50 Shades of Grey, Formerly Master of the Universe
As some of you probably have heard, snowsqueen icedragon, a fanfiction author and writer of 'Master of the Universe' took her imitation of Stephanie Meyer's world 'Twilight' into the mainstream by publishing '50 Shades of Grey.' the same text! What does this mean for FF writers?
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Ever Searching

Hello

As some of you probably have heard, snowsqueen icedragon, a former fanfiction author and writer of 'Master of the Universe' has taken her imitation of Stephanie Meyer's world 'Twilight' into the mainstream by publishing '50 Shades of Grey.' This has turned into a Trilogy and is getting a movie. However, there is a problem here. This is not her world. These are not her characters. All she did was take the characters that were already made and put them into different situations (hello! that's fanfiction) then change their names and eye colors to suit her needs! This is plagarism in its truest form, laziness to earn money and a slander against all the people that love, read and write fanfiction all over the world! As a fanfiction author and member of FF.net for over ten years, I am appalled at this farce of talent and creativity. I am all for turning your talent to making money, but, damn, do your own characters, your own world and you own work.

Don't believe me? Look at this website that did an in-depth analysis of the two works with Turnitin, a popular anti-plagarism program and decide for yourself.

http://dearauthor.com/features/industry-news/master-of-the-universe-versus-fifty-shades-by-e-l-james-comparison/

Reply and get the ball rolling.

6/7/2012 . Edited 1/12/2013 #1
MaddyMoo82
I'm curious if you have in fact read Fifty Shades of Grey? I'm farly confident that the majority of people that have read Fifty Shades of Gray know that it's FF of Twilight and honestly don't care. Because they are different,I noticed some similarities the first time I read Fifty Shades of Grey but the second and third time I read the books I no longer noticed. And so I thought to my self oh no maybe I have become desensitized to the Fifty trilogy. I then decided to re read Twilight, but remembered my copie had a tragic accident with my two year old. So off to the library I was just to find that every copie had been checked out *deep sigh* As a person with very little patience I was off to target to buy a new copie of Twilight... I re read and noticed the similarities once again. But no way do I think it is "blatant plagiarism". Now that I think about it I do have a co-worker who did not know the books were connected and when I told her she was shocked. I guess not everyone knows, my bad. "I haven't read it. I mean, that's really not my genre, not my thing," she said with a laugh. "I've heard about it; I haven't really gotten into it that much. Good on her — she's doing well. That's great!" -S Meyer
6/8/2012 #2
MaddyMoo82
That didn't post like I had planed. The quote is S Meyer on what she thinks about the Fifty trilogy.
6/8/2012 #3
Tuppence Hope

I understand and appreciate your passion for original works but in NO defence of EL James I am simply going to respond to your comment with my own point of view; but in saying that I respectfully acknowledge your own.

I don't admit to being a well-read person; well hold on, yes I am. For the past 30 years I've had my head down and arse up in text books. For the past 10 years law and politics. Before that accounting and auditing… . My point of such verbosity is that I'm trying to let you know that I have an incredible eye for detail. My career depends on it and that's what earns me the big bucks. Get it!

In all my xx years (cough cough) I've only JUST read two sets of fiction; actually this equates to the total sum of all the fiction I've ONLY read. And guess what two sets they were? It was not until I started to read EL James that I 'heard' of the connection. So in fairness of EL James I went back and reread the Twilight series. You see, I WANTED to keep reading Fifty because of Twilight.

So I'm into the first few chapters of 'Grey' thinking Edward and Bella, Edward and Bella. Hmmm yes, boy and girl. Hmmm yes, the age is about right. Hmmm yes, hunky and sexy. However, the one distinct discerning observation for me what that the character base and demeanor of Christian and Ana was nothing like Edward and Bella. Yes, there was innocence and an element of defiance comparing Ana and Bella but I believe Ana was a much stronger character than Bella could ever be. Even the Bella in the final Twilight book when she's a vampire.

Edward was never this troubled. The gist of Fifty, for me, was the psychological dance that was going on in Christian's head and how Ana handled that, adjusted to it and then turned it around so the two could manage a 'real' relationship together. The underlying tone was all about trust not love. These strong emotions were sending a very big and clear messages; I revelled in this side of the series and that's where my 'lust' was leading me; not so much the sex (but that was pretty good too).

I can see how and why people can draw parallels to these characters but those similarities are certainly only on the surface, not even skin deep. But I peeled back a couple of the layers of the onion and found a completely different story all together.

