Vampires have always been associated with evil. Remember that Dracula guy? Yeah, he was the villain of the novel titled after him.
But, somewhere along the lines, vampires became heroes and/or anti-heroes. In Anne Rice’s Queen of the Damned, a group of vampires even save the world! Albeit, from another vampire… who the main character was romantically linked to…
But forget about that. How can a writer get readers to cheer for a creature that should be repulsed and hated by all?
While there are some readers who enjoy reading a story centered on a villain’s criminal pursuits, most readers want to follow the tale of someone more noble.
Hence, we have the moral vampire readers can side with.
Anne Rice does this wonderfully. In Interview with a Vampire, Louis is our hero. He is the fledgling vampire who is determined not to feed on human blood. Louis is turned by Lestat, a loathsome vampire who takes joy in killing and sometimes tutoring humans.
The same Lestat is the “hero” of the other Vampire Chronicle books by Anne Rice. We are told by Louis that Lestat is a most detestable creature and aren’t shown many redeeming qualities. Lestat’s one good deed of ensuring his human father has a roof over his head is counterbalanced by the frequent verbal abuse Lestat gives him.
When we get Lestat’s side of the story, he claims he is a very moral person and only feeds on humans who are criminals. But even he admits he’s not what we’d think of as a hero. His choice not to follow what Marius tells him unleashes the villain who jeopardizes the entire world in Queen of the Damned.
As I’m doing another round of edits on Communion before sending it to an editor, I’m carefully considering the actions of my dhampir. I present my protagonists as likable but each dhampir can CHOOSE whether or not to give into their vampiric needs. Morally ambiguous situations arise, and the reader is left to make the judgment themselves.
My next few posts will be on some of the morally gray lines that are frequent in the vampire genre and common ways they are handled.
Check them out:
With Communion in the hands of Beta-readers and my most recent project Sparkle ready to be published on Wattpad later this week, I’m not sure what I should write next. Although, it will likely involve vampires.
To give a little bit of background about myself, I always told myself I would NEVER write a vampire story. Then I worked on a story called Lamia’s Dream, which uses succubi. My succubi drain a person’s emotional energy, kind of like a psychic vampire. While on break from that story, I wrote Communion, which centers around creatures called dhampir.
Now I can’t get enough of the blood suckers and I’m thirsty for another vampire story. To figure out where I should go with vampires next, it’d be helpful to know what’s been done with the night time terrors before.
Here are some common vampire storylines:
Romance: A female (usually human) and a male (usually vampire). In Lamia’s Dream, I tried to switch it up by having a human male and female succubus pairing.
Love slave: This falls under romance, except the human (usually female) is a slave to the vampire.
Revenge: Vampires killed the protagonist’s family. Now the protag is gonna make those fang faces pay!
Vamp/Human Hybrid: Protag is has a vampire parent and human parent. Is often a vampire hunter.
Rebellion: The vampires are the reigning authority and someone has the stop them.
Horror: In the spirit of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the humans have no special abilities but have to fight a supernatural foe.
Comedy/Parody: Some vamps just wanna stay out of trouble, but trouble has a way of finding them!
Coming of age: This one also isn’t vampire specific. But a younger vampire “grows up” (so to speak) to become a more mature vampire.
Fledgling: This is like the coming of age story. But it usually focuses on the human who was first turned into a vampire and they’re struggle to adapt. Communion would fall under this category.
This list isn’t meant to be all-inconclusive. In fact, I might be missing some. Can you think of any other examples of the vampire storylines?