Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sanguis Dei, Blood of God

So I've got a first draft of a story I've always been impressed by the potential of the horror story but usually disappointed with the result. Overexposure has lead to a badass decay for vampires. The modern urban fantasy genre and sparkly vampires have done the kind of damage to a fearsome horror staple that was once the providence of low-budget sequels.

Can vampires be scary again? Read it here and let me know what you think. It's a first draft, likely to require some TLC.


  1. Like it; this looks like an excellent outline for a longer story.

    The opening lines need to be redone, it sounds like a stage direction, and the characters should be developed some more, but overall I am very impressed.

  2. Well, that's actually part of a debate I had with myself. Just how much detail is required? A single idea might only require a short story to properly explore and yet another idea might require a novel or trilogy. Put too big of an idea in too small a story and it will feel constrained; put too small of an idea into too big a story and it will feel padded.

    I don't think I have a definitive answer here, it's just that this felt like the right length. I could have expanded those backstories greatly. The whole thing could be blown up into a novel with the flashbacks feeling like two separate, intertwined novels. But how big is the idea?

    As for feeling like stage direction, it did occur to me that a story like this could be done as either a very short one-act play or as a short film. Especially if I don't resort to detailed flashbacks we're basically talking about two characters in the woods at night, talking.

    Case in point, the sergeant is talking with his men around a campfire in Dog Soldiers. What scares him? He shares. Could his story have been related in a fully-acted flashback? Yes. Visuals with him doing a voiceover? Yes. But they went with just him telling a story around a campfire. Cheap, simple, and also effective. It couldn't be elaborated on without belaboring the point.

    Anyway, thanks for the compliment. :)

  3. It's an interesting idea, though the time period for some odd reason makes me think of the Castlevania franchise....

    Still, I didn't really sense much horror in reading the story. It was more like reading a kind of light morality tale or similar. Then again, I had the same reaction as I read Frankenstein. Still, it was an interesting read.

    As for making vampire scary (again), might I suggest two possible sources of inspiration? One is this Wikipedia Article on Vampire traits, the other being the Final Episode in Season Three of Deadliest Warrior. And, perhaps, add a few changes to the pre-Interview with a Vampire lore such as attacking the chest (and by extension, the heart) rather than just the neck?

  4. It depends on what you consider to be scary. Certainly I found the description of what these vampires could do frightful enough.

    Never played Castlevania so I'm not operating off of influences from that.

    I'm aware of the common vampire traits and how the traditional vampire comes across more like a ghoul or zombie rather than a suave and sexual predator.

    For me, I think that the defining trait of a modern take on vampirism is the juxtaposed seduction and revulsion. They represent power and sexuality combined with death. They get eternal life but are cut off from many of life's pleasures -- sunlight, food and drink, companionship with the living.

    The more traditional hungry dead thing is better exemplified by the modern zombie, a mindless cannibal of the living. HP Lovecraft's take on the ghoul being a human degenerate who became so from cannibalism also shares a touch of the Wendigo legend.

    1. I'm guessing it's just the execution of vampyric portrayal, that or the level of desensitization of the reader in question.

      Granted, it's one thing to summarize what a vampire could do to a victim, and another to describe the actual deed in not just anatomically, but also the sensation the vampire and the victim would feel during the attack. It would be an interesting contrast and point of view of the same event.

      Though it's also useful to note that before most modern portrayals of vampires, sunlight isn't considered a fatal weakness but rather a period to which their powers and abilities wain due to them being nocturnal.