16 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 6, Rules of Vampires
Announcement: There is action on my new novels. The publisher renamed the series--they are still working on the name. I provided suggestions as did one of my prepub readers. Now the individual books will be given single names: Leora, Leila, Russia, Lumiere', China, Sveta, and Klava--at least these are some of the suggestions. They are also working on a single theme for the covers. I'll keep you updated.
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
All novels have five discrete parts:
1. The initial scene (the beginning)
2. The rising action
3. The climax
4. The falling action
5. The dénouement
The theme statement of this new novel is: An agent of the organization becomes involved with a vampire girl during a mission, she becomes dependent on the agent, and she is redeemed.
The rules of vampires are those ideas that have flowed down mainly through Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula. This novel is the basis for the "Rules of Vampires." A classical vampire must follow these rules or they are not a vampire. If they don't follow the basic rules of a vampire, they really can't be a vampire. Now, a novelist is able to change the rules for a certain vampire or perhaps a group, but the problem always exists that they will destroy the character of the vampire. If a vampire does not drink human blood to survive, what is it? If a vampire is not destroyed by sunlight, what is it? If a vampire is not evil in some way, what is it? If a vampire is not killed by a stake through the heart, what is it? If a vampire is not repelled by a cross and silver, what is it? Some modification to the vampire, mostly additions or qualifications, are certainly acceptable, but changes to these rules make the character something else than a vampire. One could assume Bram Stoker go it wrong, but he invented the classical vampire, so he is the only person with the authority to change the concept of a vampire.
Valeska, in my novel is a classical vampire. I did make some clarifications to the idea of a vampire. I specified that a vampire may not attack a cross bearer. This is an extension of the idea of the cross repelling a vampire. In a Christian, the cross is invisible, but marked on her forehead and heart. Therefore, a Christian must be able to repel a vampire. Further, in my novel, I present the idea that a Christian may give a vampire permission to take his blood, but when that happens, the vampire can't drink any other human's blood. Okay, this is an obvious plot device, but no one has examined this part about vampires much. This is the latitude I have as an author--if I can convince my audience to accept this characteristic of vampires, I have achieved my goals.
With this theme statement I am ready to tackle the novel. The next step was to flesh out the characters and the setting.
For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites: