Could someone be so kind and help me identify the structural points in Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James?

Here is what I have so far:

  • First Plot Point: She signs the contract.
  • First Pinch Point: She sees his BDSM ''dungeon''.
  • Midpoint:
  • Second Pinch Point:
  • Second Plot Point:

I'm already not so sure about the First Pinch Point. It might be the first time he spanks her.

Of course, there is no proper resolution. I guess that's because she planned a sequel. I haven't read the sequels but I'll assume the resolution of this happens in the third book.

If you could help me figure out the structural points I would be very grateful!

Thanks in advance.

PS: A bonus would be to figure out the hook. Reading the first few pages it doesn't really seem to have any hook.

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    Can you please clarify what you mean by 'plot point' and 'clinch point' in this question, as well as what you mean by 'hook'? Thank you! – Mithical Sep 12 '17 at 16:34
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    A Pinch Point is apparently the pushback from the antagonist against the protagonist. From the link it seems to be a valid way to structure/analyze literature, although I haven't heard of it before. helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/… – Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum Sep 12 '17 at 18:16
  • For the plot points see here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-act_structure – Matt N. Sep 13 '17 at 5:59
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    So @MattN. you added in your postscript 'Reading the first few pages it doesn't really seem to have any hook.' Have you only read that much of the book? – Spagirl Sep 13 '17 at 14:27

I have never read any of the 50 Shades books, and this answer is solely based on the many times I have read reviews and commentaries that denigrate the writing quality. So take that into consideration when reading this answer.

As I understand it, the series was written as a piece of fan fic originally. There really are no prerequisites for an author of fan fic beyond having an idea, and taking the time and energy to write it out. So, it is completely possible that the author of the 50 Shades series does not have any formal training in how to construct a narrative.

By no means am I suggesting that authors of fan fic don't know how to write, just that they may be less likely to have been educated about structural issues that create effective narrative. And i don't know anything specific about the background of the author, who may or may not have any formal training in writing fiction.

But I bring this up because it may be that you are looking to analyze elements within the novel that simply aren't there. There may be no pinch point, because she didn't know that creating one would be useful to drive a plot.

As I understand it, the appeal of these books is the sexual relationship/content between he two main characters, and it is very possible that they were able to appeal to a great number of readers on the basis of that content alone, even without the formal elements that usually form the framework of a successful story.

It's very like the cliche of a pizza delivery guy coming to the door in a porn movie and then being drawn in to have sex with his customers. That has got to be one of the silliest plot elements ever, but most people don't watch porn movies because they have good plots.

TL;DR-- you may not be able to identify all of these structural elements in this novel, because the author, untrained in formal writing practice, may not have included them in the first place.

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  • So let me see if I understand this. You are claiming, without any evidence, that the "structure" used in the question is a thing real authors do, and that using it improves the story. You are then claiming that because this story was originally fanfiction, the author would have been unaware of the structure and wouldn't have used it? Two questions. Do you have any sort of argument or evidence that this structure improves a story? E.g. you say "There may be no pinch point, because she didn't know that creating one would be useful to drive a plot.": why is a pinch point useful in driving a plot – user111 Sep 12 '17 at 17:11
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    Second, not having formal training or not knowing what you're doing is certainly not restricted to authors of fanfiction. – user111 Sep 12 '17 at 17:13
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    I am claiming nothing. I took at face value the OP's suggestion that certain structural elements are part of a written narrative. As I understand it, the point of SE is not to argue the premise of a question, but to provide answers. Assuming that these structural elements are used when writing fiction, I was simply suggesting that they may not be included in this particular book because the author may not have had the knowledge to include them. If you want to argue with the OP's premise that they should be there that is a completely different point. – magerber Sep 12 '17 at 17:19
  • the OP hasn't really provided a premise. They haven't explained what this structural analysis is for, what it tells us about a book, and what they hope to get out of it. Which makes this a poor question that should be closed. But eh, this question wasn't closed, because of reasons, so people get to answer it. – user111 Sep 12 '17 at 17:25
  • However, if a premise of a question is incorrect, you can and should critique that premise in the form on a frame challenge. And even if you do think that a premise of a question is correct, if the OP hasn't done the work of showing that (which should be a reason to close a question imo), then it really should be on the answer to do that as well. – user111 Sep 12 '17 at 17:26

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