But what do I know? I'm only new to this 'waste of time' fiction.

6/8/2012 #4
CurrentCurrant

What annoys me is that she wrote an original piece, put it on Fanfiction.net clumsily disguised as an Edward/Bella fic, and used Twihard squee-ing potential to get a fanbase for herself before publishing. I consider that cheating. If I put my own CampNaNoWriMo down as Twilight fanfiction (with the logic that, as I have never read Twilight, I can't 'steal' the characters) I bet you a bunch of people would read and review it--and if I ever published it in paperback, those same reviewers would buy the book. Any book that brings the author money must be able to initally impress on its own merit, not on that of the fanbase. Fifty Shades of Grey should either have stayed a fanfic, or been published on fictionpress. Yeah, I believe E. L. James put it up as fanfiction on purpose. Give me three days and I'll explain why, complete with an experiment.

Thank you for reading the wall of text. Please don't kill me on the way out.

6/10/2012 #5
Tuppence Hope

Why I read and write FanFiction, in my own blatantly disrespectful, unauthorised and plagiaristic way; defying all common law principles of copyright and intellectual property.

Per Wikipedia

Fan fiction is a broadly-defined term for fan labor regarding stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator. Works of fan fiction are rarely commissioned or authorized by the original work's owner, creator, or publisher; also, they are almost never professionally published. Because of this, many fan fictions written often contain a disclaimer stating that the creator of the work owns none of the characters. Fan fiction, therefore, is defined by being both related to its subject's canonical fictional universe and simultaneously existing outside the canon of that universe.[1] Most fan fiction writers assume that their work is read primarily by other fans, and therefore tend to presume that their readers have knowledge of the canon universe (created by a professional writer) in which their works are based.

Fanfiction is what literature might look like if it were reinvented from scratch after a nuclear apocalypse by a band of brilliant pop-culture junkies trapped in a sealed bunker. They don't do it for money. That's not what it's about. The writers write it and put it up online just for the satisfaction. They're fans, but they're not silent, couchbound consumers of media. The culture talks to them, and they talk back to the culture in its own language. —Lev Grossman, TIME, July 18, 2011

Media scholar Henry Jenkins explains the correlation between transmedia storytelling and fan fiction:[2]

The encyclopedic ambitions of transmedia texts often results in what might be seen as gaps or excesses in the unfolding of the story: that is, they introduce potential plots which can not be fully told or extra details which hint at more than can be revealed. Readers, thus, have a strong incentive to continue to elaborate on these story elements, working them over through their speculations, until they take on a life of their own. Fan fiction can be seen as an unauthorized expansion of these media franchises into new directions which reflect the reader's desire to "fill in the gaps" they have discovered in the commercially produced material.

6/10/2012 . Edited 6/10/2012 #6
Ever Searching

Hey Maddie.

I bought Fifty Shades of Grey a week ago when B&N recommended it to me via email. I had previously read Master of the Universe two years ago after my editor mentioned that I might enjoy it. She was summarily disappointed when I didn't. I found it pedantic and sub par, to be honest, so I muddle through out of affection for my lovely editor. After I purchased FSOG, I figured it out almost immediately (first chapter, page three). When I voiced my suspicions, my editor said she had thought the same thing. We did some research and discovered that it was true. I ended up reading over half and when I got tired of rereading the same thing again with altered hair and eye color, it got put down.

My brother's fiance purchased the book and my brother, reading over her shoulder at the time, said, "God, who wrote this? It's like a thirteen year old writing mommy porn. Take that back before your rot your brain." (His words, not mine) I know that everyone has their own opinion, but I had to agree. The thought execution was poor, the sentences were that of my nephew's second grade books, and the plot development was lacking. There was no relationship development, just 'they had sex, then more sex, and then again, sex' I have to express some distress, disgust and confusion over it's success. It's not exactly what I would deem 'intelligent and thought out' as many others of the same genre that I've read. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that this is a BDSM relationship and we both know how 'taboo' those are in our society. But, honestly, there is a lot of well written alternative erotic fiction out there; viewable and open to the general public. I've read several (dirty mind here, not gonna lie) and they were more well researched, had a better execution and were more well detailed and thought out than this. It was just a different class altogether.

I would recommend going out and finding them. If you're interested in that mode of fiction, I can recommend ones that are much more in depth and more well rounded. And I think that with a BA in Lit and twenty years of reading, I can safely make these assertions. You kind of -have- to have a wide variety of literature under your belt to get that degree, so I've read a lot of different works.

