Quite a while back I admitted to having read the Fifty Shades trilogy. I’m sorry. The only excuse I can offer for this is that every one was talking about it and I felt left out.
My first impression when I started reading the trilogy, is that it was a little boring and seemed more like a journal recount than a narrative and a poorly written one at that. Whilst the story E. L. James was trying to tell, had a few redeeming qualities and if it were worked on and edited a little longer it might not have been so bad. Whilst I admit that I do not have perfect written (or spoken) grammar and quite often make mistakes in my own writing, the errors in this trilogy that actually made it to print were quite frustrating.
So why did I read the entire trilogy you ask? Well, the simple answer is this, no matter how poorly written it might have been, I don’t like leaving things unfinished, including book series. So naturally when Grey (the first book of the series rewritten from Christian’s POV) was published, I had no choice but to purchase that one as well and I have been putting off reading it until now.
After finishing book 8 in the main series of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, I told myself I couldn’t put it off any longer. I tried to convince myself that E. L. James must now be a more experienced writer and after the movie deal was made for the series, she’s probably laughing all the way to the bank and therefore can probably afford (or be assigned) the best editors in the country. In my work up to reading the book, I also told myself it might actually be interesting to see the story from Christian Grey’s POV. Whilst I haven’t gotten up to any of the “saucy” parts of the book yet, my first impressions of this rewrite are very similar to my first impressions of the original – somber, drab, neutral, dull -coincidentally these words are all synonyms for grey. I’m also finding that by reading the same book from a different POV it’s actually ruining the character of Christian Grey, before he was a little mysterious and you were trying to figure him out, now he’s a bit of a whining little bitch with the, “OMG don’t touch me” crap. Like I said though, I can’t leave things unfinished, so it looks like I’m going to have to trudge my way through it and hope that I find a few redeeming qualities. For one, I having come across any major grammatical errors or annoying typos.
With my own writing, sometimes as I reread what I have written previously in preparation to continue, I find that I have also fallen into the same style of recount rather than a narrative and I am often going back and rewriting sections in an attempt to eliminate this. A well written story is not a he said, she said, blow-by-blow recount of events, it needs to immerse the reader into the story, allowing the reader to experience the character’s surroundings, feel their emotions and see what they see.
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
― Anton Chekhov
I can only hope that as the stories of my characters and my writing develops, I am able to do them justice and not fall into the “recount” trap. However, in considering that I am most often able to notice when I have drifted into that style, it gives me at least some hope that I will be able to do the stories of my characters justice.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and would like to wish you all a happy new year, may 2016 be a year of working towards the fulfillment of dreams!
© Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within, (2013-2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Katherine A. Kovács and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.