Monday, October 19, 2009

CharacterExploration: Vampward - How We Love Thee, Let Us Count Thy Ways


AngstGoddess told me I could do this and I was all excited. Then I forgot I was supposed to do this. I got an email telling me what I was supposed to do and I chatted her and said….ummm wait…am I doing one of these? And she responded with “errr….yeah, like one of the BIG ONES…Vampward" (you fucking moron, she muttered under her breath)

Then I got all freaked out because I really wanted to do it but Vampward is a big task and I was afraid I would just get it all wrong. But here is my effort.~angel

People often wonder why I write AU. The main reason I started Creature of Habit is due to the fact that after reading so many AH’s I just kind of missed Vampward. I missed his awkwardness. I missed the limitations of his body and mind and soul even though he was one of the most powerful creatures on earth. I missed the innocence of his thoughts and the simple fact that he fell in love with the one person he shouldn’t have. Bella is his apple. His forbidden fruit. The lamb to his lion.

I just missed the vampire we all fell in love with in the first place.

I decided to write him a letter to tell him how much I love him.

Dear Vampward,

I’m gonna try to play it cool here and not embarrass myself but I doubt this is really even possible.

I love you. I do. I’ve always had a thing for vampires and their awesomeness. Like how you don’t die. Or how you're all broody. Or how, when written about or played by actors, you’re always unbelievably hot.

I’ve had a long time love affair with your kind. In fact you are one of my many Manpires I love to love.

Angel and Spike, Lestat & Louis, the Salvatore Brothers…but you…are special. I love you. I write about you, I think about you and your hair and fingers and rock, hard skin way too much.

Crap, now you think I’m a stalker.

Let me talk about why I think you are so amazing, in fact, let me make a list. I love lists!

You are hot. And not just normal hot—vampire hot. Your hair is all sexed and your fingers are artistic and long and thing and make us think dirty thoughts, and your skin is just….PERFECT. Like your shiny, sharp teeth, and your breath smells like the most yummiest thing ever (for me green apple Jolly Ranchers), and well, Smeyer tells us over and over again that your body is hard and like marble. YOU ARE LIKE A GREEK GOD. Sigh. No need to go on.

You’re really old and know lots of stuff but keep it on the DL so the rest of the kids don’t feel stupid. You are physically seventeen which is pretty hot but your mind is much older which is good because really I didn’t want to date a seventeen year old when I was seventeen. But if you were in my history class I would cheat off you all the time and make you do my papers since technically you were there.

Super Powers:
You have some pretty awesome ones. First and foremost you can’t die. Like ever. Buffy can’t stake you in the heart and make you dust. YOU’RE MADE OF GRANITE! Next, you have all these sneaky methods of compulsion. You smell good, look good, taste good (okay I made that up), you dazzle with a look. DAZZLE! You’re voice is musical and velvety. From what I gather it makes the ladies parts just flame! I mean Bella went from asexual to wanting to jump yer bones in the span of 2 books. Then, you are super fast. Emmet is the strongest YOU are the fastest. Girls love this. I love this. Except when I try to chase you down you will always get away. The best one though is how you can read minds. Sure it’s intrusive and makes you a little crazy but it’s very useful when Mr. Banner asks you a question and you are thinking about how hot Bella (me) is.

You are stunted:
You are. It’s pathetic. You spent the last 70 years in High School and sadly never learned anything about women or school politics or how flirt appropriately. You are scared of your own feelings. Your man parts have been out of commission for a REALLY long time. But see, the problem is that this makes me LOVE YOU MORE. I love your pathetic, stunted self. I’m glad you stay out of the lunch table politics. I don’t care that you know nothing about women, because really it only makes it easier for me to try to seduce you later (when I trip you and catch you). And your man parts? I like that no one else has touched them. I get a little jealous. (Fucking Tanya)

You are this. You want to eat people, but you subscribe to your family philosophy of ‘vegetarianism”. You are convinced you have no soul. Which of course is not true but also just HEARTBREAKING. Hearing the thoughts of others annoys you but you push it aside. Even when you killed it was bad guys and gals who had it coming, but even then
you knew it was wrong. You have a girlfriend who wants to hump you silly and you worry about YOUR VIRTUE, even though your sparkle peen is dying for some use. THEN, when your girlfriend is being a total bitch and seeing that other guy on the side even though you told her she it was dangerous, you step aside and act like the bigger man and let it go. Even though the whole time you have a Mr. Brightside moment and can hear him thinking about kissing her. Sigh. Poor conflicted Edward. You need a hug.

See, these are all reasons I love you. There are more and I could really go on but I won’t. Okay I will, but, just differently. I asked some of my friends (and by the way my friends are really hot), the ones that write their own versions of Vampward, what they thought about you. They were more than happy to discuss.