And, lastly, I think that is Stephanie Meyer had read the book, she would recognize her work off the bat. If she hadn't read it, then she couldn't make an accurate statement about it. And then there's the whispers of legal action floating around, but we'll see where it goes.

I want to thank you for your reply, Maddy, and the time you took to make it. I appreciate your honesty and civility. There's few things worse than when a forum dissolves into mindless bickering. And literature is a touchy subject for many. I hope that you're well and that you enjoy your new copy of Twilight. I would have been back to reread my own copy, but I don't have much time on my hands (had to make it for this forum, sad).

Stay safe and read voraciously!

Ever Searching

6/11/2012 #7
Tuppence Hope

Ever Searching,

A very good retort; you would do well in law.

Unfortunately, I'm learning very quickly that fiction writers (I can't say beyond that yet) can be very … how can I say this nicely … opportunistic; maybe. Since reading my first fiction i.e. Twilight and now my second i.e. Fifty, I've been digging around a bit. I have my own personal reason for visiting FF, as you could read above, but there are inklings afoot on why James did what she did here. But I'll use that word again… OPPORTUNISTIC. Whether it be fair or not, write (touché) or wrong, black, white or grey (pun) this site exists and allows us all to do what we are doing.

I'm not a fan of James' writing, I agree with your surmise on that, but it came across my desk just at the right time of my life, call it a sort of… therapy. But, I've found better writers on this site than the opportunistic (Gah) Ms James.

But I'm very new, virginal in fact, when it comes to aggggghhhhhh literature. The extent of my literature appreciation and training is what I've found in text books, but that's not literature? Or is it? My life interests have been in poetry, prose, Latin and Aristotle. The closest I've ever come to literature, per se, is when I'm abroad and I write post cards home. I'm proud to say I'm a novice, ignorant, outspoken??? But here to learn from you all.

I've come to realise that the only thing that's lower than second hand car salesmen and realtors is the scum bag lawyer (that's where I come into it) but now I think I can move over a little bit to make room for the fiction writer.

Respectfully (and taking the piss out of me more than you probably think),

Tuppy

6/11/2012 . Edited 6/11/2012 #8
CurrentCurrant

Well, I think of fanfiction as a way to enjoy whatever we're writing fanfiction about. It annoys me when people write to get published here (i. e. thinking good enough writing may get them a message from a talent scout) and it annoys me when people scrub off the serial numbers to get their works published. And just to prove how much it annoys me, I might just do the same thing parody-style. Let's see how well it works out.

6/11/2012 #9
piewacket

Okay, the whole Fifty Shades of Grey thing kept gnawing at me. Back during the 'sex scandal' I checked out some of the Twilight stories to see if they were as bad as everyone here (FFN forums) was claiming. They were. They were worse. I found one and read for a bit. Not only was it clearly above M, but it was poorly written, boring and unimaginative porn. I stopped reading.

I was pretty certain it was the fanfiction that spawned FSoG. So, even though I had to grit my teeth to do so, I bought FSoG to see if I was right. I was. I don't think I've ever read something so jejunely written. It is utter tripe. In the first sixty-five pages, we have the following usage counts:

Holy Crap-8 instances, Crap-9 instances, Double Crap-3 instances, Holy Shit-3 instances, Holy Fuck-1 instance, Holy Hell-2 instances and Holy Cow-3 instances

And because the 'author' of this swill apparently feels it necessary to clobber the reader over the head with the oh-so-subtle foreshadowing that this is going to be a D/S novel, the male character has already been described 9 times as a control freak.

THIS rubbish is a best seller? What the hell is this world coming to?

6/15/2012 . Edited 6/15/2012 #10
Tuppence Hope

Yes, there is plenty of intellectual argument that can be applied here but maybe that's where the problem lays, that is, the intellectual part.But who am I to say, or truly, anyone one of us for that matter.It's all about personal taste. Comme ceci, comme cela.The last I heard 10 million copies have been sold.

What would a 'reasonable man'* say?Well… what I found on the Internet I read terms like 'mommy porn' and the suburban sect; there is no 'reasonable man' here. It's what sells baby.

It's the Holy craps and the Holy hell's and especially… the Holy fucks.But most of all it's the sex and the fantasy.This book perfectly satisfying a sect in the populous, a particular audience, that have embraced it, have bought it and talked about it, to satisfy a need, a moment in time of their lives.I'll say it again, 'it's what sells baby'.

I don't think we have to worry, or there is any chance that this author is going to win any sort of Pulitzer Prize but it does make a lot of readers… satisfied.A key word here – satisfied.

