Did 50 shades of grey start as a twilight fanfiction


The link between "Twilight" and "Fifty Shades of Grey" often sparks bewilderment among readers, given their stark disparity in plot lines �one features vampires while the other delves into the realm of BDSM. However, the intriguing reality is that "Fifty Shades of Grey" did indeed commence as a "Twilight" fanfiction. This piece aims to explore this fascinating connection from various perspectives.

The Roots of "Fifty Shades of Grey"

"Fifty Shades of Grey," penned by E.L. James, was originally crafted as a fanfiction to "Twilight." Titled "Master of the Universe," it was published on, a website that allows fans of various books, movies, anime and other media to write and publish stories set in those original universes. The characters of Edward and Bella in "Twilight" morphed into Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in "Master of the Universe."

Did 50 shades of grey start as a twilight fanfiction

Although "Master of the Universe" was taken down from, E.L. James republished the narrative on her personal website, She subsequently developed the plot into a trilogy, editing and expanding upon the original story. The overwhelming response from readers prompted her to consider publication, which eventually led to the emergence of the "Fifty Shades" series.

Fanfiction Characteristics

"Fifty Shades of Grey" bears several traits common to fanfiction. The narrative’s initial instalments depicted a passionate, if unlikely, love affair akin to that of Edward and Bella’s in "Twilight." The personalities and traits of the characters, though they undergo significant changes, were initially borrowed from Stephenie Meyer’s creation.

Character development patterns typical of fanfiction are also present in "Fifty Shades." Much like how Edward Cullen’s vampirism was an integral, defining aspect of his character in "Twilight," Christian Grey’s penchant for BDSM has a similar role in "Fifty Shades." Anastasia’s transformation from a naïve girl to a self-assured woman mirrors Bella’s metamorphosis from a mortal to a vampire, indicating how plot motifs were creatively transferred to an entirely dissimilar backdrop.

From Fanfiction to Mainstream Novel

E.L. James�transformation from fanfiction author to mainstream novelist spotlights the potential for fanfiction to serve as the cornerstone for successful narratives. This transition was not without controversy. Critics contended that the books lacked originality, merely rehashing elements and plots from "Twilight." The explicit content, too, drew flak.

Yet, the straightforward, intense narrative style appealed to millions of readers globally, culminating in the "Fifty Shades" series becoming a cultural phenomenon. It's worth noting that the erotic elements, which were a far cry from the boy-meets-girl and vampire-human love storylines of "Twilight," were central to its allure.

Impact on the Writing and Publishing Industry

"Fifty Shades" transition from fanfiction to mainstream literature significantly impacted both the writing and publishing industries. It highlighted the potential of fanfiction as a platform for writers seeking to develop their skills and connect with like-minded individuals.

In terms of the publishing industry, "Fifty Shades" was initially published as an e-book and a print-on-demand paperback, bypassing traditional publishing methods. This approach, combined with its pervasive success, illustrated the viability of self-publishing and e-books, transforming industry norms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is "Fifty Shades of Grey" a "Twilight" fanfiction?

A: Yes, "Fifty Shades of Grey" started as a "Twilight" fanfiction named "Master of the Universe."

Q: How similar are "Fifty Shades of Grey" and "Twilight"?

A: While the genre and plot are very different, the initial characterization and certain plot constructs in "Fifty Shades" are reminiscent of "Twilight."

Q: Who is the author of "Fifty Shades of Grey"?

A: "Fifty Shades of Grey" was written by British author E.L. James.


In conclusion, tracing the roots of "Fifty Shades of Grey" back to "Twilight" fanfiction highlights the surprising twists and turns a narrative can take. While the books have invited their share of criticism, the series undeniably revolutionized the publishing industry, shone a spotlight on fanfiction, and captivated readers around the world.


[1] Harper, K. (2012). The fan fiction roots of 'Fifty Shades of Grey'. Newsweek. Retrieved from

[2] Flood, A. (2012). Fifty Shades of Grey was originally a Twilight fan fiction. The Guardian. Retrieved from

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