Oh blast,, how time fliesDelle Jacobs
Well I missed my day, which was yesterday, and all this time I thought today was the 25th. Let's hope at least I manage to remember my brother's birthday tomorrow!
I have a fair excuse, though. I've finally got myself deeply immersed in my vampire story, and man, am I in love with my "almost-vampire" hero! It's taken me a long time to get to this point, where both my hero and heroine fascinate me and are absolutely meant to be in love. But I've had to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what wasn't working.
Like Theresa, I hate the "rules", because they are often far too arbitrary and limiting. But there's a different set of them that seem to have a noose around my neck, strangling both me and my story. Not historical accuracy-- I've always loved history so much that I don't want to mess with it. And I want my story to be so real, even people who really know history will believe they're there.
It's the vampire part of my vampire historical that's getting in my way. The thing that's so difficult, I think, is that to me most vampire lore just doesn't make sense. There has to be a rationale to my story that, given the basic premise, is almost impossible to tear down. But there's so much vampire stuff out there now, all following different "rules", that they contradict each other. It seemed to me, no matter what I tried, or whose "rules" I was following, someone else would inform me vampires couldn't or didn't do such things.
How's a writer to decide, when no matter what choice she makes, someone will come along and tell her she's wrong?
But does it really make sense that supposedly all-powerful creatures have so many limitations? So many handicaps? Heck, they can't even reproduce in the way every other mammalian creature has done for millions of years! And they can't go out in daylight? How limiting is that? Kind of hard to make a living, don't you think? Somebody even told me vampires have no interest in food. How can I possibly identify with a creature like that? I love food! Seems to me there are more things a vampire can't do than things he can.
However, I've written historical novels for years, and have managed to deal with critics who don't know their history, but think they do. But at least that was real history. How can people take sides about the behavior of fictitious creatures? Can they prove their points? I don't think so.
So it wasn't until I threw away the "vampire rules" that I could make a creature, with a world for him, that made sense to me. And once I did that, and quit worrying about how other people thought my vampire world had to be, that I finally found the heart of my story: a hero I can drool over, a heroine who intrigues me and gives me a temporary alter ego I love, and an outrageously humorous, villainous vampire that I can't wait to see get his own book. Once he gets what's coming to him, that is.
Yeah, Theresa, let's go back to "guidelines", not "rules", and use them within reason. This is fiction, isn't it? Who says we can't write it our way?