If I had written Fifty Shades of Grey, Christian would probably have a rooftop garden.
He would live in a refurbished walk-up because he appreciates a solid foundation, but can’t tolerate the clutter of the past. Sure Christian would be angsty and brooding. He would have “issues,” but that’s why he has the garden. Also, he would have a real job that required him to actually work for his billions. He would have family challenges, not just absurd caricatures flitting in and out of his life. And hobbies, maybe even a friend or two.
My Christian would be strong, working on leaving his yucky past behind. He would read his news online, but make his reservations by phone. He would like trains, grapefruits, and never fly a woman around in his helicopter because that’s already been done. Christian, in my version, would be sexy, well dressed and a hands-on guy. He would be a fixer rather than a whiner with a playroom and a victim of circumstance.
If I had written Fifty Shades of Grey, Anastasia would have something to lose. She would be smart, not just high school sassy and protective of her hiney, but intriguing and smart. A full woman, that perhaps is drawn to a brooding man, curious, even willing, but isn’t going to turn over her life because again, she has one to lose. My Anastasia would wear fantastic clothes that reflected her style. She would be at least 23, hate wine, and have had sex with a college boyfriend that broke her heart.
She would be slightly damaged herself, but often blindly optimistic. She would like ice cubes as much as the next girl but never allow her body to be less important than her partner’s. Anastasia, my version, would have her own car, her own home, and a dog she runs with in the early mornings to help take her edge off.
Yes, she would have an edge too. Life challenges, obligations, dimension.
If I had written Fifty Shades of Grey, my two characters would meet at say…a charity event he was hosting and she was covering for the newspaper. They would be on the same side of the desk, both wearing their own silk, both clever, but a bit messed up and wondering why no one ever sees past their front game.
My version would have tension, conflict, and choices. It would take the reader places, show them dark corners and beautiful sunrises. Christian and Anastasia would learn new things about themselves, heal, fall in, and make, love. They would cuddle and laugh because that’s really what makes the world go around.
Their words would occasionally slap, they might even get a little naughty after a great night and too much whiskey, but no one would be treated like an animal. Neither of them would be made to feel less than or dominate the other under the guise of a “lifestyle choice.”
In my Fifty Shades of Grey, there would be no inner goddess, overly bitten lips, or winky faces. My characters wouldn’t allow that nonsense because real people don’t act that way. Ever. They would demand I write past the seventh grade and that their story be my original idea. Characters like my Christian and Anastasia would not want to be some porned up knock-off.
Besides, readers would never go for that. They would see right through such an obvious mess and it would never make it off the shelves, let alone be touted worldwide as a love story.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Alarm On.