Vampires and the Effect of the Medium

In my post on Monday I talked about Vampires and how I am fed up with them being portrayed as love-sick puppies. If you haven’t read it, you can check it our here. May I suggest you also check out the comments, because it was thanks to them that this post came to be.

I spent a little while thinking through these above mentioned comments and came to the definite conclusion that vampires need romance. They need that lovelorn look to them. However, it must not hide the fact, or even worse, the fact must not be ignored, that they are monsters.

This got me thinking that maybe there are two kinds of vampires. Maybe the Medium is what really determines who the vampire is. I have often mentioned in conversations – and a couple of times on this blog – that in my view, short stories make the best movies, and a well made TV series trumps even the biggest grossing box office hit.

I have applied the same reasoning to my vampire theory. I feel that Novels and TV series (such as the Vampire Diaries) allow a much greater range in characters, and afford the reader / viewer and creators the freedom to develop characters. Whereby a movie, even one of three hours in length, just cannot achieve the same. Therefore I think maybe my views on vampires is further broken down into Movie Vampires and TV – and novels – Vampires.

Movie Vampires: Due to the time constraints to a movie, and the fact that the plot needs to be developed fully and thus moving the importance away from a truly detailed character development, movie vampires are far more evil than their novel based tv loving cousins. These guys are mean motherfuckers and are primarily the villain. The are interested in death, and spreading their kind. I feel it is much easier to define a villain in a movie than it is to fully discuss the hero.

TV (Novel) Vampires: I have long since ranted that novels should be turned into series rather than movies and this is echoed in the biography of these vampires. Related to their blood sucking cousins by medium alone, these characters are far more developed and have often already acquired the skills needed to integrate into society. They have the ability to interact on a range of social levels and have the necessary background scenarios ready to explain their actions to the reader / viewer. These character have, thanks for the increased time limit and large number of words in a novel compared to a short story, a much more detailed history and range of emotions. They are killers at heart but have mastered all the requirements that will allow them to exist in a form a symbiosis with mankind. They can go about their business whatever it may be, but still hold all of the tools to avoid not only detection but suspicion.

Of course as is always the case, these are but my own personal guidelines. There are exceptions to every rule, and the of course the skill of the writer / creator always plays a part. A short story can be powerful and convey a lot of information. A novel can be filled with drivel and make you wonder why the vampire doesn’t just end it’s boring poorly edited life. Go out with a nice sunset or sunrise view rather than plod along waiting for whatever the writer has in store for it to happen.

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6 thoughts on “Vampires and the Effect of the Medium

  1. I read both of your posts. I follow the comments about twilight that many of the authors have been writing and find many of them to be down right rude and hateful. You have to see this from a fan perspective. I for one am a twilight fan. Don’t shoot me now! I am a sane adult, despite what you are thinking at the moment, a wife, mother of three grown children, blogger, you get the idea. I have read good books and I have read a few horrible books. When book bloggers, rant and complain about a book, authors want to do something about that blogger and try in some instances to boycott them. What is it exactly that is so threatening to anyone about twilight. It is another perspective on vampires. That is all. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    I read all kinds of books including different types of vampire stories. I had to read the original Dracula for a book group about a year ago. Please shoot me dead, I thought I would never get through the thing. I bought the one written by his great-nephew and absolutely loved it. I hope a sequel will eventually come. I love them all. Give me any of them and I swoon. Yes, I swoon. I crave them all. they are all different. They are all mean and nasty. Some more then others. Some are walking sex machines. Some are so evil, you want to climb in the book and drive a stake through their heart. They are all different. Some go out in the sun and survive; but, oh my word, “Shiver me tmbers,” Edward sparkles.

    The point is, every piece of literature is different. So, not everyone likes twilight, I get it. On the other hand, everyone doesn’t like steampunk, sci-fi, horror, and heaven forbid the classics. You can bet Stephanie Meyer is laughing all the way to the bank.

    1. Hi Eva, thanks for the comment. I agree with what you are saying 100%. When I mention Twilight I am talking about the movies rather than the books. I have not read them, and while one day I plan to, it is not top of my list right now. I think a lot of people are jealous of Stephanie Meyer’s success and the speed with which is came. I am not one of them. The movies I dislike, not because of the story per se, although I have my views as does everybody else. I am merely saying that while the trend is to have shall we say ‘friendly’vampires, I am concerned that we will reach a point whereby the vampire is not longer even considered a threat. What I have am trying to say is that we as writers, readers, movie goers, should never forget that in their roots, vampires are evil. Play around with the lore as much as you want, I mean ‘I am Legen’- the book – changed some of the lore in a big way but it made sense and I loved the book for it. I have nothing against Edward Cullen or any other daylight walking vampire, just as long as they stay vampires and not just become some other face in the crowd.

