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So, what are YOUR vampires like?

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efreysson

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Okay, this may or may not be the right place for this, but since vamps can be found equally in horror, fantasy and romance, I decided to post this here. The title pretty much explains what I have in mind: Describe the vampires in your works, or how you would treat vampires in a novel. By that I don't mean on a personal level, just how they function, what abilities they have, are they inherently evil, etc . . .

I haven't actually written vampires into my medieval-ish fantasy stuff yet, but I will down the road, and have already decided most of their characteristics.

-They possess great strength, though it depends on how old they are. A vamp fresh from the grave might compare to a very strong human, while older ones can pull off limbs.

-Their reflexes are razor-sharp, though not in the "dodge bullets" category. They run at normal, human speed.

-It takes a hell of a lot of damage to kill them, and only a decapitation or burning will make sure they STAY that way. Otherwise, they'll be back. Again.

-Feeding, to my vamps, is more like recharging batteries than eating. They don't actually die by not drinking blood, but fall in a death-like slumber in which they can stay indefinitely, as long as the sun doesn't reach their bodies. Spilling blood anywhere near a comatose vampire will cause it to rise in an instinct-driven feeding frenzy that will abide once it is sated. They can get away with feeding once a week or so, but prefer more frequent meals to stay strong.

-With no organized religion in my world, holy symbols do not keep them at bay. A sorcerer specializing in necromancy might find ways to repel or even control a vampire, but that's about it.

-They have outstanding night vision, can smell blood from far away, and ears sharp enough to detect heartbeats.

-Younger vampires can use their gaze to control animals, and older ones are able to mesmerize humans.

-They live mostly in and around population centers, in order to pass unnoticed and make hunting easier. Vamps mostly operate solo, or in small groups, yet all fall under the rule of the vampire queen, the oldest, strongest, and most cunning of them all. Any vamp caught defying her rules or orders is either killed permanently or entombed for a timespan depending on the transgression.

-My vampires are primarily stealth-based predators. They occasionally grab people in dark alleys, or sink their teeth into drunks coming out of taverns, but mostly sneak into dwellings at night, and feed on people in their sleep. A careful bite leaves nothing more than a small bruise, and weakness the next day. The vampire queen, as part of a truce with my world's monster-hunters, commands her people to avoid killing and drawing attention to themselves.

-A fresh vampire retains pretty much the same sensibilities as it did in life, and most try hard to hold onto their human emotions, if only to avoid turning into joyless, cold monsters that never crack a smile. Time has a way of wearing away at this goal, however, and many do turn into sociopaths as the centuries pass.

-Regardless of age, a vampire looks like a pale human, with the severity of the pallor depending on how well-fed they are. Their upper canines are slightly longer than usual, with sharp ends. It's not noticeable to instantly identifying one as a vampire, unless the vamp has extended them for feeding, or for looking mean.
 

Azraelsbane

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I don't have traditional vampires, and actually, there's only one of the untraditional ones. She was accidentally warped by her creator after being found in a compromising situation with a young boy. Power surges are a bitch in my world. ;)

Anyway, ingesting blood gives her power and reverses the aging process to a certain point. By ingesting blood on a regular basis, she can look to be in her early twenties indefinitely. She can go out in the sunlight, but harsh sunlight speeds up the aging process and she needs to ingest more blood than usual. It also limits her physical strength and mental faculties. Shade works better for her in the daytime.

She constantly tries to create new beings like herself, but fails. Instead, each of the people she tries to turn ends up as a very slowly decomposing Renfieldesque character. After hundreds of years of failure, this is how she ends up with an army of mindless warriors/subjects. :)
 

Sassee

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Mine are slightly different.

A - they're loners. Sort of like polar bears. Can't stand being around one another and generally try to avoid sharing their food source with other vamps. Other creatures they are fine with, they just don't like being around their own kind. There is no "council" of vampire rulers, either.
B - most of their "power" is power of the mind. Can mesmerize humans in order to feed without making a mess - can also mute sounds in their immediate area so no one else hears screaming, hears them sneak up on their victims, etc. They can mind-whisper. They can also cloak themselves in shadow.
C - i don't have angsty vamps. omg, i know, don't have a heart attack.
D - they don't have to kill to feed.
E - The standard increase in strength and immortality applies. Take the head and heart. No sunlight. Yadda yadda. Although their eyes go a silvery white when they feed or fight.

