1. -alex-
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    -alex- Member

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    Vampires and Blood

    Discussion in 'Research' started by -alex-, Mar 15, 2012.

    Hey all, I was wondering if anyone could help?

    I’m trying to fine-tune some plot points in my novel. It’s to do with how my vamps consume their blood.

    My vamps are the “magic” kind, rather than the “science” kind.

    I had the idea that the “bad” vamps would consume their blood from humans, killing them without remorse. The more they fed (which they need to survive) the more they’d crave it. You know, the usual bloodsucker.

    Now, on the flip side, I didn’t want my “good” vamps drinking animal blood. I wanted them to drink human blood, and not use blood bags (which is seen a lot in books/movies), I had thought they could inject it. I had thought that by doing this, they wouldn’t crave the blood (but know they need to it survive), as they wouldn’t taste it, as such.

    Then once I thought about it some more, I realized I had a problem. If we look at the addict side of things, and go with drugs for example, somebody taking something intravenously will crave the drug just as much, if not more than taking it orally. So if my vamps injected the blood, they’d still crave human blood, therefore they might as well use blood bags.

    So, yeah, I’m a little stuck. I really wanted them to inject, instead of using bags.

    The only thing I can think of is going with something to do with “taste”. As in, they crave the taste of it? Which makes the “bad” vamps into killers, while the “good” vamps don’t taste it, as they inject… but I don’t know how plausible that is?

    Am I correct in thinking that taste plays a part in addiction? Like, can you be addicted to something, just because of the taste? To the point that you just need more? (Obviously it’s intensified with the supernatural factor) Or does it just not matter? Would injecting just have the same effect on the body? I’m not really sure how this works…

    Any ideas?
    Thanks for any help you can provide.
     
  2. CheddarCheese
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    CheddarCheese Contributing Member

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    Hi alex,

    I just want to confirm a few things.

    What exactly do you mean by "magic" instead of "science"? What does this imply?

    You state that both good and bad vampires need human blood to survive. But the bad vampires eat the blood while the good ones inject it. These are two completely different systems the blood is going into. The bad vampires drink the blood into their digestive systems, while the good ones inject it into their circulatory system. Is this what you intended?

    And if the vampires require blood to survive, then they shouldn't be driven on taste alone. Like humans, they might like better tasting blood, but their core instinct is to intake sustenance and survive. Your good vampires will crave the blood like a starving human craves any kind of food. It's not an addiction, it's a requirement.
     
  3. -alex-
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    -alex- Member

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    Hi,

    Thanks for your reply,

    Firstly, what I mean by magic vs science is that vamps in my world come from magic and not science. They are undead, and it is due to magic that they exist. It’s not due to a science experiment that went wrong, or the like.

    I had intended that both kinds of vamps need to have blood in their system to survive. I did not want the good vamps to kill, and I wanted to avoid the use of them using blood bags—as that’s the norm these days. So I came up with the possibility of injecting.

    In my world I had intended vamps to, as well as need the red stuff to survive, to crave it. The fresher and right from the source (a humans neck), the more alluring.

    I came up with the taste idea as, if the good vamps just needed blood, they might as well use blood-bags, which eliminates the use of injecting.

    EDIT: Just an after thought. How about injecting into the stomach? (I didn't say it had to be pretty!) Something like this? But with blood?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parenteral_nutrition
     
  4. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    Honestly, if you are going down a magic/mythical side of things, you could just separate it by the aspect of taking the life, something that comes with the ending of a life, that is the addictive part. Because if the blood itself is addictive, no matter how it's consumed or injected, it's going to be addictive. Or I guess the addictive quantity is just not absorbed in the digestive track?



    There are science vampires? This is what I get for skipping vampire books.
     
  5. CheddarCheese
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    CheddarCheese Contributing Member

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    The problem I see with this idea is that blood bags are just that much easier to use than injection methods. Why would a vampire stick needles into their stomachs when they could just drink out of a bag? Of course, you mentioned that the problem could be the taste, but that just doesn't make much sense. Taste wouldn't dictate hunger.

