Story Brain Storming Sunday: VAMPIRES!

I’m trying out Story brain-storming Sunday!

I give a  prompt, and people come in with stories they’d like to see.  You can do anything from a full polished story to a sentence on what you’d like to see.

I encourage people to give suggestions to mine or any story posted.  If you think somebody’s idea totally rules or totally sucks that’s cool. BUT you have to give at least one reason why.  I will probably be doing some playful devil’s advocate all over the place.  Hopefully we can have fun and learn about writing from each other.

It won’t have to be BL orientated, but combating beaten to death cliches will give you major bonus points.

This week prompt is: VAMPIRES!

We are all sick of the super smexy no downsides to powers vampires paired with mary-sues!  How would you change it up?

This entry was posted in Brain Storming Sunday. Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Story Brain Storming Sunday: VAMPIRES!

  1. wanderingaddict says:

    for a long time now I’ve been immensely interested in a butt-ugly Nosferatu-vampire, complete with the bald head, overlarge fangs, wrinkled nose and beady red eyes, maggot-white skin and emaciated body getting captured by an undead hunter/slayer only for the slayer to find him so congenial and disarmingly charming by virtue of personality alone that the slayer struggles with previous convictions about all vampires needing to be slayed.

    • wanderingaddict says:

      and/or the slayer wants the vampire D that’s cool too

    • wanderingaddict says:

      operating on some typical cliches, I know, but I don’t mind that from time to time in short-story fiction

    • wanderingaddict says:

      also it’s not modern time, Wanda’s post made me want to make sure that’s clear. fucking sick of modern-time vampires, BORING

    • I do dig the Nosferatu type vampires, they are seriously underplayed in media. Now I know the typical vampire lore says they gotta be charming and attractive coming from the Dracula school of writing. Though that’s not where Vampire lore started! It started WAAAAAAAAAAY before that. What happened to the OCD vampires? There was even a legend that had vampires that instead of blood would eat poop.

      • cc says:

        I think this sort of decision depends on the setting and theme being applied, so it’s not necessarily a dealbreaker for me personally.

        But I am sick of angsty vampires that are SO BEEEYOUTIFUL talking about how hideous they are, that shit needs to be stopped ASAP.

        • wanderingaddict says:

          I don’t mind auras of granduer and mystery and all that – “crumbling aristocracy” is pretty fitting for vampires in general. but yeah, originally it was that host of interesting caveats and deterrents that made them so interesting. one of the things that disappoints me the most about modern vampires is that they have pretty much just that – super beautfiul and maybe some super speed/strength – and nothing else! the whole “turning into creatures of the night” thing has completely fallen by the wayside, much less turning into mist and hypnotic suggestion and all that other stuff that made them just so much more interesting to think about!

          • cc says:

            Actually what I find most bothersome is when the premise ignores itself.

            “Oh I’m a monsterrrrr” and all members of said “monster” race are pretty normal people. I mean that COULD be a theme (“people’s actions define them”) but it’s really hard to sell when all members of the monster race really are just normal people will all these boss perks.

          • cc says:

            I mean I GUESS being nocturnal could be seen as bad, but in a modern setting it doesn’t mean anything because there is a thriving night culture!

            And modern conveniences make supernatural inconveniences disappear.

          • wanderingaddict says:

            what really gets me about that (when the premise ignores itself) is how incredibly banal the monster’s life is! I mean you got Edward as one of the worst examples of that – 100 years old and he lives in a small town high school. like, really? same for any of the vampires in the Anita Blake novels, where so many of the “big mean bads” seem to have lives that consist of pointless hedonism… apparently for the last few hundred years? like they just live underneath a truck stop and instead of being interested in being an incredible hero during a war or championing a cause they feel is just, or delving into the bowels of ancient ruins to create finds of the century, they… they just sit there. like derpy de doo, got nothing to do! well I’ll just go blood-fuck a virgin because I haven’t done that FIVE HUNDRED TIMES BEFORE.

