Thursday, September 10, 2009

Characters That Suck

While working on my rewrites for The Little One (which I'm hoping to finish the latest round of by next week, God willing), I came across this article by Grady Hendrix wrote back in late July over at

Now, obviously, I don't really want to harp on this too much: I've already promised that the vampires in my play don't twinkle or sparkle and that the overabundance of vampire fodder in popular culture made me reluctant to write this (at least, for the time being). And I don't really want to imply that I wrote The Little One to specifically counter the neutered take on what used to be prime nightmare fuel for youngsters.

(I will admit that I thoroughly enjoy watching True Blood, even though it, too, features a lot of vampires acting morose and drinking synthetic blood rather than viciously digging their fangs in frightened and unwilling victims. Perhaps this is why I appreciate Alexander Skarsgard's portrayal of the savage, manipulative, human-hating Eric so much.)

Yes, I got interested in writing this because I think vampires are interesting fodder for fiction, and have been a bit annoyed that vampires have become well-behaved model citizens. So yes, perhaps I wrote this script because I didn't want to wait around indefinitely for someone else to tell this story. But I didn't write this to "take vampires back" from the, "metaphor as teen angst/emo navel-gazing" purgatory they've been recently stuck in (I am, after all, a self-producing playwright; not exactly a driving force in the landscape of popular culture).

I think it'd be a bit of a stretch to classify The Little One as horror. I mean, it could be: there's certainly copious amounts of blood and gore, and there are several scenes designed to be tense and unnerving. For people who are squeamish about violence, then yes, this could be considered horror. But since the story is told from the point of view of the vampires, not the humans, this may mitigate much of the show's scare factor.

My goal was (is) to make the main characters interesting, sympathetic and (in their own way) likable, but periodically remind the readers/viewers that if they were to hypothetically meet any of these characters, they'd be running for their lives, crying and screaming.

Well, enough. I should probably stop blathering too much on a script that's still undergoing rewrites, hasn't been read aloud and won't be staged for at the very least seven months. But hey, it's on my mind (for obvious reasons) and I found that article. So I figured I'd share.


James "Vamping Dandy" Comtois

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