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Are vampires too cliche?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by PrincessaMiranda, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. PrincessaMiranda

    PrincessaMiranda Troubadour

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    I had started a story before the Twilight series got blown up, and I feel like if I finished writing it the way it is that It would be put in a category or thought of as 'just another vampire book.' It is kind of a romance and also a thriller/horror.

    Should I keep it a vamp book or change it to some similar creature? (Not werewolves.)
     
  2. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

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    Okay two key things to say here:

    First, a type of fantasy creature or being isn't cliche. Vampires, elves, dragons, unicorns, whatever, are not cliche by themselves. There are cliche ways of presenting them, but asking if using vampires in your story is redundant. Asking if using them in a particular way is cliche is a different story.

    Second, who cares? As has been established in a different thread, whether something is cliche or not is not a useful or productive way of thinking about what you're writing. Is it a story you want to write? Then write it. Will your enjoyment of it be any less if it is cliche?

    And as far as thinking readers will believe you're a bandwagon jumper, don't stress about it. For everything else it is, the Twilight series is popular, so you know there's a market for that kind of book. Whether it sells depends on how good it is. Focus on making sure it is good.

    I'll admit to having a vampire story on the backburner myself. It's certainly not a romance, more a thriller. It involves stalking, kidnapping, blackmail, obsessive behaviour (from both the protagonist and the vampire) and if I wrote and published it those who just knew it had a vampire in it would probably think it was a vampire romance because that's the trend. It's not gonna stop me from writing it. When I get my act together.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I'm also working on a vampire story, which I started in 2006/2007, well before I ever heard of Twilight or realized vampires were "in". That hasn't stopped me from completing a first draft and going on to another one with the intent of being published someday; my vampires are (hopefully) pretty unusual and unique. Even if they weren't, I'd write it anyway, simply because I love vampires.
     
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  4. PrincessaMiranda

    PrincessaMiranda Troubadour

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    Thank you for your help. It is different from the twilight in that the guy had just turned and she is thrown into a darker underworld. I don't like being categorized so I was in turmoil over it.

    Chilari your story sounds pretty good, if you ever do get that one published id like to read it. :)
     
  5. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Your novel sounds a fair bit like mine, going by that sentence alone. :)
     
  6. Taro

    Taro Minstrel

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    i think that chil said it good :) its how you write it that matters, i know one of my main novels has a werewolf in it but its more like a werewolf from underworld.
     
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  7. PrincessaMiranda

    PrincessaMiranda Troubadour

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    Ireth- Mine also shows an underground in the music industry. I've4 always wanted to be in a rock band so I incorperated it into my story. Its directed towards young adults.
     
  8. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Sounds like fun. :) My "underworld" is a literal underground city built and populated by vampires, and ruled by the eldest one.
     
  9. PrincessaMiranda

    PrincessaMiranda Troubadour

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    That sounds pretty sweet. Im a fan of Underground. lol.
     
  10. Loupgarou

    Loupgarou Dreamer

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    I agree that it's about the quality of presentation more than anything. The last book i read, The Last Werewolf, has vampires that really aren't all that different from classic depictions but i never felt like it was retreading or anything. Their place in the story is logical and they are portrayed well, with a sort of 'untouchable' air. Of course a Werewolf is the main character, and once again although the basic formula isn't mucked about with, the character himself was very interesting and that mattered more than any gimmick he could have had.

    I really do think the same applies to all fantasy creatures. There are so many different kinds of vamps, orcs, faeries, what have you that focusing on being 'unique' probably isn't the best way to go about things. Just focus on interesting logical characters, regardless their race.
     
  11. Flemming Hansen

    Flemming Hansen Minstrel

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    I must admit that 'Interview With The Vampire' by Anne Rice is one of the best and most beautiful written books that I've ever read. However, since the Vampire thing is blown into teen pop culture, I fear the rest of the genre might be overshadowed by i.e. the Twilight series. I would guess that it´s risky to put it out there at the moment, but who knows? I guess it's all up to you, and how confident you are. If your book is good enough, you might as well catch the wave and go for a ride.
     
  12. Lawfire

    Lawfire Sage

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    I think a manuscript is going to have to be very good to get past a lot of editors and agents with vampires as the lead(s). However, if you are writing YA fantasy, it might be a different story.

    That said, I would write what you like, and publishing will come when the time is right.
     
  13. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Might be time for the literary emergence of a real bad ass of a vamp. A character that doesn't rebel against their nature and long for humanity (I find that weak to be honest).

    Wash away some of these wussy, sparkly, teenage heartthrob versions.
     
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  14. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    I have said this on another thread about elves, but basically lets change your OP question:

    Are humans cliche? Have they been written to death? 90% of books involve one or more of these critters.

    Are humans cliche? as a whole...no.
    Are certain personalities cliche? yes.

    People still write about humans, they write about the good, the bad, the troubled, the insane... Before asking is a type of animal or humanoid is cliche, ask yourself, has every human story been written? If not, then there is still stories out there that can be written about_____*(*place stereo-typical race or being here).

    Modern authors can publish nusery rhymes known for many generations, just by making them their version. Make the ______* your version. Give them your oddities, your abilities, your weaknesses.
    recent movies: Red riding hood, Brave, Swan princess, Beauty and the beast,

    Cliche is an authors problem, not a racial or beastial problem.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2012
  15. PrincessaMiranda

    PrincessaMiranda Troubadour

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    Those are all very good points, I enjoy vampires that love being vampires. The story I have only relates to Twilight in that Boy vamp likes human girl, but didnt want to be changed. Though it is his fault he was changed. I wanted it to be YA but some scenes I have are a bit vulgar. I like vulgar. haha.
     
  16. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    PrincessMiranda, you have a lot more leeway in teen and YA than you might expect for vulgarity, language etc. I read one recently that not only had language, but had overt sex (blowjobs, for example, and other acts). A few years ago I might have been more surprised, but as it stands now I can't think of many vulgarities than haven't already been explored in teen/YA fiction. So I wouldn't worry too much about it. The degree of explicit description you use would be the only factor that would cause trouble, imo. If you're writing erotica, you won't be able to get on the teen/YA shelves. At least, I think not :)
     
  17. Jabrosky

    Jabrosky Banned

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    I've never liked vampires. The very thought of them made me sick to my stomach even long before their current popularity phase. That said, if you're genuinely fond of vampires, I say write what you want. I'm also sick of people worry too much about cliches or tropes.
     
  18. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    For me its not vampires that are cliche. Its pretty boy vampires that really just want to be loved and understood by teenage girls that are hugely overdone. They're supposed to be monsters.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  19. PrincessaMiranda

    PrincessaMiranda Troubadour

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    Steerpike- Some of my stories get pretty into it. haha In fact I just submitted a piece into my portfolio which wasnt quite clean. But I suppose as long as I dont used tired versions of stories I will be ok.
     
  20. kjboe

    kjboe Dreamer

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    Know what i cant stand in books and movies, that fact that the person writing it is afraid of calling it what it is, for example, Walking dead call their zombies walkers, thats fine, sounds cool and all, but i mean come on! If a vampire is a vampire, lets call it a vampire, not a fanger, or a bloodletter of boobytron, or a human transfusion centre. I understand that it works sometimes when the creator has made a few changes to the basics of the vampire but apart from that, be true!

    Oh and twilight, vampires shouldnt sparkle in the sunlight, they burn! Bram Stoker all the way im afraid.

    good luck with the book, be true to yourself, i doubt that it will matter that you have a vampire novel when its became a craze. Who cares, if its good its gonna take wings and fly (pun).

    good luck
     
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