            I mean, I know on the one hand it’s really fun to see non-mundane creatures transposed against ordinary things, like having a vampire be a cog in a corporate machine and stuff, but at the same time when a story tries to play it seriously and you have these pretty/perfect, only drawback being they get their meals from a bloodbank instead of McD’s-type vampires, it’s just kind of like “the hell?” I mean, these are creatures that could go and single-handedly take care of an entire dictatorship, overthrow a slaver’s regime, or whatever other cause they want to further. and they just sit around? really?

            lawlz, unless they’re all like “I’m a monster!” because their actual curse is incredible apathy, in which case I guess that would be a hilariously funny drawback.

          • cc says:

            IRONICALLY the ones that make a point about why they don’t do anything (“it draws attention and I’m not that much stronger than humans you know!”) are often in more open but “inoffensive” seats of power (like being the head of a powerful corporation) yet the more invincible vamps truly do less!

            Hell, even Vamp from MGS did more and he’s not REALLY a vampire!

          • wanderingaddict says:

            hahaha yeah he’s just a bisexual! lawlz, but yeah, that’s a good point. I don’t mind if someone’s lazy or isn’t inclined to, you know, using their hypnotic powers to mind-slave a nation, but honestly, there are tons of people who wouldn’t even try to resist that temptation, and just think how passionate people are about Socialist Alternative or any time any minority gets stomped on by a government entity. KKK? yeah, any African American vampire would have literally no reason not to go and just hunt down every single one of them, or any glbt vampire angry about gay-bashing or… or anything!

          • cc says:

            ‘oh ewww a poc/woman lead, that’s liek ttly unsexay’*

            I know that’s a sweeping generalization but I cannot think of a good reason why such overpowered characters (mind control!) wouldn’t be the least bit inclined to do what you just said, unless well, that character was ACTUALLY FINE with that status quo.

  2. Wanda says:

    I think Aggybird on LJ was the only one to do vampires in a way that remained interesting for me, and that’s because she has a sense of humor and he was Dracula’s son, who was friends (and more) with Frankenstein’s son. It was cute and clever, and I laughed out loud at parts.

    Outside of making it funny, I don’t know how vampires can be done in a way that’s interesting for me. I used to love them, but now they’re just so overdone and I won’t even click on stories that have them. I get sick of “ALL POWERFUL BEINGS”, for the same reason I don’t like Superman. When you’re awesome at EVERYTHING, you cease to be interesting. And I have a serious pet peeve with crucifix-phobic vampires. Because what if the guy/gal is Jewish? Muslim? Vampire legends go back all the way to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. It seems so Euro-centric to have the holy water/crucifix thing.

    I will say though that Elizabeth Bathory from the 16th century is pretty damn cool. She still holds the record as woman who murdered the most people, around 500 or so. She thought bathing in the blood of virgins would make her forever young. I’m sure you could genderbend it into some twisted BL about a crazy baron who thinks drinking virgin blood will make him live forever, but obviously he’s just crazy, and then one of his to-be victims kills him and all the people rejoice.

    Or something.

    • wanderingaddict says:

      I’d say total ditto on the “all-powerful vampires” schtick. I can’t tolerate any story that plays that card – only when it’s in the context of, say, “vampires are but one magical creature in a world full of magical creatures” do they remain at all interesting. I’m also not the most interested in the modern setting where vampires are the criminal underworld and completely morally bankrupt, especially after the buttload of Anita Blake and Sookie Stackhouse novellas that came out, jesus christ.

      one of my favorite takes on vampires was actually a sort of side note about a minor character in the book “The Scar” by Chia Melville or whatever his name is. one of the rulers of this city is a vampire from this far-off land, and of the other rulers, there’s only one man this vampire fears, and it’s never explained or understood why until this strange man confronts the vampire and puts him down; turns out the guy is a human from said far-off homeland and they have a whole religion surrounding death and vampires are considered to be mere junkies, parasites that beg for a bit of blood in the streets, and are practically anathema to everyone who meets them. it was an unusual take, especially considering the “perfect master!” card that so many people play.

      • I third the motion of being sick of “all powerful vampires.” I mean they should have powers to make it interesting but to have no significant downsides is just boring, annoying, and leaps into mary sue territory fast.

        I do like “The Scar” thing you mentioned. Instead of being the top of the pillar vampires are the bottom. It also can fit well considering many parasitic creatures drink blood, so it’s not a huge stretch to turn vampires into pest creatures.