    That's the problem with "good" vampires. They're just so limited.

    The only recommendation I can currently give you, and this will only work if you're okay with a "darker" method, is to have the good vampires drink sparingly. Sure, they're still killing people, but they're not murdering them, they're hunting them for survival. The lesser of the two evils. If you want, you can make them hand-pick criminals, so that they don't feel as guilty. If this doesn't seem desirable, maybe they can take small amounts of blood from people without killing/converting them somehow. You did mention magic after all.


    If you've ever read the book "I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson, the creatures from there seem to be scientifically rendered vampires. I'm sure there are more out there that I don't remember right now.
     
  6. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    Oooh, there goes the light switch. Thank you :)
     
  7. -alex-
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    Yep, you've nailed it; "good" vampires are just so freakin' limited!

    I’m not sure if the feeding from humans would work, for the plot, I’ll think on it.

    I did have another thought (hope you don’t mind be running it by you?). I think I need to forget the injecting idea, and reluctantly go with bags. Looking at your idea regarding the “amount of blood”, how about, if the “good” vamps force themselves to drink sparingly, limiting themselves with the bags. Whereas the “bad” vamps, once they bite a human, are unable to stop until there’s nothing left, which ends up killing the person. Does that sounds plausible at all? (As far as vampires go! I know it can be a sore subject these days, and I do appreciate the help.)

    EDIT: Also, in answer to your question, I was going with taste as perhaps not stopping the hunger (blood itself in thier system does that, either drinking or injecting), but a component in human blood makes them want more of it - tickles thier taste buds, so to speak. The more they taste the more the crave? I'm sure there's bound to be a problem with that theory too, lol.
     
  8. CheddarCheese
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    CheddarCheese Contributing Member

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    It sounds plausible, but overused. I think I've read two books in which vampires are sectioned off into "good" and "bad", and the good side either feeds off animals or packaged blood. Two might not sound significant, but this is from a person who openly avoids vampire books (due to them starting to incorporate romance into them, which I really don't like). But don't let that get to you; if you can write a good book, then it isn't cliche! Try it out.

    As for the taste, a quick solution to the problem might be found in the bagged blood itself. Maybe the bagged blood is low quality, and just doesn't have the taste of fresh blood. Think of it like those cheap microwave dinner packages. Bland. Tasteless. You only eat them to fill your hunger. Maybe the good vampires avoid "blood thirst" through that method?

    Just a suggestion. Good luck!
     
  9. -alex-
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    Okay. Thanks for all your help. Much appreciated. :0)
     
  10. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    Hmmm, something still seem to be missing here. I'm not an expert in biology (forgive me if the term is wrong) but it seems to me that even if they do take blood by injection it won't stop them feeling hungry? I mean, to me it sounds like a normal human being in a hospital and is incapable of eating, so they are supplied with... I forgot the name, sugar water? Does that stop them feeling hungry? I mean hunger is an automatic feeling when the stomach is empty, sometimes we have enough energy but we still eat because our stomach is empty. I hope you get my drift.
     
  11. -alex-
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    Thanks for the reply.
    Hmm, I guess I was thinking along the lines that once the blood is in the system, it would stop the hunger. But if injected I don't think that would make sense, unless it was injected into the stomach, and then, whats the point? They might as well use blood bags.

    I had thought about them not be able to drink blood that's not fresh, eg: blood from bags. I did look into how they store blood. They split it up into red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma etc. They also have whats known as “Whole Blood”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_blood

    From Wiki: Whole blood is a term used in transfusion medicine for human blood from a standard blood donation. The blood is typically combined with an anticoagulant during the collection process, but is generally otherwise unprocessed. In the US, the capitalized "Whole Blood" means a specific standardized product for transfusion or further processing, where "whole blood" is any unmodified collected blood.