Do you actually think the serious literature appreciado and devourer is interested in this? Take it for what it is, not that a 'reasonable man' would.

In the meantime, I'll take the release of such great intellectual, well written, Pulitzer Prize worthiness work and develop it further to extend my own writing prowess. My first attempt of 'writing' (cough cough) is taking Christian and Ana further - being the opportunistic swine that I am and taking Fifty on as my own – opportunistic slut that I am.

*The 'reasonable man' legal term used here is in reference to 'an objective standard'.

6/15/2012 #11
piewacket

My first attempt of 'writing' (cough cough) is taking Christian and Ana further - being the opportunistic swine that I am and taking Fifty on as my own – opportunistic slut that I am.

Considering that James did it to Meyers, she would have no room to complain. ;)

It's not the subject matter that upsets or offends me. It's the actual quality, or lack thereof, that does. The fact that it got published is astonishing. Harlequins and bodice rippers may not be great art but at least they use a wider vocabulary to describe the heroine's emotions other than "crap" and variations of "crap".

If you like the plot, great. Take the characters and story line and play to your heart's content. However, if you are a novice writer please do not base your writing style on FoSG. You'll do yourself a disservice. But remember that FFN only goes up to an M rating. :)

6/16/2012 #12
Tuppence Hope

PieW,

I'm a little bit naughty and somewhat... outspoken (?); that's the dynamic thinking legal and political science student in me. And I'll also mention that I'm 'full of crap'?But you probably figured that out all for yourself. You seem... intelligent. (not said 'tongue in cheek')

But there's nothin' better than a good discussion and EL James seems to be bringing the best of that out of us.

The sort of writing I want to do won't be going beyond an M rating. But it might not even get that far, lets see what this 'dipping my big toe in this pool' leads me first.

It has been titillating, Tuppy

6/16/2012 . Edited 6/16/2012 #13
AmethystB

I feel exactly the same way here. James is no author. It is astonishing that Fifty Shades was allowed to be published, not because of the subject matter but because it is so poorly-written and without a decent plot. She has just changed the character names and eye colour, that's all. The first line of the book is identical to the first line in her fic. I have been on FF.net for ten years, writing fic for various fandoms, and as an aspiring author, never once have I thought that it would be okay for me to publish my fic for profit. To me, James is a fraud and a con-artist. She is presenting her "work" as original and people are falling for it. If only more people knew the truth about this book...

This may be blowing my own horn a little but I wrote a blog post about James and Fifty Shades that goes into a bit of detail about legality and the finer points of fanfiction writing. For those interested I'll link it below.

http://freeprose14.blog.com/2012/07/24/the-problem-with-fifty-shades-of-grey/

7/25/2012 #14
Tuppence Hope

Ahhhhhh now I understand what all this fuss is about.

I thought everyone was drawing parallels to James 'stealing' from Twilight. Ah Derrrrr....

What you're saying is that Fifty has been 'stolen' from MOTU and that this is plagiarism.

Well peeps you're wrong.

Whichever way you paint it, James owns/hold/bearer of the intellectual property of both Fifty and MOTU.You need to have a bit of legal knowledge to understand IP (bloody tricky area of law that earns lawyers big bucks) but it comes down to the fact that James is the 'original author' and she can construe the 'original works' whichever way she likes regardless of what forum she has used to post it on.

Anyway, if there is an argument (which I hear could be happening) it will be a 'question of law' but… I say the evidence sways in favour of James.

Let the legal war begin.J

7/25/2012 #15
Ever Searching

Tuppence, while that is a great point, it still revolves around the fact that, yes, James is the owner of both MOTU and FSOG, but the problem here is that MOTU was based on characters already established by Meyers. It isn't that she plagarized herself, but that the story that this was adapted from plagarized Twilight. It isn't between MOTU and FSOG, but between Twilight being made into MOTU, then created into a productive empire. She essentially made money off of Meyer's idea.

7/25/2012 #16
AmethystB

Yeah, the issues surrounding the publication of this novel are in regards to James not having orgiinal ownership of the characters. I'm not disputing the fact that James owns the words of her novel; she does. It isn't an issue of copyright as far asFifty Shades being a direct copy of Master of the Universe...that's fine (if very lazy), James owns the words. What she doesn't own, has never owned and has not asked to permission to own, are the characters. We as fanfiction writers take characters who we do not own and we write about and for them, and we post these stories as creative and expressive outlets for the love of fandom. What we do not do is write for profit. We disclaim that we do not own the rights to the fandom we are writing for and that we write for fun and not for profit.

