1. MentalMalcontent

    MentalMalcontent New Member

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    Other What genre do you think of when you see the word "vampire"?

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by MentalMalcontent, Jan 27, 2022.

    I have been fascinated with vampires for as long as I can remember. When I started seriously writing, it was a no-brainer I would write about vampires. I also have a great passion for history. So I like to use certain periods of history and/or mythology, drop my vampires in and see if they can swim.

    I consider myself a general fiction writer, edging into historical, and happy to be in that space. Then recently I was approached for an interview as a "horror writer". TBH I was dumbfounded, the thought had never occurred to me my work would be considered horror.

    So my question to you all, what is your knee-jerk reaction to books about vampires? What genre springs to mind first?

    I'm trying to determine if this is a one-off situation, or perhaps I need to do more to highlight the uniqueness of my version of vampires.
     
  2. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    Nowadays, teeny goth erotica.
     
  3. TheOtherPromise

    TheOtherPromise Senior Member

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    Just hearing vampire I would immediately think either urban fantasy or gothic horror. Though depending on how it's handled vampires can appear in any speculative genre, including alternative history.
     
  4. Cress Albane

    Cress Albane Active Member

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    Historical fantasy. With romance. And horror elements.

    Well, "vampires" are generally seen as creatures of horror. Once universal moviemakers noticed that visually there's little difference between a passionate kiss on the neck and a vampire sucking blood from that neck, I guess there was more of a drive to include romance in vampire stories. But since the concept stem from medieval beliefs, a lot of people started associating vampires with medieval monster-hunting stories, hence historical fiction. At least, that's my theory.

    And then came Twilight and now we have:

     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2022
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  5. CoyoteKing

    CoyoteKing Good Boi Contributor

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    Anything, tbh. I’ve seen vampires in fantasy novels, romance novels, urban fantasy, historical fiction, and horror.

    I’m probably most used to seeing them in fantasy and horror (because that’s what I read :D).

    I can see how some people would automatically label anything with vampires as horror, I guess, the same way that you’d label anything with an elf or an orc in it as a type of fantasy. It’s associated with the genre.
     
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  6. Alcove Audio

    Alcove Audio Senior Member

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    I personally think of classic horror (Dracula) and a few recent ("Interview With A Vampire") stories. Then there's all those cringey teen angst soap operas.
     
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  7. evild4ve

    evild4ve Senior Member

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    Acid jazz and funk

     
  8. MentalMalcontent

    MentalMalcontent New Member

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    Thank you all for the feedback. It's given me a lot to think about.

    My vampires, while sometimes doing horrible things, are not creatures of horror. Neither are they "teeny goth erotica". If I'm ever approached as a horror writer again, I will set the record straight and probably decline.

    I think this also gives me the opportunity to promote my work slightly differently.
     
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  9. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    I prefer my vampires to be horrific, blood sucking, walking corpses.
     
  10. MentalMalcontent

    MentalMalcontent New Member

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    While my vampires are not stereotypical "horror" doesn't mean there isn' some good ol blood'n guts.
     
  11. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    I swear, one day I will write Vampire Ninjas vs Zombie Pirates.
     
  12. Cress Albane

    Cress Albane Active Member

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    There is a book series called Vampirates, so you might be too late....
     
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  13. Le Panda Du Mal

    Le Panda Du Mal Senior Member

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    Not Ninjas but… Shaw Brothers and Hammer teamed up for a movie called Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires
     
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  14. KiraAnn

    KiraAnn Active Member

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    Having grown up watching classic movies on tv and going to see Hammer productions in theaters, vampires generally implies some sort of Horror genre. That is, unless it is YA, in which case it is some teenage, angsty, self-absorbed thing I never identified with even as a teenager.
     
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  15. harlequin-writes

    harlequin-writes Member

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    I read this last year:

    [​IMG]

    While it sounds like a children's book ( I think so anyway), it was a beast and covers the first appearances of what could be considered vampire fiction, and includes selected works all the way through to the 80s (shame it doesn't go further, but with the lack of time machines in the 80s, they were kind of stuck).

    Even over the century or so covered, it shows the variability of the vampire tale. I think with the complete saturation of the toothy buggers in contemp paranormal and YA books, we heuristically think of mopey romantic teen vampires. Recently a friend asked me to beta a short story that included a vampire and a boy with leukemia. It was very good, but it startled me to read a story with a traditional vampire in it! Haven't come across many lately. In horror, they've been labelled a little cliche over the years, and now with the current paranormal trends, maybe the more (trying to pick my words carefully and probably failing) tradition horror writer is staying away?
     
  16. Joeyff

    Joeyff New Member

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    I'm surprised that after all these cringe-worthy soap operas, anyone else still regards vampires as horror. For me it's definitely a Brem Stoker version.
     
  17. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Traditionally, I have thought of 'horror' when a book includes vampires. More recently, YA/Teen/Adult Urban Fantasy also comes to mind, since there is so much of it.
     
  18. Not the Territory

    Not the Territory Contributor Contributor

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    Vampires make me think of fantasy more than horror these days.
     
  19. Fervidor

    Fervidor Senior Member

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    I guess my immediate thoughts are drawn to gothic moods, tall castles towering over some dark forest on a misty night, a full moon shining in the sky, dripping candles ablaze and dramatic capes in the wind. That sort of stuff. But I'm sort of an old-school romantic like that.

    Beyond that, I suppose the thing I've always liked about vampires is the sheer range of possible variations on the archetype.

    For example, why I can't say I really liked the Twilight Saga, I did find the whole sparkling thing interesting and I didn't understand why everyone was so upset with that one thing when all the other flaws of those books were far more severe. See, not only does it provide an alternate reason for why vampires need to stay out of sunlight, but it actually ties into Meyer's over-all idea of how their biology works: They're "frozen" or "crystalized", which explains a whole lot of other things like why they are pale and cold to the touch, don't display vital signs and are very difficult to injure, etc. I thought that was a rather fresh approach. Say what you will about Stephanie Meyer's skill as a writer, but she did come up with a pretty unique take on vampires.

    So, your vampires can be pretty much be whatever you want them to be, or whatever the story requires, but as long as you stick with the basic idea they'll still be recognizable as vampires. I just think that's really neat.

    Good on you. We probably shouldn't be too concerned about genre, really, since that puts the responsibility on us to restrict our own works to arbitrary categories. All that is really be up for future generations to decide - some writers ended up inventing new genres without even meaning to; they just had a story to tell and turns out that story didn't neatly fit into any existing category.

    Like, intuitively it seems wrong that any story about vampires should be "horror" by default, even if you don't mean for it to be scary. Maybe you're writing a lighthearted comedy that just happens to use vampires as main characters? For some time now I've felt like we're missing a term for this sort of thing. What do we even call a story that uses horror tropes but isn't actually meant to be scary? Heck, horror doesn't even need to have monsters or supernatural motifs in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2022
  20. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

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    I think we, as writers, overthink being assigned into certain categories. Vampires are classically considered horror and so anything with them can/could be considered to be horror/horror adjacent. The people calling all vampire books horror aren't really diving into all the subtle differences and really... they don't have to. Those types of things are for writing and marketing.
     
  21. SapereAude

    SapereAude Contributor Contributor

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    I'm a little late, but to me the answer is gothic horror.
     
  22. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    Vampires suck.

    At least, the modern stories do. Give me a Kurt Barlow (the movie version) or Count Orlok over pasty-faced teen goths any day.

    Mind you, I enjoyed From Dusk Till Dawn.
     

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