Did 50 shades started as fanfiction


There are many different forms and origins of narrative storytelling, and fanfiction has increasingly become a mainstream source of popular novels and even movies. This trend is epitomized in the fifty shades series by E.L. James, which is recognized globally for its success in surpassing the boundaries of fanfiction. This article will explore the ascendancy of Fifty Shades from fanfiction to bestseller by analyzing the various intricate aspects revolving around it.

Fanfiction: A Definition

The first angle from which we need to understand the rise of the Fifty Shades series is through a clear definition of fanfiction. Fanfiction are stories written by fans of a particular show, movie, comic, or book, using the existing characters and settings to create new plots and angles. Fanfictions typically reside in online communities and have built an enthusiastic following over the years.

Did 50 shades started as fanfiction

Fanfictions offer a platform where the fans can explore alternative plots, remix genres, or delve deeper into character analysis. This sets the stage for new creatives to venture into storytelling, and that's where our narrative of Fifty Shades commences.

Beginning of Fifty Shades

The Fifty Shades trilogy was originally envisioned and developed as a fanfiction of the Twilight series written by Stephenie Meyer. E.L. James started writing her version based on the popular vampire-themed fantasy novel's characters, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. She posted the fanfiction online under the pseudonym "Snowqueen's Icedragon".

The fanfiction was named "Master of The Universe" and was initially posted on a website called Therefore, its journey from being a mere fanfiction to a globally recognized book series is truly extraordinary.

The Transition from Fanfiction to Original Novel

After gaining popularity, E.L. James decided to remove her fanfiction from the internet and began adapting it into an original novel. She replaced the characters of Bella and Edward with Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, while the underpinning collections of themes that Twilight portrayed were also significantly overhauled.

This transition marked a significant pivot for James, as she delved deeper into themes of explicit sexual roles and power dynamics, marking a sharp departure from the context of her fanfiction origins.

Role of Social Media

Social media has played an instrumental role in the trajectory of Fifty Shades. Readers could interact with the author, providing instant feedback, which, in turn, allowed the author to tweak her work in accordance with the reader's responses. This dynamic created by the advent of technology offered a new dimension of intimacy between the author and readers that traditionally published novels lacked.

The potential of social media in the publishing industry was truly harnessed by E.L. James, who managed to build a passionate and loyal fanbase which helped propel her books to commercial success.

Impact on Publishing Industry

The success story of Fifty Shades has undeniably changed the traditional publishing industry. Initially rejected by traditional publishers, E.L. James decided to self-publish the first installment of Fifty Shades, leading to an explosion of independent and self-published authors endeavoring to attain similar success.

Furthermore, the commercial success of Fifty Shades demonstrated that there is a genuine market for explicit adult fiction, encouraging other authors and publishers to consider erotic fiction subgenres that were previously deemed too risky or niche.

Common Questions:

1. What was Fifty Shades originally a fanfiction of?
Fifty Shades was originally a fanfiction for the Twilight book series.

2. Where was the original Fifty Shades fanfiction posted?
The original Fifty Shades fanfiction was first posted on

3. Did E.L. James self-publish the first Fifty Shades book?
Yes. After being rejected by traditional publishers, E.L. James decided to self-publish the first Fifty Shades book.


From its humble beginnings as a fanfiction to becoming a cultural phenomenon, the journey of Fifty Shades has been magical. This has not only made E.L. James a famous novelist globally, but it has also sparked a dramatic shift in the traditional publishing industry.


1. Stewart, D. (2012). Fifty Shades of Green. Fortune, Retrieved March 7, 2023, from

2. Marr, M. (2012). 'Fifty Shades of Grey' got start as fanfiction spoof website. The Wall Street Journal, Retrieved March 7, 2023, from

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