Vampire stories are not overrated. The narrative has just evolved. From soulless beasts to human-like heroes, modern vampires can teach us many life lessons.
If you are an avid supernatural fiction reader, writer, or simply checking the status quo on vampires, read on to learn how the once fearful blood-thirsty monster became every young woman’s boy crush (regrettably, dating tips are not included).
The Escape Out of the Ordinary
If we had to place the supernatural book genre in a box, we would squeeze it under science fiction; however, it is far more complicated than that.
The genre consists of paranormal elements that cannot be answered by science or even perceived by the human mind. This is where the novelty of this genre lies, offering readers an escape from their everyday existence.
The Marriage of Horror and Fantasy
Supernatural fiction marries two sub-genres: horror and fantasy. For instance, you may find supernatural stories that are concerned with archangels, the soul, and god, while others lean toward ghost stories, exorcism, and gothic novels.
Sooo … Where Do Vampires Fit In?
Vampires are mythical creatures that date back to the 18th century. The hysteria over vampires was largely due to the fact that ordinary folk believed they existed.
They believed that beside the average pick-pocketer or burglar, there were immortal serial killers on the loose who fed on human blood.
Introducing the Blood-Sucking Predator
The legend of the vampire was rooted in fear. It dates back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire at a time where citizens were not particularly knowledgeable about the process of decomposition and what happened to the lifeless corpses that remained once people died.
Ignorance Came at a Price
It was believed by many during that time that dead bodies still had life in them. What was a normal practice of destroying the body back then became evidence of vampirism. The fear of the blood-thirsty vampire was so entrenched in Slavic culture that it became a means of social control.
Our 18th Century Obsession: Dracula
In a gothic horror novel written in 1897, we were introduced to a vampire named Dracula, a mystery none of us could solve yet so intriguing that we couldn’t look away. He laid the foundation for how vampires would be portrayed—the evil villain damned for eternity or until their soul was restored and set free.
The Battle of Good vs. Evil
There is no doubt that vampires were portrayed as being inherently evil; however, as the vampire narrative evolved, many books began to suggest that these tormented characters could be redeemed. The theme of sin versus religion presented a moral dilemma: isn’t humanity just as sinful and in need of redemption too?
The Seductive Immortal
Anne Rice’s books gave a sensational twist to the dark and eerie nature of the vampire. Her books gave vampire’s a heart, and they brought context to the nature of the beast and why they behaved in such a strange manner.
An Evolving Archetype in Vampire Books
In her classic novel, Interview With the Vampire, Rice transformed what the vampire was and how it would relate with human beings. Her late 20th century audience was fascinated at how she revived the hideous predator and made it into a sympathetic and seductive human-like creature.
Vampires as Sexual Beings
Even though the association between vampires, sex, and romance wasn’t new, by the late 20th century, many books, plays, and TV series were portraying vampires as objects of lust and desire.
This modern take on the classic vampire created a media buzz and an audience of young adults who were mesmerized by these seductive beasts.
Cue in Edward Cullen
Who would’ve thought the vampire book series, Twilight, could turn a reformed vampire into every girl’s romantic crush?
Was it Edward’s skin that sparkled in the sun? His suave gentleman demeanor? Or the fact that he was a vegetarian and could participate in #MeatlessMondays?
The Lovable Cullen Family
The Cullen family is an example of the modern compassionate heroes that vampires are depicted as in pop culture. They are the epitome of the modern American family; the hard-working father coming home to his charming wife and children.
What’s not to love?
A Metaphor for Human Excellence
The modern-day “good” vampire represents human potential (if we were immortal and could refine ourselves a million times). They symbolize beauty, strength, and everlasting youth.
Modern vampires recognize their supernatural strength; however, they use it in service to humanity (forcing us as humans to reflect on our own agency and find our purpose in life too).
Re-Writing the Legend
The vampire legend is constantly evolving as supernatural fiction writers share their interpretations, beliefs, and fantasies about these mythical creatures. With each vampire story that is written, more depth into the nature and personhood of a vampire is offered.
How to Select the Appropriate Niche Category for Your Vampire Story?
One of the challenges that writers will face when sharing their narrative on vampires relates to which writing niche their book will fall under.
Is their vampire a serial killer in a thriller or a die-hard romantic in a romance book?
While it seems as though you have many options, finding a popular and profitable niche is mandatory to your book’s success.
Writing Supernatural Stories: A Move to Urban Fantasy
Urban fantasy is a subgenre of contemporary fantasy that consists of stories with supernatural elements set in a contemporary or real-world setting.
Unlike traditional fantasy where characters like vampires come from a paranormal universe, urban fantasy situates these characters in our modern society, living a human-like existence.
Modern Vampires May Be More Relatable Than We Think
Perhaps the key message we can take from the Cullen family is that modern-day vampires can, in fact, lead a morally driven life built on the foundations of family, faith, and education.
They seek to dispel their association with darkness by working in service of humankind—sacrificing their natural instincts and tendencies in the process.
The Human Aspect of Vampires
Over the past decades, vampires have departed from their traditionally dark heritage to integrating more and more into human communities. Their staple diet of blood has evolved and nowadays there is a preference for human food, culture, and lifestyle.
The Importance of Self-Control and Self-Discipline
To successfully integrate into human society, vampires have had to wrestle with their natural inclinations and learn how to subdue their fleshly desires. This is what has made vampires more charming and downright sexy!
The Role Models We Never Asked For
Modern vampires show us it is possible to outgrow who we were, pursue endless possibilities, and receive redemption from our dark past. They remind us that goodness prevails over darkness and that self-sacrifice is the highest expression of righteousness.
The Life Lessons We Can Learn From Vampires (Sounds Crazy, I Know)
As bizarre as it sounds, vampire stories can help us confront some of the hidden darkness, shame, or guilt within us. Their immortality reminds us it is possible to start again and re-imagine our lives.
The evolution of vampires has challenged our human potential to seek purpose in our lives and strive to become better versions of ourselves.
The End of Being a Monster?
As portrayed in modern-day novels, vampires believe they can exist without being a demon. Instead, they are imperfect creatures just like the rest of us who have socially conditioned themselves to seek moral excellence and find eternal love.
Wrapping Up: What’s Your Take on a Vampire Book Plot?
If you had to write your own vampire story, how would you depict these aloof characters? Are you still drawn to the image of the fanged blood-sucking beast, or do you lean toward the image of the rehabilitated soul who desires to be loved?
The Future of the Vampire Legend Is Still up for Interpretation
Authors like Anne Rice and Stephanie Meyers have only offered a small glimpse into who vampires can truly become. The destiny of a vampire, their purpose, fears, and supernatural potential is still open for interpretation.
But who will be the first to grab a pen and shape history?
The Demand Is Insatiable
One thing's for sure: the literary world is waiting eagerly for the next intriguing vampire character to come onto the scene. We cannot wait to hear where they come from, what their ambitions are in life, and the many life lessons they have to teach us.
Vampires Are Still Hot on Our Lips and Will Be for a Long Time!
The mystery surrounding vampires is what keeps vampire stories fascinating for supernatural fiction readers. It may take us our entire lives to figure out these creatures because to do so would mean confronting our demons and setting ourselves free too.
In this case, we deserve to be introduced to more of these characters as we reflect on our own fears, hopes, and dreams!