        • Wanda says:

          Yeah, I think I plan to go this direction with my new project, which will probably start whenever one of my two current projects ends. Except it’s werewolves, and they’re minorities that are jailed all the time cuz everyone thinks they’re “dangerous” and if one fucks a human woman it’s automatically rape even if it’s consensual, cuz you can’t fuck our white middle-class ladies! IT COULD END THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT.

          Basically it’s about racism, except against werewolves. Well, and transgender issues. Werewolves and transgender people have similar themes, because transgender people want to “transform” in a way, so the transgender woman is sort of jealous of the shifter guy’s ability to do so.

  3. I have time to quick say what I’ve been thinking.

    I heard something similar to this awhile ago so I can’t claim that I 100% came up with this idea.

    I would enjoy a world populated with old school nasty looking Nosferatu vampires. This gal’s sister is infatuated with vampire romance and a vampire takes advantage of this. The sister then has to go on a vampire hunting quest to save her sister, though it gets tricky since her sister doesn’t realize she’s being manipulated. I would also add a lot of mythical beings that aren’t typically seen, probably a lot from Native North American lore.

    A parody mixed with action/adventure!

  4. Mawichan says:

    Welp, I think I’d like to see a story with vampires in which they all have weaknesses, whether physicall or just flaws as people.
    And also it would be necessary to show them actually have complications because of those flaws and weaknesses. Make them something that can’t just be brushed off or mentioned like “Oh BTW I do/have/need X thing” and continue. Something the character must learn to overcome, live with in order to achive something.

    In example, in the setting of a story I made (not vampire based BTW) there is a kind of people called “Devilish sprouts” they divide in three classes: 1)half demons. 2)vampires and 3)half vampires.

    Even though I am calling them “people”, the people in the setting classify them as beasts, for their devilish nature, so while sapient, they are not seen as the same as indivuals from other races in the setting.

    Their characteristics vary depending from their class and from each individuals (so the only thing that is kind of a rule to distinguish them is the shape of their pupils and that the strongest are the half demons and the weakest the half vampires).

    Then I have this character, he happens to be a human who got turned into a half demon.
    Even though he belongs to the “stongest” class, he doesn’t do much.

    -Sunlight will kill him, and just a second of exposition to it on his bare skin would cause
    wounds that won’t heal. So if he gets out at daytime he must cover himself from head to toes (he and his human companions excuse the creepy all covered look to other humans by saying he’s deformed or has a very contagious illness)

    -He doesn’t have to suck blood to live (although it would make him stronger) but he can’t eat or drink anything that is not water or blood because to him, anything else tastes like crap (and this is physical reaction to food, it’s not that he’s picky)
    So whenever he’s thirsty is water for him only, since he doesn’t like the idea of blood (“I mimght be a half demon but the other half is still human”).

    But since a feeling of hunger remains there from time to time, he admits he once tried eating mud because he was desperate. He said it tasted less bad than food does so he does try once in a while, yet he feels bad about himself afterwards. But he vomits it after a while (his body takes what it can from it, but it can’t process it so it sends it back out).

    -He doesn’t get old and has a very rare (“rare” in universe) ability to heal wounds and lost limbs.
    Despite this, he is cautious about getting injured, because it HURTS and hurts like hell, nuff said.

    After an enemy realized this while holding him hostage she decided to employ physical torture on him (hardcore one) after all, death he wouldn’t escape from it by dying..
    This was something important since after that even’t he’s changed (or more like kinda brainwashed)

    -He needs to sleep. Everyday, the same amount of time a person does.

    -His senses are sharper than human’s. But this is something people of his kind has in general. However being able to perceive so many things around him can make him a bit anxious at night.

    -Devilish sprouts can’t use magic but they bear some kind of odd energy that can disturb the atmosphere. Most don’t really know how to use it or manifest it.
    So in the case of my character, he learns how to control it a bit eventually, but meanwhile it causes him to mutate into some pseudo beast thing. It’s painful and not pretty AT ALL. Plus it makes him lose his shit and go monster each time.
    …until he learns to control it, like stated before.

    -He has as much speed and strenght as an average human male of his size. Nothing super.
    Turning to his pseudo beast from is the only way he can gain abmoramal speed and strengh, at the cost of not being able to use things like weapons, verbally communicate and having totally practical hands.

