I wrote a short story in response to "romanticized" vampires. Anyone want to critique it?

I was getting kind of tired of these romantic walking corpses, so I wrote this short story. I think it’s only about 4 or 5 pages.

Its called ‘Vunks’, and here’s the latest revision:

Suggestions for improvements are invited. Simply letting me know of any grammatical/spelling errors is welcome too.

Dude, David/Keifer rocks. What are you going after? He definitely doesn’t deserve the first death. He isn’t romanticized; nor were any of his tribe; but everyone else was who hadn’t had their first blood.

Spike??? He was not romanticized until later in the show. But he still ruled.

The sparkly one needed to die.

And if you decided to create a RP based on this, I would join. Which vampire did you choose for this or did you create your own? I’ve got some elders of my own.

Well, the line

is just repeating itself. I’d suggest geting rid of the first ‘easy’ - change it to something like “Of course I could just kill them”.

Other than that, no real complaints. It was a fun, fairly interesting story.

Laughed at that one - good story.

At the least, I think the story gets off on the wrong foot. The vunks don’t lose because they’re vunks, they lose because they have the misfortune to ambush an Author Avatar. By the time the first vunk is dead, they still haven’t done anything to annoy the reader, while the Elder pisses me off from the moment he mistakes a lack of Elder-vision for stupidity.

I enjoyed the story and the universe you created for it. (Is this part of a larger series?)

I’m a bit with Grumman, though, in that I ended up feeling more antipathy toward the protagonist than I did for the vunks. (I found myself hoping that at the end, we’d come across even more dangerous guy who later makes this POV character his bitch, mocking his oh-so-tough attitude. Sort of an endless cycle of badasser-than-thou.) And I felt downright sorry for them at one point. Maybe if you’d shown them being more obnoxious and actually a danger to some people, rather than being so helpless and hopelessly outgunned, so to speak.

But you have a good, funny ‘voice’ here, even as full-of-himself as the Elder is. On the downside, I don’t buy that any male would actually want to be a vampire who sparkles. Maybe if this dialogue came from a couple of teen girl groupies who hung out with these losers, I’d have bought it. Okay, I’m probably imposing more real-world logic than I should be!

I disagree that Spike was only romanticized in the last couple of seasons. They stuck him in a leather duster and made him super-sexy and slick for a reason, and it wasn’t to show how disgusting and unattractive vampires are. Actually, and even if it were just the last couple of seasons, that’s more than enough to have made a huge impact on how the audience sees vampires. No, I’m with the OP – beat down that smug faux-British accented git!

There are a few grammar/punctuation/missing word errors in there, plus some wordiness that could be trimmed. Not sure if you want me to enumerate them or if that’d be rude, so I’ll put 'em in spoilers so you can ignore 'em if you want.

"Surprise old man," he sneered. Admittedly it’s dialogue, which doesn’t require perfect punctuation, but I would change to “Surprise, old man,” he said with a sneer. (I’m not a fan of the “he sneered” shortcut. Sneering isn’t something you do to while speaking. But that kind of strictness on my part is probably a losing battle.)

I almost burst out laughing, at the idea that I was surprised, – Remove unnecessary comma after “laughing”

bleach-blond - should be bleached blond

** I had just seen the movie again a couple months ago, otherwise I doubt I would have been able to recognize the “outfit”.** - Purely a taste issue, but since you’re in such deep POV here, and the POV belongs to a pretty casual speaker (e.g. “a couple months ago”), I think it’d be more natural for this character to use contractions in his narrative, rather than the more formal “I had” and “I would have.” Also, the period should be inside the quote marks. So maybe: I’d just seen the movie again a couple months ago, otherwise I doubt I’d’ve been able to recognize the "outfit."

"What the fuck do you think is so funny you old piece of shit!" - needs a comma after “funny,” to read more easily. And I’d use a question mark after the line. “What the fuck do you think is so funny, you old piece of shit?” (Actually, it might be even more natural for the guy to say merely, “What the fuck’s so funny, you old piece of shit?”)

It was a decent act, actually, if he was trying to fool a human. - This is a little unclear. How about: It was a decent act, actually … if he’d been trying to fool a human.

It probably was, this one was just turned, and looked to be about 20. - I’d separate this into two sentences. It probably was. This one was just turned, and looked to be about 20. Or use a semi-colon instead of a comma after “was.”

This voice, with an awful fake English accent, came from one of the other two, as it strolled into the alley. - This could be trimmed to make it snappier. This awful fake English accent came from one of the other two strolling into the alley.

OK kids - Spelling this “Okay” is easier to read and seems less like your lead character is texting.

Generally, for titles such as The Lost Boys and Buffy, I’d use italics rather than single quotes. Easier to punctuate and looks better, too.

Alan maybe? - Needs a comma after Alan.

**but he or she would be smart enough ** - Seems unnecessarily PC of your character. Since he is guessing Alan anyway, why not just but he’d be smart enough?

**Was it Alan who set you up for this? ** - Try Did Alan set you up for this? In general, go through the text and try to snip some of the wordier passages, especially in dialogue by your main character. He’s a forthright guy, not someone prone to circumlocution.

as it correct and proper? - I think you mean as was correct and proper

Well, it’s not like Alan or whoever wouldn’t expect me the end it, - Should be to end it instead of the end it.

morphed my arm to have a sharp, hard blade - Try morphed my arm into a sharp, hard blade.

The three lengthwise-slices of flesh and organs that was the Kiefer wanna-be - Should probably be …that had been the Kiefer wannabe. (I’d use wannabe rather than the hyphenated version throughout.)

it was just now realizing something very had happened to Kiefer, and would happen to him too likely - That last bit is a little awkward. How about just …and would probably happen to him too.

I morphed my arm back into arm, - Could it be just I morphed my arm back?

dragged him to the third vunk and grabbed him too - The ‘him’ is a bit vague. Recommend dragged him to the third vunk, which I also grabbed.* *You might prefer ‘who’ – but the narrator refers to the vunks as “its” a lot, so he seems to regard them as things, not people.

Anyway, that’s just how I’d edit the first section. These are all little changes, but I think they sharpen up an already highly enjoyable piece. I’d be happy to do a beta edit for you if you send me the document, but I don’t want to be completely presumptuous in going through this line by line.[/spoiler]

Overall a funny, well-written story, Revtim. Is this part of a serial, or a one-shot?

Hm…my real complaint here is the term “vunk” itself. It’s just too cute; neologisms like that remind me of the sort of soft / trendy writing your story’s railing against.

Otherwise I like what you’ve done.

The last sentence of your first paragraph reads: Couldn’t they tell what I what I was?

but it was just now realizing something **very had **happened to Kiefer,

In my opinion, this is the only line in the whole thing that has any life in it. For a split second I saw one of your characters actually breathe. If you could make the rest of it read like this, you’d have something special.

Your first line absolutely must grab the reader’s attention, especially in short stories. Yours isn’t horrible, but it could certainly be improved upon.

I suggest a complete rewrite. The first draft is almost always you telling the story to yourself, the next drafts are about you telling the story to the audience. When I say draft, I am not talking about going back through it and making changes. I am suggesting reading through the first draft, then setting it aside and rewriting the whole thing from scratch. This will also give you the opportunity to catch all of the errors in the first draft as well.

Of course this is coming from the perspective that you intend it to be marketable, which may not have been the case. I wanted to give you VALUABLE criticism. You’d be surprised how hard that is to come by.

Still though, you’re a better writer than Stephanie Meyer, who should never have been published in the first place. Anyone that uses more adverbs than periods (especially adverbs like ‘frostily’ as dialogue attribution) should be beaten to death with The Elements of Style, and that would be a good long beating!

Keep at it!

I enjoyed it. How I would change the very end would be something like:

"The lieutenant arrived, driving a Cadillac from the fleet. He turned off the engine, exited the car, and bowed deeply before me. “Sire, I have arrived to pick up the two vunks.”

Never mind that for now, just dispose of these nine bags.


ETA : I don’t like mine, never mind.


I like it.

I was thinking of writing up a parody short on vampires too but know I’ll never get around to it. might as well give away the story points to whomever wants to try it.

Setup: Typical vampire schlock where pretty teeny-girl falls for vampire boy and he takes her back to meet his family.

**Drama: **Only somehow teener vampire boy tragically gets killed.

She goes to his family for consolation and becomes spiritually invested in them (something like the Sandra Bullock character in “While you Were Sleeping”). She has the strongest connection with uncle Sal who appears to be in his 80’s

Climax: Uncle Sal makes a move on her and professes his forever love. Teeny girl in horror says that Sal is way to old for her.

Irony: Sal and the rest of the Vampire family later have a good laugh as they discuss the stupidity of a teenage girl willing to make love to a 450 year old vampire teen boy but repulsed by a relatively younger 120 year old vampire octogenarian.

Twist: - Last line of the story," But you gotta admit, she sure was a right tasty dinner."

Again, this doesn’t really feel like the victim deserved her fate. Based on your plot summary, the girl’s only real mistake was falling for someone related to Uncle Sal. To make this work, vampire boy and not just his creepy relatives must be bad enough to warn away a smarter girl.