VAMPIRE WRITERS

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
bcomet
Posts: 588
Joined: January 23rd, 2010, 2:11 pm
Contact:

VAMPIRE WRITERS

Post by bcomet » June 11th, 2010, 5:23 pm

Okay, curiosity got the cat, but...
How many vampire novelists are there REALLY on this forum?

wetair
Posts: 69
Joined: December 17th, 2009, 9:01 pm
Location: Inside Your Head
Contact:

Re: VAMPIRE WRITERS

Post by wetair » June 11th, 2010, 6:20 pm

might also be interesting to know if they write vampires in paranormal romance or urban fantasy or horror.

I am not. I write urban fantasy/fantasy and so far no vampires have made their way inside my story

User avatar
polymath
Posts: 1821
Joined: December 8th, 2009, 11:22 am
Location: Babel
Contact:

Re: VAMPIRE WRITERS

Post by polymath » June 11th, 2010, 7:04 pm

I'm one of those cats curiosity didn't get. I'm the elusive East Coast puma, sort of marked like a house cat, easily mistaken for a feral calico perched on a fence post, but native to the wild. That's my totem anyway.

I read vampire genre. don't write it though, at least not until I feel I've satisfactorily reinvented the motif. Who's the new social parasite? It's been idle aristocracy, idle but honorable old money, mostly harmless wholesome-like social elitism. What sucks the life's blood from society here and now? Self-serving politicians? Transnational corporate CEOs? Megabankers? Tax collectors? On the other hand, individualizing the human condition might mean a cultural archetype; like emotionally needy persons who drain away life's vitality by their pathetic, desperate neediness? Petty tyrrants ruling their tin pot dictatorships of modest accomplishments they're incompetent to manage? Perhaps compulsive complainers? Do-gooders who do more harm than good? I don't know. Maybe another sympathetic vampire motif? What then might be the insuperable dilemma? Knowing a persona's curse is a blessing in disguise? I'm a human pincushion, see me bleed, see me stick myself half a dozen times a day just to stay alive? And by being confronted by my difficulties have to learn to like myself as I am?
Spread the love of written word.

Margo
Posts: 1712
Joined: April 5th, 2010, 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: VAMPIRE WRITERS

Post by Margo » June 11th, 2010, 9:55 pm

Like wetair, that's a yes on UF but a no on vampires.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Quill
Posts: 1059
Joined: March 17th, 2010, 9:20 pm
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: VAMPIRE WRITERS

Post by Quill » June 12th, 2010, 10:20 am

Not a writer on subjects vampire, nor a reader, although I did grab "Twilight" last time I was in the library, out of curiosity. If I was to write about vampires, it would be the corporate-tax collector-dictator types that polymath mentions. Those interest me. And, to wax sociological/ psychological, I can't help but feel there's some connection between today's real world situation and the intense interest in literary vamps. People, and perhaps young adults especially, I think are feeling a lack of freedom and power, and, well, on some level, their blood sucked.

User avatar
polymath
Posts: 1821
Joined: December 8th, 2009, 11:22 am
Location: Babel
Contact:

Re: VAMPIRE WRITERS

Post by polymath » June 12th, 2010, 11:54 am

Alfred Hitchcock coined the term MacGuffin. A MacGuffin is a motif that's not intrinsic to a plot. Hitchcock's The Birds is a prime example of a MacGuffin, the birds are. Their role in the movie is central but not necessarily intrinsic. Knockoff movies show that any animal-vegetable-insect motif can replace the birds. Arachnids, bees, snakes, gigantic worms, mosquitoes, sharks, kudzoo, etc. About every ten years Hollywood comes out with another reinvention of The Birds. Similar situations, similar events, similar outcomes, just different motifs. Human-aggravated nature and humanity clash. None have yet to overtop the original, except in campiness, which is its own art.

