I have a request for all my fallow writers who are writing vampire, werewolf or other supernaturals into a novel, short story or movie plot: Please do not make everything supernatural want to sleep with your heroine.
Recently, after hearing about “True Blood” from more and more friends, I read the first of Charlaine Harris’ novels about Sookie Stackhouse. I wanted to like Sookie, I really did. She seemed like a bit of a misfit with her own demons to fight.
But by the end of the first book, while all the humans still think she’s weird and consider dating her only for her looks, everything supernatural in the book wants to bed her. Really, Charlaine?
When you feel the need to have your main character ask why everyone is suddenly so attracted to her, well, you should probably ask yourself the same thing.
Then, there’s Bella in the “Twilight ” . Well, actually I have some logic problems with all of the characters in “Twilight,” but Bella is just the first. She moves to town and suddenly everyone wants to be with her? Really? The small towns I’ve lived in are never that accepting of the new girl. If she’s beautiful, she usually faces catty girls who don’t like the competition. Bella seemed to lead a semi-charmed life for a high school kid.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that she’s beautiful and that high school is all about the new, different girl, but Edward is supposed to be a century or so old. He suddenly feels the need to get involved with people again? And, why exactly is a vampire of that age going to high school? Shouldn’t he have gotten a GED or something by then so that even if he looks 15 (not that he does in the movie–at all), he can avoid the problems inherent in high school?
And what about Edward Cullen? Sure, his family is weird and sort of sullen and creepily incestuous, but the boy is hot and rich and sort of a bad boy. High school girls like all those things, so why wasn’t there some knock-down drag out competition for Bella?
Jacob, I understand. his family and Bella’s have been friends for years. They were kids together. The boy next door crush thing makes perfect sense – even if the boy next door is actually the werewolf next door.
I can’t really blame Stephanie Meier or Charlaine Harris for these problems though. They seem to be at the heart of most vampire novels with a female protagonist and a woman author. Hello, Laurell Hamilton. Everything in her books wants to bed Anita Blake. I loved the first few Anita Blake books when she was a badass vampire slayer and necromancer, not the girl-toy for every supernatural in St. Louis and beyond.
Joss Whedon even fell for it somewhat in his Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. One semi-souled vampire falling for a slayer is a plot hook. When Spike fell too, well, it was too much. I think I would have preferred to have Buffy find an honest to goodness, no military wonkiness, human boy to fall for. Imagine all the angst that could create.
Mostly though, I’d just implore authors who write vampire stories to fall out of love with their heroines. Not everyone has to adore her and want to sleep with her. I love to read these novels, so just once, I’d like a main character who is attractive and smart, but makes enemies with humans and supernaturals at the same clip.