So…I’m having this problem.
I hate when vampires suck. So many have become cliche, boring, and sometimes sparkly versions of their former monstrously potent selves.
Dracula was not the first or only vampire mentioned in stories, but he is certainly the one known best. He was a powerful character for several reasons, but part of his appeal in Bram Stoker’s book was the subversive sexuality combined with the promise of immortality. Both very ‘catchy’ themes.
But now sex is everywhere – really, just Google ‘sex’ and you can find some. Actually, you can find every kind there is.
And the desire for immortality, while still a strong impulse, has become a throw-away topic among writers. Many immortals are whiny, sucky, do-nothing adult-escents.
The title of this post, of course, references the recent Twilight sparkle trend (wait, I think that’s a pony name too!). To be fair to Stephanie Meyer, she had some interesting ideas and a story that caught hold of the imagination of many people.
Things I think she did well in creating her vampires:
- She went out of the box – essentially removing all but the most basic elements of vampirism;
- She took it out of the religious context (which is a bit too restrictive in today’s multicultural world); and
- She took out many of the supernatural elements (which I appreciated).
Things that were strange:
- She kept blood drinking, but made the monstrous aspect of it – drinking human blood – totally optional. Which I consider boring, with no emotional impact.
- They had no weaknesses. Really, no weaknesses except in the presence of other vampires.
- I didn’t understand how the ‘pseudo-science’ of her vampirsim worked. It seemed they were created by poison, and their bodies underwent some sort of metamorphosis. But why would female vampires be sterile and male vampires not? It seemed like some ‘rules’ worked and others were just made up as things went on. Considering that one of the Cullens was a doctor, who had 400 years of life and eternal time to study biology, I felt this could have been handled better.
But it certainly leaves room for other, interesting vampire-type creatures to emerge from the shadows.
The promise of immortality, with all the heartache, mind-bending exploration, and limitless possibility that it allows for, should not be treated with such throw-away ease. Or is this a reflection of our great ‘disposable’ society? Where even powerful things, such as computers and cars, are destined in short order for the garbage dump?
I’m working on a story that cuts out the supernatural, cuts out the magic, cuts out the highly improbable and works with the ‘possible.’ But honestly, I don’t know if there is a category for my story. What’s a non-super-natural creature that isn’t actually a real creature?
I tried to do some digging, but nothing quite matches. Perhaps one of you could help me out if you know, but for now I’m going to categorize my vampires as ‘alter-natural.’
They don’t exist, but they could – without destroying the world of science and logic as we know it.
Let me know what you think…