17 April 2014, Writing Ideas - Characters (Vampire Novel), part 7, more 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 point is this, if a vampire is to be a vampire, it must follow the basic characteristics of a vampire. It doesn't matter if the author wants the characteristics of the vampire to be different than a classic vampire--a vampire is a vampire or it is something else. An author may clarify the details about a vampire that are not explained in about a classic vampire.
In my vampire novel, I posit that vampires can eat and drink (something other than blood). In fact, I specify that they only need to hunt for human blood when the moon is full. During other nights, they eat normal human food. I further clarify that they are not sexual beings. This should be obvious, but for some reason the modern and common view of a vampire is that they are sexual beings. If vampires reproduce through drinking blood, there is not reason for them to have sex. In my novel, my vampire explains that although they have the plumbing, there is no desire. Nor should there be.
The reproduction part also needs clarification. In popular folklore, a vampire just needs to bite a person once to make them a vampire. If this were true, we'd be up to our ears in vampires. I clarify that to make a vampire, a vampire must first kill the person by drinking their blood (usually takes more than one vampire or over time), then the vampire provides some of their blood in the veins of the one to be made a vampire. This gives them a kind of life after death. It is not a true life, but rather a false life that is missing a key human component.
Notice that all my clarifications don't change or harm the idea of a classical vampire, but that they rather define a vampire and answer some basic questions about vampires. They also flow from logic about vampires. For example, you only need sexual desire if you reproduce sexually. A vampire may have a desire to leave other vampires, but with a creature that lives a very long time without hope, there would be very little reason (other than companionship) for a vampire to reproduce. In fact, my vampire was made a vampire to be a pet for a master vampire. That's the backstory setup.
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: