My favorite thing about writing is how we, as authors, can twist and craft things into our own world. Some people keep the traditional lore of a monster, which can be fun, but I like to rip that to shreds and build my own stuff. That is especially the case with common paranormal monsters like vampires and werewolves. Fantasy creatures like fae and demons are also very fun to play around with.
You can see me doing so in my compendium, where I have written all of my lore out in a textbook-format style. I was always very into lore books like that. If my writing ever takes off, I’d love to have an art book. Given I am nowhere near close to doing good art yet, I would end up paying an artist for it. But, I can’t do that with no support/money, so it’s just a pipe dream for now!
That aside, I feel it’s important for authors to break the mold if they wish and not be criticized for straying from the norm (so long as it isn’t offensive to a group of people, of course, but that should be common sense). I’m talking about changing vampires from undead to a living species (what I do), or putting some nuance into demons (where they can be either good or evil). Making technologically savvy orcs, elves that originate from human x fae, humans that aren’t useless in fantasy settings, you name it. We see common tropes for all of what I mentioned, and I love seeing people break them.
I’m tired of things like Lord of the Rings and Dungeons and Dragons being the ‘go to, only follow this lore’ of fantasy authors. These are amazing classics, but they can stand alone as inspiration as opposed to rule, since fantasy is about creativity. Anyone who insults another from breaking from the pre-established lore or myth these creatures are in need to consider it’s okay to stray from what’s already written. You can’t bring something fresh to the genre without breaking the mold somehow, and in my case, I like doing it with my magical creatures.
And, of course, there’s ways to go about it that may appeal to some people, and maybe annoy people. For example, I flat out hate the vampire lore in Twilight, but can admit it did break the mold with the whole (shudder) sparkle/statue-like thing. I don’t like it myself, but some people love it, and that’s valid. I’m not a fan of how people compare any vampire work to Twilight or ask if mine ‘sparkle’ to be insulting, but that’s a rant for another day. Point is – you can break the mold and piss a bunch of people off, while at the same time bring something forward many will like.
Now, for an example of a mold-breaker I enjoyed a lot. L.J. Smith’s Night World has the ‘born vampire’ concept (though they are born undead which is silly to me, but whatever) which inspired my living vampires. I took it in a whole different direction, of course, but it’s just an uncommon thing you see with vampires. There’s a few new things she brought to the table I liked a lot, and a few things I hated.
Write what YOU would adore. Take those inspirations from others and enhance them, craft your own stories and lore. If you read my works and hate how I did one thing, but enjoy how I did another? Let it inspire you, just like how Smith’s work inspired me. You can really enjoy some of a concept and overall what someone did with a magical monster while still criticizing other elements or just… not liking bits & pieces.
Stories are your canvas. What will you write?
Interested in a story where I twist vampires, werewolves, and norse mythology? WITH LGBTQ+ ROMANTIC SUBPLOTS? Have no fear, Claws of Midgard is here. Check out my book, out on Halloween!