Vampires can be MacGuffins. Many of the follow-on knockoff vampire novels I've read merely substitute different traits for prexistent ones. I've read manuscripts that take a highly successful narrative or film and change the motifs, Wolverine, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Twilight, without changing the dilemma, motivations and stakes, the outcomes, the consequences private and public. I've read more than a few published novels that are about the same. Changed viewpoint character gender, changed fundamental motifs, changed ages, changed social standing, changed names, changed fantastical premises, but substantially the same story as one that did well. I'm of the opinion it's a good practice technique, but without totally reinventing the story, it's riding on coattails. Originality suffers. But Hollywood might be interested enough to consider an inpiration for in-house writers to develop.

I've comtemplated what general dilemmas are universal to humans, for young adults and every life stage age. One that rose above all the rest is peer pressure, the sorts of conformity pressures that groupthink engenders. Humans are social beings. Without society, humans suffer personaity issues. Some level of compromise to conformity is essential for participating in the privileges and responsiblities of a group. Yet how close in rapport can humans be. No one can credibly be someone else. We can reinvent ourselves based on how others perceive us. We can coerce others to be more like us. Aside from a few loved ones who are nevertheless their own persons, we inherently live alone within an indifferent mob of humanity.

A sympathetic vampire commits self-sacrificing acts. A villainous vampire commits self-serving acts. A sympathetic vampire serves the needs of others. Of course, it's not entirely so black and white in today's literary conventions and audience expectations. There's a continuum ranging between extremes.

Putting groupthink pressure and vampire motifs together seems to me a good place from which to reinvent the genre for good dramatic effect. In some ways, I think that's approximately what Stephenie Meyer did with Isabella Swan and Edward Cullen.

Stoker's Dracula, on the other hand, comes from an era when society had different yet changing conventions. Aristocracy was paramount but fading. Because aristocrats were high born they were favored by the gods and could do no wrong nor evil. Only low-born people were inherently evil. Predetermination. Rice's Lastrade, old money, retains vestiges of predetermination in well-born situations, preordained entitlement because of social standing due to accident of birth station. Yet Rice also incorporates free will, the counter to predetermination, as does Meyer though Meyer slides farther toward free will's dilemmas. So I imagine, if there's a direction trend vampire genre is moving toward, it's toward more free will oriented dilemmas.
Last edited by polymath on June 12th, 2010, 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Spread the love of written word.

User avatar
J. T. SHEA
Moderator
Posts: 492
Joined: May 20th, 2010, 1:55 pm
Location: IRELAND
Contact:

Re: VAMPIRE WRITERS

Post by J. T. SHEA » June 12th, 2010, 1:56 pm

Interesting, Polymath. So THAT'S why IRS agents don't have reflections!

User avatar
cheekychook
Posts: 685
Joined: May 26th, 2010, 8:35 pm
Contact:

Re: VAMPIRE WRITERS

Post by cheekychook » June 12th, 2010, 3:42 pm

Do you mean novelist who are writing vampire stories? Or novelists who are, in fact, vampires?

Just checking. ;)

I'm neither. Though I am ridiculously pale-skinned, have a lifelong history of insomnia, and am frequently chilly when others are not, which has made me the brunt of many jokes, particularly since the Twilight craze. My husband reluctantly watched Twilight on Showtime several months ago, and half way through the film he turned to me and said "So, let me get this straight, the vampires are super pale, never sleep and are cold to the touch?" I said "Yep." and got a raised eyebrow from him in return. Later that night he stopped at my desk to kiss me good night. It was winter. We live in NH. I was cold. My hand was noticeably icy on his arm. I got the raised eyebrow again. He muttered the word "vampire" as he trudged up to bed. When I went up several hours later I seriously entertained the thought of biting him just to scare the crap out of him....but I resisted.
Image
http://www.karenstivali.com

Passionate Plume 1st Place Winner 2012 - ALWAYS YOU
Published with Ellora's Cave, Turquoise Morning Press & Samhain Publishing

bcomet
Posts: 588
Joined: January 23rd, 2010, 2:11 pm
Contact:

Re: VAMPIRE WRITERS

Post by bcomet » June 12th, 2010, 4:25 pm

Too Funny! You guys!

I think, like the romantic plot, that vampires can be totally fun to do over and over again, in same ways and in unique ways too.
When an archetype is juicy, it's irresistible and fun. You can never get enough Beauty and the Beast or Good vs Evil.

