Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The (Un)Official E. L. James Word-a-Month Calendar

I'm not picking on the Shades of Grey trilogy.  Really, I'm not.  Any time erotica makes the headlines, gets people out buying books, and makes any improvement at all in people's sex lives, I'm all for it. Really.

But I DID have some issues with the books.  There was waaaaaay too much repetition for my tastes.  It was as if E. L. James used a three page thesaurus, or maybe her editor was hoping to appeal to people with limited vocabulary that loved reading about sex. Either way, the repetition was making me want to stab myself in the eyes. 

Yes, I read the whole series, so I can't claim I hated them.  But.  BUT.  I read them more so for some sort of twisted closure, not unlike Sky King Fast-forwarding to the end of a movie, just so he could go to bed. It's sick, I know, but it's what we do.

So, here goes-
The E.L. James Word/Phrase-a-Month Calendar

Directions: Every time you use the official monthly word or phrase, a fairy gets her wings, a whore loses a crusty hunk of labia, and an Emo kid accidentally smiles.

Use this handy-dandy calendar the next time you wish to write a best-seller:

Word or Phrase
What the hell it means
Shades of…
·         Shades of Grey
·         Fifty shades of fucked up
·         Seven shades of crimson, etc
Varieties of, kinds of.  It is used to denote a wide range of issues, personality disorders, or psychiatric conditions
Oh, my.
·         Oh, my.
·         Oh, my.
·         Oh, my.
·         Oh, my.
·         Oh, my.
·         Oh, my.
·         Oh, my.
Use this whenever you are surprised, overwhelmed, confused, overwhelmed, turned on, horrified, verklempt, angry, overwhelmed, taken aback, naked, distressed, frustrated, or any other emotion.  Really, it’s the tofu of emotional phrases-it will take on any connotation.  ANY.
·         My mercurial man
·         Mercurial Fifty
·         Mr. Mercurial
Whenever you are referring to someone’s ability to change their emotions, they are “mercurial”.  Unless it’s you.  Then, you are appropriately expressive and asserting yourself. Except when you’re not, and that’s okay, too
·         He gives me that salacious look
This word is the only word you can use to describe a naughty, yet sexy look-there are no other words that are appropriate.  Sorry.
Fair point, well made
·         Fair point, well made, Ms. Steele
·         Fair point, well made, Mrs. Grey
·         Fair Point, well made, Mr. Grey
·         As always, fair point, well made.
Use this phrase whenever you are tempted to use, “I concur”, “you’re right”, “I could see that”, “I guess so”, or, “Touché”.  Except for possibly “touché”, all the other phrases make you sound middle class and American, which does not work. Even though the main character is supposed to be middle class.  And American.
Laters, Baby
·         Laters, Baby (Christian)
·         Laters, Baby (Ana)
·         Laters, Baby (Elliot)
It’s cute to use phrases that make it sound like your characters are way more immature than they really are.  Otherwise, you won’t appeal to young hipsters. Use this phrase immediately after the two main characters fight, to let the reader know that all is forgiven, because they can NEVER discuss their true feelings, relying only on juvenile cute-isms to signify they are again, in fact, “cool” with each other. In fact, it will come to be a running joke with you and your readers and will give them something clever to say at book signings.
English phrases and words
·         Her dress was smart
·         I shall let him know I’ve fallen ill
·         …in the most delicious fashion
·         Amongst
The best way to write a wonderful book is to make sure no one knows where you’re from. So, make sure to use colloquialisms from at least two continents-it makes you sound worldly and intelligent.
·         He cupped my sex
·         His manhood entered my sex
Never EVER use any other words to describe a vagina.  Especially vagina.  Even though you are writing a descriptive erotic book that relies heavily on imagery, using any other word to describe a woman’s “sex”, including but not limited to: vagina, gash, slit, pussy, twat, throbbing meat locker, or crevasse is UNACCEPTABLE.
·         His throbbing manhood entered me
·         His glistening manhood
·         He released his ample manhood
*For further clarification, See “sex”, above. No one, I repeat, NO ONE, wants to read about cocks, dicks, penises, man sticks, salami buffets, schlongs, or meat straws.  Ditto for pork sword, taco injector, purple-headed yogurt slinger, or raw banana.
Inner Goddess
·         My inner goddess jumped for joy when his manhood entered my sex
·         He looked at me salaciously, as we walked away.  “Laters Baby”, he muttered.  My inner goddess pouted.
Don’t ever allow your main character to take responsibility for her feelings, especially ones that might make her appear honest with herself, or make her seem like a cum-gobbling gutter slut.
Instead, use a cute multiple-personality-like character, so that she can justify acting like a gown-up once in a while.  Reminiscent of the early 1990’s series, Herman’s Head.  Or the book, Sybil, but without the crazed psychopath.  
·         My subconscious peered over her glasses
·         My subconscious gave me a sharp look
When you don’t want the main character to take personal responsibility, it’s important that they have a good reason to “defy” someone who knows better-that way, the main character can be more sympathetic.  If there isn’t a dad or friend in the picture, or even if there is, a “subconscious” is a great way for your main character to be complex, yet defiant, even when alone!
·         He touches me…..there
·         I feel heat coming from….there
·         I’m throbbing….there
*see “sex”, above.  An alternate to the word sex when referring to the female sexual area.

Sorry.  This has been driving me crazy.  I wish I loved it like many of my friends, I really do.

Maybe I will have to research valid, awesome BDSM writing to recommend, to make up for my slamming of these top sellers.  You know, for research purposes.

Where should I start, sickos?

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