wneleh: by Mirnell (Default)
[personal profile] wneleh
It's Fifty Shades of Grey/Master of the Universe week! Huh?, you ask? [personal profile] mecurtin has written a summary of the state of the phenomenom, The Twilight Fanfic Industry, for month_of_meta. In short, Fifty Shades of Grey is a hunt-and-replace, decently-beta'd novel by E.L. James that started life as the Twilight fic Master of the Universe. Everyone involved is very clear about this; and, searching for different sites hosting one of them, I typed in a randomly-chosen six-word string and found the other.

Lots of people who don't think about fanfic very much are trying to figure out what this means, for fanfic, for literature, and for erotica. To me, the most interesting part of this is that the fic actually reads like fanfic; the sort of fanfic I'd read if I read explicit het Twilight BDSM AUs.

To the references!

A widely-distributed Associated Press article explained James’ trilogy began as fan fiction, a thriving genre online in which fans write variations of their favorite books and characters, stories usually intended solely for fellow aficionados. James used the vampire Edward and teen Bella from Stephenie Meyers’ mega-selling “Twilight’’ and placed them in Seattle. First called “Master of the Universe’’ and published two years ago on the website http://www.fanfiction.net, James’ stories attracted a strong following and were released commercially in 2011 by Writer’s Coffee Shop. [...] “It is widely known that E.L James began to capture a following as a writer shortly after she posted her second fan fiction story,’’ Vintage said in a statement. “She subsequently took that story and re-wrote the work, with new characters and situations. That was the beginning of the `Fifty Shades’ trilogy. The great majority of readers, including fan fiction aficionados, have found `Fifty Shades’ deeply immersive and incredibly satisfying.’’

In the Kansas City Star, in "Kinky romance is a hit," Jenee' Osterheldt wrote It’s hard to believe it started out as free: online fan fiction, largely inspired by “Twilight,” but definitely written for adults.

The Houston Chronicle's Hot Topics blog discussed Popular, raunchy book series and the fan fiction debate.

Western Australia Today's Alecia Simmonds, in "50 shades of WRONG," wrote Bloggers have grumbled that the book lacks originality because it started as Twilight fan-fiction. Other commentators have noted how e-books function as the perfect brown paper bag; letting us indulge in ‘smut’ unbeknownst to our fellow commuters. But surely the real question is: why has a romance novel about male domination been so incredibly popular?

In "Grey area" for The Star (Toronto), Greg Quill wrote Ethical objections of fan fiction aficionados over James’s alleged appropriation of copyrighted material, and her breach of fan fiction writers’ most sacred tenet — Thou Shalt Not Publish For Profit — have been drowned out in the rush to find the next “mommy porn” contender in online media outlets once considered outlaw territory and beneath contempt by legit publishers. In another Star article, Quill wrote Legitimate book publishers are routinely scanning web sites dedicated to self-published works and fan fiction — literary mash-ups of existing best-sellers whose authors and publishers allow fans to create new versions online, but not for commercial publication — hoping to find the next female erotica blockbuster. Really??

MediaBistro's Jason Boog wrote Fifty Shades of Grey Began as Twilight Fan Fiction and asked Will Fifty Shades of Grey Inspire More Fan Fiction Writers to Publish? And, in "'Fifty Shades Of Grey': Publishing's Sexiest Trend," for NPR, Boog wrote The book emerged from the steamy land of fan fiction, an online community of readers who write unauthorized extensions of their favorite stories.

The (Alabama) Times Daily's Franklin Harris wrote, in "'Dangerous' book sees everything in 'Shades of Grey'," "50 Shades of Grey" is not your typical best-seller. Not that most best-sellers have especially impressive literary pedigrees, but “50 Shades of Grey” comes from a lowly estate indeed. It began as fan fiction — and not just ordinary fan fiction, but “Twilight” fan fiction. Fan fiction is itself a “gray” area — a shadowy world where mostly anonymous authors write mostly atrocious stories of legally suspect status featuring other writers’ characters. The Internet is full of these stories, where sex scenes are plentiful, inventive and almost invariably bad. But no one makes money off fan fiction, and most professional authors are sensible enough to leave these besotted typists alone. Then, sometimes, a fanfic writer or a particular work of fan fiction will gain a following.

