“Do you not know that tonight, when the clock strikes midnight, all the evil things in the world will have full sway?”re: May 4th. Old lady at Bistritz—Dracula by Bram Stoker
I love vampire fiction, and I don’t know why.
Wouldn’t it be nice to understand your relationship with written words? I bet you have a great understanding of what sorts of elements you get excited about in a story. Maybe you love prophecy stories. Or you can’t pass up a paranormal romance. Perhaps you can’t wait for your next bout of self-inflicted insomnia from a horror story that made your skin crawl all the way to the neighbor’s house.
For me, that thing is vampires. I love me a good dark fantasy series. If a story projects itself in my mind with a gray filter over everything, I’m hooked. Beyond that, I’m driven by some mysterious force to write stories that involve vampires too!
But I’ll be the first one to admit that I haven’t read enough vampire-involved fiction. And that’s not me saying, “I’ve read a bunch and it’s still not enough LOL.” That’s me saying… I just don’t read often enough.
So with that in mind, I am here to commit myself to understanding my own relationship with fiction and with writing and reading about vampires, in particular. Sure, I love a story focused on change, but what is it about me that drives me to the fangers?
And while I’m at it, maybe I’ll get to learn why the Hell people cringe when they hear the word vampire.
Vampire is a Dirty Word
- “Does it have to be about vampires?”
- “What if you took out the vampires and made this story about AIDS instead?”
- “I saw the word vampire, and I stopped reading.”
These are some of the things actual people have said to me in senior-level creative writing workshops. That’s right. Somebody required to read my story for a grade, saw “vampires,” and chose to forego the assignment. He left one line of feedback on my story: “I didn’t read it.”
Oh well! I would argue that his feedback wouldn’t have been much more useful than “why don’t you make this story about AIDS instead?” But I guess we’ll never know. Aw, shucks.
If I sound salty, it’s because I am! But not just about undergrad writing workshops.
This stigma that fiction about or including vampires is somehow to be hated just for the presence of vampire characters prevails not just in higher education, but throughout the literary world. I get that there’s no genre that’s for everyone, and I’m not here to convince anyone that vampire fiction should be exciting or interesting to them if it’s just not their thing. I totally understand!
But the fact that there’s a vampire in a story is hardly a limit on plot possibilities or even genre possibilities. So what is it about vampires that repulses people before they even bother to get a gist of the story?
I have a few hunches, but I want to find out for myself. I’ve developed a mission that I’m going to explore right here through this blog.
In short, I want to be a vampire fiction aficionado.
Here are my goals in regard to this blog:
- Explore the world of vampire fiction in depth through books, film, television, comics, and more.
- Become familiar with which tropes are common, conventional, and even required in stories that involve vampires.
- Learn what works in vampire fiction—and what doesn’t—and report back the best practices for writing about vampires.
- Break down vampire fiction into its parts and study it at the atomic level to garner an understanding of what it has in common with other vampire stories, and how it differs.
- Using my new vampire fiction knowledge, create a community hub for writers and readers of vampire fiction.
- Help writers of vampire fiction to put their best work forward by providing writing and productivity tips.
- Entertain readers with vampire fiction of my own creation, through poetry, short stories, and a few upcoming novels.
- More than anything: I want to understand my own feelings about vampire fiction and why my interest is piqued by them. There’s something there that I can’t put words to.
I know that I have a lot of work to do, so I’m going to get on it right away! First up? Dracula, by Bram Stoker. You’ll see a review coming through and my first attempt at cataloging all the mechanics of the story in their most stripped down form. Quick! Someone get me a pic of naked mechanics!
Need to sink your fangs into a story with vampires that you’ve never read before? Explore your own relationship with vampire fiction with this FREE chapter from my upcoming novel Destroying Eden.