A lot of my anxiety from pushing forward with a series of Lighthouse stories comes from the fact that there’s paranormal stuff out the wazoo out there. I mean, there’s a part of me that’s interested in getting a slice of that action, because apparently people suck it right up (insert vampire joke here), but I also know that a lot of the ground has been pretty trod. It’s a part of the speculative fiction market littered with Robert Pattinson posters from J-14 or whatever magazine caters to his fangirls this week, and love notes to Anna Paquin from her fangirls.
Then I remember something I thought was said by Marc Schuster, but consulting my notes I see it was spoken by Larry Kane, legendary Philadelphia newscaster and himself an aspiring novelist:
“Don’t believe that just because something has been written about that you can’t write about it.” (“They didn’t necessarily do a good job,” he added a few sentences later.)
So yeah, plenty of stories out there involving vampires and werewolves and wizards and angels and demons and stuff. Some of them even involve paranormal investigators, like the B.P.R.D. or Fringe division. Okay, Fringe division is more about pseudo-science so close to the supernatural it might as well be the supernatural, but I’m going full supernatural instead of the Fringe route. I can’t compete with Walter.
Seriously. Nothing I do will be this cool.
But I’m trying to go at it from a new angle. I have some history and mechanics laid down. So I need to work on setting and characters, find ways to distinguish why they’re different and why readers should care. I need to engineer the ways in which readers will be captivated by these folks, be they humans or otherwise, and might even fall in love. This will involve collecting my disparate attempts at putting this together and, well, putting it together.
I’m still in the brainstorming stages. Please forgive my ramblings.
June 21, 2010 at 1:33 pm
I have read exactly two good vampire novels in my life: Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and Elizabeth Kostova’s “The Historian.” On the one hand, this may be discouraging, given that there are thousands of vampire novels churned out on a nigh-daily basis, and the vast majority of them bore me to tears. On the other hand, Kostova chose in her breakout novel to tackle one of the most trite and overused villains in all of literature — and she pulled it off. So, obviously, it ain’t easy, but one can blaze a trail on a well-worn path.
June 21, 2010 at 3:34 pm
Larry Kane is writing novels?
I miss him.
I’ve never been a fan of most vampire novels. I will go on record as saying Anne Rice bored the snot out of me. I did love “Dracula,” and I’m going to add “The Historian” to my To Read pile now.
That said, I have loved vampires in visual media. I think if you do something well, it can’t contribute to the so-called glut.
As in, just be “another vampire novel.”
I’m too hot. I’ll make more sense and write betters laters.
June 21, 2010 at 9:32 pm
I recently read “Dracula Un-Dead”, by Dacre Stoker and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. An interesting sequel (and yes, care is taken to explain the possibility of a plausible sequel).
June 29, 2010 at 6:59 am
It’s interesting to read this because I’ve been frustrated with writing about the Fae for the same reasons. Thanks for the interesting perspective and it gives me something to think about when I’m working on my character development.