Why doesn't anyone write about more corpse-like and uncanny vampires?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Peregrine, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. Peregrine

    Peregrine Master

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    Not everybody has the identical type of vampire, but there is conformity when people write vampires.

    Do vampires always need to be portrayed as living humans?

    I am not saying that they must have corpse-like vampires, they absolutely don't have to.

    I have never ever seen a book that speaks of corpse-like vampires.

    NOTE: Corpse-like doesn't necessarily mean zombie-like, a undead can be less decomposed than a zombie. For example it could look like Jafer Flowers or Othor from Game of Thrones.

    Does any fiction book have such vampires?

    My vampires are uncanny, psychopathic (uncapable of emotions due to undeath), vampires that look more like corpses than living humans, similar to vampires before 19th century, but not identical to it. No fangs and no Edward Cullen's with bad makeup.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  2. Because corpse-like vampires aren't as viable as hot love interests? Really the only reason I can come up with.

    Then again, i haven't ever written about vampires.
     
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  3. TheCrystallineEntity

    TheCrystallineEntity Dark Lord

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    This is an intriguing idea. It would be interesting to see vampires regress to what they originally were--life-draining monsters--and see if it would be perceived as a 'dramatic new twist' on the idea.
     
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  4. TheCrystallineEntity

    TheCrystallineEntity Dark Lord

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    I'm sick to death of Twilight [no pun intended]. It's said that what you dislike or despise is really inside of you. In this case, it's a bit of a frightening thought, that there's an abusive monster and a horrendously written series not even worthy enough to be called 'literature'...That's all I'm going to say, because otherwise I could rant for pages about how bad it is.

    Back to the vampire topic at hand, I only really know about the Dracula novel, but what I do know is that Dracula was not affected by sunlight, was really hairy for whatever reason, and could climb up walls like Spiderman [I'm not sure about the validity of that last one, since I haven't actually read the book.]
     
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  5. Peregrine

    Peregrine Master

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    Many writers seem to know about Dracula, this is the source the image of vampires till modern days, but writers seem completely unaware and oblivious of vampires before 19th century, the corpse-like vampires of oral tradition and European folklore.
     
  6. TheCrystallineEntity

    TheCrystallineEntity Dark Lord

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    I've never really thought about it, to be honest.
     
  7. Peregrine

    Peregrine Master

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    Its so bad, that and Vampire Diaries, that I don't even see the physical difference between a vampire and a ordinary human.
     
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  8. Peregrine

    Peregrine Master

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    Before they became elegant, superhuman and undead version of elves in some stories nowadays, original vampires before 19th century were uncanny. They were blood-drinking mythical creatures after all, if that creature drinks blood then it should be uncomfortable to be around that creature. Many vampires nowadays lack the uncanny aspect.

    Still I am not sure whether naming them vampires is a good idea, my creature fits the definition of a vampire (1. is undead, 2. is blood-sucker) but vampires became very cliché in contemporary culture such as having fangs, looking like Edward Cullen and not reflecting shadow. I just want to alienate myself from the whole garbage of vampire fiction that potrays vampires in this way nowadays.

    Just click vampire in google image and you will get the image of a Edward Cullen type of vampire with stupid fangs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  9. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    The thing with the modern vampire - starting with Dracula - is that the vampire is a character, not a creature. The more corpse-like and necrotic they get, the less they function as characters.

    Although the character himself didn't change, the perspective of the original Dracula kind of shifted from character to creature more and more as the story went on - and that's become the defining trait of the vampire. Are they characters? Or creatures? The same character goes back and forth. And if they fall into "creature-ness," can they come back?

    IF you take the vampire back to being completely a blood-drinking creature, and not a character, in my opinion it's a completely different thing, and kind of boring to work with as a writer.

    I don't write about vampires, or particularly like most vampire media, but I totally get the potential.
     
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  10. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    Huge Anne Rice fan here. The point was that the monster had a conscious. Wants and needs. He was capable of love even though he was a monster, like Beauty and The Beast. Turning them back into zombie like monsters is sort of boring. I agree with Devor on that. What is the point? Why not just invent your own scary monster? Even the zombie trope is getting old. Writers are trying to make zombies more human, with human like needs and wants. A great movie I saw recently was Warm Bodies which was hilarious and spun the typical dead zombie trope on it's rotting head.



    I think people are savvy now. They want more than old monster stereotypes.
     
  11. Peregrine

    Peregrine Master

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    But I am not writing vampire-focused fiction, vampires are just a part of my overall worldbuilding.
    I don't agree that its boring, if we are talking outside the subject of vampire-focused fiction.
    Vampires in my setting are just episodic characters.
     
  12. Peregrine

    Peregrine Master

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    Anyway, I am renaming vampires into something else, so THREAD CLOSED. No further discussions here please.
     
  13. Steerpike

    Steerpike Staff Moderator

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    There are such vampires in modern horror literature. British author Simon Clark wrote some that way, as a specific counter to the current idea of vampires as romantic figures. There are others. But I tend to see them firmly within horror. If you’re reading fantasy, or particularly urban fantasy, you’re going to get the more stereotypical sexy vampires.
     
