The original post for this was on Ginger & Books (it was one of the first posts), and you can see the original post here. The original post is in this post with some updated copy.
This week, the world will be graced with the wonderful 50 Shades Darker movie (please, please read that last sentence with nothing but sarcasm). I’ve read all three books and I’ve seen the first movie, and there is one thing I would like to say.
The 50 Shades Trilogy is a great example of what not to do.
I’m specifically talking about you, Mr. Grey.
It’s not a stretch to say that the writing mechanics in the series are not the best. Some of the plot lines (especially in the last two books) are rushed and seem out of the blue. The Hyde plot line is by far my least favorite and left me with many questions, but that’s not important.
The one thing that I’ve taken away from this series is the character development, especially of Christian Grey. I know, someone is going to come in and say how he’s abusive, but that’s not what I’m going to talk about tonight. Christian Grey is an interesting character to me in his background. What happened to him as a child is pretty awful – I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone, and living like that as a child is going to leave some incredibly deep scars.Christian Grey can teach you a lot about lead characters. Click To Tweet
Maybe it’s not so much Grey himself as the way he acts that intrigues me (and that isn’t always a good thing). Creating a believable character can make or break your story. A believable character can help cement a not-so-believable plot line. Grey isn’t a believable character. His aftermath of a shitty childhood is, but the way he reacts? Not so much. The first time I read the series, I constantly wanted to give him a bottle of Midol to help with the mood swings.
So, what can an author learn from Christian Grey? Lots of things. One – how to write a bad lover. Or how to not write a good one. Learn what people consider abusive and try to stay away from that. Of course, there are things you can take from him that are good – he does donate to charities and I don’t think anyone is going to argue that’s bad.
Control is a good thing to have a grasp on, but too much control is bad – that’s his problem. If you want to write a romantic lead who insists on the girl being protected and she argues that he can’t stop her, he has to have a moment when he stops and realizes that girl will not be stopped. Be realistic.
As a believer that people (almost) always have good qualities, I don’t think Christian Grey is an exception – there are parts that are good of him and parts that could have the possibility to be good. But, the point is, Christian Grey is a hot mess.
If you’re an author and you read the books, take notes, from a character standpoint, Christian Grey has plenty to teach us all.