Building on What’s Come Before
As a writer, I always want to build on what’s come before. I want to pull something new out of the hat when it comes to Frankenstein, the Wolfman, and Dracula. Otherwise, it’ll bore the reader. No two vampires are alike in the book world. Take for example: Stephanie Meyer’s sparkly/vegetarian Cullens versus Stephen King’s predatory lot. Love them or hate them, each author took the myth and made it unique to their stories. That’s what we need to do in our own. Create some aspect/twist to the monster that will thrill/awe/or send chills down reader’s backs.
To do so, we have to know the history of the creature we’ve decided on. There are so many tales about the three creatures above. Read wide and deep so you know what’s been done then compare that to where you want to take your audience. Do you want to focus on the vampire’s point-of-view or your human’s? We’ve seen vampire/human offspring (Blade) and we’ve witnessed Buffy’s (the Vampire Slayer) life. Each character brings something unique to the mix. It’s those differences that make them more compelling to the reader.
So whether we follow a whole town’s/country’s story or just one individual, the trick is to make the tale something new. Even if it’s just the mechanics of how the creature came about, what they eat, how they produce new ones, it’s up to us to dig deep into myth and scramble it about until we have the guts of our story. If we don’t know what’s come before, we risk producing something similar. Happy writing.