Taken in part from "Writers Unboxed" blog Posted: 06 Aug 2013, featuring Lisa Cron (LC) and Donald Maass (DM) who probe the secrets of this mega-bestseller.
Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has sold 70 million copies and counting.
So poorly written, so surface, so . . . compelling people can’t seem to put it down.
Why? Why? Why?
Maybe Fifty Shades isn’t as poorly written as it seems?
Yes, Anastasia says “inner goddess” so many times that if you used it as a drinking game, you’d be in rehab before you finished reading. [taken from "Writers Unboxed"]
There are a surprising number of things that E.L. James does so deftly that it genuinely blinds readers to the shoddy prose. She hooks them. And she holds them. The question is: how?
The Characters — Anastasia
The Characters — Christian
The Inner & Outer Journeys
When a book becomes a phenomenon there’s a reason. Hate it if you like, but the wiser course is to understand how such a book grips so many readers--then steal the methods and use them for your own ends.
E.L. James created characters whose warmth, openness and inner conflicts are close to universal. Fundamentally, Anastasia and Christian are two humans searching for each other, healing and love.
The moral values beneath James’s story are age old. Purity and the one-true-love ideal. Nothing revolutionary.
Great fiction not only moves our hearts but makes us think.
Fifty Shades of Grey merely affirms that which many readers believe. Behind the gimmick there’s a simple and unchallenging message.
James’s novel is popular, but popularity and greatness are two different things.
So, why not take away fifty lessons to make your fiction broadly appealing, but then go beyond that and make your fiction great?
Writing tips added and pertinent to the lesson, taken from "The Emotional Thesaurus'