I Promise You Won't Learn A Thing From This Blog

The official blog for author Ashley Chappell. Check back every week for a few laughs at my expense or, if you know the love-hate process that is writing, commiseration.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bad vs. Bad - The Secret Behind THAT Book

To so many authors and critical readers, it's the Book That Shall Not Be Named. Every conversation surrounding bad literature or bad writing eventually mentions it, if not leads with it. We love to hate, hate, hate it almost as much as we love our coffee. Yes. It's that serious, and that ubiquitous in angsty Top Ten Terrible Books lists across the interwebs. In fact, you probably figured out from the very first sentence that the book to which I'm referring is none other than the dreaded...

Fifty Shades of Gray. (Dun-dun-DUNNNNN!!!)

And why - moral issues with misrepresenting actual BDSM culture and legitimizing various forms of actual abuse (climbs down from soapbox for now) - do we hate this book so? We say it's a Bad Book. A Very, Very Bad Book. And then we offer it no treats and would threaten to put it back in its cage if we didn't think it would like it so much. We call it bad writing and rant quite happily about it while we guzzle our coffee and promise ourselves our writing will be so much better. (I feel better at least. Don't you?)

But now our friends at Grammarly have gone and outsmarted us by qualifying how bad the writing is, and the surprising truth of the matter is that is actually isn't that bad... technically. They put the entire text through their Rube Goldberg machine of Wordsmithery and found out that the errors aren't so out of line with other romances that we love, live, and get tattooed on, well, places. It forces us to make the distinction between poor technical execution of the language and poor esthetic use of language. That last part, by the way, we can still cling to tighter than our latex undies in regards to The Book That Shall Not Be Named.

I was reluctant to give even an inch of credit toward a book that I love to hate, but Grammarly makes it entirely worth your while to consider their evidence. If for no better reason, check it out to see your favorite authors decked out in leather, chains, and ball gags. It's worth it just for that.

Now, without further ado, enjoy this eye candy courtesy of grammarly.com/grammar-check.

Grammarly: Fifty Shades of Grammar


  1. I actually started reading the Book that Shall not be Named in a desperate attempt to combat my insomnia, and found it helps, to an extend. What it also does is make me laugh out loud at such gems as "my subconscious is screaming at me metaphorically" and "Two orgasms... coming apart at the seams, like the spin cycle of a washing machine". In the first chapter mr. Grey is described *twice* as "really, really good-looking" (really?) and "mega-successful". Good grammar can only fix so much. :'-)

    1. Ha!! The spin cycle thing kills me. I tried to read it once just to see what had everyone up in arms, but I didn't make it past the first 50 pages. My reading list is too long to waste time on something that I couldn't handle! Although, my best friend sent me a link to an actual book Amazon called: "My Ass Is Haunted By The Gay Unicorn Colonel." I might have to try to read the sample of that one, because WTF?? lol

      Seriously, though, you'd think that with as much as this franchise has earned someone would take a hard look at re-releasing a properly edited version to at least give it some semblance of legitimacy. But I guess it's hard to care when you're sleeping on a pile of money every night ;-)

  2. I totally agree with you. Give the lady a break (though, she is laughing all the way to the bank and I doubt she cares what we think!). If we wanted to read perfect grammar in our stories, we'd be grabbing the encyclopedia and curling up by the fire. (Yes, I do read the encyclopedia for fun, but I am a little weird.)


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