James has spat in the face of this oath. The only thing she has done between posting the fanfic online and publishing it in print is change the character names from Bella and Edward, to Ana and Christian. This to me is breaching copyright: James wrote the story with Bella and Edward as the characters, characters who are not of her own creation. Simply changing the names does not make them her creation; they were not made in the image of James's imagination, they were created by Meyer's imagination. This is wrong. I do not agree with this. Whether it is illegal in the strictest sense, I'm not a lawyer and I do not know the technicalities. But I do believe that Stephanie Meyer is well within her rights to take this further. I know I would.

7/25/2012 #17
CirclesWithinCircles
I don't know why every one is calling fifty shades plagiarism... I am a fan of twilight but havnt gotten round to reading Shades yet and even I know that it's a fanfiction written as an allegory of twilight (therefore, completely legal), so obviously it is supposed to be extremely similar to the twilight universe. I just think if you don't like it, don't read it. If you didn't like twilight, you probably won't like this. Although I am surprised that it's become so popular. I have only listened to a few short readings on YouTube but from listening to that it seems as though the writing style is almost childlike (again, on purpose to mimic twilight) but in my opinion I think it's a better reading experience if the author is 'showing, not telling' in the sense that the author of fifty shades seems to tell her audience everything, and leaves nothing to the audience's imagination. I could understand that style in twilight, as twilight was written for a younger audience (such as me, a teen. Though I was much younger when I read twilight so maybe I didn't notice it as much), but I can't understand it for fifty shades as it's obviously written to include older readers. Even though it is an allegory, the blatantly simplistic style of writing for something ment for adults surprises me.
8/2/2012 #18
AmethystB

Ashywashy,

The reasons for plagiarism are twofold in this instance: one, that E.L. James has profited off another author's creations (as James wrote Fifty Shades as Twilight fanfiction and published it by simply changing the names - there is no creation of character, changing the names from Bella and Edward to Ana and Christian does not make it so) and two, that she has actually self-plagiarised - this means that during the process of print publication (so, from the fanfiction to what we all now know to be Fifty Shades), James barely changed a thing: Master of the Universe (her Twilight FF) and Fifty Shades of Grey are 89% identical.

Fanfiction is not completely legal. It is viable for a writer to publish fanfiction on certain websites, however they must claim that they will not profit from the work, as this is stealing another writer's established world. E.L. James has profited, and therefore she has broken this code between fanfiction writers. This is the problemwith Fifty Shades. James was actually advised by fellow FF writers not to publish her work as original fiction, because many people see this as ethically wrong (unfortunately copyright laws aren't quite as clear as moral ones...), however James stated that she only cared about the "dollar signs" she would be seeing. Well, she's seeing those dollar signs, and she doesn't give two flying pigs for ethics.

This is what people are mad about. Yes, the book is poorly written. Yes, a six-year-old could do better. This book is not an allegory: there is no message (the definition of an allegory) in this book - two people meet, the guy stalks the girl, the girl is stupid so she lets him pretty much do whatever he wants with her, 500 pages later she calls him out on his behaviour and leaves him. I understand that in the two sequels the stupid girl goes back to him and winds up pregnant (well done), so the point of these books? No idea. A stupid, weak girl falls in "love" with an abusive, misogynistic control-freak, they have sex a bunch of times (over 100 times, I'd hazard a guess - they don't seem to do anything else with their time) and then she tells him to sort himself out. No allegory, just wanton (poorly-written) sex.

Do you now see the problem?

8/2/2012 #19
silly bj

When I first read 'The 50s', I thought it was a REALLY BAD knock off of "The Submissive" by Tara Sue Me. Twilight never entered my mind.

8/2/2012 #20
Ever Searching

I fully agree, Amethyst, and that's the crux of the argument. Good luck, James, of ever getting back on a FF forum or being able to post anything. Any -real- writer would be abhorred at what she's done. And I think that several of the FF writers are. There is an unspoken code that exists among FF writers that states we do this as a form of worship and praise. We do this because we loved the original so much that we had to continue the amazing world and characters already created. But WE NEVER PROFIT.

If there is any 'profit' from this silly and all-consuming past time, it is that we get to create on top of something already established, then have others critique what we've done based on out writing skills and clever re-enactment of the set work we based it off of. The great thing about FF.net is that we can creatively ramble and construct without too harsh criticism that gives us a release and way to realize our love of the fandom. And for us that maybe would want to go to the professional level, it's a way to polish skills, like imagery, sentence structure and character development (such as the OOC or even taking a known character to another plane he/she/it wouldn't have gone in the original) before we make out debut into the harsh world of publishing (but maybe it isn't so hard if a terrible author like James gets published. Suddenly I don't feel as wary about sending a manuscript to a House). It's like innocent practice and fan worship, not a means to steal from noted authors and gain from it.

