I'm not really sure how to make this work

by Tina
(Michigan )

Question: I started writing a vampire story about a man and his children. He's trying to find stability for his family and at the same time keep them safe from their vampire mother who wants them to be a family again. I want it to be action packed.

He's an Ex-vampire Hunter who just wants to give his kids the normal life he never had growing up.

His wife's a vampire who just wants her family back.
Their son is a smart kid but never has the chance to really do anything because the second mom comes they have to leave.

Their daughter misses her mom and doesn't understand why her dad is keeping her away from them.

They are constantly on the move, running from town to town, to escape her but she always tracks them down.
The man knows he should kill her but she was his wife, his best friend, and the love of his life. He can never bring himself to finish her off. He still loves his wife but he loves his children more.

The woman knows her life is over. She's dead...undead but she doesn't want to give up her family. She had a choice and she chose wrong. She wasn't forced to change but she was sick, (a terminal illnesses that she hid from her husband) and a man offered her immortality...at a price. And she has an unquenchable thirst for blood that she can't ignore and usually when she feeds her victims die...except for when she feeds from her husband. His blood is the only blood she really wants and the only one that leaves her satisfied but each time she bites him she proves how much of a monster she is to him.

There is a part where the husband and wife sleep together even though she's a vampire and confess their feelings but he warns her that when the sun comes up he won't be there.

Every other chapter will be a flash back (back when they were a happy family) and slowly but surely the pieces start to come together. You find out about his time as a vampire hunter, him giving it up when fell in love, their marriage, her pregnancies, their family, her illness, her choice, his decision,and finally how their story ends.

I'm debating whether he should kill her or not.

If he kills her the ending will be bittersweet. I'd move on to a scene
of the family having a normal life. If he doesn't kill her then I'd show the family adjusting to having a vampire living with them. Or she could give up and let her family live, watching them from a distance.

I don't know which one is better?

Answer: I can't tell you what choice to make. It's your story. You have to decide what message you want to give the reader, what feels most authentic and true to you. You have created the potential for an interesting moral problem.

For instance, if you are using the wife's vampirism as a metaphor for a sexual appetite that does not fit into traditional marriage (a hunger for adultery or perhaps an open marriage), which is how it strikes me, then you know the standard moral judgement would favour divorce, which suggests the ending where the wife lives but forever stays away from her family.

On the other hand, killing the wife would be a throwback to the morality of more primitive societies in which a man had the right to kill an adulterous wife. In this scenario, you could portray the husband as either good or bad for making this choice. Either way, it is a moral quandary for a modern reader who would have a hard time condoning murder by either spouse.

The third choice, learning to integrate the vampire wife into the family, sounds like a message of tolerance, but it has its own moral dilemma as well. Can the family or the reader accept or condone the wife's lifestyle as a serial killer? Or is refraining from biting anyone but her husband (i.e. suppress her sexuality) the price the wife must pay to have a family?

I'm guessing the main character is the husband and that the crisis will be when he is forced to make a choice about whether to kill/accept/separate from his wife. How sympathetically you portray the wife's character will also play a big role in how the reader judges whatever choice the man makes.

You could also make the wife the main character and make it about how she manages to resolve her conflicting desires for family and the blood of strangers.

With such an interesting coming together of conflicting desires, you may not want to decide how it should play out until you are well into the writing. Once you are half-way through and the characters have gelled and evolved the right solution may become obvious.

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