Hasn’t everything been said about vampires already?
I love these creatures because they are us and yet they are not us. The most evil forsake their humanity while the noble struggle to retain it, but the idea of becoming the monster – by choice or by fate – and a need to prey on what it once was in order to survive is a very human story: the stuff of legend.
Not to slight any book or movie, but I’ve grown tired of stories about inner city vampire wars against other paranormals that paint the vampire as one among many; they are kings of the night, the ruling class of the darkness. I wanted Dracula-level ubervamps for my own novel, alphas that don’t put up with rivals or need to swear fealty to some Italian governing committee.
A true vampire should be royalty itself and treated as such; I believe this is one of the reasons Bram Stoker’s title character remains so popular today. A modern vampire should be like a Bond super-villain: lairs and minions and secrets and plans. This was the template for my own bloodsuckers, and a castle in the countryside (even if it isn’t recognized as such) is so much cooler than the penthouse of a skyscraper.
2 thoughts on “Why Vampires?”
Agree. Wholeheartedly. I wrote a fantasy novel (Drasmyr) featuring such a vampire (forgive the shameless plug). Vampires were meant to be evil. And to be feared. They weren’t meant to be prom dates.
The plug is forgiven; we’re all readers and writers here! I think the potential for vampires being evil is overwhelming, but that isn’t to say that some try to be, well, not good but less bad. I crippled mine by ensuring that they suffer in the daylight, are driven to seek ground, and that their diet must be fresh – and only – living human blood. The trappings of my story are inspired by Bram Stoker but by no means linked to those characters or their story.
These creatures either rampage from one slaughter to the next or find a way to domesticate their needs through cleverness. I’ve also taken great care to redefine and focus familiar vampire traits to drive story and drama rather than create a checklist of flashy powers but pointless powers; there are reason why they can do what they do. The reason so few vampires exist in my world isn’t because of some oversight committee or great masquerade; it’s because they don’t like competition and claim their own territory. Mortals keen to survive are best served by allying themselves with these devils rather than be in their paths.
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