I've been on FF.net for thirteen years of my life, posting and reading fanfiction as both stress relief and a way to hone my favorite hobby. The fact that someone did something like this and broke our code of fan-worship to print this tripe is nauseating and appalling. If we authors have any pride in our amateur craft, then we should protest this travesty to our fullest ability.

It's a dark day for FF and I honestly wonder what the world is coming to if this is the 'norm.' For what it's done to FF in the mainstream, the horrendously low quality of the books, and the fact that this has been so perpetuated that it's going to become a movie.

Heaven help the literary world. We're at the crux of a huge intellectual fallout.

Ever

8/2/2012 #21
TwilightStarLaughter

Tuppence, I agree with you that many of the similarities between the two series are only surface details (like the book taking place in WA), however, if you've ever read any really good fanfiction, you would know that fanfiction includes both continuations/alterations of the original series and any stories whose plots or characters are based upon those in the original. In this case, I doubt that anyone who first read the Twilight series could then read the Fifty series without thinking about Edward and Bella.

That does not mean that the plot must be exactly the same, that the characters should be mythical, or that the content of the stories should have the same maturity rating. Note, Twilight was made for teenagers and the Fifty series was made for adults. It's not surprising that Edward's possessive tendencies are shown in a more serious and disturbed manner capable of being understood by more mature readers. The very best fanfiction is typically written by people who can create new stories out of old ideas, this is what E. L. James did so well.

I understand that you pride yourself on distinguishing minute details in writing, but perhaps you should reconsider your place in having a position on something which you admittedly have little to no experience. Reading two series or briefly entering into the world of "waste of time" fiction does not give you sufficient knowledge to have an informed opinion. And in the same manner as your post, I respectfully acknowledge your opinion on these literary works and the "waste of time" fiction which created a multi-million dollar salary for the author.

8/8/2012 . Edited 8/8/2012 #22
AmethystB

I don't really want this to escalate into a full-blown fisticuffs, but TwilightStarLaughter, can you elaborate regarding this:

The very best fanfiction is typically written by people who can create new stories out of old ideas, this is what E. L. James did so well.

?

Master of the Universe is most definitely not worthy of having the mantel "the very best fanfiction". Please, God, no. It was popular - hell, it is popular given that it is the same text as Fifty Shades of Grey and people are buying into that left and right. But the very best? My gag reflex just kicked in. I don't know, I'm just an old-fashioned kind of girl where I prefer a story to banal sexual encounters that you happen upon every damn page. E.L. James exploited the Twilight fandom. She did nothing well, except fool people. She did not create a new story out of an old idea, and if that's what you're stating please explain to us exactly what this "new story" was and what "old idea" it was borne out of? I for one would like to know.

8/8/2012 #23
TwilightStarLaughter

I don't know why you think this should turn into a fist-fight, but I'll try to explain.

First off, I didn't mention anything about MOTU because I've never read it. My post was a response specifically to Tuppence's first post and the comparison of the Twilight and Fifty series. I have no idea whether or not it sucks. Secondly, I stand by what I said that the very best fanfiction stories are those which create an entirely new story from something the author read elsewhere. E. L. James did that well (in MY opinion) because she created a completely different story which resonated with the 'themes' of the Twilight series. It's a new story because there are different characters which undergo a different plot. The old ideas are those 'themes' that I mentioned.

Now just to point out, I didn't say that this (FSOG) was a great form of fiction. I said fanfiction. And I do agree with what others have said about the quality of the writing. I'm not saying that her writing is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It's better than S. Meyer's but still not comparable to the best literary works.

To review, I commented on one or two aspects of this entire conversation. I'd appreciate it if you didn't throw down over things that I was never arguing about with anyone.

8/8/2012 . Edited 8/8/2012 #24
Tuppence Hope

TwilightStarLaughter

Just exercising my democratic right, as we all do, on public forums; but where you are blatantly WRONG here is of your personal opinion of a personal opinion.

Dear (yes, that was said sarcastically), I ask that you stick to the gist of the forum; it is of the subject matter not of the persons personal opinion.You see 'personal opinion' is just that, A PERSONAL OPINION, to be challenged on point not a personal 'attack'.

