Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Vampires - will they ever die?

So Nathan Bransford has a question up on his blog asking whether the big Vampire trend is over. As you can see from the response section, a lot of people have weighed in on the subject and it got me thinking about Vampires.

My thought is this. If the writing's good, if it pulls me in, and makes me forget everything else, than I don't can whether the characters are dead, undead, alive or somewhere in between. Just give me a good story. I want to love the people I'm reading about. I want to think about them long after I close the book.

For me, that means a character has to be multi-dimensional. Not just some chick in skin tight leather and six inch heels who's mad at the world. Unfortunately, in Urban Fantasy, that's a lot of what's out there right now and for me, it's just boring.

I brought a couple of books with me when we were in China and after months of reading eighteenth century British Lit, I was ready to read for fun. I grabbed some books off of my TBR list and one of them happened to be a Vampire book (no, I'm not saying which one.) Now there were a lot of good points about the book. There was conflict, interesting description and a bit of an interesting twist. However, the main characters were all one dimensional (see above comment about leather and unresolved anger issues.) I was so disappointed I left the book in China. I NEVER leave books behind.

If your MC MUST wear leather and has obvious anger management issues, TELL ME WHY!!! Maybe s/he is covered in scars and wears leather not only to cover the scars, but because it offers more protection than jeans and an oxford. Maybe before he was a Vampire, he was a Hell's Angel and wearing leather is his only tie to the humanity he's left behind.

If your MC is mad, tell me why? Is s/he mad because she's a vampire and anger is inherent to vampire nature? If so, show her struggling with that anger. Show her going out of control and hurting people she cares about. I don't know. I don't care. Just make it work for the character, because right now it seems like angry, leather clad Vampires are de'rigeur and if I read about another one, I'm going to throw the book across the room! (I know, I know, book throwing = anger issues.)

Bottom line. A good character, is a good character, is a good character, whether they're an evil vampire, a werewolf searching for redemption, or just a traveling salesman. (Hmm, Willy Loman as a Vampire...maybe the next big thing?)

What are your thoughts?

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