Saturday, December 31, 2011

Emotion, Motivation, and Vampires [Caution for Explicitness]

I'm always delving into one research book or another. Last week it was a more recently published book, Werewolves by Jon Izzard. This week I'm reading a book on vampires. Vampires by Joules Taylor. I purchased both of these books several months back to add to my research shelf. Sadly, it was at the local Border's closing. But also I might add, I probably wouldn't have found these books if I hadn't been browsing at a local bookstore. I do love bookstores, and I did buy them on-site at the b&m. I didn't just buy these books because of the subject matter, they have a really nice heavy, glossy feel to the pages. Yeah, I'm into textures and dimensionality of things. Okay, that being said...

I've just come across a passage that seemed to resonate with something I wrote in Eternity. Here are two short passages from "Vampires" by Joules Taylor.

"... He feels drawn to life, to brightness, and to beauty and the human he pursues must be someone who is special, overflowing with a bright lively light..."
"...for a way to experience at second-hand the life he lost when he became a vampire..."
And here's the passage from Eternity that came to mind. I would caution this is an R-rated excerpt.

He cupped Andrea’s face and tilted it upward. Max’s cock popped out of Andrea’s mouth. Just at that moment Claudio swatted him again. More tears. Max leaned down to kiss Andrea, then licked across the path of tears, feeling his own tears wet his face in empathy.

He straightened away, and Andrea seemed to know exactly what Max would want. He sucked Max’s dick back into his mouth, fresh tears tracking down his cheeks.

Max felt the emotion of the human servicing him. He felt the pain, the pleasure, the extreme rapture of his submission to the two vampires. Max’s throat seemed to close up with the intensity that rushed through him like a fierce summer thunderstorm, flaying him with its passion.

Yes. This was why he took such pleasure in human contact. That blissful sharing of emotion, something that he had lost the ability to experience on his own. Oh, gods, yes.

This was his alone.

“Look at me,” he whispered. “Look into my eyes.”

When Andrea looked up at Max with his beautiful tear-filled blue eyes, it shot Max right over the edge.

Exploring the internal motivations of any character is an important part of the story for me, whether I'm writing it or reading it. Thus a number of the books on my craft shelf include "The Dream and the Underworld" by James Hillman, "Psychology for Screenwriters" by William Indick, "The Power of the Dark Side" by Pamela Jaye Smith, among others. I think motivations have the ability to humanize and to demonize, to bind us to them, make us love them or hate them. At the very least to dimensionalize characters.

I often have to really sit and "talk" with a character to get inside his or her head. They all have secrets, some darker than others, sometimes buried so deep they don't even know. I find the dark side to be wholly intriguing and I love exploring that love/hate, good/bad, evil/saint balance. But it's a scary place to visit, it's not for the weak of heart, yet totally worthwhile to really dig into your characters and find out what makes them do the things they do. What makes them "tick." And I love that aspect of storytelling. If it feels uncomfortable then you're getting there.

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