Tuesday, August 27, 2013

50 Shades of the Complainist: Chapter 16

Spanking, then sex. 

Again--refer above. 

I have this problem where I troll the "Writing Gigs" section of craigslist and respond eagerly to the oddest requests. This has been more fruitful than you might assume! For instance, last year I was contracted to ghostwrite a single chapter of a novel. My employer never did get around to letting me know the last names of any of the book's characters, but he was pleased with my efforts, and paid promptly. More recently, I volunteered to "beta read" a draft of an "erotic mystery." I read and gave quite a few notes because I'm very good at that kind of thing. (I'm friendly about it, too. If 50 Shades were the work of some earnest, anonymous scribe pleading for help on craigslist, I'd be infinitely more generous. But! This thing has made EL James more money than can be found within the borders of certain small countries. The world has already been generous to her, so I don't have to be.)

Anyway, I mentioned on Facebook that this craigslist author got me a gift card for fifty bucks. Quite nice, considering that I volunteered without any offer of payment. The best part is that a handful of my friends conflated the gift card with this blog, and thought, even if only momentarily, that EL was the author mailing me gifts. This, of course, is not the case! However, I would like to state now, as publicly as I can, that I am willing to be bought, and I am not expensive. So, you'll know what happens if, a few weeks from now, I start a post by writing, "Hey you know, I never thought I'd say this, but this thing is kind of growing on me a little!"

In the meantime, I am kind of stuck. I just don't understand how this book gets read by anybody other than people who despise it because seriously. Chapter 16 is a nonsense chapter, totally lacking in plot or intrigue.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

50 Shades of the Complainist: Chapter 15.2

Ana and Christian have sex. 

See above. 

Remember when the last Harry Potter got split into two movies, and then I only saw the first one? Or maybe neither? Because I can't remember? And then Twilight did the same thing? And now The Hobbit is three movies? Wouldn't it be terrible if I started doing that? I mean, I'm already writing chapter "summaries" that are, at times, longer than the actual chapters as originally written. So what if I stretched it out even more and turned this same dumb chapter about nothing into several weeks of mean-spirited jokes and repetitive screeds?

I'm sorry about 15.1. I said a bunch of things that I've already said a bunch of times. In my defense, the chapter was basically a bunch of stuff that's already happened in the book. It's hard to not sound repetitive when you're riffing on something that is itself so repetitive.

So here we are. Let's make this one a quickie, ok? (Editor's note: Yeah, that's a dumb sex joke. Think of it as a transition, because we're about to talk about some dumb sex.) 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

50 Shades of the Complainist: Chapter 15.1

Ana and Christian discuss "soft limits."

Warnings: They talk about sex stuff for a long time and then have sex, only they're going to do that next week because I'm lazy.

I post these on tumblr, too, only I'm bad at remember to post them, and so I'm way behind over there. Recently I was pasting my Chapter 8 essay over at aldeneagle.tumblr and I kind of got worried that this book is wearing me down to the point that I may have already peaked. Like, I had all these funny pictures and stuff? And that essay was super long? What I'm saying is that I'm trying, but I'm a little concerned that the book is winning. And I'm losing. Seriously. I looked back at that thing, right? And I posted it in June, and now it's August, and part of me was like, "Wow. Those were the days. I was so young. So full of life."

But now you see me? Just a withered husk, which is too bad. As I am a mere shadow of my former self, I didn't even manage to complete this week's assignment. Shocking, right? Instead, I just leave you with a half-assed, short essay that doesn't even cover the whole chapter. I'm making you wait to read about the boring sex that Ana and CG are going to have. I hope to do 15.2 before next week but who knows! Hard to say just what will happen in these complicated times. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

50 Shades of the Complainist: Chapter 14

Ana and Kate graduate from college and Ana agrees to sign Christian's sex contract. 

Warnings: I dunno. More of the same. There's some riding crop sex at the beginning, but it turns out (SPOILER ALER) it was all just a dream. So clever!

Chapter 14 is the sort of chapter that I enjoy writing about because it's the kind of chapter where a bunch of characters run around doing a bunch of different things and because they're doing these different things out in the world instead of in Christian Grey's sex-room, EL James' frequent misconceptions about how the world operates are at their most frequent and most jarring. As awkward as the sex-scenes can be, as terrifying as the central romance is, the mundane absurdities are what keep me going.

Ana declaring that she's never had an email address, for instance. Ana expressing amazement about the idea of shaving one's armpits. Ana being absolutely shocked by the idea of oysters. These precious, stupid memories are what make reading this book possible, which means that, in essence, I'm getting weighed down by the sex parts and, in comparison, tolerating the useless filler parts thrown in, I assume, to give the reader some breathing room in between sex parts. Meaning, the only parts that entertain me are the parts that more engaged readers are likely skipping and not even thinking about. Oh well!

But let's dive right in! Time for a sex dream!