    I had thought of the idea that vamps can’t handle the anticoagulant – which is Sodium citrate (according to google). But again, if they can’t handle drinking it, they probably can’t handle it in their system though injection, so that makes little sense. And I fear I’m getting too technical for a paranormal/Supernatural story...
     
  12. cerb123
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    I personally don't like Good/Bad vampires as an idea. I always thought that vampires should be creatures that walk the line between both sides of the same coin. The Masquerade pen and paper game's lore does not really have "Good" or "Bad" alignments the vampires just simply exist. One must remember that most of the time, vampires are still human in the head and Humans are capable of doing the greatest good one day and committing the lowest evil the next.
     
  13. -alex-
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    For ease of the “blood situation” that I’m trying to get round at the moment, I just grouped my vampires into “Good” and “Bad”. In my story it’s not as simple as that. Yes, the “Good” vampire do walk a very, very thin line, and they do stray from it. Which is part of the plot.

    Okay, so going with the idea that vamps can’t handle the anticoagulant – Sodium citrate, in packaged blood.

    I don’t know how plausible this sounds; I’m just throwing idea out there and am asking for feedback.

    What if they can’t handle drinking the packaged blood, because of the anticoagulant? When drinking blood it would go into their stomach. But injecting it (lets say anywhere for now) the blood would still be in their system, right?

    I’m going with the idea that, I’m allergic to ibuprofen/aspirin. I can’t take ibuprofen tablets, but I can use the gel. This is because my stomach can’t handle ibuprofen/aspirin, but the gel is okay, because it is put onto the skin, and seeps through on to the affected area. Not quite the same as the blood idea, but it’s where the idea stemmed from.

    The only problem I see is—and I’m not sure if I’m getting too technical here—if the blood didn’t go into their stomach, and just went into their system, would it stop the hunger and need for it?
     
  14. Phoenix Hikari
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    I don't think it would stop their hunger. For vampires drinking blood gives them ecstasy and it resembles something similar to making love.
    For example, and I emphasis on example, in Twilight Edward already has Bella and can do whatever he wants with her but he still craved her blood. There were times when he was afraid of touching her less he might be overwhelmed by the desire for her blood.

    And I just thought of this, actually injecting blood into their system is different from them drinking it. By injecting they'd be increasing the number of blood cells in their system and I think that's dangerous that's without looking at the blood-type comparability?? But when they drink it, it gets digested and only the beneficial portions of it are then streamed into their system.
     
  15. -alex-
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    I didn't think of that.

    Hmm... unless they injected it into thier stomach? And now I'm reaching. Yeah, I think it's about time I gave up on the injecting idea. Blood bags it is, I guess.
     
  16. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

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    I've been told both at college and uni that wikipedia is an unrelyable source. As a quike reference (for an idea maybe) I personaly don't see the problem, but if your going to use any information from it in your book, I'd maybe check the info against other websites too.

    Anyway, I have a question - if vampaires don't get the blood they need by drinking from human bodies or getting it from animals, then where do they get the blood? Just something that popped into my mind when you said that blood bags is the norm now in vamp stories. There's a program that was on TV (it as the same name as another show/book) , it was call True Blood. Vampires on it got blood bags from the blood bank, through another vampire who worked in a morge. If vampires are secret, then they'd have to get their hands on blood from blood banks or drink from humans, if they can't drink animal blood.

    If you want the addiction for the 'bad' vampires to be the taste of blood, then I have no idea there, but if not, you could have the addition actually being how it feels. The vampires could get addicted (or maybe arosed) by hunting their frighten/unexpeting pray and digging their teeth into the flash; the feel of their victim squirming and trying to get free and the feel of draining someones blood; they could love the power that it brings them, having another's live in their hands and then crushing that live. If a person willfully give their blood to a vampire, then the feeling for the vampire would be different, they'd still have the piericing of flesh and the drinking of blood, but the person wouldn't be afraid and trying to get free. It could even be addictive for the one willfully giving their blood.

    Hope this is of some help/inspiration!
     
