Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bloodsucking Creatures of the Night

     Vampires. You either love them or you hate them. You love to love them or you love to hate them. You may even hate that you hate them because you're just plain sick to death of hearing about them. You love them and don't want anyone to know you love them because you're embarrassed about it. You never miss a moment to let people know that you hate them and are definitely freaking sick and tired of hearing about them.

     Whether people love them or hate them or even if they're indifferent to them, they are still talking about vampires. Vampires are one of the most well-known fictional creatures. They might be the most talked about fictional creatures, maybe even more than zombies--btw, is it just me or are zombies becoming a lot more like vampires? Since when were zombies capable of logical thought? Other than brains vs. blood I thought the main difference between vampires and zombies was that vampires have higher order thinking whereas zombies are all about the id. But I digress. The purpose of this post is not vampires vs. zombies. I've got nothing against zombies, they just don't get me all hot and bothered like vampires do.
     Yeah, I said it.

     I've been obsessed with vampires since I was 12, so once I started writing it was pretty much inevitable that I would write a vampire novel. I just need one novel (or trilogy) to get the cute little misunderstood evil creatures out of my mind so I can write about other misunderstood evil creatures like ghosts, witches, werewolves, and zombies. Actually I've recently become pretty ghost obsessed, but that's another post entirely.

     Some people will say that writing about vampires is a mistake because no agent or large publisher will go near a vampire with a cross, bag of garlic, and gallon of holy water. But I've come to the conclusion that I have to write what I want to write, otherwise I'm doing myself a disservice. Besides that, trends cycle. I've no doubt that vampires will one day come back into the mainstream--sure, it could be another 10 or 20 years, but I think it will happen eventually.

     As much as it pains me to admit this, so far my vampires have been pretty freaking cliche. This isn't entirely a bad thing. There are is a lot of traditional vampire lore that you just have to stick with, but that doesn't mean your vampires shouldn't also be new and interesting. The sad thing is, my vampires were supposed to be acting in ways that were new and exciting, I just didn't portray this as well as I wanted to because I was a new writer learning the ropes. Now that my feet are wet and I've gotten a lot of wonderful new writer mistakes out of the way (like humiliating myself by sending out a god-awful query to agents with a sub-par manuscript), I'm ready to try again, which means revamping my vampires.

     I recently joined a book club with my sister and somehow we got into the subject of vampires--though the book we'd read was not about vampires. Everyone started listing what they did and didn't like about vampires while I sat there and soaked it all in for future reference. Hehe. Basically, what I got was that people are sick (for the most part) of the hot sexy vampire and want a return to the evil vampire. I also heard that people are wondering what happened to the whole vampires can't go out in the sunlight thing. A lot of authors have just thrown this concept out the window. My vampires can't go out in the sunlight, but the main reason I went with this rule is that my story will not work if vampires are running around in the daytime--so it was pretty much a logistical thing.

     My story is about a post-apocalyptic society in which vampires have taken over. It focuses (or at least it's supposed to) on the survival of the remaining humans, and one human in particular. She falls in love with a vampire. I know, cliche right? But I'm going to stick with it, because it's the story that I imagined. I just need to play down the romance and play up the survival aspects so people see that it's more of a dark fantasy novel than a romance. I've recently learned that there is a difference between a love story and a romance novel. Many none-romance novels have love stories in them, and this is what I want mine to be.

     Because there was a vampire/human romance, of course my vampires were hot and sexy. I've decided to do away with this. They now are going to look like 3 days dead (roughly) walking frozen corpses--though still not quite as icky as zombies. No offense to any zombies who might be reading this. Also, my lead vampire is no longer going to be brooding. (Yeah, I'm ashamed to admit that he was brooding. No more brooding!) The hard part is going to be still making it convincing for my human to fall in love with a creepy looking dead guy, who may or may not smell bad (I haven't decided yet). But I like a challenge. I'm hoping that some more ideas for unique twists on vampires will come to me. I want to end up with a mix of the traditional and something shiny and new. (Shiny, not sparkly.)

     If anyone has any thoughts and opinions on our favorite (or most hated) creatures of the night (and by that I mean vampires), please feel free to share them.