Yet Another Way E.L. James Copies Stephenie Meyer: She Might Rewrite Fifty Shades Of Grey From Christian’s POV

E.L. James rewrite Fifty Shades of Grey Christian's perspective Stephenie Meyer Midnight SunWhen Twilight first became famous in 2008, never did I imagine that I would have multiple reasons to defend its author Stephenie Meyer. But in the past four years, I’ve been compelled to write semi-favorably about her three times:

1) Upon reading through her website, I found the “deleted scenes” that didn’t make it into her novel but that she’d published online anyway, and I was touched. Not every author will share these little extras with fans.

2) I think the movie adaptation of her sci-fi novel The Host could actually be OK.

3) It was her idea to rewrite Twilight from Edward Cullen’s perspective, and E.L. James shouldn’t try to copy her.

In a move that surprises no one, James is looking for more ways to make money off the already questionable success of her erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey. Celebuzz got the scoop from a fan who asked James, at a reading, if she would consider rewriting Fifty Shades from the point of view of billionaire Dom/every girl’s wet dream Christian Grey. James decided to try and rope in the Beliebers by responding, “Never say never.”

So, not a solid confirmation. But it’s annoying! Because not only has James stolen Stephenie Meyer’s characters and pre-established relationships in turning her fanfic Master of the Universe into Fifty Shades, but she’s literally following the Twilight author step-by-step. Back in 2008, Meyer was working on an epic novel called Midnight Sun, which retold the events of the first Twilight book through Edward’s eyes. That’s right, we got insight into all those times he would physically recoil from Bella—and if you thought she mooned over him, well, the feelings of inferiority were mutual.

However, when a partial draft was illegally published online, Meyer called off the project. She gave fans the small gift of releasing a pdf of what she’d already written, but it came with the major guilt-trip that because of one of her friends leaking the manuscript, she would never complete the entire novel.

Then what’s the problem? you might argue. Midnight Sun was never finished. And anyway, it’d be interesting to read Fifty Shades from the perspective of an actually confident character. True! It would be a lot more bearable if it weren’t a repetition of “I bite my lip. Christian grabs my chin. ‘I want to bite that lip,’ he said. My inner goddess did the samba.” WAIT, THE INNER GODDESS WOULD BE GONE. This is becoming a more tempting prospect with each passing minute…

No. This is just too much copycatting for my tastes. What I would love to see is for E.L. James to try her hand at a novel completely divorced from Twilight. So that means no sci-fi thrillers about body-snatching aliens!

Photo: NorthJersey.com

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    • Lisa R

      It would be very interesting to see if James has the chops to create an ENTIRELY ORIGINAL novel. Not sure if her (as-yet-not-created original) work will ever be judged solely on its own merits. She now has a fan base that will probably read everything she writes and claim it’s golden, like Stephen King’s or James Patterson’s fan bases, but without putting in the time that those authors did. (Not meant to demean either King, Patterson, or their fans. Just saying they are wildly popular authors.)

      • bjr70

        If she does this it will still be a derivative work. She’s used SMeyer’s characters and attributes, which is not original at all. Check out this list of similarities that go far beyond just character names:

        - both Edward and Christian were adopted.
        - both Edward and Christian have a deep, dark, dangerous secret that no one is privy to, except for the heroine and by extension us
        - both Edward and Christian are rich and more sophisticated than the heroine
        - Although their personalities do have differences, both Christian and Edward have stalker tendencies and are domineering
        - Both Edward and Christian have reddish/bronze tinted hair
        - Both Edward and Christian give the heroine a car
        - Both Edward and Christian are piano-players
        - Both Edward and Christian have a loving supportive adoptive family comprised of Carrick/Carlisle (the father), Grace/Esme (the mother), Elliot/Emmet (the brother), Mia/Alice (the sister).
        -Jasper and Rosalie/ Ethan and Kate in FSoG. Rosalie and Kate are both blonde, beautiful and a high contrast to Bella/Ana. Kate and Elliot end up together as a couple which is reminiscent of them also being a couple in Twilight (Rose and Emmet).
        - Jasper and Alice are a couple in Twilight, Ethan from FSoG ends up setting his sights on the proto-Alice character in FSoG, Mia. BOOM! there you go, your whole Twilight Cullen cast/ensemble, reloaded.
        - Both Twilight and FSoG have the couple following the arc of initial attraction, hero attempting to separate himself from heroine by stating he’s not right for her, heroine pursuing relationship, heroine finding out dark secret, heroine still pursuing relationship, couple briefly parts/breaks up and then reunites, couple marries, goes off to exotic/romantic honeymoon, heroine gets preggers prematurely, hero reacts extremely negatively, heroine still has kid. Hero eventually comes around about kid.
        - Both stories are set in Washington state.
        - Jacob/José (Twilight/FSoG) both dislike the hero because they want to be with the heroine. The heroine is not interested in Jacob/José but Jacob/José continues to pursue her until he gives up and realizes that the heroine chose the “bad guy” over them.
        - Anastasia is essentially, Bella (more so than Christian being Edward, where there are more differences). She has pretty much all of Bella’s mannerisms. She talks like Bella, she acts like Bella, she says the same things Bella would. She is highly clumsy and uncoordinated, she is quiet, reserved, not popular, odd one out, like Bella. She bites her bottom lip like Bella. She feels a bit like a fish out of water in the presence of the Greys just like Bella feels in the presence of the Cullens. At most she is a proto-Bella but essentially the same character at the core.
        - Both Bella and Ana have a bit of an eccentric mother that lives somewhere else and has remarried several times (at least twice from what I remember).
        - Both Bella and Ana have a father that they love, that lives by himself (is a bit of a loner), that has a great relationship with them, even if slightly distanced. The main difference is that Ray (FSoG) is a stepfather to Ana, while Charlie (Twilight) is blood father to Bella.
        - Both Charlie and Ray have a love of fishing.
        - Both stories feature a stalker (Victoria/Leila) who stalks Bella/Ana and wants to hurt/kill her.
        - Jasper and Rose pretend to be twins in Twilight. Ethan and Kate (their parallels) are twins in FSoG.

        The above bullet points are courtesy of commenter Camaro on this blog post: http://jamigold.com/2012/03/when-does-fan-fiction-cross-an-ethical-line/

    • Shannon

      I don’t think she is trying to cash in or copy anyone if she does a book from Christians POV. If you did any research you would see her fans are BEGGING for it! I personally would love to read from Christians POV. You are forgetting that she still had to come up with the storyline which is worlds apart from Twilight….forgive me if I’m wrong, but Twilight certainly didn’t contain a storyline about BDSM? Give her some credit.

      • Natalie Zutter

        True, Twilight obviously didn’t incorporate elements of BDSM. And yet, E.L. James utilized that preexisting tension, that automatic shorthand of readers to say, “Ohh, Christian tying up Anastasia equals Edward not turning Bella into a vampire,” to jump ahead in character development… whereas someone who wrote entirely original characters would have to work harder for that connection to the readers.

      • Natalie Zutter

        I mean, the fact that Anastasia’s most consistent feature is biting her lip? I have to believe is directly pulled from Bella Swan, the movie version if not also the book one.

      • Janine B.

        I would love to re-read the books from Christian’s POV. I think Stephenie Meyer totally missed out and disappointed her fans (me, included) when she didn’t finish Midnight Sun (despite the leak)…I think it’s a savvy move (and perhaps motivated by $$) on James’ part to give the fans what they want: more Christian Grey. :-)

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