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.