  14. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    Does anyone remember the old Marvel comic Dracula? That pre-dates Anne Rice by a decade or so. I've always considered the work by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan to be the definitive re-make of Bram Stoker's (and then Bela Lugosi's) Dracula. Rice was a latecomer. I distinctly remember reading that first Rice novel and wondering if she hadn't been inspired by Conway & Colan.
     
  15. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I haven't included vampires in any of my stories yet, but they exist in my setting. On the surface they have the potential to be pretty much the same as the stereotypical modern day sexy vampire, but there are difference under the hood.

    To begin with, the vampire is an incorporeal eather based parasite that transfers from one host body to another and which can multiply by division. The parasite inserts itself between the physical body and the soul of its victim, and it feeds by consuming its victim's soul. Because of this the soul is destroyed and the victim dies. The vampire parasite is able to keep the body animated through its innate magical abilities though, and it can use the body to move around.
    However, since the victim's body is dead it will eventually start to compose. The magic of the vampire can counteract this, but it will need the blood of a living being as a reagent. Ideally the blood should be from the same species as the victim but it's not necessary.

    The longer the vampire stays with a victim the better control it gets over it, which is why they're reluctant to leave once they've settled in. If they're forced to leave for another host they may very well hop from one potential victim to another until it finds a body it's comfortable with. All visited bodies will have their souls damaged though, and most likely beyond the point where it can be healed.

    The vampires multiply by division. This means that the parasite splits into two identical copies, where one of them inhabits a new victim. Worth pointing out is that each copy includes the memories of the initial parasite. In this way, all vampires can trace their memories back to the initial source-vampire.

    Finally, it should be mentioned that intact souls are required for any kind of afterlife or rebirth. If the soul suffers too much damage there is no chance for it to move on to a new existence after the body dies. This means that being caught by a vampire doesn't just kill you, it removes you from existence completely.
     
  16. FifthView

    FifthView Istari

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    The Mythcreants podcast recently had an interesting episode on the history of vampires : 142 – Vampires.

    According to one of the podcasters who studied the topic, vampires in literature started out sexy, then came a period when they were more monster-like, then a return to sexiness. One of the earliest representations, Polidori's "The Vampyre" from 1819, was based on the poet Lord Byron, who was both charismatic and monstrous, according to those who knew him, heh. This pretty much set the standard for the vampire in literature.

    Before that, vampire-like creatures existed for thousands of years, but I wonder if they can properly be called vampires. I think the shift from monster-like to human-like, from horrifying to cool, intriguing, or friendly, is interesting. It's happened with lots of mythical creatures, from dragons to fairies and, more recently, from extraterrestrials to AI robots. I always love looking at the shift from superstition to science-based perceptions, full-swing in the 19th C., and how this affected literature. Still happening now, of course. (Invading, monstrous E.T.'s to, well, E.T., heh.)

    You can do whatever you like with these creations. Can un-scientific monstrous creatures still capture audiences who know how biology and physics work? Yes. The examples abound. We have huge holes in our conception of the world, black voids in our understanding, and we evolved to be naturally fearful of creepy crawlies! The unknown is scary, still.

    I wonder if that, incidentally, is why frequent exposure to certain creature tropes tends toward the creation of less monstrous portrayals of those creatures—seen it a thousand times before, no longer very scary, so go with the friendly version. But...who knows. In all these things, execution makes a huge difference.
     
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  17. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    Isn't there a saying that goes something along the lines of Familiarity breeds contempt? I'm thinking that might be sort of applicable here. Contempt may not be the correct word for the situation, but the meaning of the saying remains. When we get familiar with something the mystery and wonder goes away, and now that we understand what's happening we're no longer scared, but annoyed.
     
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  18. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    I think you've hit upon something here. The animal like vampire tend to be more useful in a horror setting, where people are facing off against creatures that are like forces of nature. They can't be reasoned with. They run on pure instinct, so giving them personalities runs counter to what horror tends to want.

    The more modern take of sexy vampire stories many aren't really horror stories. They tend to fall into more romance with horror elements, so characterization is necessary, and animalistic creatures aren't as useful.

    IMHO there's room for both types. It just depends on what you want to do with them.
     
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  19. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I don't read, watch or write a lot of horror.... but I think if I did, I would still prefer the character-like vampire. A lot of horror tends to rely on gruesomeness and the jump scare, and there are a great many ways to achieve that same affect. A corpse-like vampire is certainly one of them, and there are places where it can be the right fit. But still, the vampire as a character offers so much more possibility for psychological horror than a jump scare.

    Right now I'm watching an anime called King's Game (I'm on an anime kick that may never end), where people are receiving orders by text message and face gruesome deaths if they don't obey. Some of the orders are getting personal and intense, and that's a major source of where the horror comes from. I know that's not a vampire, but I think a character with gruesome powers can make the horror personal in a way that a monster can't.
     
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  20. i kinda want to watch that just from your description

    honestly it's about time i got into anime...
     
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