Today on Facebook, my younger brother went into a rant on how horrible Twilight was because Stephenie Meyer changed the traditional vampire myths and legends. A few days ago on Goodreads, I saw where several readers had bashed Aimee Carter for changing up Greek mythology in her novel, The Goddess Test. Both of these incidents really bothered me.
Isn't the point of fiction to find new ways to tell stories? Don't we encourage people to give fresh paint to old concepts in their writing? I think it's fine to dislike a book, but is it really okay to say that these are bad books simply because they took a chance on creating something all their own?
Another reason this bothered me was because of my current work in progress. Originally, I was writing about vampires, but just wasn't feeling it any more. Don't get me wrong - I still love the fanged ones - but I just felt like if I ever really did want to try to publish something vampires probably weren't the way to go. I mean I think that cruise ship set sail without me long ago. The craze needs time to die down.
I tried to move on to a ghost story that I was excited about, but I just couldn't get the characters from my first piece out of my head. What can I say? I dig 'em. I started wracking my brain for how to solve this dilemma. I decided to go back to the characters I love, recycle the bits I can from the vampire story, and change directions with my supernatural element. No - I will not tell you what it is, however, I couldn't find anything that fit what I wanted to do exactly. I took elements of Norse mythology and am changing them to fit my purposes. Will people one day bash me left and right because I didn't hold true to the actual myths?
Feel free to bash my writing because it sucks or there are too many comma splices, but for goodness sake don't bash me for being creative and trying to tell a story my way. If you don't like a story - close the book - walk away - find something else to read. However, please provide some feedback other than "I hate this because you didn't do the same stuff as every other writer who covered this topic before you."