    Devilish sprouts can not only feed from other species/sapient races but they can also feed from members of their kind (which I find kinda scary) not everyone can do it, but it happens more often than they would like to recognize. It’s sually done to gain the strenght or even a capability from other individual.
    The character described here was attacked once by someone much stronger than him, who wanted his capability to heal (like I said characteristics vary, so not everyone has the same things). He wouldn’t have died even if he was sucked dry, but the situation put his non devilish companions in danger.

    I’ll leave the stuff about the species I created until here. It’s too long already.

    The thing is. Vampires were fucking monsters in folklore, sure it’s really good that someone wants to present them as more human like for them to be likeable. BUT for God’s sake
    Likeable =/= Sexy fap fodder
    Strong Badass people =/= God mode beings
    Likeable =/= Wangsty “I am a monster. Get away from me” emo shit.

    Okaaay maybe I’d need to expand on that last one. What I mean is that, while it’s a valid thing from a vampire to say that s/he’s too dangerous for friend/love interest to be arounf him/her and that s/he could harm him/her, most of the time this comes from perfectly civillized, pro human vampires who couldn’t kill an ant even if they tried. It’s like we already know that can’t happen so we just roll our eyes and yell “EXCUSES” to the screen/paper sheet

    Using the “get ‘way cuz I culd harm u”
    should be presented like an ACTUAL POSSIBILITY, you know, something that can ACTUALLY HAPPEN. IDK show a scene in which the vampire snaps and DOES attack the loved one but it’s stopped by someone else, by the loved one him/herself or maybe the vampire reacts in time, or maybe s/he ends up actually killing a loved one (you can do that, depending on what loved one this is about)
    You can’t have us believing the character is a monster if s/he doesn’t do monster things.

    Soo.. here are my 2 cents
    ..Or more like 5 dollars haha Oh god why is this so long?

    • Stardigrade says:

      I really liked some of the ideas you brought up, particularly about feeding.

      I remember in an episode of Jackie Chan adventures, they went to a temple and the vampires fed off breath – a bit silly looking back, but pretty interesting and unique and I remember it being played with quite well. People consider blood-drinking the quintessential part of being a vampire, but I disagree.
      It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either, what nutrition does blood have that you couldn’t find in flesh? Unless the vampires don’t have teeth, which would add to the un-sexy factor (that’s a win in my book).
      Maybe the vampires were once part of a group of ruthless man-eaters, and some mortal- a former ally to them maybe – took all their teeth instead of their lives forcing them to drink blood and work in secret. I don’t know why he’d want their teeth, maybe they’re important in tribe medicine, or maybe the teeth are the root of their power and taking them away sufficiently cripples them.
      Or maybe they have little power. Maybe they are mortal humans who once had careers in medicine and magic.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I just want more goofy vamps, that’s all I want.

  6. RayneOfCastamere says:

    Actual folklore, ho!

    The most important thing would be to remind at every available opportunity that vampires are, in fact, corpses. That brutalize other people to keep their rotting selves going. And they didn’t go after fair maidens. They went after their family. Usually children because they couldn’t fight back as much. They’re dead, disgusting, cowardly, and I loved ‘em. I want to love them again. And for that, they need to be monsters.

  7. cherryink says:

    Oh faps, you truly know my black heart.

    The good and bad of this prompt is that I am writing a (recently started) and ongoing story that tries to tackle these vampires and attempts to make them interesting.

    Settingwise the vampires are called Vultures.

    Vultures eat human flesh, and while not limited to only being only awake at night, cannot go out on clear/sunny days because it will make them extremely sick/kill them. Vultures can also turn into disturbing versions of their namesake.

    Due to setting, Vultures also have a iron grip on all technology.

    Humans are enslaved biologically, psychologically and socially and have a strict merit/caste system (Vultures are obviously at the top).

    The driving plot is that Menes (human, main character) has to not only fight the system but also his friend (Gerbrand, once human) who has (willingly) become part of that system, even worse, a Vulture actually in charge of securing/enforcing the system. Gerbrand is also an entitled asshole of many shades who has not-so-subtle feelings of possessiveness and lust for Menes- Menes reacts to these logically (read: violently and feeling even more betrayed then before).

