Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades Freed - A Review by Diana Thompson

We sent our resident romance expert and passion fan Diana Thompson off to the flicks this week to catch up on the final instalment in the Grey series, 'Fifty Shades Freed'. Diana is an acclaimed romance writer in her own right, and you can now grab a free ebook from her, plus exclusive discounts to all of her titles!

Finally I have had the pleasure of viewing the much anticipated third movie Fifty Shades Freed in the E L James trilogy Fifty Shades Of Grey.
 
Apart from Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses I don’t think any other book has caused quite so much vigorous discussion amongst the population as Fifty Shades of Grey, nor done the unforgiveable and re-invigorated the romance genre as a whole.
Love it or hate it, there certainly seems to be no middle ground. Most haters I have spoken to have only read part of the first book. They haven’t read all three and therefore simply do not get the story E. L. James is portraying. I for one have loved the trilogy and have read every book, seen each movie and have now read the Grey series, which is essentially the same story, but from Christian’s point of view. Quite an interesting concept that as a writer I can fully appreciate.
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Having enjoyed the first two movies, I wondered how the screenplay writers would be able to tie all the plots together within the given timeframe. Well! I can clearly say that the director and writers have done a wonderful job. I absolutely hate watching movies that bear very little resemblance to the written book and I must say that in all three Fifty Shades movies, the picture reflects the story exactly. Very satisfying.
 
Once again the story is beautifully filmed, especially the intimate sex scenes which have a wonderful, sensual quality about them. I may be wrong, however we appear to see a lot more of Jamie Dornan completely naked this time around, which is by no stretch a burden to bear. The important story lines are all covered and tied up nicely by the climax of the film.
 
Much has been written about Jamie Dornan and his portrayal of Christian Grey. Whatfifty-shades-freed we all need to remember is that Christian is not only emotionally damaged but emotionally repressed as well. He needs complete control over every aspect of his life. He has essentially no friends and is surrounded by people he employs from whom he remains emotionally distant. He is emotionally remote from his family and has never cried or enjoyed being hugged. As his brother Elliot states in the movie, Christian marries his first girlfriend - Anastasia. I truly think Jamie portrays Christian well. I mean hell, he isn’t this happy outgoing guy!
 
Dakota Johnson was also a good match for Anastasia. She has an inherent innocence about her and we have watched her grow in strength from the first movie. She really holds the power in the marriage in this last film. Even Christian states in one laugh out loud part that she’s “scary”. There are three or four very amusing parts that had the audience doing exactly that. I loved the montage close to the end of the movie, we the story is wrapped up beautifully. It was a fitting end to an entertaining evening at the movies.
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Five Rules for Writing Historical Fiction

With the second season of the Outlander series now gripping the world, and with the re-release of not one but two of Peter Yeldham historical fiction novels only days away, it seems fair to say that historical fiction is now very much in vogue. It seems we’ve monkey-swung from sparkly vampires (Twilight) to titillating BDSM (Fifty Shades of Grey) to re-examining our collective past. In truth, historical fiction never really went out of vogue. Technically speaking, the vast majority of Shakespeare’s works were historical fiction. It could be said even our most basic folk lore (Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, etc.) are a kind of proto-historical fiction that harkens back to a generic fairytale time tinged with nostalgia.

Still, there’s never been a better time to be a historical fiction author, and we’re thrilled to publish quite a few. But before you put pen to paper, you might want to consider a few critical tips that we’ve learned from reading our award-winning authors.

Researching and Reading Research is obviously incredibly important when writing historical fiction. There’s no quicker way to alienate a reader than to make them stop believing in the authenticity of the world you’re trying to create. So research and read. A lot. Read historical accounts of the time, and even dig into other historical fiction that’s focussed on similar eras of history.

Researching and Talking If you’re able to actually talk to living survivors of your chosen historical era, don’t be shy in asking to sit down and have a chat. A minute in conversation can illuminate areas that history books simply can’t tell you. The colour of the wallpaper, or the smell of a place, or the daily, mundane routines that shaped their (and your characters) lives.

Researching and other reading An extremely helpful tip comes from Elizabeth Gilbert, award-winning author of Eat, Pray, Love, as well as critically acclaimed historical fiction The Signature of All Things. While it’s valuable to read history books, it can be even more helpful to read documents, novels or journals that were written in the specific time period that you’re setting your work in. This will tell you so much about the lexicon of the age, along with the concerns, dialogue and details of your characters.

Know when to stop researching This is the trickiest bit. Some historical novels feel more historic than novel, and can be too dense a read to be truly pleasurable. Always remember that your novel still has to operate under the same laws as any genre, and needs to create a compelling story with intriguing characters. The research will only take you so far. If you’re on the right track, you’ll usually feel a mounting sense of excitement as you’re researching, and there will simply come a point where you’re desperate to write. So write! The research will be there when you need it, and you can always return to hunt for extra details.

Be Authentic to the Politics of the Time …while not being too offensive to modern sensibilities. This is tricky, and most complicated around gender politics. Times past are often incredibly violent places to write about, and women are often treated abhorrently. It’s important to be authentic to this, and not create a rose-tinted version of the past that readers will find too sickly sweet. On the other hand, every reader has a line, and so much of narrative is frequently about the under-dog becoming a hero. Claire in Outlander is a classic example, who is subject to the subjugation of her time, but constantly subverts the gender norms for wonderfully entertaining results. Peter Yeldham often places an under-dog at the centre of the story, who is able to see with greater moral clarity than most of his peers.

Don’t know where to start reading? Why not try Peter Yeldham’s fantastic historical fiction around World War 2 in Above the Fold . Or if you’re in the mood for more sparkly vampires, you might be interested in Jennifer McDonald’s take on how Edward Cullen brought about a spiritual awakening in her memoir Vegetarian Vampires. Then again, you may be more into the Fifty Shades of Grey trend and want some page-turning romance. In that case, try Winterflood’s Passion by Diana Thompson.