Jessica Peter
Posts: 57
Joined: May 15th, 2010, 2:01 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: VAMPIRE WRITERS

Post by Jessica Peter » June 12th, 2010, 8:11 pm

I'm still enjoying the vampire trend, even if I rarely pick up any vamp fiction outside the series' I'm already reading. That said, I wouldn't write a vampire novel at this point - or, I think, at any point in my life - but I may attempt a vampire short someday (like for Harlequin's "Nocturne Bites" line...)
http://jessdoesstuff.blogspot.com
http://twitter.com/JessicaPeter1
Currently querying HUNT, YA Urban Fantasy & writing a post-apocalyptic romance

Margo
Posts: 1712
Joined: April 5th, 2010, 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: VAMPIRE WRITERS

Post by Margo » June 12th, 2010, 9:06 pm

Jessica Peter wrote:I'm still enjoying the vampire trend...
Sort of off topic and sort of not... At a workshop last year, the agent teaching the workshop hung out with us between classes quite a bit to talk writing and industry. Someone asked him if he thought the vampire trend was getting old. He said he thought so four years ago and hasn't seen a dip in demand yet, so he's not predicting the demise of vampire fic anytime soon. I'm happy about that, not because of the vamp part but because so much of it is in Urban Fantasy. I'm a latecomer to the subgenre and would hate to see it peter out just when I decide to give it a try.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

User avatar
J. T. SHEA
Moderator
Posts: 492
Joined: May 20th, 2010, 1:55 pm
Location: IRELAND
Contact:

Re: VAMPIRE WRITERS

Post by J. T. SHEA » June 13th, 2010, 12:35 am

Vampire fiction has been going strong in Ireland since the nineteenth century, e. g. Sheridan Le Fanu and Bram Stoker, and Darren Shan more recently.

User avatar
Gina Frost
Posts: 32
Joined: June 4th, 2010, 1:33 pm
Location: Missouri
Contact:

Re: VAMPIRE WRITERS

Post by Gina Frost » June 16th, 2010, 10:14 am

I am working on a story, not any that I have posted on here yet, that will have some vampires play a bit part as sideline characters. They are not the only sideline characters though, many characters that are believed to be myths will be introduced and individuals from another realm act as guardians and protectors to these mythological creatures and their secrecy. That is about as far as I will dare go with vampires.

bcomet
Posts: 588
Joined: January 23rd, 2010, 2:11 pm
Contact:

Re: VAMPIRE WRITERS

Post by bcomet » June 18th, 2010, 4:55 pm

I love vampire novels, paranormal, fantasy (without over world building)...can't get enough! But when I went to Barnes and Noble Booksellers this week, I was blown away: everything in YA is vampire and black cover or black cover (I suppose since black cover is the new vampire no matter what the genre) and even more than it was a few months ago!

Personally, I like a little color variation in my vampire reading and it makes me wonder how this trend is helping/hurting the vampire genre (and writers) when (beyond following) there are still so many ways to explore other/otherworldly/bad/dangerous/and all things monster in the night.

Give me my monster in living color, palleeze!

User avatar
Quill
Posts: 1059
Joined: March 17th, 2010, 9:20 pm
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: VAMPIRE WRITERS

Post by Quill » June 19th, 2010, 8:30 pm

bcomet wrote:I love vampire novels, paranormal, fantasy (without over world building)...can't get enough! But when I went to Barnes and Noble Booksellers this week, I was blown away: everything in YA is vampire and black cover or black cover (I suppose since black cover is the new vampire no matter what the genre) and even more than it was a few months ago!

Personally, I like a little color variation in my vampire reading and it makes me wonder how this trend is helping/hurting the vampire genre (and writers) when (beyond following) there are still so many ways to explore other/otherworldly/bad/dangerous/and all things monster in the night.

Give me my monster in living color, palleeze!
You're right. The Middle Grade section has a whole lot more color -- and variety of story -- it seems. YA seems to be either vamp/paranormal or modern relationship books. Most of the Epic Fantasy, Quirky Character, and Historical Fiction appears to have migrated to Middle Grade (even though some of it is arguably YA). I've wondered why that was for a while now.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest