Re-Inventing the Werewolf

Here I sit all meek and wary, researching Werewolves dark and scary,
In many quaint and curious volumes of forgotten lore

    Ok, I need some help. I’m trying to re-invent or re-image the Werewolf mythos. I’ve always found the Werewolf infinitely more scary than Vampires. Probably because I find them to be the more realistic of the two. But, unlike Vampires, Werewolves have surprisingly little variety in the information available. The research I did on Vampires for Echoes, covered a vast and complex history of fact and fiction. Werewolves, on the other hand… That said, there have been some REALLY crazy takes on the Werewolf over the years.

     I’ll give you an example. The ‘silver bullet’ is and relatively new addition to the mythos created by film makers. My problem with this is, how exactly does silver become so volatile? And, in human form, do Werewolves retain knowledge of their wolf form actions?

    I like the native American and French takes on this fearsome creature, and, like all that I write, I try to keep a semblance of realism, it grounds the story.

     So, here’s where you fit in. Think back to all the stories or movies you’ve seen about Werewolves, what were the things you liked the most and what were the most cringe worthy ideas you’ve seen.

     Remember, the angle I’m looking at this at is that the werewolf is a monster. It is neither cute, nor cuddly and above all it is not domesticated.

     Thoughts?

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About Dale Long

Writing ambushed me from the shadows. At first I pushed it aside as nonsense, but luckily my wife and two girls saw the potential. Since then I have had an article published by Metroland, placed as runner-up and in the top ten in humour writing contests and various other contests. The icing on the cake was placing as runner-up in the WCDR's Wicked Words contest (130 entries) and having my entry published in the contests anthology of the same name. My entry was an exerpt from my upcoming novel, Echoes.
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4 Responses to Re-Inventing the Werewolf

  1. mary long says:

    There is an actual medical condition that causes werewolf like appearances,if that’s of any help.So if you had a phycopath( didn’t use spell check ) with that condition all hell would break loose.

    • Dale Long says:

      My characters are still taking shape, so phycopath is not out of the question yet. Sue said as there was so little background for Werewolves, I have carte blanche. I should have named this post “Building Werewolves’. I’m just looking for that keystone, that tidbit of fact I can build my Werewolf from.

  2. Pete says:

    As Mary says, there is a condition known as Lycanthropy, which manifests as animal like behaviour. The bible account of Daniel tells of King Nebuchadnezzar who succumbed to this condition as punishment by God for his pride.
    As for movies and tv, I seem to recall a fair few (such as in Buffy) where the werewolf doesn’t know about their nighttime activity. But then, if I recall correctly, there was a character called Nina (in the Buffy episode Wild at Heart – i think) who knew what she was and felt becoming the wolf was a release – that she was a werewolf all the time, and that her human side was the disguise. Although its been quite a while since I’ve seen that episode (it wasn’t the show’s best hour)
    I know what you mean though, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of variety in the stories I’ve seen. The werewolves are either the hotheads in Vampire v Werewolf stories such as Underworld and Twilight, or its the case of your average guy going through the same old Jekyll and Hyde story.
    Having said that, there’s a reason why the Jekyll and Hyde story works, when its done well it can act as the perfect metaphor for controlling the dark side of our humanity. But even with that in mind, the Hulk comics did a good job of showing that even the beast could be tamed and be useful. When Bruce Banner’s monstrous side was under his control, it is a force of nature that can be used for good. But when he loses control, absolute destruction.
    So what if a character is actually in control of the werewolf within, at least initially,
    and its only further along in the process, after months or years of going through the process, or through losing the one thing that keeps him grounded, that the full nature of the beast takes over, and his human side completely disappears.

    … I dont know if any of that helps, or if its all a lot of blabber. But you just got me thinking and it all kinda spilled out onto the keyboard.
    I think with the best stories though, its mainly about the metaphor and the characters personal journey – the fantasy element is simply the character’s thoughts and fears manifesting itself as something literal.
    No idea how silver bullets fit in though to be honest.

    • Dale Long says:

      I’m still toying with the ‘awareness’. I’m actually leaning towards not all Werewolves being ‘aware’.
      Your Jekyll & Hyde catch is not far off what I had in mind. Two men heading in opposite directions. One having stared into the void and is clawing his way back and the other fully embracing the void. On the surface they are similar and yet are totoally different.
      This story is more complex that Echoes was, I’m finding.

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