Last Rites
Why I love Vampyward: I love him because he's such an unlucky bastard. Edward's as old as a great-pepaw, yet he's still a junior in high school. For like, forever. He's got hordes of horny ol' Ms. Copes riding his jock strap left and right. In his human life, his empathy towards others led to him reading minds as a vampire. Which promptly isolated him and turned him into Rainman for the next century. He loves a frail human girl who can't even effing walk in a straight line without impaling herself. And he has to listen to Esme and Carlise get it on for 12 hours out of the day. No matter how loud he plays his piano. How can you not feel for the guy?

My Yes, My No
1. He's been around so long and hears/sees so much that he has a wisdom that is very hard to sell in human characterizations of Edward. He appreciates and sees things in Bella that 'guys' don't always appreciate, which is why I think he's an appealing character in canon.

2. He's deliciously tortured. Take CoHward - he's a total OCD, particular hermit vamp but he's adorable and vulnerable and lonely an with Bella he is swoooooon. Blissward is tortured but freed in marriage and I found that really satisfying to write because we were so denied happy Edward in canon. Bonneward doesn't realize he's tortured until he feels emotion. It's fun writing tortured vampward becoming freed and we all wish SM did a better job of it.

3. He's totally Bella's. How fucking sexy is the idea of this hot vamp waiting for her/ never falling in love and then crashing over her? Sigh. I'm not so above it all that I don't seriously swoon over fics that play that up. And fwiw, as an aside, I really don't like fics that don't capture that magnetic pull between the two.

4. It's fun to be able to get into the heads of other characters. It's an easy plot device and kind of cheap, too (mind reading) but comes in handy.

5. There are no rules. Spunk tastes great? Sure! Constant sex? Why not!! Patience, good apologies, filthy rich? Yes, yes, yes!! You get the picture. It's fun to go wild bc why the fuck not?!

6. Part of me, I'll admit, doesn't understand why people don't all write vampward. It's canon. It's how we all met him. I love AH to read and am glad that people do it, but it's just
less interesting to me. I think as a human I'd prefer to make a foray elsewhere than with Edward...just me.

Eve, Apple of my Eye
In Eve, Vampward has a strong connection to Carlisle, but he's not in love with him. Instead, Carlisle is a mentor and a father figure, the one constant that Edward has during this incredibly difficult transition from human to vampire. And this brings up one of the most fascinating subjects in the whole Twilight universe: how does Edward go from a somewhat naive, innocent 17 year old boy to the incredibly bitter, jaded, absolutely alone vampire that we see in Twilight? The vampire who loves his family but exists almost on the fringes.

Writing Eve has completely opened my eyes to how layered Edward as a character truly is. Not that SMeyer really made him layered--she more set up the possibility for him to be multi-dimensional. Really, in the books, we see Vampward really only in one way, and yet we're told that all this other "stuff" exists from his past. So it's up to the fanfiction writers to "fill in those blanks."

I've really loved writing a young Vampward who is unsure of himself, and who is not only struggling with newborn thirst and the ability to hear everyone's thoughts, but also with the normal teenage boy insecurity. He wants so badly to be normal, but circumstances have made that impossible. In my opinion, the reason for Edward's departure hinges more around the more human emotions of jealousy, rejection, and isolation. Edward's reaction when Esme joins the family is so similar to the struggle that so many kids have when their single parent remarries or finds a serious relationship. I've had a lot of readers tell me that my Vampward is incredibly annoying and bratty--overreacting and emotional. Hmmmm. Sound like an emo teenage old boys you know? I actually take those reviews as confirmations that I've nailed the character as I see him to be.

Why I Love Writing Edward... The Real Edward, Not These Human Versions of Him

Vampward is the Edward we all fell in love with. Exploring him further allows us to fall in love with him all over again.

So why do we love Vampward so much? I think it has a lot to do with the fact that he's this delicious combination of both the dark and the light. He struggles and fights against the more violent nature that resides inside of him, yet he won't ever surrender to it. Plus, we also know he's capable of great human emotions such as love. And really, that's what Edward wants most--to be human again. He holds onto his humanity like this talisman against the darker forces that threaten to consume him.

And Vampward, I just read an interview with
Robert Pattinson in One Magazine
and this is how he feels about you:

It bothers me that people continue to describe Edward as a romantic hero. He is much more complex than that. On top of that, usually, the hero saves the damsel in distress in the classic stories. And yet, on the contrary it’s Bella who saves his life in the majority of the books. Edward needs Bella more than she needs him. At least, Bella can always count on Jacob. Edward doesn’t have anyone else to turn to…

Honestly, Vampward, Rob hits the nail on the head. The main reason I love you is because you are so perfectly imperfect. (Insert swoon here).

I’m going to wrap up this love fest here because I think I’ve said enough, remember always that I love you for who you are and what you can do and everything in between.


