1. QuicksilverKite
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    QuicksilverKite New Member

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    Are Vampires played out?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by QuicksilverKite, Jul 14, 2011.

    I'm plotting out a novel, possibly a graphic novel and kicking around the idea of using vampires as the antagonists. Unfortunately, vampires have taken a strange turn in literary sentiment lately (i.e. Anne Rice, The Sookie Stackhouse books... Twilight, ugh) and they're not the monsters that they once were... Should I use Vamps, or are they pretty much done as villains?
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    No, they're not done. There is certainly still room to use them in a creative and effective way. About the time people say something is 'done,' someone else comes along and has a success with them. Look how long zombies have been working for people.

    EDIT: I'll add that vampires in literature have been entertaining people since at least the early 1800s. Seems a bit much to say the recent success they've had has finished them off.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Do you have anything new to say about vampires? A fresh take on them? If not, then you should probably not write about them. Yes, they've been entertaining people since the early 1800s, but the sheer number of vampire stories that has come along in the past twenty years or so has made them kind of ho-hum.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think you need a fresh take, you just need to write a good story. If you wrote an excellent classic vampire story, in the mode of Dracula, for example, people would buy it. The shelves have been inundated with lots of subject matter - high fantasy, police procedurals, serial killer stories, zombies, etc. Publishers keep putting this material out there and if it is good, a lot of people still buy it. Take Michael Connelly, for example. A great writer, and I really enjoy his Bosch detective series, as well as his other books (The Lincoln Lawyer and others with those characters, for example). Does he have a fresh take on the police/detective genre? No. His books are just really well done and people keep buying them.

    Write an outstanding book and you'll probably find an audience.
     
  5. QuicksilverKite
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    QuicksilverKite New Member

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    The book isn't about vampires, it's about an immortal that hunts them, and various other monstrous things. Considering the pseudo-religious origins of the character, I'm wondering if I should start with vampires, or go with demons or sorcerers or the like first and maybe revisit the vampire angle in a later story.
     
  6. seelifein69
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    seelifein69 Active Member

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    I always loved vampires. I bought myself a vampire encyclopedia when I was 12. Now, it's like their everywhere.

    By the way, Anne Rice is brilliant and in no way should be grouped with Twilight.

    I think the 'mainstream' vampire is played out. But if you give them some intellect and some real philosophy, it can be intriguing.

    If you can just be original (which is hard sometimes, especially because the vampire tradition has been told A LOT in MANY different ways) then I think you can have a successful story.

    Remember demons are fun people too!

    Good luck!
     
  7. andeee
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    andeee Member

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    Well, there have been A LOT of vampires in media lately, but that might just show the demand is high.

    I think if your story isn't too predictable, it will be fine. I think the challenge will be balancing the established legend with new novelties to keep it fresh. You want them too seem timeless and intimidating, but not too cliché.
     
  8. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    My advice to you would be to study the world and its many type of vampires, use some traits form each, maybe add your own in there to have some originality , my favorite is the Chinese vampires
    But I really don't think you "need" any thing original
    most pepole wont know lore behind Chinese vampires, and it gets pepole more in to it, how could that be bad in anyway?
    Of course, if you wan that ist, you can make your own type but really there is enough out there to justify "reviving" some of the older ones I believe
     
  9. Rustgold
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    Rustgold New Member

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    The word vampire is an automatic romance. I personally wouldn't even touch a book if it has the word vampire attached to it.

    Simply put, you could have a vampire as a villain, but you wouldn't be able to use the vampire in a book promotion.
     
  10. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Vampires are like the werewolf and zombie genres. Once the interest starts to wane, someone will come along with some ideas that rekindle everyone's interest in the genre. The Walking Dead did it with zombies. Twilight did it with vampires, and maybe werewolves as well.
     
  11. Shadow Reeves
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    Shadow Reeves Contributing Member

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    i believe that vampire stories are fantastic, Daren Shan novel for instance are a recent new take on the vampire lore, as is the Daywalkers movie. also underworld modernised the vampire / werewolf rivalry.

    Just make sure they dont sparkle - thats kind of lame.
     
  12. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Instead of calling them vampires, what about calling them nosferatu instead?

    From Urban Dictionary:

    "Translates as "night creature", and can refer to any creature of the night; werewolves, zombies, vampires, demons, etc.

    When used for vampires, it usually refers to the more grotesque breed (such as the creature from the original silent film "Nosferatu"), as opposed to the more popularized, handsome breed (such as the vampires from "Interview with the Vampire")."

    "from latin nox (night) and fero (to bring/to carry). basically, a bringer/carrier of night. usually refered to vampires."

    Vampires are nosferatu, but not all nosferatu are vampires. Plus, it's a less common word than vampires. ;)
     
  13. Infinitytruth
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    Infinitytruth Senior Member

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    Be the change that you want to see. You're not powerless to give them a new appearance if your book is strong.
     
