1. SirSamkin
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    SirSamkin Member

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    Vampire help.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by SirSamkin, Feb 10, 2010.

    In the manuscript I'm currently working on, the main "Antagonist Race" is Vampire. For the story to work, they HAVE to be vampires, but the word "Vampire" is so overdone. Does anyone have any thoughts on alternate names? :D
     
  2. cboatsman
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    cboatsman Senior Member

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    If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it's probably a duck.

    There are numerous names you could come up with as alternatives to vampire. However, unless your "vampires" are much different from the typical vampire, why? For the sake of being unique? This has been proven to cause more issues than it solves.


    That being said if you really insist on having a different name for the same type of being then just get creative. You could even use inspiration from various cultures. Here are some examples that I pulled from an article found through a search.

    Asasabonsam- Humanoid monster that lived in the forest and was rarely seen. It had iron teeth, and captured unwary passers-by by letting its hook-shaped feet dangle down from the treetops where it sat. (Ashanti tribe, Ghana)*

    Kappa- A vampire that dwelt in water (usually ponds), it attacked livestock, such as cows and horses, and drug them into the water and devoured them. (Japan)*

    Penanggalan- Gruesomely depicted vampire (Malaysia)*

    Tlahuelpuchi- Blood-sucking witch (Mexico)*

    Yara-ma-yha-who- More beast than man, this vampire dwelt in fig trees and would jump down on people who passed by or slept under the tree. The creature would drain the blood from the person, though not usually enough to kill. Sometimes it ate the person whole, then regurgitated them out later. The more often a person was attacked, the more like the creature they became, until eventually they were made fully into a yara-ma-yha-who. (Aboriginies, Australia)*

    Keep in mind that the author of this article puts this note at the top:

    Finally, the link to the article I found through a google search: http://www.angelfire.com/tn/vampires/step8.html

    Hope this helps.

    Caleb

    P.S. I also have to agree that the article must be taken with a grain of salt. The reason for me posting this information was simply to provide you with an idea for inspiration of what some cultures may have at one point in time used to define vampires.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You could always call them Hemovores (blood eaters), but unless they are something quite different from the tired trope of the modern vampire, they'll still suck.

    In The Ringworld Engineers, Larry Niven's characters encountered a race of humanoids who fed on blood. He kept the name vampires for them, but they were not much like the familiar human legend at all. Worry less about the name, and more about the characteristics if you want to make them stand out from the rest of the toothy ones.
     
  4. SirSamkin
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    SirSamkin Member

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    Thanks, Guys! They're sort of your typical vampire. (Tall, Pale, Violent, with major ego issues.) But, I've made them my own with these changes: drink blood, but find biting necks to be sooo uncivilized. their underlings, the lower class vampires, do all the dirty work for them and bottle it like wine. Another nifty little thing--When a human gets bitten, they dont turn into a vampire. they become a totally obedient zombie-like creature. And if your wondering how the vampires keep their population up, its easy-- They procreate. Does that sound unique enough to keep the name?
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Remember that the name you give these creatures has to evoke something in the reader. No matter how differently you might tweak these vampires from the norm, if their fundamental nature is vampy, then vamps they should be. Keep it simple and then paint the picture with your descriptor words.

    As Cogito has pointed out, the vampires in the Ringworld series by Larry Niven are mindless devolved relatives of humans which have only superficial similarities to what we would think of as a vampire, but their fundamental nature, their core, is vamp. They don't make other vamps by biting them and letting them live. They don't have a virus and are not possessed of supernatural powers. Their vampiness is not due to the effects of some malign spirit which quasi-inhabits their bodies. They are none of these things. They are simply a subspecies of human that has evolved to fill a niche. Mr. Niven shows us his creativity in the exposition of these creatures, in describing them and their behavior and the effect they have on the other species of human relatives that live on the Ringworld. He doesn't confuse the matter by giving them a strange name which only draws a blank in the reader's mind for lack of a reference. He calls them vampires which gives the reader a point from which to start and then guides the reader to see what he means in the context of the story.
     
  6. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, Kappa is definitely not the word you want in this case. The wikipedia article on kappa is actually pretty reliable if you want to know what they are. I kind of like Cogito's idea.
     
  7. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    Did you make that pun on purpose?
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You have to ask? :D
     
  9. cboatsman
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    cboatsman Senior Member

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    :D

    Indeed.

    Merely trying to provide him some form of a starting point. I always use varying cultures as a means of inspiration because though we live in the same world the viewpoint can change dramatically based on their beliefs and more.

    Caleb
     
  10. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, but a kappa it's not a vampire. It's a water god.
     
  11. InkDream
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    InkDream Senior Member

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    You could kick it old school and refer to them as the Nosferatu. Or spell Vampire the old english way--Vampyre.
     
  12. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    Readers are going to call them vampires if they look like vampires, regardless of what you call them.

    "They're pale and undead, but they still think, and they drink blood."

    "Vampires, right?"

    "No, they're Hemovores. They have fangs and can't go out during the day-"

    "Like vampires."

    "No, listen to me, they're Hemovores. They don't have reflections, either, and they're scared off by garlic and you kill them with a stake to the heart."

    "Vampires."

    "No, HEMOVORES!"

    That's why successful fantasy calls it "magic" instead of "soulcasting" or "inner fire-work." Use the term the reader will use, because that's the term that humans would use.
     
  13. SirSamkin
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    SirSamkin Member

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    Cool. I quite like "Vampyre".
     
  14. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    But why is the ye-olde-style spelling better than the modern, accepted style? It just looks wierd. It's like spelling it "majyck" instead of "magic." There's no pronunciation difference and no meaning difference. It just looks odd.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You can dress a pig in fine silks and lavish jewelry, but it is still a pig.

    You can call them the Angels of the Night, but no one will care. They are still the same ol' blood guzzlers.

    Put it in a bottle and have the aristovamps appreciate the fine veintage -- but that's been done too. If you're looking for differences, you won't find it there.

    As always, your story won't shine because of the word you choose to label your vamps with, or from te litle adjustments you make to their social structure. It will come down to the characters you sculpt and the quality of the writing.
     
  16. SirSamkin
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    SirSamkin Member

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    Thanks, Cogito. Yeah, I guess you're right.
     
  17. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    Like people have said, they'll be called vampires by readers, but within the context of your story you can call them whatever you want.

    I personally think a name like "Nightstalkers" works, but that's just my opinion.

    Although, please do remember that vampires, contrary to what a certain book series wants you to believe, do not sparkle, especially in sunlight.
     
  18. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the completely unneccessary Twilight bash, Kirvee.

    Though, if you want to make your vampires unique, how they react to sunlight is a good place to start. Having a vamp be revealed by the sun rather than being killed by it- which I think is what Meyer was aiming at- is an interesting idea, with a sound mark-of-Cain basis, that could use some writing.
     
  19. Operaghost
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    Operaghost Contributing Member

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    why mention it at all? i'm unsure of any leteray examples but if you watch the film near dark, the word vampire is never used, yet it is stil lclear what they are,
     
  20. Sielas
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    Sielas Member

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    Near Dark is great. And on the Twilight bash the whole sparkling thing was an interesting idea and worked well for teenage girls. But then Twilight was never really about vampires it was about love.

    Back to the point, I read a book about vampires where it was spelt "vampyre" and all it did was annoy me constantly. Either keep with "vampire" or go with something like "nightstalker" from the above post. Definately not Kappa though.
     
  21. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    If you want to call them something else, maybe make a point of it... explain it...

    "You're a..." she barely dare utter the word, "a vampire!"

    "No, child. Vampires are what we used to be. Animals. Monsters. We have become so much more than that. We are the _________."
     
  22. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    iolar speaks the truth.

    Also remember, if they're a species of creature, they will have very different opinions on both who they are and on what they should be called. Some people call our species "humans," some call it "mankind," some call it "humankind," some call it "humanity," some call it "men" or "man." Officially, we're called Homo Sapiens, but no-one uses that term in common parlance.
     
  23. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    Maybe call them Immortals? Or the Godly Ones, if they're that smug.

    I'd suggest not using Kappa for this one. They remind me too much of some orange videogame lizard thing.
     
  24. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Well this is the thing, isn't it? I mean, the "Cold Ones" in Twilight get to call themselves vampires despite the fact that vampires are obliterated by sunlight and DO NOT SPARKLE.

    Sorry, I'll always have a chip on my shoulder about that series. The "werewolves" were unbearable too.

    Vampire is just a word. If you're looking for a word they might give themselves then you could call them Children of the Night, Sons and Daughters of Lilith, the Family or people with Blood Ties. From an objective human perspective, Revenants and The Bloodless might do the trick.

    I've used the enmity between werewolves and vampires so that they never actually use those words. Werewolves are Animals, Vampires are Parasites. You've gotta love the things you hate.
     
  25. Dreamer135
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    Dreamer135 New Member

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    cruorbibre (Cruor is latin for blood, and bibre is laten for to drink)
    Hemoposia (Hemo is greek for blood, and posia is greek for to drink, drink, drinking, and drinker)
     

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