      Thanks for taking the time to read the posts and leave a comment. It is appreciated.

  2. In writing my book I’ve had to ask myself a lot of questions about vampire traditions. Like why can’t vampires walk in the sun? What physically stops them being able to do so? And why don’t vampires have reflections (supposedly)? Why do crosses, holy water and garlic supposedly kill or repel vampires?

    I think the genre has definitely changed as we have changed. Vampires used to be this incarnation of evil. They shunned everything we revered, primarily God and religion. Hence the fact that because they were of the devil, they must react as demons did to religious icons and be deathly terrified of them.

    And because vampires were evil, they didn’t have souls. In the past, people believed your reflection was an outer manifestation of your soul. So vampires have no souls – they don’t have a reflection. Same for photographs, which were supposed to capture your soul. And so on with the belief that they are creatures of the dark, so can’t survive in the light.

    To me, these are all gross stereotypes. Many people today don’t follow religion so if a particular vampire doesn’t believe in God or religion, would he be affected by religious iconology? We know scientifically that a mirror reflects an image because of the reflective surface behind the glass so is there any real reason a vampire would not be able to see their reflection?

    Going back to Eva’s comments about Stephanie Meyer and Twilight, I have read the books and watched the movies. I have a lot of respect (and a fair amount of jealousy) towards Stephanie Meyer. Nobody can deny her books have been wildly successful and I think we all hope for a little bit of her luck. I have nothing against the concept of her vampires or even the characters. In fact, I am a huge Team Jacob girl (that is, until he imprints on a child which I kind of found gross). I’m not a fan of Edward and find him very controlling in the first few books – though he does get better as time goes on. My only criticism with the books is that they are written in first person, and I ended up feeling trapped in Bella’s mind. I would have preferred to flit around and see things from Alice’s point of view, and Edward’s, and Jacob’s and possibly even her father’s. In fact, my favourite book out of the lot of them was the last because I did get to spend some time in Jacob’s mind. I think that’s why I prefer the movies to the books – while I still get to enjoy the storyline, I don’t have to enjoy it only from Bella’s point of view, as I’m not really a huge Bella fan. I only wanted Team Jacob to prevail because Bella is who Jacob wanted. By the end, I didn’t care what Bella wanted.

    That being said, I deliberately chose NOT to write my vampire book in the same vein because I think too many people tried to copy the trend. Rather than copy Stephanie Meyer’s success, I’m trying to generate my own with my own unique brand of vampires.

    1. I will agree on the Team Jacob thing Rebecca. Although I am a total sucker for Werewolves. I really want to watch and enjoy the movies, but I have not been able to stay awake for any of them. Just ask my wife, within 30 minutes I am out for the count and always wake up just as te credits start to roll. It is really annoying.
      As for the books, as I mentioned to Eva, I have no read them… I want to, just not yet.

      I take it from your comment that you have no read the novel of I am Legend. In the novel the creatures are vampires, and we are treated to a very indepth breakdown of vampires. Why garilc works, what specific element of the bulb it is that has the desired effect. Stakes are explained, and the fact that crosses are used because the vampire legend orginainted in a predominantly Christian part of the world. None Christian vampires are unaffected by the cross, but are affected by a similar item of their own specifc religion. A koran for example burns a Muslim vampire, but not a Christian one.
      I found it a very engaging read, made all the better for the way it approached and even attempted to explain the vampire lore.

  3. Alex, thank you very much for this. I was going to leave a comment on the first post, but after reading this one and other comments I decided to wait. I love the lore of the vampire, and I shall endevor to keep that lore (must read I am legend) when I start the vampire part of my book about a hybrid. Call me old fashioned and a little (okay-a lot) stubbron but I have no interest in Twilight mainly because she changed the lore. That is just my opinon.
    As to the good evil aspect, that part is up in the air for me. Vampires turn evil out of nessecaity (sp) I think. Not all vampires would be evil, but think about it–if you were turned–wouldn’t you be pissed off?

  4. Interesting post and very interesting comments people! Personally I think we choose elements of the vampire myth to fit our stories based on our beliefs, ideals and morals. That is what I did anyway. As a pagan I decided not to follow the Christian tradition of ‘good’ vs ‘evil’ but I did have a ‘good guy’ and a ‘bad guy’ because that is what I like. I try to explain some of the traditional vampire traits as I go along, but only if they are relevant to the story.

    As for the whole Twilight debate, well I enjoyed the films but i could not even read the first book! I got bored before I was halfway through, and I gave up, which never happens. I felt that it dragged, it was depressive, and finally that I was too old for it (I was only 28ish at the time). I am jealous of Stephanie Meyer, but I also admire her success and I want to emulate that as a British paranormal romance writer.

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