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  14. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    I'm not letting it stop me and neither should you.

    If the story is good enough you'll definitely sell well considering the market.
     
  15. Alex W
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    Alex W Contributing Member

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    To me, there are far too many vampire/werewolf titles out there already to make it worth considering. (Damn you Twilight!.....)

    Why not create your own race? I imagine that with some time out thinking up the right design and perhaps a few drawings put into the novel once done then it'd be easily enough done, provided you can think of a good enough replacement.

    The 'Daroth' are a good example, from my favourite book 'Dark Moon'. Great creatures, and so much better for originality. The author could easily have gone for 'orcs' or something similiar.

    It's an idea, anyway :)
     
  16. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    I use wizards and witches even when the Potter books are OHSO popular. I have wondered if sorcerers are done, but I think and hope not. And I don't think vampires are done either. Remember that Anne Rice did not make up vampires, just like Rowling did not make up sorcerers. If everything was "done", then there wouldn't really be much to write about, would there? How come Hollywood can make romance themed movies over and over and over? And many of them are nearly clones of each other.

    As long as you don't create a cheap copy, I think you will be fine. Just don't use the same natural laws and the same plot as in the other books about vampires.
     
  17. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    On the other hand, you don't want to be so desperate to create something new and original that you wind up bumping into everyone else who wants to do something original. It's possible to be so desperate to be original as to wind up doing the exact opposite.

    You're going to be in someone's shadow no matter how different your vampires are.

    Before Stephanie Meyers and Charlaine Harris, Anne Rice was the standard. After Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 4...er, I mean, Breaking Dawn Part 2 hits the DVD shelves, someone else will take up the mantle.

    Again, Twilight didn't start the vampire craze. It just capitalized on an all ready popular market and other people jumped on board. The supernatural/romance concept has been done over and over and over again, and vampires are as big now as they were in Stoker's time.

    Yeah, you could for something new and original. But then you're trying to introduce the audience to something different and the publishing company is going to be taking a huge gamble that you're going to be worth the investment.

    If vampires are your thing then go with it. Because your audience is pretty much built in all ready.
     
  18. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    NateSean, I never meant that people should try desperately to be original. What I mean is..... er...... let me give an example. Let's say I decided to write a story about a wizard boy who started at a wizard boarding school with a headmaster dressed in purple clothes. Let's say the background universe had nearly the same natural laws as the HP universe, with the exact same spells (just with some change in names) and the exact same plot (boy grows up with evil family members, goes to wizard school and faces dark wizard who killed parents).

    Even if I am writing about sorcerers, I am not writing boarding school literature and the magical laws of my universe are different from the magical laws of HP. Using magic, wizards and vampires are not bad unless you are copying another author's work. I mean...... there is so much you can do with magic and sorcerer other than writing the tenth book about Garry Plotter who is going to wizard school.
     
  19. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    I was just making a counter point for the benefit of the original poster.


    Whenever you get bored, Google "Wizard Hall" and Thornmallow sometime. Just for the fun of it. ;)

    Interestingly enough, the characters Harry Potter and Hedgwick were also inspired by Timothy Hunter and Yoyo, a budding wizard and his owl companion. And the term "Seeker", which is Harry's position in Quidditch was originally supposed to be "Hunter", inspired by the Neil Gaiman character.
     
  20. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the very fact that you need to raise the question is enough of an answer. Probably yes, they are, at least for the next 10 or 20 years or so. Maybe it's like fashion; every howevermany years everything comes back in vogue.
     
  21. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    I just googled Wizard Hall. Yes, I know that there were many authors before JK that wrote about the witch/wizard school, but it seems like everyone today are accusing them of stealing from her. Have you heard about "The Worst Witch" books by Jill Murphy. Although a bit different from Harry Potter, there is an evil potion's teacher (who can mind a bit of Snape). And Terry Pratchett wrote about a wizard's academy too. And I remember reading about a girl named Rosamunde attending a witch school when I was a child.
     
  22. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    People who fail to understand the order in which things are published often make such accusations. I remember a friend who, upon reading through some Warhammer books (not the fiction), commented on how much they took from World of Warcraft. To which I pointed out that Warhammer has been around since the early 1980s and the book he was reading came from the mid-80s. He wasn't aware that Warhammer was the inspiration, originally, for much of Warcraft rather than the other way around.

    People do the same thing with fiction. Someone like Rowling gets big, and everyone who reads a book about wizarding schools thinks they are reading a copy of Harry Potter. Until you point out that it predates Potter.
     
  23. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    Yes, it's sad but true. People are so short minded.
     
  24. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    The point being, go ahead and write your vampire story. The only way you can avoid the negative reviews is by not writing it at all.
     

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