Thursday, July 23, 2009

Monsters, now with 40% less monster. and talk bubbles. x-posted from FFF

As you guys might imagine, I have been doing a lot of thinking about mythical creatures and traditional lore and readers with pitchforks lately, because of SHIVER's release. Regular readers will have already guessed that SHIVER is a werewolf novel, and unlike my faerie novels, which stick pretty close to traditional faerie lore, SHIVER . . . well, it does not.

In my version of werewolves, the full moon is meaningless, as are silver bullets. My werewolves become wolves when the temperature drops in the winter and stay wolves until spring warms them up again and they become human again, and begin to barbecue and watch Rachel Ray and do other human things until winter intrudes once more.

They also become just plain old wolves in the winter. No halfway inbetween thing with slavering and shedding and mauling of natives and flea and tick collars. And aside from healing a little quicker than normal, they are pretty bereft of super powers.

Yeah, they're screwed.

In other words, SHIVER’s monsters are all of the human variety. The werewolves are pretty far removed from the original mythology.

I know that a certain famous vampire series changed the vampire mythology considerably -- made the vampires sunlight-compatible, removed their coffin bedding, and made them sparkle like disco balls. There was a lot of fall-out around that -- traditional vampire folks screaming for blood since the vampires weren’t.

Millions died.

So. Now that’s me. I am imagining scores of readers coming after me with torches and pitchforks for my murder of werewolf legend. Well, for my prettification* of it, anyway.

*I just wanted to note that my spellchecker says that ‘prettification’ is a real word. I am amazed. It is?

So as a reader of creature novels, how traditional do you like your creatures? I have to admit that as a faerie lore person, I like my faeries uber-traditional. Even Tinkerbell pisses me off, just a little bit.

So is there a line you will not cross? I think it’s zombie romances for me. Although it opens up all kinds of one-liner possibilities like “hey at least he loves you for your brains,” it just is too far removed from the original horror roots for me to ever be happy.

Lay it on me. Am I going to be hunted down like the monster that my creatures are not, come August 1st?




11 comments:

ElegantSnobbery said...

Ugh, I wrote a whole response to this. It was thoughtful, well written... an all around beautiful comment. Probably the most beautiful piece of prose ever written (there may be some exaggerating on my part... maybe)

And then my computer hiccuped and it went away.

So let me just say, I love traditional monsters and love the traditional lore... BUT I also love when authors use their imagination and create something (as my middle school guidance counselor would say) UNIQUE and SPECIAL.

It keeps things fresh. And as long as the author makes the new twists believable, I'm a happy reader.

And as for Tinkerbell... she pisses me off, too. And what REALLY pisses me off is Disney's Tinkerbell movie, where she is all super sweet and everyone loves and adores her and a little glow of happiness surrounds her at all times... HELLO, she practically killed Wendy. She had the Lost Boys shoot Wendy from the sky, for cryin' out loud! Super sweet??? huh.

Zia said...

Heck no! I'm going to embrace your non traditional creatures. I enjoy both traditional and non traditional creatures. It just gives lore some new aspects is all. Spices things up a bit.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Hahahahah! Marisa, I believe you. My most wonderful comments are eaten by computers regularly. And yes, my daughter has the Tinkerbell movie and not only is Tinkerbell completely too charming to go homicidal by Peter Pan, but there is a very disturbing moral to the story, did you notice?

Zia - *grin* Makes me cheery.

Jazz said...

Maggie, do you mean the moral where Tink Learns Her Place? I wanted to watch it, but when my cousin told me about the moral after viewing it with her niece, I was appalled.

I enjoy traditional and non-traditional elements as long as they make sense within the rules of the story. In Shiver's case, I want to know what it is about winter that makes them transform. Is it a specific temperature, e.g. below 50 changes them, or something about the season itself? If it is temperature, couldn't relocating to South Florida solve things?

The thing about Twilight is that, for me, it took away what made them vampires. It took away the fangs, sunlight intolerance, and blood exchange to sire an offspring. As for the main vampires, they only drank animal blood so that took away the moral ambiguity I love about vampires. It was just boring to me.

Some of her werewolf lore doesn't make sense either. I actually liked that the transformations had to do with old Native American tribal legends (at least within the story), but then she had this stupid thing about their haircuts. Basically, if the guys had long hair, the wolves would have long fur that would get in their way so they had to keep their hair short. But it didn't make any sense because the hair on their heads did not translate into their fur. If it did, they would have all been black wolves, which they were not. It didn't make sense within her own rules, so I didn't buy it.

P.S. prettification (n.) is a derivative of prettify.

prettify v. -make (someone or something) appear superficially pretty or attractive

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Yes, Jazz. THAT moral. I was sort of appalled -- Tink couldn't possibly be good at any of those other things because she wasn't instantly good at them. There was no chance that she could maybe work at something and change her station. Oh noooo she was just destined to be the little laborer in the background . . . thank goodness she learned to love it and sing some hymnals while she worked. Ok, so maybe I added the last part.

And yes. Yes to everything! that makes an incredible amount of sense.

ElegantSnobbery said...

:D Haha, yes!

I think Disney was just scared of the whole homicidal fairy storyline that a REAL Tinkerbell movie should have had. Perhaps in the original script, Tinkerbell grabbed her glowing hammer and used it in a different manner.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Oh YES!!!!

Jayson Melanson said...

Maggie,

I just finished SHIVER and I all I have to say is WOW! I truly felt the fantastic chemistry between Clair and Sam and LOVED how you gave me a jolt of happiness, surprise and excitement in the very last page! Now I can sleep with sweet dreams! So...I'm going to the book store this week to pick up LAMENT. Thank you for an awesome read :)

Very Best,
Jayson Melanson

Jayson Melanson said...

Oops I mean GRACE, I think I have been watching too many SIX FEET UNDER episodes!
-Jayson

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Hahaha, Jayson, that's okay. I'm so glad you loved it and that the ending was satisfying -- hope that Lament and Shiver's sequel leave you cozy too. :D

Maddie said...

I just got done reading Forever.I think it's one of the best books I've ever read!

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