    As much as I’d like to share more about what else was changed, those would be spoilers, if you guys are interested you can read it on smackjeeves however it REALLY has just started and hasn’t even gotten to the page of the premise (I think that would be page 17 or so).

    Please forgive that the Vampire/Vulture is still of visibly pretty stock (even though as a Vulture he does look more birdlike in some respects).

    I’d love to hear your thoughts and expectations though! :)

  8. Tiamat says:

    I think that more vampires need to look like Kain and (post-Kainmurdered) Raziel of the Legacy of Kain series. So basically really powerful blood-drinkers but quite killable (they were being driven to extinction by humans in the first game), the original models consider themselves cursed by their god, and they’re only attractive to the legion of xenophiles roaming the internetby force of personality.

    Besides that, I am really tired of modern settings with vampires. It feels overdone at this point (much like vampires themselves).

    • cc says:

      No kidding, most vamp series now are just ~my boyfriend is a supernatural thing~ and that’s the only thing that’s different about the setting.

      Oh and I guess common sense died in that universe.

    • wanderingaddict says:

      this x1000! LoK vampires had everything – wacky transformations, crazy and unusual powers, horribly persecuted and almost completely wiped out multiple times – all while at the same time also sometimes even being more morally just, in tune with nature and the balance of the universe, and intelligent than humans! also they all look just so crazy and unusual – they look like thousand-year-old creatures that have spent time figuring out the secrets of their world. and even though some were green and looked like bats and others were blue and angelic and others were purple/whatever, it all fit!

    • Tiamat says:

      Oh yeah, I just remembered: Vampires that either aren’t really a thousand years old or that actually act their age when they’re over 100. Exit Fate has an excellent example of the former; I believe the vampire recruit is roughly 30 or so. I don’t know of any good examples of really old vampires that act their age, though.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I’ve got one word for you: protagonist.

    In most, if not all vampire stories,the main character is young, smart(ish), and reasonably attractive. Here, I’ll refrence The Fearless Vampire Hunters. The main character is a doofy, clumsy idiot, and the only reasonable competent one of the bunch is a crazy old professor.

    Another less good example (less good in that the movie sucks, not that it isn’t relevant) is Midnight Mass. The main character is dumpy and frizzy haired, and this is actually an important part of the story (some vampireish dudes pass her up in favor of a leggy blonde).

    Recently, I’ve noticed protagonists getting younger. Now, this isnt a bad thing, but some variety is needed so we don’t get a swarm of Bellas.

    And also, revenge plots. That dont end with the character falling in love with the person they were supposed to be revenging at.

    I’d love to see something like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night expanded upon.

    • cc says:

      I think protags have almost always been hovery around whatever age the target audience is supposed to be.

      Rather than “no bellas” just having different characters would be more than enough.

      I think the biggest fix of “no bellas” is make a character that can be a CHARACTER outside of the stupid romance thing.

      Also I could be wrong but I think the only times revenge plots end in LUV is when the genre is romance?

      • Tiamat says:

        I think I’ve seen it one or twice in fantasy works, but it’s definitely a romance trope and almost never used outside of romances.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m gonna have to argue on the age thing. Take most pixar movies, carl from up was 70ish, marlin from finding nemo was 30-40ish, and so was mr.incredible. all were movies directed (by virtue of being animated) at children or families. While its harder for an audience to relate to a protag from a diffrent age group, it can still be done. I would love to see an old lady fight vampires with cunning and wit picked up through years of life expirence or something.

        I agree with you on the character outside of the romance, though. Although, a bella without the romance would be cool to see. A character whose personality depends on others forced to develop and cope without them.

        I see the revenge-love thing in crap manga, sometimes. Ive seen it a couple of times in fic, too. Even the few amount of times i see it is enough to make me want to avoid it forever.

        Given the genre bleedage from romance into vampire, I think its a legit concern.

        • cc says:

          Are there many vampire movies where the protagonist isn’t mentally/physically hovery around the target age (I say mentally because we have the ~eternally young~ vampires who don’t look or act their age).

          • Anonymous says:

            Probably not, but that only means there needs to be some. Although, in the Anne Rice vamp books, I recall a few vampires that acted like they had lived for thousands of years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>