Friday, July 27, 2012

Fifty Shade of Grey. And Life Imitates Freedom.

Writing News.

I have been catching up on my newspaper reading and I have read some interesting articles relevant to writing and books.

Shades of Twilight.

A few blog posts ago, I postulated that based on the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, publishers would now be bracing themselves for an influx of erotic manuscripts. I thought that this rush of erotica might make up for publishers having to wade through thousands of Twilight like manuscripts about vampires who couldn’t  bring themselves to have sex with their human girlfriends.

Little did I know, Fifty Shades of Grey grew out of Twilight fan fiction. I only found out about this link between the two series of books when reading an article in the AGE by Helen Razer.  It seems the author of Fifty Shades of Grey really wanted the vampire to impose his manhood on Belle.

As a result of expected Fifty Shades of Grey fan fiction wanted the female character to be more assertive, I predict the next big flood of manuscripts will be about witches using there charms to turn their werewolf boyfriends into obedient lap dogs.

Speaking of Awful Sex Scenes.

If like me your brain becomes impotent at the thought of writing a sex scene, it seems we are not alone. In an article titled The earth doesn’t move for men writing sex scenes, Jojo Moyes suggests that blokes have a real disadvantage writing sex scenes as they tend to forget about all their bedroom failures. Woman are supposedly better at writing sex scenes because they are more sincere.

In the article Martin Amis is quoted saying “sex is almost impossible to write about and no one has done it very well”.  It seems that most writers acknowledge this as they close the door on their characters sexual antics and leave it to the reader to imagine what gymnastics the characters performed.

Freedom to Sell-out.

I recently read Freedom, by Jonathon Frazen, and found one particular character stretched credibility. The character was a radical environmentalist, who wanted to save a particular species of bird, the warbler, by creating nature reserves for it throughout the US. In order to do this he made a deal with a mining company that allowed them to mine a section of forest that they said would be  rehabilitate as a nature reserve for the warbler. The character did eventually wake up to his delusions.

But last week I read an article about an Australian environmentalist, Dorjee Sun, who seems to suffer from similar, but real life, delusions to the character in Frazen’s novel. In May last year Sun sold half his share in a big area of forest to a mining company who plan to mine its $5 billion worth of gold. Sun says he sold it to the miners in the hope they would preserve some of the forest around the mine. Unlike the character in the book, Sun got $700,000 plus $3,000,000 worth of shares. If I was delusional enough to accept Sun’s explanation, Frazen’s character would have a little more credibility. Perhaps Sun read Freedom before coming up with his reason for selling the land to the mining company.  


Anthony J. Langford said...

Yes I knew about the whole fan fiction thing, which makes it even worse. Also raises the question of plagiarism.

I'm writing about too much sex at the moment. I have no problem tackling it, but sometimes I disturb myself.

Interesting re Freedom. Life imitating art? Why not? It happens all the time.

Graham Clements said...

I obviously had not been reading or hearing enough about Fifty Shades - which has been all over the AGE and radio national - to only just recently learn that it was from fan fiction. Like Dan Brown and Twilight there is no way I will be reading it. The subject matter of all three has no interest.

Of other hyped books, I might eventually read a Harry Potter novel, but I didn't think much of the first film and have not watched any of the others. I might eventually read a Hunger Games novel, as it does have science fiction elements.

Interesting how Dan Brown seems to have drifted off into obscurity.

Anthony J. Langford said...

Totally with you on the Dan Brown front etc.. terrible writing. Though it has to be said that people are like sheep, jumping on the proverbial bandwagon, only because 'everyone else is.' This is extremely depressing.

As for HP, I didn't like the first movie either, but it does shift a gear as they get older. The third one was especially dark and directed by Alfonso CuarĂ³n who made Children of Men.
Like everything else these days, the series went on too long.
Just heard that Jackson is making 3 Hobbit films now. I think that's a mistake.

Graham Clements said...

Three hobbit films - the book is only 279 pages. He's going to have to do an awful lot of padding or substantial rewriting of the story.

I must have a look at the third film in the Potter series. Both for it being darker and being directed by the guy who did Children of Men, which I watched again recently and found it again to be one of the better science fiction films made in the last few decades.