Vampires: Can An Original Story Be Told?

By: Denise Wyant

So you want to write about vampires… But you’re wondering if it is still possible – isn’t the market all ready inundated with vamps?
Yes, I’ve seen the movies and merchandising. Edward and Jacob are everywhere. Just wait until Breaking Dawn is released. More vampire mania. So, to answer the question at hand (remember the answer is coming from someone who takes being told “no” as a challenge): yes, you can still write about them. It’s not going to be easy, and there are many who may need a break from vamps. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done successfully. The key is simple; although, it may be easier said than done. Drum roll please…you need to make the story yours. Find a unique twist and exploit it. Most importantly, do your homework and your research.
Vampires are popular and have been hugely successful in many genres: Young Adult, the Twilight series and The Vampire Academy series; Romance, the Black Dagger Brotherhood series; and Science Fiction/ Fantasy, vampires are typically secondary characters as in the Kate Daniels series. What do each of these have in common? They portray vampires in different ways – some are deathly allergic to sunlight, some live exclusively on blood, and some are heroes while others are villains. 
Put your creative thinking cap on: maybe your vamp has a unique talent or ability; maybe your vamp is historical or futuristic; maybe your vamp has allied with other supernatural creatures. Don’t forget about the shapeshifters, demons, fae, imps, witches…should I continue? There are numerous possibilities. 
Another angle is to research vampire lore and legend. Then, build your story around that particular myth. A guide worth perusing is The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters by Rosemary Ellen Guiley. If you want your story to happen, there is a way to do and keep paranormal fiends interested and reading.
In Steven Harper’s book, Writing the Paranormal Novel, he gives several helpful tips when writing about any supernatural creature:
  • He suggests making a checklist of the traits, strengths/ weaknesses, etc., that your vampire has. When you’re 200 pages into your novel, are you going to remember the particulars that you explained to the reader in the first 20 pages? Also, remember not to make your vampire be able to solve every problem known to man just because they are a vampire. It takes all the fun out of tension, conflict, and drama!
  • If your creating a new world for your vampire, think about the culture, government, and transportation for example. It’s not enough to make your vampire interesting and realistic, your world can add to the intrigue, mystery, and suspense.
My last piece of advice is to believe in yourself and your creation. The reader will be able to tell if you are passionate about your work. If you aren’t excited about your writing, how do you expect them to be excited reading your work?
About the Author
Denise Wyant makes her home in Maryland with her Himalayan cat, Willow. She is a fan of caramel lattes and lazy Saturday mornings. When not crafting works of fiction, she enjoys ballroom dancing and a variety of outdoor pursuits. She can be found at http://www.denisewyant.net/
 
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