Want to read some of my stuff?

Click for...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The overdone stories: Vampires

Originally, vampires were always monsters -- bloodsucking fiends, reanimated corpses, cruel and terrible creatures. Count Dracula, for one, was a terrifying guy; add in Anne Rice novels, and you understand why people were scared of vampires for so many hundreds of years. In the space of a century, we've defanged them and turned them into Edward Cullen, sparkling in the sunlight.

But Twilight wasn't the beginning; it was the culmination. I don't know everything, but I think that Dark Shadows, the 1960s series, was the first to have a brooding, romantic vampire. Funny thing is, his name was Barnabas Collins. The series revamped in the 80s, but it didn't last quite as long as the first one. Then came Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it's spin-off Angel, which I used to be in love with. In that story, vampires lost their souls when they were turned, but Angelus was cursed to have his soul back. Later, Spike (or William the Bloody) was given a soul as well and subsequently went insane for a while.
The Vampire Diaries, The Gates, and all the others that I've yet to see but will probably get into sometime soon. Those are defanged vampire stories, the kind I like. But that's not to say that I'm every other teenager in the world (though you probably don't believe me). I don't like sparkles, and vampire/human relationships tend to get on my nerves with their pointlessness. Here are the five reasons I write about vampires.

5.  Every popular story has a certain amount of crowd-pleasers, intentionally put in to make people like it (including the author; you don't write something unless you're having fun with it). Some stories have more (ones that appeal to a younger crowd especially), and some don't need more than a couple. Vampires -- definitely crowd-pleasers. Going with vampires, a lot of violence, gore, and in the case of my favorite genre, romance.

4.  Plot holes. Every story has them. Vampires tend to have enhanced abilities -- strength, speed, hearing, etc. That can make it easy to get the character out of most situations that a human would be stuck in. Of course, vampires themselves create new plot holes, but... Well, every author has to deal with those.

3.  Where vampires go, lycans follow. Werewolves, shape-shifters. I happen to love those, and I've spent several years developing pack mentalities and histories. I have fun with those.

2.  Immortals are always cool. Four hundred years of history to explore, letting your character do literally everything, and you can put him through anything. Broken bones will heal by the next morning; you can even kill him because he'll be back.

1.  When writing a story, you always end up with a moral, whether you planned to or not, even if it's a small one. Vampires provide an excellent setting for one of my favorite morals - choice. When turned into an undead creature that can only survive by drinking blood, do you have to give in to the urge and be a monster? Or do you have the choice to be something else? A vampire I'm currently writing about -- Lucius Gray -- has been trying to find a cure for his vampirism for seventy-plus years. The moral is that everyone has a choice, at all times, to be who they want to be.

And you know, it does help that vampire fiction usually shows them as the modern equivalent of the sons of Greek gods. I may be a writer, but I'm still a seventeen-almost-eighteen-year-old woman.

By the way, I have no issue with Twilight. I read the first two books, and they weren't really my style, so I do tend to make fun of them, but I'll admit that they were good for teenagers. They teach abstinence, and they're fresh, different from the other romances that follow the exact same storyline. Oh, and I was definitely Team Edward.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Who I am, what I want, all that good stuff

Hello, my name is Sarah Elisabeth Newman. I was born in April of 1994, which makes me 17 now, almost eighteen, and I am a writer. I have nothing published yet, so don't Google me or anything, but I have finished the first draft of my first novel. Let's pray it goes well.

So you'll want to get to know me, I suppose. I like to write about myself, obviously, so this may get lengthy; you can skip it if you like. Here goes. The first and most important thing about me is this: I am a follower of Jesus Christ, my beloved Savior and King. That doesn't mean I'm perfect; I screwup, and I have my own sins, but I have been forgiven. Because of Him, I am writing to influence the lives of the lost (those without Him) and encourage my own brothers and sisters in Jesus. That's the most important thing in my life; on to the rest! I've been writing since I was nine years old, when I read books through my fourth grade math class and then wrote short stories in English. I didn't know anything back then except that I wanted to write, and I don't know much more now. However, what started as Redwall, Legend of Zelda, and Rowan of Rin fanfiction stories became what I write today. And that's... well, whatever that is. We'll get to that. Now, other than writing and books, I am a huge fan of vampires -- The Vampire Diaries, Being Human US, etc. -- mysteries -- The Patrick Bowers Files by Steven James, Sherlock Holmes, Castle -- and science fiction -- Doctor Who, Miles Vorkosigan by Lois McMaster Bujold, and anything by Joss Whedon.

You know who I am, so let's get on to what I want. I'm a writer; there's no ifs, ands, or buts about that. The problem is, no one knows me, and it's because I'm not out there yet. I just started releasing my name to the Internet, and I'm starting this blog, hoping to get some notice. Eventually, I will have my agent, and my book will be published (plan B: self-publishing, but that's a long way off), but for now, I have a blog and a Facebook account. I also have a Netflix, a Subeta, and a Youtube, but that's inconsequential; those are just for procrastination. So there you have what I want: to get noticed. I mean, that's just a part in my master plan to publish books and hopefully change lives; we'll see what God's plan is.

Now we can get to the fun part! If you're still here after all that boring stuff, you must want to know I'm working on, right? Here it is. I have one almost-finished novella called Stargazer, which is a love story between two mythical creatures of my own design. It's light, sweet, and secular, just for fun. But that's just one project; my baby is a full-length novel called Redemption. It's a tale almost impossible to describe, even though I've been working on it for a year now. Let's just say... In an off-the-map town, a quiet, sleepy little place, evil will arise, good must prevail, and lives will be forever changed.

Stay tuned for updates on Redemption, my side projects, and everything else that I feel like writing about. Maybe I'll even review things (though I doubt it). This didn't get quite as long I expected it to, but it's close. Any comments? I love comments. Comment!