For the International Business Times, Christina Merrill, in " 'Fifty Shades' Trilogy Makes A Splash, But Is It Breaking New Ground?," wrote James' story started off as "Twilight" fan fiction posted on FanFiction.Net. It was originally titled "Master of the Universe" and gave readers graphic sex scenes between the characters of Bella and Edward (for those who never partook of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" books, let's just say that steamy sex scenes are pretty much nonexistent).

USA Today's Joyce Lamb, in "Fifty Shades of Grey: Who knew women like erotica?!?!?," wrote I'm sure most everyone reading this knows the history of Fifty Shades of Grey. Started out as Twilight fan fiction, struck a chord with readers, author changed the names and other aspects, published it as a trilogy and, wham, we're looking at massive sales followed by a seven-figure book deal.

In "'Fifty Shades of Grey': What is the appeal?" for The Christian Science Monitor, Meredith Bennett-Smith wrote “50 Shades of Grey” is not exactly your typical book club read. An erotic novel with fan-fiction origins, penned by a mysterious British mother named E. L. James, this first book of a now infamous trilogy, includes explicit scenes and heavy doses of bondage and sado-masichism.

The Daily Beast's Lizzie Skurnick, in "‘50 Shades of Grey,’ a Self-Published E-Book, Is the Future of Publishing," wrote [James] published the book with The Writer’s Coffee Shop in Australia, a “book-loving community” that’s a social sharing site as well as a distributor. One tab welcomes visitors to “Become a Writer,” which James certainly did, happily basing her characters on Edward and Bella in her fan fiction, then morphing them, allegedly, into her own. But she, and we, are not disturbed that this transformation did not come to pass. Edward and Bella are meant—like her manuscript—to be shared.

In the Philadephia Inquirer, in "Steaming up moms' e-readers," Amy S. Rosenberg wrote The novel's success has actually turned off some romance fans who feel that Fifty Shades should not be marketed as an original work, because its main characters derive from the main characters of Twilight. And some complain that Fifty Shades' publication as an e-book, and now as a paperback, is a betrayal of its origin as Master of the Universe, a reworking of the Bella and Edward story, S&M-style, using the names Bella and Edward, on the website FanFiction.net. (Fan fiction is written by fans who reimagine beloved books or genres and share them with other fans on the Internet.)

In "Steamy yet discreet: an e-book revolution," for Canberra Times and republished across Australia, Linda Morris quoted Angela James, the head of Harlequin's e-book arm: ''I certainly see why readers find it compelling,'' James says, ''though it's certainly not the most well-written or original book, especially given its start as Twilight fan fiction. But clearly there's a perfect storm of story elements that make it attractive to a commercial fiction audience, and anything that increases the profile of romance, books and publishing is a win for all of us.''

For FOX News, in "Erotic novel '50 Shades of Grey' unites gals, unnerves some guys," Jo Piazza wrote While women are applauding the book, some men are expressing concern over whether women should be insulted by a plot dominated by a man who tells a woman when to sleep, eat, work out and even how to groom herself.

On Hollywood Reporter, Andy Lewis and Kim Masters, in "Movie Rights Auction Set for 'Mommy Porn' Book Sensation 'Fifty Shades of Grey'", wrote James, the author, is a former TV executive and mother of two from London. The story started out as posts on ff.net, a site devoted to fan fiction, as a riff on the Twilight books called "Master of the Universe." Yeah, they actually called it "ff.net." Wonder where they saw that?

And finally, for Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch, Abby West wrote As E. L. James’ bestselling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey continues its path from fan fiction to publishing house gold to possible movie, it’s time to start thinking about just who you’d like to see play the leads, Christian and Anastasia.
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wneleh: by Mirnell (Default)

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