But again – that's my surmise of the situation and I expect it not to be yours.

Yes, yes, yes, but as one must do in situations as this allowances need to be made, especially from the ones that are "22 years old and attending a four year college".

Actually, I am well read, but you lacked the ability to see the intellectual sarcasm of my… position, especially my comment on fiction being a 'waste of time': that was more a private joke but alas you are forgiven on this point as you are not privy to my professional world as many others are. Curious though, how you were the only one that picked up this flamboyant statement.Should that be indicating something to you?

OKAY, in my interpretation and execution of the Second Amendment I say… as a literary agent, editor and publicist, whose previous career was a legal practitioner in Intellectual Property and Copyright Law, I may have reasonable grounds to present a reasonably learned argument (Can't have you misunderstanding now, don't take 'argument' literally, that's a legal term: but for you it just means 'position').

The entire purpose of my comments here was not at all based on MOTU v Twilight v Fifty as being literary works of genius (again, that is not my personal opinion BUT there are those out there that actually do believe that) it was to distinguish the works of MOTU and Fifty 'initially' published on FF to be in breach of 'plagiarism' (and legally 'plagiarism' is very much distinguished from intellectual property and copyright) which prima facie (whoops, there goes another one of those legal terms) this is not, however… technically, and as the publication laws on FF have not yet been challenged in common law courts, the prospect of such happening is not at all far-fetched and fanciful (damn another legal term).

The gist of my participation on this forum, albeit public or not, is that there are people's out there making claims against someone else: that is, 'blatant plagiarism of Twilight'.This is where the problem lies.This comment, without justification, may be interpreted as defamation.This is an area known as Tort which was another 'waste of time' before I did Intellectual Property and Copyright.

You see these days the world of law depends on such innocent comments to rape you of all your wealth for defaming another.Sometimes 'arrogant' statements, typical of the header of this string, which seems innocent enough (as I saw it) are somewhat motivated by an emotional reaction, as opposed to intellectual and learned rationale, and in this, such can place one into an awful lot of legal turmoil and maybe PROSECUTION (the worst of all the legal terms).

So TwilightStarLaughter, for one making your position as "I love reading, so I'm here simply to read and offer my reviewing capabilities to authors in need" I ask that you read between my lines and stick to offering your 'reviewing capabilities' to authors and not MY personal opinions.And consider what I've been trying to exhibit all along: and that is to be beware of slanderous and defamatory matter, even in YOUR PERSONAL OPINION as 'ignorance of the law is not an excuse' (that's actually a well know legal principle).

Happy reading everyone.

TH.

(NB: before you pick this piece to pieces it has not been edited or proofed – so go ahead, have a field day on it honey)

8/8/2012 #25
Tuppence Hope

Ah Yes Amethyst Blizzard,

I too picked up on the various inferences of said 'comment'.

I am a firm believer and great supporter of the 'game' being played on 'an even playing field'.

TH.

TH.

8/8/2012 #26
AmethystB

TwilightStarLaughter

Maybe you want to try reading back what you first wrote, then read your second post here. You're full of contradictions. Firstly you say the very best fanfiction comes from when a writer takes an old idea and reinvigorates it, a skill you said E.L. James "did well". In your second post, you said you've never read MotU and therefore couldn't comment on its merits. ?? So what are you talking about then?

Then you continue talking about the differences between fiction and fanfiction, that FSoG is not a great form of fiction but it is a great piece of fanfiction. Forgive me, what are some of these differences you see between fiction and fanfiction? To me, great fiction (which encompasses fanfiction) is a well-designed piece of writing, with a compelling story, fascinating characters and some sort of allegory in between to draw parallels between the fiction and the world we live in. I don't see that a writer requires reinvigorating an "old" idea to create a great piece of fiction. But that's just me.

Would I be an inconvenience if I asked you to elaborate of some of these "themes" you spoke of? When it comes time to present an argument or opinion, if you would like it to have some merit, then elaboration is required. Your opinion weighs less than nothing if you simply say "James created a completely different story which resonated with the 'themes' of the Twilight series. It's a new story because there are different characters which undergo a different plot. The old ideas are those 'themes' that I mentioned." Well, yes, this is your opinion but to support it, would you like to tell us what some of these "themes" are?

To review, yes we are all entitled to our opinions. Makes us human after all. But I think you need to know what you are talking about before you come up with a few choice comments to throw around. Kind of warrants a bit of a "throw-down" otherwise.

Please, retort.