Not much else is known about my vamps. Haven't had a reason yet to write in more background. Sowwy.
 

Devil Ledbetter

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I'm writing realistic fiction, so my only vampire is of the emotional variety. He feeds on sympathy.
 

RG570

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I deliberately used a vampire cliche in mine.

It was just a brief appearance which is satire/parody of the urban fantasy genre. There's also a mention of a social support program for these vampires, in which they are given people to eat or drain or whatever the things do, because the rich didn't want their children to be in danger from them.
 

josephwise

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I used a vampire in a short story once. He was like a drug adict. Feeble, needy, dishonest, desperate, awkward, guilty, pathetic. He was a pediatrician, too.
 

Claudia Gray

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Mine have a very wide range of reactions to being undead/immortal -- some remain social and law-abiding, others become violent and sociopathic, and still others become increasingly disassociated from either the human or vampire worlds, sinking so deeply within themselves that it goes almost to the level of mental illness. Many vampires cycle through all of these reactions during their millennia of unlife.

They can live almost as humans as long as they're ingesting blood regularly. The longer an Evernight vampire goes without blood, the more traditionally "vampiric" he becomes -- the hunger gets worse, sunlight becomes painful, fangs extend and will not retract and reflections fade and ultimately vanish. Deprived of blood indefinitely, a vampire will first become almost feral, then finally perish. The blood doesn't have to be human blood, though that is what most vampires most crave. Those who lead semi-normal human existences simply make do with animal blood from butcher shops or the occasional theft from the blood bank.

There is a "vampire society" with definite rules and hierarchy, but it's fairly loose-knit.

They're all extremely fast, nimble and strong, and the older a vampire is, the stronger he gets -- although the likelihood of insanity is also higher. Some vampires become extremely powerful within only a few decades; others take far longer. Strength is admired by other vampires, but self-control is even more prized.

Oh, I'd better stop now -- I could go on all day.
 

Ava Jarvis

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I write sci-fi (siiigh). People fashion themselves into Vampires by medically suppressing skin pigment; getting surgery on their eyes to increase the reception of light by night as well as turn it into that appealing red color---or, for more money, an ever-slightly changing purple tint; and dying their hair black down past the roots, a sort of "hair color tattoo" process. Some of them go for a hair tattoo of alternating white and black.

Edit: and yes, dentists and modified crowns are involved.

Any fear of the cross, garlic, or organization of socks is left up to the "Vampire" to roleplay.

Then they get together in Goth dress (there are a few clothing brands that play to the Vampire subculture) at one of the Transylvania communities, celebrate Anne Rice day by drinking wine impregnated with just enough stable hemoglobin "flavorins" to give it that wonder blood-but-not-blood taste, and wear plenty of sunblock when they (reluctantly) visit "outsiders", like parents and the saner leftovers of their siblings and relatives.

There is a black market for vegetables in the more skivvy parts of Transylvania.

There's also a werewolf subculture. Rugby seems a favorite sport for some reason.
 

RG570

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I write sci-fi (siiigh). People fashion themselves into Vampires by medically suppressing skin pigment; getting surgery on their eyes to increase the reception of light by night as well as turn it into that appealing red color---or, for more money, an ever-slightly changing purple tint; and dying their hair black down past the roots, a sort of "hair color tattoo" process. Some of them go for a hair tattoo of alternating white and black.

Edit: and yes, dentists and modified crowns are involved.

Any fear of the cross, garlic, or organization of socks is left up to the "Vampire" to roleplay.

Then they get together in Goth dress (there are a few clothing brands that play to the Vampire subculture) at one of the Transylvania communities, celebrate Anne Rice day by drinking wine impregnated with just enough stable hemoglobin "flavorins" to give it that wonder blood-but-not-blood taste, and wear plenty of sunblock when they (reluctantly) visit "outsiders", like parents and the saner leftovers of their siblings and relatives.

There is a black market for vegetables in the more skivvy parts of Transylvania.

There's also a werewolf subculture. Rugby seems a favorite sport for some reason.

That actually sounds pretty neat.

And you just know that in this era of postmodern fakery and lameness, that something like this is probably going to happen some day.
 

