Random Ramblings

The Characters set the Parameters

As a writer, I find that I ask myself the strangest questions.  Do vampires have trouble with ageism amongst their own kind?  Do they have trouble learning new technology?  Do they get stuck in a favorite decade, fashion wise or with their language?  What rules are acceptable within a vampire society?

No I’m not crazy, at least I don’t think that I am.  I am a writer of vampire stories.  Like any other type of fantasy fiction, not all the rules are firm.  It is up to me, as my story’s creator, to set up the parameters for my fictional world.

 For instance, in my fictional world, all of my characters have jobs.  This seemed to be a “no brainer” when I was developing my story.  However, if they have jobs, how do they avoid the sun?  Is this even an issue?  What sort of jobs do they have?  Blah, blah, blah!  For every parameter set, a dozen questions were asked; and I steadily built up my little world.

I’ve had so much fun with my characters.  I know what music they listen to.  I know what sort of cars they drive.  I can visualize their homes.  I know their backgrounds and their fears…and yet, three years worth of playing with them, and I’m still learning new things!

I always thought that the writer created the story, but it’s the characters that are responsible for the story’s direction.  All the little pieces of their pretend lives are what make them choose to go one way or the other.  In life, nobody is completely evil or good.  I’ve tried to do my best to do the same for my fictional characters.

In my stories, I like to keep my focus on the things that I know about, and understand.  I focus on their relationships.  I have no idea what it would feel like to be a vampire and to bite into someone.  In fact, I think the sight of blood is revolting.  I do know what it’s like to be a wife, a parent, and a child.  I can imagine what it would be like to have the relationships I have now, lasting for centuries.  I can imagine what it might be like to live with said family, and listen to the same jokes, century after century.  I can imagine making someone in the family angry, and having them hold a grudge for eternity.  I can imagine how tedious everyday tasks might become.  What’s a vampire to do?  How do they survive in a modern society?  As a writer, these are the questions that make for a fun story.

Writing about vampires is what makes me happy.  I think you have to write about something that you enjoy, or that speaks to you, if you want to have enough staying power, hundreds of thousands of words later.  I’m not writing for someone else’s pleasure, but for my own.  If others like my stories too, so much the better.

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