Wednesday, April 30, 2014

50 Shades Shadier: Chapter 11

Ana goes back to work and her boss is creepy and her boyfriend stalks her all day.

So earlier I was dividing up these chapters into parts pretty consistently. The sequel, you see, is even longer than the first book, which was itself almost impossibly long. (Editor's note: try as we might, though, we haven't been able to track down a word count for 50 Shades of Grey. Shadier is about 159k which makes it a pretty long book. As in, it's longer than most books any of us have read. The first books is somewhere in the neighborhood of 150k. FYI: our analysis of the book checks in at about 125k because we are thorough.)

But, when so little actually happens, that allows me to condense just one of these super-long chapters into one quick essay. I think I'm paying less attention to the prose as we go along because it's just all the same dumb problems again and again. EL isn't improving as she goes. I'm just not worrying as much about it or bringing it up that often because why bother?

Well. We're off to a pretty depressing start, aren't we? Kinda. I'm finishing up a writing class in which I was supposed to write a complete first draft of a novel and I totally didn't. I wrote a lot, which I find pretty pleasing, considering I kept up my schedule here more or less. But I didn't write a novel. I just wrote a bunch of words about stuff and nothing much happened.

But you know what? I know how good books work, and so I'm not sharing any of that project with you. Because I'm not going to just take a terrible non-story and add in a bunch of redundant sex scenes because I respect you too much for that, gentle reader. Anyway I'm in kind of a bad mood about that so I can't wait to just really torch chapter 11 with some sick burns.

Now just to look over at the first page and oh shit. I'm sick of it already. Ugh. I started with such promise and enthusiasm, too. Damn.

This chapter is, on the one hand, super dense with "stuff" but of course, almost none of it matters at all. Basically, it's just a lot of Ana being mad about Christian stalking her while she's at work, and then they make up when she gets home. The only other part of note is that Ana's boss is super creepy, which is extra obnoxious because it kind of "proves" that CG was right. He's still not justified in monitoring every little detail of Ana's life, nor is it reasonable for him to dictate what she can and can't do. But because CG's stated reason for stalking Ana--Jack's creepiness--is an actual fact, CG kind of ends up looking better than he deserves. Gross. But yeah--nothing is going to happen in this chapter. The only thing that "matters" at all is that Jack outs himself as a creep, whereas up until this point, he was just a dude who gave Ana kind of a weird vibe. Scintillating!

Our story thus far:


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

50 Shades Shadier: Chapter 10

There's just no way I could read this thing if I weren't writing about it. There's just nothing at all in this thing to keep me turning pages. A simple definition of a plot is a series of events with a causal relationship. A "story" can just be some stuff that happened but a "plot" has to have some connective logic, which this book completely lacks. It's just some stuff that happens, and it isn't interesting. You know that. I tell you every week. But I just need to keep reminding you, gentle reader, what a favor I'm doing you here because this thing really is a disaster. It gets very hard, sometimes, not to just skip an entire chapter.

For instance, I started looking at Chapter 10 and it looks like it's about nothing at all. It looks like it's going to be every bit as empty and pointless as Chapter 9 and I don't know if I can endure two chapters wasting my time quite this thoroughly in two consecutive weeks. Wish me luck!

Where were we?

Our story thus far:


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

50 Shades Shadier: Chapter 9

Ana and Christian buy a car and ride a boat. 

How exciting! A chapter so boring that we can cover it in but a single week! That's pretty impressive, right? Not really, I suppose. It's also certainly possible that I'm just getting tired of this thing, and that's why I'm moving along more quickly. The whole point of this was to talk about terrible prose, but EL just kind of repeats her terrible moves over and over again, so at a certain point, it stops being very entertaining for me to just make the same complaints again and again. I mean, it isn't like EL is listening to me, so I might as well just do what's entertaining to me, right? Sure.

This is perhaps the most obnoxious chapter of the entire series to date. There simply isn't any narrative tension. There is no sense that this thing is moving anywhere. An anecdote is some stuff that happens, but a plot is a series of connected events. This chapter is all anecdote. I almost can't believe how empty and pointless it is, but then, I've read the previous chapters and the previous book, so, yeah, I can believe how empty and pointless this is.

So where were we?

Our story thus far:


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

50 Shades Shadier: Chapter 8 part 2

Ana and Christian go to a hotel so that they can avoid Leila. They have sex there and Christian tells Ana that he loves her. 

I'm trying to improve my writerly discipline by taking a class at Hugo House which is a Seattle writing center. It's possible that I have damaged my skills in some way by reading this terrible book, as evidenced by my classwork. I'm supposed to be writing a novel but mostly I'm just using my story's narrator as a conduit for my complaints about working in customer service. Also I keep thinking up different pointless phone apps that I'm pretty sure don't actually exist and largely ought not to, but I keep including them in the story too. I don't really know what my problem is. I know part of the problem. I go a little off the rails whenever my medical consultant is scheduled for night shifts. Things get pretty weird around Complainist HQ during these times. Really not pretty. Oh except for how I just eat pho all the time. That part is great!

I wrote that paragraph because I figured everyone was super curious about what I might be up to. Do you think it's weird how often I use the word "super"? I do and also I've stayed up too late and have gone a little off the rails. See previous paragraph. 

Wait what were we doing again?  

Our story thus far:


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

50 Shades Shadier: Chapter 8 part 1

Leila breaks into Christian's apartment so Christian and Ana leave for a hotel. 

So if the previous book was about the immediate problems caused by a Ana's relationship with Christian, this sequel introduces the reader to additional, unsurprising reasons that Ana ought to run away. Because, you see, the trouble is not just with Christian. It makes perfect sense that someone as unstable as Christian has a series of even less stable skeletons in his closet.

But wait! We get a strange alchemy. The young lovers face a number of problems, all of which were caused by Christian alone. Now logically, this should push our heroes apart. But instead, so far, it's bringing them closer, despite all the evidence that Ana will become just the latest link in a long, disturbed chain if she doesn't get away. Ana largely absolves Christian for the role he's played in causing all this trouble. He is, after all, the common denominator across all of Ana's problems, but Ana is quick to regard him as the victim rather than the instigator. She continues to follow him, knowing that he's treating her basically the same as he's treated the women who now threaten her. 

And what're we to do? Stick around for the ride, I guess! We do see a gun drawn in this chapter. Now, the rules of drama demand that it get fired, but this is fan-fiction, not drama, so I don't know if the gun is ever going to fire or not. I do know that I hope this just dissolves into a series of dumb action sequences. I don't think anything could improve this book, but I would like to move from one version of inanity to another for a while. Y'know. Just so I have a break. 

But hey where were we?

Our story thus far: