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View Full Version : Too much lore on Lycanthropy?



Darkshore
11-06-2011, 06:41 AM
Is there too much well established lore on Lycanthropy to simply dismiss it in my UF novel? I have it set in my novel that Vampires are a lot more than just Vampires. Such as what happens to those that feast on humans, those who abstain, and those who choose to feed on animals (either out of fear for their own humanity or for the rewards). Basically this means that Were-anything's are actually a Vampire that turned from the norm of feasting on human blood in favor of something else. I'm just wondering if there's too much lore on Lycanthropy to do something like this without turning people off. A buddy of mine brought it up and I honestly hadn't thought about it before.

Alessandra Kelley
11-06-2011, 06:46 AM
I don't think that would be a problem. It's not like lycanthropic lore is a science.

Shadow_Ferret
11-06-2011, 06:48 AM
There is a lot of lore on were-things and vampires. I know I'd probably find it hard to wrap my head around the use of the term werewolf as something other than the moon-effected beasts.

I'd come up with some other name for vampires that feed on animals instead of humans. I don't know. Maybe have different classes of vampire? The top class are the human feeders, then you have a bottom class, looked down on by the other vampires, who feed on animals, or something like that?

Amadan
11-06-2011, 06:50 AM
You can make up whatever you want, since lycanthropes aren't real.

Purists may gripe, and more knowledgeable readers will appreciate it if you demonstrate that you are at least familiar with the lore, but the only thing that really matters is if it makes sense and works within the context of your story.

The whole Twilight "sparkly vampire" thing, for example: people mock it and claim that Stephanie Meyer doesn't know anything about vampires, but the fact is, the idea that vampires have marble-hard skin that glitters in the sunlight is actually not a bad twist on the vampire legend. It's even kind of creative. The reason Meyer gets so much flack for "changing" vampires is not that her vampires are dramatically different from traditional vampires, but because the book was so crappy in every other way and that all the vampire powers served the sole purpose of making the protagonist super-sexy.

A better author could have used all those ideas and been lauded for coming up with an original take on vampires.

So, bottom line is, do what you feel.

Shakesbear
11-06-2011, 01:13 PM
You can make up whatever you want, since lycanthropes aren't real.

Purists may gripe, and more knowledgeable readers will appreciate it if you demonstrate that you are at least familiar with the lore, but the only thing that really matters is if it makes sense and works within the context of your story.

The whole Twilight "sparkly vampire" thing, for example: people mock it and claim that Stephanie Meyer doesn't know anything about vampires, but the fact is, the idea that vampires have marble-hard skin that glitters in the sunlight is actually not a bad twist on the vampire legend. It's even kind of creative. The reason Meyer gets so much flack for "changing" vampires is not that her vampires are dramatically different from traditional vampires, but because the book was so crappy in every other way and that all the vampire powers served the sole purpose of making the protagonist super-sexy.

A better author could have used all those ideas and been lauded for coming up with an original take on vampires.

So, bottom line is, do what you feel.

Agree with this! Except I haven't read Twilight.

Buff the Vampire slayer, TV series, was a ground breaker, imo, for changing Vampire Lore (VL). The first episodes I watched I was scathing of and annoyed by the disregard for traditional VL. I became hooked on the series because it had a consistency and a fresh approach which I thought was convincing.

LOL! Just had a thought, which may of may not be relevant. In the traditional werewolf lore they can only be killed by a silver bullet made from a cross which presupposes that the werewolf is Christian. Living in a multi cultural society that has many different faiths and a proportion of people with no faith, how would you kill the werewolf of it was not from a Christian background?

frimble3
11-06-2011, 02:12 PM
'Bareback' by Kit Whitfield does new and interesting things with lycanthropy, doesn't even call them werewolves, but the reader catches on quickly enough.

areteus
11-06-2011, 03:01 PM
Whedon has a 'thing' for subverting cliches. He did it with vampires in Buffy (keeping enough of the original lore to make them stick) and he did it in Firefly with the famous 'Mal shot first' scene (thereby deftly removing a classic 'hostage dilemma' cliche for the hero).

What you need to do is try to find a way to make your vampire enough like the classic Stoker/Hammer horror cliche to not annoy purists but different enough to make them unique and that is one hell of a difficult balancing act to pull off effectively.

Same applies to Werewolves... they are almost as well known about as Vampires and if you ask anyone in the street, regardless of their horror film geek cred, you would get the answer 'silver bullets kill them'. Everyone knows that...

Personally, I like Brian Lumley's take of werewolves in the Necroscope series. They are vampires who have been injured enough that the vampire parasite that lives in them have to revert to a biological memory of an earlier host to heal the injury. Since many wolves are also infected with vampire parasites this often means that they take on wolf like features (and can change to take on more of them if they want to). The whole vampire as a biological parasite is one I quite like in general anyway, especially as Lumley uses it to explain all the traditional vampire weaknesses.

DrZoidberg
11-08-2011, 01:14 PM
...or use it. Play off people's myths about lycanthrope. Partly to trick the reader (and create a twist) and/or allow the werewolf stay hidden. It can be a metaphore for being an immigrant, odd religious affility... any generally missunderstood minority group.

The only way to fail is to be boring.

Darkshore
11-08-2011, 04:29 PM
Thanks everyone. I'm glad to see that most people are open to new ideas. I was afraid I'd get a response of "What the hell are you doing to werewolves!?". I'm not even sure why I'd like to do it this way, it just feels like it fits.

Darkshore
11-08-2011, 04:31 PM
There is a lot of lore on were-things and vampires. I know I'd probably find it hard to wrap my head around the use of the term werewolf as something other than the moon-effected beasts.

I'd come up with some other name for vampires that feed on animals instead of humans. I don't know. Maybe have different classes of vampire? The top class are the human feeders, then you have a bottom class, looked down on by the other vampires, who feed on animals, or something like that?

In a sense it sort of is like that. In my world the Vampires are sort of infected with magic and even they don't understand it completely. Depending on if and what they feed on the "curse" effects them differently.