April 22, 2012

Rumblings on "50 Shades of Gray"

I haven't read 50 Shades of Gray but I've been hearing a lot of rumblings about it.  What I've been seeing out there has me rather fascinated, and I would sum up my interest by directing you to a review by Remittance Girl here.

The reason this fascinates me so much -- and the reason I will probably feel compelled to read 50 Shades of Gray despite what I've been hearing about it -- is that I've had an idea for a new novel exploring a BDSM and M/s relationship, essentially expanding on the relationship I started in To the Victor, which I will readily admit is an AMATEUR attempt.  To write a more complex novel on this matter, though, I wouldn't feel right about it if I gave it a "Twilightian" treatment.

I think one of the important things Remittance Girl brings up in her review is that the treatment of the "dominant" character inaccurately reflects the true nature of a power exchange relationship.  As a writer, this is a mistake I endeavor very hard not to make.  I can't promise that I accurately reflect every type of character, community or culture I write about, but I try, and when I make a mistake of this nature I am always more eager to correct it than I am to find a reason to leave it unchecked.

If I expand To the Victor into a full-length novel, I actually hope to write a story reflecting a contrast between a "sadistic" and "badly implemented" M/s relationship, and one that is built on a more balanced power-exchange and real affection expressed through that exchange.  I've been wanting to explore this sort of relationship and contrast since reading this response to a D/s-related query a while back.  I am actually incredibly interested in exploring and showing what makes a D/s or M/s relationship a dynamic and legitimate lifestyle for those who desire it, and contrasting a "good" and "bad" arrangement (for lack of better words) feels like a good vehicle for exploring a character's intrinsic desires and the validation of those desires.

So to read something where the details of this relationship are allegedly underdeveloped or poorly represented almost seems like good research.  So while I am a rabid hater of things epically mis-written as Twilight, and it sounds like 50 Shades may be such a story, I think I might have to indulge a bit of my own masochistic side and give the thing a go.  This is the same reason I read the Twilight books in the first place, too: reading something poorly developed and poorly written is, in my opinion, a fairly good way of not making the same mistakes yourself.

Of course, this doesn't excuse poorly written crap being praised as good literature.  
As a mildly entertaining side note, we recently cleaned out our bookcase and my husband asked what I wanted him to do with the Twilight books.  I told him to throw them on the "Used Books To Trade" pile.  When he went to the bookstore to trade in our old stuff for store credit, they would not take any of the Twilights.  Not because of condition, but because they were Twilight
Instead, you know what they did with them?
Donated them to the local men's prison.
Take that, evil-doers.

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