Zoombie

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They've got horns, cry blood, are called "living Impaired" and live off souls donated by kindly old people. Soul bank, see.

No fangs, really, but they do a lot of stuff with vanishing with a puff of smoke and brimstone and reappearing somewhere else. Calling them a vampire is sorta like calling a black person a nigger, so they tend to get really pissed off. And they can rip you limb FROM LIMB WITH THEIR BARE HANDS!

But that's generally considered rude. Now, of course, they only have the strength and the teleportation and all the disadvantages. Now, Werewolves have it good. They can get a suntan, for one thing.

Because I <3 werewolves. At least 20...maybe 40 times better than vampire in my opinion.
 

preyer

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i don't write about vampires or, ugh, vampYres. my WIP has vampires already dead and collected as trophies, and they will come back in the end, the they don't have a culture to speak of, nor are they main characters. in fact, when i wrote them in, i was like, 'aw, crap, did i just write what i think i did?' but, no, no vampire main characters ~ ever. for me, at least. :)
 

Jack Nog

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Never written about vamps...

I did have a flash of insight to a vampire character in traffic on the way home from work one day.

My vampire is average. He holds a night job as a cement truck operator and just tries to make ends meet like everyone else. Just an unlucky average joe with a little bit of extra poured in.

That's about as far as I got. I think it all stems from the fact that Vampires are made out to be these Uber-awesome/pretty/sexy/stunning/angst-filled blow-hards that I'm bored to death with.

Note: I'm sorry for offending anyone who created an uber-awesom/pretty/sexy/stunning/angst-filled blow-hard vampire. More power to you if you make it work.
 

LilliCray

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I've only written about one so far, and I don't know much about him yet. He's... hard to explain truthfully without sounding completely inept. The setting is modern urban whatever the heck you'd call it.

He can go out in sunlight without any negative effects (except for an annoying ear itch that doesn't go away until he's in the shade...)
He can control how much blood he takes so that it kills or doesn't kill, depending on his mood
He can control how much pain a person gets while he's feeding, because he can control how much anesthetic his fangs produce
His fangs produce anesthetic
He's a psychopath (of course not the norm, supposing there IS a norm)
He's in love, but he kills his love and then ruins her kids' lives for thirteen or so years

Basically that's it. There's also a sorcerer/familiar subculture, but I only mention that because a particular sorceress gives my lufferly vampy a heck of a hard time. :D
 

jodiodi

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In my fantasy/romance or romantic fantasy or whatever genre they decide it is, I have vampires as characters in the villain's army. They are nothing like the vampires of current tradition. They're very tall, human-ish in shape, but have dark bluish/gray flesh, sharp teeth (not just a set of fangs), long, bifurcated tongues, claws on their hands and feet, humongous bat-like wings, and dwell in the 'shadow-realm'. They fly and are like bombers in wars, dropping wine-skins filled with oil and wrapped in flaming brush onto their opponents. They're very strong, but can be killed by pretty much the usual means any other creature can be killed with. They don't drink blood, but do eat people and have other appetites that they sate on mortal flesh. They have no fear of any sort of religious symbols of the culture and the sun doesn't play into their lives. They're not 'undead' and one can't just become a vampire. They're a separate race that doesn't normally dwell in the 'real' world. Their claws also secrete poison that knocks out their opponents or paralyzes them.
 
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JimmyB27

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I started with vampires in my world, but they sort of morphed into priests of the 'dark side' (yeah, I know - I need a better name) of one of the world's major religions, and they've just been getting more and more human ever since. The religion has a sort of yin-yang aspect to it, with the 'light side' priests doing all the usual priestly things, helping people, using magic for healing and so on, and the 'dark side' priests acting as a sort of Inquisition.
They don't drink blood, though they do use it ceremonies, and they can draw strength from people using their magic (which they believe is god-given). They don't fear sunlight, but they do do a lot of their work under the cover of darkness. They do have superhuman strength, but it's drawn from their magic.
This sort of thing happens to me all the time, and it's awesome. Everything in my world started as a major cliche, and I worked on it a bit at a time, tweaking and refining things until I had a pretty unique sort of world.
 

donut

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The vampires in my story are all wannabes... ;) I'm writing about a bunch of teenagers who wish they were vampires, and sometimes believe they are... but they're totally not.
 
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