Friday, 1 July 2016

The Do's and Don't's of Fictional Vampires

As a writer and avid reader there are certain things I have come to expect whenever a story is under the sub genre of Vampire. We all like the odd twist here and there that makes the story different from the hundreds that are produced daily but there are certain mythological standards I expect to be upheld. I like realism to my blood sucking fiends which leads me to my first point

1. Blood sucking

Vampires of myth are meant to survive on blood. I don't care if its human, animal or donations from a blood bank or butcher. They dine on the red stuff. If you have the vampire chowing down on a hamburger and fries as anything other than a ruse to fool humans then you've lost me. It can also lead to a long list of messy questions about bodily functions.

2. Daylight

Vampires cannot go out during the day. Its the whole reason they get called the children of the night. Now there are circumstances I am willing to accept. Magic talismans that give them the ability to day walk. A rare bloodline. Or they are just so old they gained a high tolerance (but even then factor fifty sunscreen is required).

This is the problem I have with the Twilight vampires. Not only do they go out in the sun but they sparkle like the My Little Pony of the vampire world. There is no scientific or mystical explanation to there going against the lore which leaves me unsatisfied. I mean Carlisle is a four hundred plus year old vampire scientist, surely he could have figured it out by now.

3. Ageless

The whole reason vampires tend to move from place to place is they never age. Human's would get suspicious. So stories where the family has lived in a small town for "generations" and nobody has twigged annoy me.

4. Vampire pregnancy

Ok, recently I read a layout for a story where the basic sequence of events was this - girl meets vampire, girl gets turned into vampire, girls gets dumped and hooks up with another vampire and has a baby, her ex returns to mess it all up. I was like what?

First - female vampires cannot have children in the common lore. Vamprism is supposed to freeze the person at whatever stage of development they are at. Hence the forever young etc. A woman's body has to be able to change in order to have a baby. I can hear this little voice saying "but Bella had a baby". Yes she did but Twilight stuck with the lore, she conceived and birthed Renesmee while still human. I have absolutely no problem with humans conceiving with vampires, their half vampire children running about, because with all realism its not out of the realm of possibility as men don't have cycles of fertility.

Personally I am still waiting for Joss Whedon to explain how the baby inside human Darla managed to survive and continue to grow after she was turned back into a vampire. Easy answer is probably magic.

5. Beautiful and deadly

I feel a little bit conflicted when it comes to the transformation of a human into a vampire. A lot of fiction treats it like Extreme Makeover Vampire Edition, with the human becoming a sudden supermodel over night. I find it much better when the transition just highlights features that were already there - smooths out the skin, brings out the different tones in the hair, makes the eyes brighter. I like even more the really real vampires. The people who take the lore, that a vampire becomes frozen in time as they were when they were changed, literally. That way you get fat vampires, ugly vampires, clumsy vampires, vampires who faint at the sight of blood which are all much more interesting. Vampires that rise from their turning with supermodel good looks, perfect grace and are amazing at hunting are sort of dull.

That concludes my thoughts on the do's and don't's of fictional vampires

1 comment:

  1. Vampire fainting at the sight of blood - Love it! :D