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Thread: Week 52- Horror: Bring Out Your Undead!

  1. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by tylerjames View Post
    I myself have written about research, but even I wonder where I'd start if I were researching subjects like vampirism or magic, as there are so many different takes on those subjects. Getting just the facts seems difficult.
    "Getting just the facts" is not merely difficult, it's impossible. There are no facts. Not for things like vampires and magic.

    There's only the "different takes" - the various traditional viewpoints, folklore, speculation, and a rich tradition of fiction. So you research all that and filter it through your own perceptions and preferences to create the (fictional) facts for your own (fictional) universe.

    Some might disagree with me, but I say that the only purpose of the research (in these kind of cases) is to allow you to give your fictional "facts" more depth and richness, not to restrict yourself to only writing about "real" vampires, or "real" magic(k).



  2. Dungbeetle Guest

    I highly doubt Ennis set out to impose any sort of law about what "real" vampires are vulnerable to in Preacher. Mentioned it briefly before, but the best Cassidy story was were he met a more recently spawned vampire who conformed to all the gothic expectations, and declared him a "tosser".

    I still like the Vlad The Impaler/heresy Dracula origin. The idea of a person become corrupted by turning their back on God. Yeah, it's Christocentric (is that a word) but it's a damn sight better than Emopires and could easily be applied to certain modern Bible bashing imperialists in comics to hilarious effect. (Please note, I have already copyrighted Vampire Dubya, hands off.)

    Windigo!



  3. Dungbeetle Guest

    Also, I think shunning the humanization of vampires takes away their fundamental appeal. If they are not some damned human soul with a little depth and personality then what are they? Just another zombie, mummy, grendel, trog, whatever. True, treating them like they're not a "monster" takes away from their horror. What if someone was to humanize them, not in a sympathetic way, but in the way one might write a character like Hannibal Lector or Patrick Bateman? Writing from a very, very cold first person, describing the systematic methods used for feeding, etc. etc. There is a potential for real nastyness there, still incorporating all the posh vampire snootiness expected by the reader, but making it crass and inhuman rather than pompous and camp. Just a thought.



  4. AdamH Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by SebastianPiccione View Post
    While it's not a comic, if you want to talk about doing the Vampire Research, revamping (no pun intended) the genre, and making Vampires truly horrific again, with no sense of romance to them...

    Read THE STRAIN by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan!

    http://forums.projectfanboy.com/showthread.php?t=3469
    Quote Originally Posted by tylerjames View Post
    Interesting column as always, Steven, and congrats on your 1 Year. You might not always be able to see the impact of Bolts & Nuts, but I truly believe your column is impacting writers and creators you may never meet to become better writers. So, yeah, it's something to be proud of.

    You've tackled the subject of research before, but I wonder (another week's column suggestion, perhaps) if the topic of Researching Fictional concepts would be worth expanding on. I myself have written about research, but even I wonder where I'd start if I were researching subjects like vampirism or magic, as there are so many different takes on those subjects. Getting just the facts seems difficult. Worth thinking about anyway.

    This was appropriate, as the other night I watched the movie "Let the Right One In" a Swedish vampire flick. While it wasn't incredible, I thought it was a cool little movie. While staying true to many of the common tropes of vampirism, it had unique spin and viewpoint.
    Speaking of cool little vampire movies like "Let the right one in" and Guillermo Del Toro, one of his first films, "Cronos" was an interesting kind-of vampire film.



  5. MartinBrandt Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamH View Post
    Speaking of cool little vampire movies like "Let the right one in" and Guillermo Del Toro, one of his first films, "Cronos" was an interesting kind-of vampire film.
    Good flick. I remember that only because Ron Perlman makes most memories memorable for me. Big dude with a peculiar face.



  6. MartinBrandt Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by madelf View Post
    "Getting just the facts" is not merely difficult, it's impossible. There are no facts. Not for things like vampires and magic.

    There's only the "different takes" - the various traditional viewpoints, folklore, speculation, and a rich tradition of fiction. So you research all that and filter it through your own perceptions and preferences to create the (fictional) facts for your own (fictional) universe.

    Some might disagree with me, but I say that the only purpose of the research (in these kind of cases) is to allow you to give your fictional "facts" more depth and richness, not to restrict yourself to only writing about "real" vampires, or "real" magic(k).
    Seriously I think you are taking the "facts" as too literal a term in regards to writing. When speaking of myths, legends, and lore, the facts are going to the roots.

    The point is the true horror for these monsters is based in the root of them, why people made these legends. Why they are afraid of them. Humanize a monster too much, make a level of sympathy with it and it becomes more of a suspense story.

    End of the day, everyone likes some version of these blood suckers. Some love the emo shiny bastards, others like the aristocratic over sexy succubus style. Some of us are tired of all this, perhaps something close to the 30 days of night style is better.

    Myself I just want to see people recognize, remember, what came before.

    Just like man was afraid of the dark at one point, so too was he afraid of the bump in the night. The bump in the night had no soul, it had no human motives, it was beyond our mortal comprehensions. The bump in the night didn't sigh exsaberatedly and fall in love with a 16 year old after living for 400 years. (This makes no god damn sense by the way.)

    The bump in the night scared you. Nuff said.



  7. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinBrandt View Post
    Seriously I think you are taking the "facts" as too literal a term in regards to writing. When speaking of myths, legends, and lore, the facts are going to the roots.
    I say there are no facts only because of the myriad of, often contradictory, roots. There is almost nothing you can point to and say "vampires are this" (or "magic is this") and have it be true in more than a limited instance.

    So the facts, for the purposes of the story, must be determined by the writer. Somewhere along the way, as you research, you will have to accept that not everything that came before fits together, or appeals to you, so you have to improvise. You have to pick and chose from the various roots (or facts if you prefer to think of them that way) to make your own fictional "truth". In that way, the facts are what you make of them. That's why there are no facts.

    Basically I was just trying to get across the idea that you don't have to sweat "the facts" too much when talking about this kind of thing. Unless you're trying to accurately portray some specific creature from a specific region or piece of folklore, it's simply not necessary. Just read about the different roots, get a feel for what you like, and run with it. It's not science; it only has to be as factual as you want it to be.
    Last edited by CalvinCamp; Wednesday, August 05, 2009 at 03:51 AM.



  8. MartinBrandt Guest

    Indeed it is not science, nor are there facts as in such.

    The root of the fear from where it comes is almost universal. That is my counter point.



  9. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinBrandt View Post
    End of the day, everyone likes some version of these blood suckers. Some love the emo shiny bastards, others like the aristocratic over sexy succubus style. Some of us are tired of all this, perhaps something close to the 30 days of night style is better.
    Absolutely. It takes all kinds. Or, at least, there are all kinds. Personally I dislike the 30 Days of Night style vampires immensely, but that's just me.

    Humanize a monster too much, make a level of sympathy with it and it becomes more of a suspense story.
    But dehumanize it too much, and you loose what makes it a monster. Then it's just an animal. When the monster is nothing more than an animal, that loses something too.

    And you need suspense or you don't have horror.

    The bump in the night scared you. Nuff said.
    The bump in the night scares you because you don't know what it is or what's going to happen. It's the worry and the waiting that turns your guts to water. Real horror requires suspense. As far as I'm concerned, anything else is just jumping out and yelling, "Boo!" (usually with buckets of fake blood).
    Last edited by CalvinCamp; Wednesday, August 05, 2009 at 04:18 AM.



  10. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinBrandt View Post
    Indeed it is not science, nor are there facts as in such.

    The root of the fear from where it comes is almost universal. That is my counter point.
    And at the root of your counterpoint is truth.



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