Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Wicked Wednesday - making the old something new
Do your research. If you're writing about vampires, read everything you can about them. Legends, mythology, and fiction. Pick a few particular characteristics and play them up. Maybe your vampires can walk in the sun, but the sight of a holy symbol will blind them. Instead of having the bite cause ecstasy in the victim, let it cause nightmares.
During your research, you might come across little know tales. An obscure myth from a tiny country. These are the ones that you should latch on to. Find out what makes these creatures unique, and what in its culture led to the different take on them. It makes a big difference where your vampires are from because that's what made them the creatures they are now.
Don't be afraid to use exotic myths. A Hungarian legend says that a person can become a werewolf by passing under a birch arch three times with the help of a wild rose's spine. Serbian folklore has a vampire returning from the grave for the single purpose of fornicating with his widow. Armenian lore states that a woman guilty of one of the seven sins must spend seven years as a werewolf. Pick pieces from these myths and twist them to fit the modern world.
Of course the biggest source of originality is your imagination. Add something completely new to your werewolves, make them your own. Look to how the environment is changing and what effect that would have on people that can change into animals. How would that change them? Read about modern myths and make your vampires evolve into creatures that can rule the technological age. What characteristics would they gain to make that possible?
Do you have any tips on making the tired old creatures into something new?
Thank you to Cherie Reich for suggesting this topic. If anyone would like me to talk about any particular aspect of paranormal romance, please leave me a suggestion in the comments.