How to Destroy a Genre: Vampire Edition

Let’s all be honest. How interested are we in another vampire story being released? This is branching from the plot change my book went through from fully vampire themed to a dark high fantasy. One of the biggest reasons that my sister also pointed out is the mere word ‘vampire’ causes one to cringe so much the book closes on its own. However, in truth Vampires are historically interesting creatures that have just as much depth in their folklore as Faeries or Elves. One would think Vampires would be a highly respected genre like Wizards or even Demons. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t really see it at that level anymore.

Today I will talk about all the ways a genre can be viciously murdered in the storytelling community in any medium. Vampires in particular will be discussed because the theme has become a prime victim to genre death.

Repetitive Storyline

From ancient mythology to Carmilla and Dracula to Barnabas Collins and Queen of the Damned right down to Twilight, the vampire plot has been developed, romanticized and downright abused. Eventually the basic plot used would be a vampire (usually male) getting hot and heavy with a human (usually female). Honestly nothing much has been changed from this plot. It’s all about passion and forbidden love. Which is fine until it’s the only thing people can think of.

Twilight was the most famous vampire story in the late 2000’s to 2010’s and it clearly inspired other film creators to make use of the marketing popularity by releasing things like Vampire Diaries, The Originals and who knows hundreds more franchises. Honestly all I can remember people doing during this time was vampires or werewolves. It was a big deal. Unfortunately too much of a big deal.

The overexertion of popularity caused the vampire genre to become dated and stale even though storytellers only used a tiny percentage of what the vampire theme could be. Of course some creators are able to work around it somehow. For example, Castlevania manages to create more interest by creating a more demonized version of vampire culture while also including Carmilla as a character which frankly is a vampire character not many creators talk about.

Vampire themes can be used and saved but if you’re just going to go for the same romantic storyline then consider your story buried in the genre cemetery.

Obsession with Stalker Culture

Personally, I think this concept should have been a no-go in any generation or time period but for some reason, a majority amount of people never saw a problem with this. Vampires have a very bad habit of watching a human sleep. When they don’t actually live with them or are even in a relationship with them yet. Overall, vampires are shown as obsessive and possessive at an unhealthy level mostly to humans who are in high school.

If this were a dark story where the vampire was actually supposed to be a villain then I wouldn’t be so frustrated by it. I would of course be creeped out but that’s normal for most villains. Except this person is supposed to be a good guy and for some reason, I as a reader am meant to root for him and this relationship. This isn’t it.

This is why earlier vampire writers generally tried to make vampires the bad guy or make it a tragedy rather than a well-rounded romance. If vampires ‘nature’ is to stalk, possess and abuse their significant other than that’s not the kind of relationship we want to be rooting for.

Lack of Folklore Exploration

This can be said for a lot of stories that fail in the genre they’re writing in. Of course there’s no need to follow the exact folklore but it is good to research as much as you can on the vampire folklore because you never know what you might find to make your story interesting. Vampire stories and concepts have been around for thousands of years from the scary stories parents used to tell their children back in the old ages. You can’t possibly tell me that the best the entertainment industry can do is a romance story between a vampire and a human.

Either way it’s sad to say that it has to take a legendary story to bring the vampire genre back to life. Who knows someone might in the future.

However the negativity aside, comment below what your vampire story is so far! For me it has to be Castlevania (Netflix Animated Show), it’s gory and dark as literal hell but I feel like that’s what I enjoy more about vampire and supernatural stories in general.

Other than that, hope you’re all staying safe and healthy!


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