Is 50 shades of grey a twilight fanfiction


"Is 50 Shades of Grey a Twilight Fanfiction?" - This question catches the curiosity of many when they first hear it. Those familiar with both series may have sparkled with the thought. Before delving into the debated topic, it's vital to first define what fanfiction is and its significance in today's literary framework.

Defining Fanfiction

Fanfiction refers to creative writing by fans of an original work, where they borrow the characters, settings, or plot from the original work, and create a new narrative. Fanfiction can range from a couple of lines to full-length novels, and genres can span widely - from romance to adventure, from alternative universe to crossovers.

Is 50 shades of grey a twilight fanfiction

Today, fanfic has become a popular form of creative expression and has given rise to countless communities online. Websites such as and Archive of Our Own (AO3) are examples of platforms where aspiring authors can share their works.

50 Shades of Grey's Origin

'50 Shades of Grey', the erotic romance novel by E.L. James, initially started as a fanfic of the popular Stephanie Meyer's 'Twilight' series. Originally named 'Master of the Universe' and authored under the pseudonym 'Snowqueen's Icedragon,' it was initially published on before moving to her website.

The story revolved around the characters Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, however, renamed as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. Differences in tone, plot, and explicit adult content distinguished it from the original Twilight series.

The Fanfic to Original Transition

The transition from fanfiction to original work is termed as 'filing off the serial numbers.' This means that the author modifies the original fanfic by changing character names, settings, and some story elements to make it stand alone as an original work. That's precisely what E.L. James did to create the '50 Shades' series.

This method of transition demonstrates an interesting aspect of modern literature, where the boundaries between fans' creative outpouring and professional, published work can sometimes blur.

Comparative Analysis: Twilight and 50 Shades

The distinct similarity between 'Twilight' and '50 Shades' lies in the dynamics of the romantic relationship. Both stories share a common thread - a seemingly average girl drawn to a dangerous yet magnetic man.

However, '50 Shades' takes a divergent path from there, replacing the supernatural elements of 'Twilight' with explicit, BDSM-loaded erotic scenes. It also imbues deeper emotional conflict and complexity in its characters.

Reader Reactions

'50 Shades' undeniably achieved considerable commercial success. However, it also invited criticism, particularly from loyal 'Twilight' fans. Many lamented that '50 Shades' had strayed too far from the respectful, wholesome romance of 'Twilight.'

However, for many adult readers, '50 Shades' provided an exciting, fresh, and titillating reading experience. Its success led to a resurgence of erotic fiction in literature, becoming a 'guilty pleasure' read for many.

Hypertextuality and Intertextuality

50 Shades is a perfect example of hypertextuality, where the text connects to another text, creating a network of dialogue between texts. Also, it stands as a model for intertextuality, subtly interweaving motifs, themes, and symbols from the Twilight saga, thus becoming a text within a text.

Therefore, while 50 Shades can function and be enjoyed as an independent text, full comprehension may spring from understanding the narrative it was born from, Twilight.

Redefining the Fanfic Culture

The success of 50 Shades restored focus on fanfic culture, encouraging more writers to explore it. Consequently, it also redefined the way original authors view fanfic, displaying that it's not just a frivolous hobby, but a subculture in the publishing world capable of reaching commercial success.

However, there remains a debate on the ethics of transforming fanfic which is supposed to be a tribute to original work, into a commercial entity.

Common Questions

Q: Is '50 Shades of Grey' a 'Twilight' Fanfiction? A: Yes, it originally started as a 'Twilight' fanfiction before transforming into a standalone series.

Q: Did the author of 'Twilight' endorse '50 Shades'? A: Stephanie Meyer stated that she hasn't read '50 Shades.' However, she's happy for E.L James's success and has no issues with fanfic.

Q: How is the character development different in 'Twilight' and '50 Shades'? A: While 'Twilight' focuses on a teenager coming to terms with love and self-discovery, '50 Shades' explores adult relationship dynamics involving emotional trauma and sexual preferences.


Whether '50 Shades of Grey' is compensable as a 'Twilight' fanfic or as an independent novel is a subjective interpretation. Regardless, its success provides an interesting insight into fanfiction culture and its impact on mainstream literature.


Jenkins, H. (2013). Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. Routledge.

James, E L. (2011). Fifty Shades of Grey. Vintage Books.

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