8/8/2012 #27
Ever Searching

My goodness, what the forum will do while the mod's away. Honestly, I thought that this forum would soon peter out, a jaded opinion from experience, so I'm torn between thanking you, TwilightStarLaughter, for mixing things up and shaking my head in shame of the fact that you're defending this drivel.

While I don't have time at the moment for a long and thorough answer to your's and my lovely forum readers' comments, since I have to leave for work shortly, allow me to disabuse you of some scant notions.

Firstly, under no circumstances am I a novice when it comes to fiction or literature. If you've read the previous posts, you know then that I have a Bachelor's in Literature and have been on this website for over ten years. I was studying Literature before you even became a member. While I am in no way attacking your point of view, there is no way under God's green Earth that I'm an amateur when it comes to Literature or fanfiction. So, I think it's fair to say that it's an informed opinion when I write that this is a piece of 'unsavory fiction' that sometimes dominates the narrow minds of some readers.

Popularity does not, under any circumstances, makes something good or worth reading. This is experience and history speaking. Edgar Allen Poe's work sold horribly in his lifetime, so did Emily Dickenson's, for that matter, and now are hailed as literary triumphs. Jane Austen only ever published a few of her works, and it wasn't till much later that they were given their full due, so, no, popularity means nothing to true mastery of the written word.

There have also been fanfiction on this very site that are exceedingly popular and I would touch them with a ten foot pole and gloves. And they were in the Twilight fandom. Sorry to break your heart, sweetie, but that doesn't count for anything. You have to make your own opinions and stop looking to society to hand them to you when books and fiction of any form are involved.

I agree with Amethyst Blizzard when I ask you expand on these 'themes' that make them similar and, by extension, great works. Let's remember, that Hamlet and the Lion King have the same themes, but no ones jumping up to call them 'the same' or 'great' because of their similarity. By the by, I am not, in any way, saying that Twilight and Hamlet are in the same league, just for the record. That would be outrageous and utterly untrue. Sorry Meyers.

Another point I would like to make before I head out; the sole reason that this has sold with so many is more than likely due to the fact that this 'book' is centered around sex, is laughable easy to read, and has no deeper meaning. Which are all things that are valued in American society these days. Don't believe me? Look around and tell me that we aren't surrounded with sex starved people who are looking for a real lay. Just shows how horny America's women are, if they're looking for a dysfunctional and emotionally stunted man to make them feel pleasure. Also shows just how desperate and misguided women are when it comes to a healthy and satisfying relationship. So sad.

I eagerly await your reply. And play nice, kids, no dirtying the sandbox.

Your's

Ever

8/10/2012 #28
Asrai Devin
Plagerism is taking someone else's words and caling them your own. No one could say that about 50 shades. It is Alternate Universe fanfic. She used the characters from twilight. But little else. The idea of fan fic is that no one makes money. But it is a grey area legally. Could Meyer's sue for infringment? I dont know. I dont know if there is any legalprecedent. Can an author own characters? What about names? If i want to write a story with esme and carlise as my main characters, no one could stop me. If i want to make carlisle the leadee of a gang of misfits named edward, jasper, alice et al who he saved from terrible fates could i be stopped? If she hadn't published here no one would have known. I have taken characters i loved and writen them into "original fiction" and no one would know because they situations are so far away from the inspiring piece. I am not saying it is fair. I am just looking at it from the other side. But if is not plagerism.
8/23/2012 #29
nocturnalconfessions

Ever Searching,

I do not understand why you are getting so defensive. You have openly admitted that you didn't in fact enjoy FSOG, so why pray tell are you so upset? Meyers herself has been quoted to say that she doesn't even see the link, that the characters are similar, but in no way share the same feelings or back stories. If the author of each of these sagas have been successful on their own merits. Also, as a fellow author, you should feel happy for any other author getting published. I am a published aauthor, so I understand tht sometimes it is hard to create your own original story, but tell me, do you consider every story with a brooding young man and a young, moronic girl plagirised, because I dare say, soon enough you will stop enjoying books written by young people all together.

Furthermore, if you are so angsty about plagirism, why in gods name are you a member of fanfiction.net? Every story on here has at least a small portion of plagirism. Maybe you have not understood the definition of the word. I do not think you are stupid by any means, but I do very much believe that maybe you need to rethink your argument and that you are being unnecessarily harsh. I understand the love of the Twilight books, but if the AUTHOR of said novels can overlook miniscule links between each, surely you, who has NO link to the publishing of Meyers books, could overlook this small detail.

MJPEACOCK

9/5/2012 #30
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