On Top of It #3 by Lisa Martens
Don’t Let EL James Ruin Fanfic
I’m not a fan of the Twilight or Fifty Shades franchises, but I can appreciate that Fifty came from fanfiction, because I think there is a great community around fanfiction, and it’s constantly dissed and ignored, no matter how much it grows. But EL James, why are you disrespecting Mom?
For those who don’t know what I’m talking about: For the 10th anniversary of the Twilight series, Meyer has released a gender flipped version of the book called Life and Death. In this one, the dude is the teenage mortal with perpetual derp face, and the vampire is a chick.
But this wasn’t what Twilight fans were expecting. For years now, Meyer has been working on and off again on a retelling of the Twilight story from Edward’s point of view.
If this sounds familiar, it’s also the premise of Grey, the new Fifty Shades book told from the perspective of, that’s right, Christian Grey.
EL James, what are you doing? I enjoy some erotic, awkward fanfiction as much as the next person. You got very lucky (as someone who has read parts of the book and has experimented with bondage, I can safely testify that you got very, very, VERY lucky, and that maybe your editor is neither familiar with American English slang nor with sex), but why are you hurting your mom? You’re a millionaire now. You can come up with your own bad ideas, and people will read them. Or, at the very least, start stealing ideas from people who are more low key.
To be clear, I’m not telling you to steal ideas. You just seem to be doing that anyway, so you should be smarter about it.
Do you like the Twilight series anymore? Have you forgotten where you came from? You were basically Tina Belcher with a Blackberry. You blew up, a lot of very dissatisfied women bought your book on Kindle so they wouldn’t have to admit to owning it (until it became so popular that it became cool to hold a copy in public), and now here you are, still taking ideas from Stephanie Meyer, and ruining her release because of it.
And for everyone harping on and on about how Shakespeare shouldn’t be converted into modern English and how Amazon is the death of publishing, loosen up and read some goddamn erotic fanfiction. I’m tired of going to AWP conferences and seeing pompous assholes scoff at it.
Fifty Shades happens to be a terrible example, and I can understand how it’s more ammo for your arsenal, but there is also a lot of good writing and a very open, non-judgemental community out there.
Besides, your kids probably wouldn’t even be reading if it weren’t for Tumblr or Wattpad.
Lisa Martens (Episode 22) currently lives in Harlem. In her past 10 years in New York, she has lived in a garage on Long Island, a living room in Hell’s Kitchen, the architecture building of CCNY, and on the couch of a startup. She grew up in New York, Costa Rica and Texas, and she’s still not sure which of these is home. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing from CCNY. Her thesis, What Grows in Heavy Rain, is available on Amazon. Check out her website here. Follow her on Instagram here.