Vampires, Aliens, Werewolves, Zombies, and Other Avoidables

03 Sep

Cliché Alerts…

Vampires, Aliens, Zombies, Werewolves, and other Avoidables:

First off, topic of the morning, Vampires. What to do, and what not to do unless your life goal is to be the social outcast of the writing world is here, so read on.

If your writing has to do with vampires, my advice is this: avoid the classic ‘trying to save the people I love from myself’ point of view. It is way to overused recently. I’d rather read about an arrogant blood-sucking monster than read another freakishly handsome boy saying “I love you, but I want to protect you from me, so I’m going to dump you, and leave you heartbroken, after which you’ll do something desperate and hopeless, and I’ll have to save you, during which time we’ll decide our love is worth the risk.” So go classic or try for something that is not cliche. Vampires were a legend created to be scary. They were the boogeymen in the closet. Now, they’re the images on children’s t-shirts and birthday cakes, they come on sheets and full body pillows, and they are WAY overused.

Aliens. What do you picture? Great, now the image that comes into your head has to come from somewhere, everything in the imagination is limited to pieced together concepts you have already seen, so take that image that pops into your head… and trash it. What society has seen, they do not need to see again. What people will remember is something unique. Would a Toyota Camry catch your eye better than a cherry red 73 Mustang convertible?

Werewolves. Sure its cliche sometimes, but there’s tons of leeway for this one. What’s more important than the creature itself  (how many ways can you say hairy in the English language?) is the plot and the supporting characters. A good werewolf story- or a vampire story for that matter- is never just about the werewolves.

Zombies: fun but gory. Takes effort to give it a deep side though. Have fun. Too much advice will limit you too much. Zombies require you to be unique, so brainstorm. You’ll think of something. However, like werewolves, zombies need support. Two hundred pages of brain-eating gets tiring.

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