It’s wild that Fifty Shades of Grey, which has floated around Twilight Fan Fiction circles for years, is suddenly “news” being covered by the New York Times and lighting up Twitter among a new wave of readers. Some articles (like NYT) have neglected to mention the Twilight tie; others like Entertainment Weekly have gotten the details right.
I first became aware of fan fiction in 1995 in the wake of My So-Called Life’s cancelation after one perfect season. I was late to the MSCL party and was so sad to see the story just…end. Other people were too, apparently, as they chose to write their own endings. Even now, seventeen (!!) years later, people are still writing “FF,” as it’s known, for MSCL.
At the time, I was a senior in college and impressed with the creativity (if not always the writing abilities) of those writers who chose to find ways of keeping the characters they loved alive. But I was job hunting and about to New York City post-graduation so I never tried my hand at FF, and didn’t give it another thought until I became aware of Twilight FF thanks to Twitter.
After reading a few stories – some with good plots, most with little editing – I didn’t spend much time reading FF. I still don’t. But as Master of the Universe exploded onto the scene in the form of Fifty Shades, I found that I couldn’t resist joining the conversation.
Originally known as Master of the Universe or #MOTU and featuring Twilight characters Edward and Bella in an Alternate Universe (“AU”), this story was very popular: lengthy, risque and for some, addictive. For me? Not so much. I read a little and quit.
Fifty Shades wasn’t the first Twilight FF to crossover into the mainstream publishing world. Emancipation Proclamation by J.M. Darhower, which re-imagines Bella as a slave sold into the Cullen household, was recently published as Sempre.
Have you read Fifty Shades or Sempre? If not, are you thinking about it?
A warning: if you think the Twilight books are intolerable due to poor writing and insufficient editing, you will find Fifty Shades to be much, much worse. Repetitive in both theme and word choice. Unrealistic in so very many ways. Britishisms in a story set in the U.S. with American characters. Etc. Etc.
If you are a prude, or unable to get beyond the shackles (ahem) of what you consider to be normal, steer clear.
But if you want to get in on the conversation – and perhaps learn a trick or two to surprise a special friend – by all means proceed, and let me know what you think.