Although you could conceivably title this post “Over-Bite” as well.
I’ve had The Sleepwalker and A Natural Selection in my written notebook for quite sometime now and I’d been meaning to transfer them onto this online version of my Mythic Bios.
It’s been strange making separate Pages for the stories that I want seen on here: mostly because they do not show up as unique posts (since they are Pages) and as such there isn’t that much traffic that goes to them. I think the extra effort of linking to these Pages to comment on the stories is something that takes a little bit of getting used to for me as well. As I keep working on this Blog and certain patterns and structure begin to arise, all of this does force me to go about things a little differently than when I first started here. That may be some of the reason why I have been making more reviews and articles than a lot of the more original things I used to make: though you can probably count some of my articles as “alternative perspectives” on subjects in any case.
But now that we’ve seen my penchant for making tangents to be alive and well, I just want to talk about the stories I made. “The Sleepwalker” was the result of me reading up on my Dracula and Kim Newman’s alternate vampire-ruled Victorian England in Anno Dracula: making me further ponder the physiological interpretations and possibilities of vampires and the question of, “What about Lucy?” I could have easily been a total smart-ass and titled this story “I Love Lucy,” but I made one popular culture reference in there already and I like the simple title I gave it.
One challenge I definitely had was that I didn’t even know what she physically looked like. So I had to make some inferences along the way based on some things that I read in passing. I always thought she had red hair, while some sources say she was blonde. Dracula was less than forthcoming on the matter, so I improvised.
I also improvised some more. In the vein (pardon the pun) of “What about Lucy,” I always wondered why she was such a different vampire from the other women in Dracula’s entourage. After a few years reading Anne Rice and the Old World of Darkness’ Vampire the Masquerade, I came up with this interesting gem. What if the amount of blood and the environmental situation of a person affects what kind of vampire they might become? For instance, Lucy was a sleepwalker and Dracula apparently took advantage of this with his hypnotic capabilities. Yet we never know why he chose her.
“A Natural Selection” was a possible answer to that last question. I always saw Dracula as far more intelligent and evil than even Van Helsing gave him credit for. If I were a centuries old vampire with some financial means and intelligence, I know I’d slowly put measures into place and watch the development of said technological innovations before doing anything. I would also be thinking about the future. I wanted the Dracula I portrayed in this story to be a monster not just because he is a vampire, but because of just how his mind works.
I suppose I also wanted readers to feel sympathy for Vampire Lucy and realize that she never had a chance. I originally contemplated giving her some Journal entries in the epistolary form: making a narrative as told from a private diary or something to that effect. I wanted to tell a story from the vampire Lucy’s perspective but then I realized that perhaps she was too … insane to write anything down. Then I thought to myself: she was turned and she died while she was sleepwalking and dreaming, so wouldn’t it follow that she would continue to perpetually dream in undeath as well?
I saw her new existence as a broken lens that reflected the culture in which she grew up in all its literature. Her child-like nature reflects the patronizing pampered sheltered life she has had to live in her society as well as essentially being reborn as a vampire’s plaything. To be honest, I enjoyed writing “The Sleepwalker” more because I really got to be innovative and it was fun to write a character in a constant stream of unconsciousness as it were. It was also really fun to write Vampire Lucy’s story in a way that complemented the original novel more than took away from it. The same can be said for “A Natural Selection”–a title I actually love because Dracula would have been very familiar with the theory of evolution going around at this time and might have even attributed it to vampires and their role with humanity.
Like I said, they are supposed to be short stories or vignettes made to complement Bram Stoker’s novel more than anything else.
I think whenever I write about my Stories on here, I will classify them under Creative Writing and link them to the appropriate Pages. So anyway, this is me: taking back my Blog from too many reviews and opinion pieces and attempting to make it a little more like the mad scientist’s workshop I intended it to be …. or something like that.
I wish this Rembramdt picture was my desk, but it does reflect my working process somewhat. If that makes sense.