Vampward Recs:

The Deluded

Edward lowered his eyes to his lap, uncomfortable with my question. He grabbed a grape off the table, popped it in his mouth and chewed. I saw him blush-I could almost hear his heartbeat. "Bella, I live in the woods because I'm a vampire." B/E,OOC,AU

I don’t Exist

Its 10 years since Bella developed amnesia, forgot Edward, & married Mike. Bella & Edward reconnect one cold night in NYC. Does he dare help her remember & ruin the life he wanted for her? 'Maybe it was simply the red irises they avoided.' ExB AU M Lemons

Masque of the Red Death

Her blood would be mine. As would she. Once she begged, pleaded, demanded, and wept for my bite. And she would. The only question was how many would die first." Vampire AU. Mature audiences only. NO sexual abuse.

Eun Hye

Bella was bitten when she was eight years old but miraculously survived. Nine years later, Bella returns to Forks and discovers the Cullens.
, owns three vampy little ditties,
Creature of Habit
Imperfect Contrition
, and
Daedalus in Exile
, and a Grease inspired fic,
There Are Worse Things I Could Do
. She has odd inclinations toward superheroes and Badwards, Rob, jawlines, DB, and lengthy conversations regarding the aforementioned. One of the founding members of, Angel keeps a vigilant eye out for fics of distinction. With Twilighted threads that resemble a freakishly extensive Rob photo gallery, Angel is also apt at reader correspondence. Angel, with her dependable honesty and integrity, is never afraid to tell the truth. She loves glitter and Tattward and AU’s that don’t end with funky, hybrid infants.
Archived Explorations:

Upcoming Characters:
Rosalie, Lauren, AHward.


  1. I think you hit the nail on the head with this character exploration. I seriously love Vampward, but the reason I read little to no canon/AU fics is because not one of the Vampwards that I've read up to now is as good as the original Edward from the books. I love the books and love the way Edward is portrayed in them and nothing can compete that in my opinion, doesn't matter how good the fic is, it's still not Edward in my opinion. That why I read almost only AH, because even though it's Edward that the writer is portraying (well, mostly, I'm talking about an Edward/Bella fic in general right now), it's not the same because he's human and that makes it easier to accept him and tiny (or major) differences in his character that every author gives him. Because every author has their own way of portraying a character and it's always different from the original. I guess that's what I'm trying to get at. Let's just say that I love the Twilight Saga and wouldn't change a thing about it, that's why I prefer not to read canon/AU even though I'm quite sure there are amazing fics out there that are very close to the canon characters. I'm guessing that there are a lot of readers (and writers) out there that share my opinion.

  2. i do agree with this. in fact for a long time i didn't read vamp fics. Even now i only read select few. Sometimes authors do a really, really great job of not only finding the heart and soul of the original vampward but actually making him better!

    it does happen.

    thanks for the comment!

  3. "Perfectly imperfect"... sigh. That's *precisely* why I love Edward. And the constant state of conflict he was in throughout the majority of the Saga is so fantastic... I really enjoyed this article; Your assessment of Vampward is pretty spot on. :)

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  4. "No funky, hybrid infants"? That hurts me. Can you guess which character article I wrote. But really, this was a great article. Very funny.

  5. I'm kind of laughing really hard, that my insanely twisted version of vampward in Masque of the Red Death was one of your recommendations, but I love you for it regardless. But you can't deny the creeper side of Edward's a true fact...;)

    - Katie

  6. And I'm offically in a minority who adore Vampward for his temper. I fell in love the second he told her to distract him so he didn't go back and kill the Port Angeles guys. I love New Moon because at the end he breaks shit...I love that! Then in Eclipse and Breaking Dawn he calmed down and I got sad....

    Moving on, beyond the absense of his beautiful temper, this was wonderful. I worded it as I read (probably whispering to myself cause I'm a freak like that) and giggled frequently.


  7. oh no. i love his temper. unf. It's caveward at his finest. good point.

  8. This was insightful, funny, and charming. You really nailed all the really quirky reasons we all adore Edward Cullen, even in his flaws. Fics often tear the characters apart for the way they handled certain things in the books, but it's so nice to remember that vulnerability of dear Edward. It's why we obsess, why we read, and why we write.

    Thanks for that. And the IDE rec makes me feel like a proud mama bear to my girl Rachael =)

    <3 Great Character Exploration!

  9. This whole section just reminded me why I fell in love with the fictional epitome of manliness, imperfect flaws and virility anyway. He basically embodies all these imperfect, yet perfect, flaws that I, if not others, wish to see in men today. Edward, sadly, makes other men (fictional or not at times) pale in comparison. He's chaste, yet virile. Strong, yet weak. Older than my great-papaw, yet acts like a "youngin'". You really described everything here, left nothing out of place. Thank you!

  10. Bravo! The "your stunted section", is quite possibly the most honest and illuminateing thing I've ever read. I'm 26, and I want to print on an index card that I will quietly hand to anyone who looks askance at me when I let my Twilight love slip.

  11. thanks muggle1983...he is stunted IMO which is why he is also so fascinating to write.

    but see, most men are. soooo, its more realistic than charming edward who does everything right all the time.


  12. Haha... love the Louis & Lestat reference, my first vampire love affairs.


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