Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Paranormal Fans: Are you a traditionalist, or do you like fundamental changes?

WARNING: Twilight fans will most likely get offended. If you are a Twilight fan and don't think you could read this without offence and making a comment as such, please stop now. I'm not writing this to cause a Twilight debate, but rather a discussion on traditionalism or modernism regarding paranormal creature fundamentals.

So we all know that there are Twilight fans and those who absolutely despise the series and consider it twaddle. The arguments for and against it could almost start World War III. I'll freely admit I'm one of the latter. I am a traditionalist paranormal fan. I like my vampires flamey, not sparkly, I like them to have strong characters, not wimps who get rid of their bike just because the girl enjoyed it with someone else. I like my werewolves to be men responsible for their actions, not hormonal teenagers fighting over a girl.

But that's just me. I'm a traditionalist. And not meaning to sound full of my own characters, but I believe that the werewolves in my Wolf Smitten series could whoop the arses of those in Twilight. A humorous comment made by a friend of a friend was that Eddie Munster could kick Jacob's arse. 

So my question of paranormal fans, do you like when an author changes things up as Stephanie Meyers has, or do you prefer traditional characters? Vampires that burst in to flames at the touch of sunlight, werewolves that aren't hormonal, but aggressive.

I'd also like to ask at what point do you see a character as being totally different? Do you accept small changes or do you see any change as changing the fundamental characteristics of the being, and therefore creating something altogether new? I see Stephanie Meyers vampires as completely different, but I see Anne Bishop's witches, unicorns and dragons as traditional with just a touch of change. ('Kindred', as the particular animals are called, can communicate telepathically with humans they choose to.) An acceptable change for a traditionalist like myself.

How about creatures that are supposed to be like nothing previously seen or read? How to you react and accept them? Do you picture the new creature with ease as you read (of course this also depends on the quality of the writing), or is it often difficult to accept a new type of creature?

I like to think that I'm accepting to creatures that are completely new, or traditional creatures with small changes that are more personal, but I always have been and always will be a traditionalist. Fundamental core characteristics CANNOT be messed with in my opinion. To me, saying that a vampire sparkles is like saying people have 3 legs and a tail. In that case, we're not really people any more, are we? We're some kind of mutant.

Mull these questions and my opinions over. I would love to hear what others think about traditionalism vs modernism, and completely new paranormal creatures.

NB: Anyone who is abusive in their defence of Twilight will have their comments removed as, although I welcome other opinions, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about expressing those opinions. This particular post is about traditionalism vs modernism, and whether readers willingly accept paranormal creatures that are completely new.


  1. One thing to point out: Bram Stoker's version of Dracula walked in the sunlight, though his powers were weakened. The "traditional" fiery demise under the rays of the sun was made popular in "Nosferatu".

    My approach to tradition vs retelling is that vampires have created their own myth to keep humanity looking for all the wrong things. Why let people know how to kill you and all your weaknesses when you can write books that appeal to the public at large that completely change their perception of you? The cake is a lie.

  2. Yeah, they mention that in Blade Trinity, and the following vampires are "cross breeds", so to speak. I like that idea quite a lot.
    And I do agree with the "moral", per se, that we can learn from vampires.