel–but why not make it a spoof?

    Like

  2. I like your sense of humor, Steve. I tried reading Glenn Beck’s novel once, opened it at a bookstore when I happened to stroll by and see it staring at me from a shelf. Couldn’t finish the first page. 🙂

    Like

    • Okay – so now you made me have to go and Google Glenn Beck.

      I took a peek at the first chapter of one of his novels. It sure didn’t welcome a fellow. I can see why you put it back on the shelf.

      Like

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