Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy discussion

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Totally Off Topic > Irk'd: Is some of the new twist on mythology leaving you wanting?

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message 1: by jD (new)

jD (jd_4everbooked) | 152 comments I am finding that I love some of the new approaches writers are taking with the mythology of vampires, weres, and other sups -- most of the time. Every once in awhile, writers take liberties that leave me perplexed.

For example, vampires without fangs. Werewolves should be able to turn when they want if they are a badass alpha. Fairies, elves, and angels should not be unattractive. Druids and Highlander time travelers should have a brogue. Highlanders need kilts and swords too. Wizards should know defensive magic and not get their ass kicked by someone who can kickbox.

That's just a few of my irks. What about you?


message 2: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen) (last edited Nov 16, 2011 11:32AM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 461 comments I think my big issue is an obvious lack of research into folklore/mythology. It's okay to make your own spin, but you should have at least stayed true to the essential elements, or explained how yours differs but respectfully nods to the traditional aspects. My other pet peeve is when the author calls the creature by a certain name. Let's say, siren, but the characteristics don't in any way match a siren.

This is a tv show, but a good example. On Charmed, they had a satyr that they were calling a centaur. Please. If you're going to do a show on Greek mythology, do your research.


message 3: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 2659 comments Mod
I totally agree Lady D. For heavens sake people out there in TV land--DO THE RESEARCH. And don't be ashamed that somewhere on your staff you have a geek who actually knows something about the subject of your show.

Oh, and speaking of TV shows--how about visiting Troy and Julius Caesar by the same character? Hello--half a millenium between the two. Er, should I now admit to being the aforementioned Geek??? Or I would be if I worked in TV/movies. :oP


message 4: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 177 comments Depends on the problems and on the setup. Obvious errors irk me (like the Satyr/Centaur thing), but...

For instance, psychic vampires (I have a friend that writes them) have no need for fangs. They don't have to draw blood. Likewise, I wrote a half-vampire that is hampered by not growing fangs; he would have to be turned fully to have them, but he still has bloodlust, so he draws blood by mundane means to feed the thirst. They both do share other traits with the classic Stoker vampires.

But there are a lot of different types of vampires, from all over the world. Not all of them are undead. Not all of them can't walk in sunlight. In fact, even Stoker's Dracula could walk on an overcast day. And since vampirism was at least partially based on a real life virus, this all makes sense. To someone that thinks Stoker vampires are the only ones, these things seem like mistakes. Shrug.

My vampires make fun of the fact that humans have been trying to explain them for millennia and have yet to get it right. The human sees something, thinks he/she understands it, makes a story about it, but the assumption was incorrect.

I have fairies without wings, but... Not every mythos has winged fairies. One of my beta readers told me my fairies are very Celtic in origin, based on her studies of fae in several cultures. The lack of wings didn't bother her at all, though it might bother other people not familiar with Celtic fairies.

The werewolf thing is touchy. Technically speaking, werewolves and shape-shifters are not the same thing. Shape-shifters are supposed to be able to shift at will. Werewolves are supposed to be tied to the moon. Now, if you write shape-shifters that are weakened (interbred or whatever to weaken the power), it might be believable that the stronger ones can shift at will and the weaker only with the help of the moon. Likewise, Sherrilyn Kenyon's Were Hunters can time travel, but a lesser/younger/weaker one can only do it on the full moon, but an older/more powerful one can do it at other times.

Of course, most of this means giving proper reasoning as to why things happen, but sloppy handling is sloppy handling...no argument.

Brenna


message 5: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen) (last edited Nov 17, 2011 05:29AM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 461 comments I agree with what you're saying Brenna. I think it helps to give reasoning and to be systematic in your world-building. It's the author's job to convince the reader that their world is consistent within itself, and that gives the world a realism. A reader might have certain fixed ideas about what a vampire is (like some readers who get very annoyed about sparkly vampires), and might not like when an author varies, but if it makes sense for their story I am totally fine with that. I just don't like when a writer just pulls a term out of space and it's clear they really know nothing about the subject. That's where the sloppy factor comes in for me.

Ann, they had those kinds of issues on Xena. They had one episode where Gabrielle fell in love with a Jewish freedom fighter many years before Christ (more than a lifetime), and then they had episodes that were clearly set in the AD period.


message 6: by jD (new)

jD (jd_4everbooked) | 152 comments TV irks -- I love supernatural but don't like the way they do the vampire fangs, too many teeth. I am good with all things Vampire Diary. I don't like the wimpy vampire in the Being Human. I like what they do with the ghost and werewolf.

@Danielle -- I agree that it helps when they bother to explain.


message 7: by michelle+8 (new)

michelle+8 (michelleplus8) I agree with most of the above. I think a writer should either base their creations consistently on a real myth (and not mix myths without explanation), or address the myth and explain how/why things are different in their world. Above all, the world needs to be consistent with itself. If this is done, I can accept almost anything.

I cannot accept sloppiness (saying a character was born in the 1600s and then calling that the "16th century" -- or saying that a Jewish pop star refuses to do concerts on SATURDAY NIGHT to please his devout mother), or inconsistency (giving three different, contradictory, explanations for how a special, plot-important drink is made on an alien world).

BTW, this:

jD wrote: "...angels should not be unattractive..."

I've always thought that real angels are probably pretty scary looking. In the Bible, the first thing an angel always says to people is, "Don't be afraid." Some angels have extra arms or other weird features, and they are engaged in constant combat. They probably have a Heavenly beauty that exudes from within, but I doubt it looks anything like what we call "beauty" on earth.


message 8: by jD (new)

jD (jd_4everbooked) | 152 comments Michelle wrote: "I agree with most of the above. I think a writer should either base their creations consistently on a real myth (and not mix myths without explanation), or address the myth and explain how/why thin..."

Good point on the angels. I never thought of it that way. LoL


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