  17. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    I think you should try to look in the scientific side of things in this one... If vamps can get addicted to the blood, and not to the hunting, I don't think that not tasting the blood and injecting it would make any difference...
    As Pink Angel said, they could be addicted to the act of hunting the prey and killing it. In this case injecting (on the stomach)/drinking/whatever the blood would "heal" the addiction, because there's no hunt, no excitement for bitting the prey.
    Blood bag would be nice, yes.
     
  18. Adept
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    Have you heard of this?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_substitute

    Perhaps it tastes so disgusting to the vampires that they are forced to inject it? Then you get to keep all the elements you wanted. It also means the good vamps don't kill anyone or take any human blood at all. I don't know how that fits in with them being magical, do magical beings accept conterfeit sustenance?

    Hope that helps.
     
  19. Brittany Krysten
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    Brittany Krysten New Member

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    Blood substitutes remind me of True Blood. >.>

    If you haven't quite decided here's an idea:
    Your good vampires could drink from "feeders" (willing participants) and not kill them. I'm sure with years and years of practice, they could have figured out when to stop and not kill their humans. Also, I like the idea of the death of the human being the addictive quality for the baddies. That would also give the extra jolt of suspense and fear for your readers whenever your good vampire needs sustenance. Also future plots if the need arises; one of your goodies could accidentally get a bit too excited and finish his feeder off?
     
  20. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    Also, if you don't want to go the blood bags method, maybe it has to be fresh? In my story, vampires actually feed on magical life energy carried in blood, and the longer the blood is outside of the body, the more this energy fades. In my case they still can feed on blood bags, but it's less nutritious. But you could easily use a similar argument to justify not drinking bagged blood at all.

    And as for biting vs injecting, maybe it's easier to control how much they take if they inject it. Kind of like how it's easier to tell how much milk a bottle-fed baby has drunk.
     
  21. The Blood Countess
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    It's a matter of self-control. Sure, butterscotch candies may taste great, but I'm not going to down a whole bag because I know it's dangerous(risk of diabetes).

    In this light: "Sure, blood tastes great, but if I down a human every time I see one, it'll run the risk of ending the human race thus ending our own." <--- It's all about self-control. There are people who are addicted to marijuana(despite the few that think it's not an addicting substance) and those who are not, such as patients who use medical marijuana to treat illness. Why aren't they addicted? They have self-control and have learned to weigh the pros with the cons.

    My only problem with injecting is...it's usually the last and ultimate method of taking drugs for an addict because it releases the substance directly into the bloodstream. The "high" is met faster than for someone who smokes or ingests it. If anything, you're probably less of an addict by ingesting(in an odd sense). One reason is because there's only so much you can ingest before your body says, "Oh hell no, I can't take all of that!" and brings it back up. Vampires, as far as we know, have the same stomach size or intake as a human. Their bloodstream is a different ball park. Do they even bleed? Will injecting work? Is the blood flow slower, so anything injected is exuded portion by portion instead of a full-on high? <--- That right there could explain why consuming blood intravenously would be less of a risk than actually drinking it.

    Maybe your explanation should be anatomical. Perhaps the pleasure sensory is not in the brain, but the stomach. Those who ingest blood become crazed, and those who inject it are fed steady amounts throughout the day. It acts as a hoodia herb and suppresses hunger for long periods of time. There are so many possibilities. :)

    I just hatched an idea now. Perhaps the good vamps "treat" the blood. Blood, as you know, is composed of various substances. One of those substances, perhaps the iron, is the source of addiction. The good vamps, like drug brewers, can own labs and collect blood. They "treat" it, or separate the major components(I believe the term for blood starting to separate is "coagulate", but I could be wrong), and inject or ingest the nutrients needed to survive. That sounds more like a vegetarian vamp to me(not an animal sucker) and one interesting scene. I'd like to see a good vamp look tweeked-out, hiding in his backyard shed which is filled with pots and beakers, and trying to cook up some nutrients.

    Just an idea.
     

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