Month: August 2012

Ten things I’ve learnt about writing (from reading 50 Shades Of Grey)

So, I have failed to fulfil my promise of reading 50 Shades Of Grey.

Please understand, it’s not that I am bad at finishing things, or that I am lazy. I am both of these things, but for once, these are not to blame.

After some considerable effort, I got about halfway through the book, and you can get a very digested version of my reactions on this Storify page.  Hopefully my  read rage is a good indicator of what you’re letting yourself in for, should curiosity get the better of you.

But, I will say that it was fun live tweeting the 14 chapters I made it through, and lots of people were very complimentary about it (easily as many as those who begged me to stop).

In short though, what we can all take away from this is that 50 Shades Of Grey is not for me, and not even filth could save it.

But that’s not news, and talented folks like Katrina Lumsden have summed this up expressed this in brilliant, brilliant ways.

So, for what it’s worth, here are ten things I learnt about writing a book from reading 50 Shades.

1. Curling lips are not sexy

2. Long slender fingers are not sexy

3. In fact, too much focus on lips, fingers, and ‘deep unexplored places’ tends to conjure up the wrong imagery

4. If your protagonist’s experiences aren’t worth writing about, they’re not worth reading

5. Writing about your medulla oblongata is not sexy

6. If you’re going to write about musical discovery, you can go a bit further afield than The Best Classical Album Of The Millennium… Ever!

7. The phrase ‘Don’t worry, you expand too’ is not appropriate in any context. Ever.

8. Finding the right metaphor to describe your orgasm could, and should, require more than one attempt

9. Playing a piano while naked, is not sexy

10. Some people like these books – and that’s FINE*

*It isn’t