Friday, May 11, 2012

Fifty Shades of Shit

Full Disclosure: I do not own this book. Amazon's wonderful "Click to Look Inside" feature gave me enough of a preview to put this on my personal BANNED list forever.

Any writer who has studied the craft (or even Googled "how to write a book" for ten minutes) knows this: Start with action and hook the reader.

The opening scene shows this woman brushing her hair. Yes. Brushing her hair. It's too bad we didn't get to read more along these lines. Maybe she could show us how (the ridiculously named) Anastasia Steele flosses her teeth, or picks lint off her jacket. Maybe in the sequels we get to find out how she washes her hands or puts on her makeup.

I'm not saying the book should have opened with a Michael Bay series of explosions, but come on. Give us something a little less pedestrian. Since the book is so provocative, maybe she should wake up from an erotic dream.

Everything that follows reads like filler, like she's trying to fill the space before we get to the sexy part. I lost interest. Maybe I'm not the right audience for this. Do you have to be a desperate housewife to find this appealing?

One other tip: adverbs (those stupid words ending in LY) are the hallmark of a poor writer with no imagination. Once you realize this, you see them everywhere and you cringe. "She smiles kindly." Gripping. How about "She smiles out of habit, like the cameras are watching her every move."

It reminds me a lot of "The Devil Wears Prada", another over-hyped, mediocre book, full of one dimensional boring characters in their 20s. And like the author of that book, this one is going to have to cash in quick, before the rest of the world catches on to how boring she is.

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