Um. So I bet you know what this post is about, right? It’s the book everybody is talking about: 50 Shades of Grey. I finished reading it this week and I don’t have a long review about it or anything. But I thought I’d just comment a little about it.
The first I heard about this book came from a friend of mine in Brooklyn who sent me a link and said, “This should be you with all this success. You’re a much better writer.” Thanks, friend. But better writing has nothing to do with it.
Ms. James hit a perfect pitch with this book and it came at the right time. While there is a lot of serious BDSM in this book, it’s all approachable and the reason is because of the language she uses—or rather the languages she chooses not to use. You won’t see the words for body parts that we’ve come to associate with erotic romance. You can say what you want about her writing, but she carefully maneuvers the language so that you know what she’s talking about. She uses the word “sex” when it comes to her own parts and never uses a word for his. She will write something like, “his erection was poking into her side.” You see? No “cock ” or any of those specific euphemisms we’ve come to expect.
Some of us are so used to the words that they barely affect us anymore.
In my own writing I try to avoid those terms, not necessarily because I’m uncomfortable with them, but because I think that innuendo (done well) is sexier and when you DO get down to business and absolutely must use those words, the affect on your reader is stronger. So many times in good writing, it’s what the writer leaves out that paints the story.
So I say BRAVO to Ms. James for all of her success. So much of this books is not about sex, of course, as is int case of all good erotic romance. Shades tells a riveting story and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.