Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thought Of One!

Sort of. In my previous post, I mentioned that there were rare stories that began with the characters with similar POVs, but through shared experiences, their POVs diverged, which was the point of conflict. At the time I couldn't think of one. Now I have an example.


The main POV character, Selene, is in conflict with Kraven over how the vampire war against the lychans should be run, but she is completely faithful to their leader, Viktor. As her conflict with Kraven grows, she brings Viktor out of his slumber because she knows that she and Viktor have a similar desire to destroy the lycans, and she suspects that Kraven doesn't. However, as the story progresses, she learns the truth about the war between the vampires and werewolves. Her loyalty shifts. The man she once revered as a father becomes her enemy and she kills him to protect her werewolf/vampire lover.

Underworld is a fascinating story from a writer's perspective.

Somewhere along the line, vampires stopped being monsters. Now they're sexual fantasies. This story takes advantage of that. The vampires are portrayed as desire able. They have wealth, hot bodies, sexy leather clothes, cool guns and fast cars. The lycans are shown living as, well, beasts, in the sewers. Their medical space looks like something out of a Nazi nightmare. They're mangy men. So of course our sympathies are with the vamps. Beauty has it's advantages.

In the opening scene of the story, the lycans are hunting some hapless human. What's more despicable than that? The vamp Selene saves the human's ass and then gets sort of pissy about having to. Aww - how antihero. The story could have followed along those lines to a rather formulaic ending. But where this story got interesting was when Selene probed into the past and found out that the history she'd been taught wasn't the truth. The audience's sympathies shifted as hers did. By the end, it was pretty clear that the bad guys were the vamps and the lycans were the underdogs (sorry) to root for. I can't remember many stories that bring an audience along on a complete 180 change in POV like that. (The original short story I Am Legend does to some extent, as does We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which is a fascinating story. Highly recommended reading.)

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