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GARcher
March 24th, 2011, 12:50 AM
I don't know if this is the right place to post this, but well... I do it here in good faith.

I've been with some ideas for a long time, and in the last weeks I've decided to transform these ideas into a novel. It's my first time writing such kind of work, but I'm already being far too demanding with myself because, well, that's the way I am.

My problem is simple to explain but difficult to cope with: I have the ideas, I create the characters, but I usually find out that they're similar to other stuff I've read and watched in the past, that is, I try to have completely original ideas (like personality traits, character powers, and so on), but I always end up seeing that another author has already tried something similar. This puts me down because I don't want to copy anyone, I'm horribly afraid of doing so, since I have a little obsession with originality.

I know that what I might sometimes see as "copying" someone might just be this someone's influence bleeding into me, which limits what ideas I have because they are a representation of the world as I know it. My individuality is also tailored by the influences others have on me. But I'm still worried and want to investigate further the actual process of creation, if it's really ok to "borrow" some things here and there, or if I should just scrap it all and start from scratch.

I know that the people at Beast's Lair are all very knowledgeable people who have read tons of things and there's a good amount of writers among us here, therefore I decided to humbly come and ask you guys for help... Should I be that worried or not? Many thanks in advance. :)

Ivan The Mouse
March 24th, 2011, 12:53 AM
With what you're telling me right now, you want to create a completely, AS IN COMPLETELY, original character.


Don't make me go TV Tropes on you, dear friend.

Jase
March 24th, 2011, 01:13 AM
When you take in a character via an abstract lens, it's impossible to get a completely original character. If you think about your own cast of characters with the level abstraction of like "a kid that aims to be at the top, an electric rodent, a whiny girl who is afraid of bugs, and helpful guy who is a bit perverted", you're going to have a lot of trouble feeling your way into something comfortable.

Just accept the fact that at that level, you will have to resemble something, somewhere.

Instead, dig deeper. Accentuate your characters on the micro-scale.

Be specific.

These are the things that will set your novel apart.

Say, look at Harry Potter. There's nothing special about a SPECIAL kid, his tsundere friend, and best friend trio. Going to school. It's called Naruto.

Instead, it's set apart by microscopic details. Chocolate frogs that try to escape, jelly beans of every flavour, photography that captures personality and movement.

Don't obsess over making the story unique. Don't obsess over making the characters unique.

What you need to worry about is making the book unique. And the way you do that is making it read uniquely, and that is all in the small details and being specific. Not rolling some combination of character traits and quirks that have never been done before.

Chaos Greyblood
March 24th, 2011, 01:30 AM
To make it even more specific, you must be able to make a unique setting that can help you set up the story and thus creating the characters that will partake into that story will be a little more simpler. As long as that setting is acceptable with the balance of the fantastic and the realistic and being able to do stuff without relying too much on ass pulls, you'll be fine.

Jase
March 24th, 2011, 01:42 AM
Well, I dunno, the setting doesn't have to be incredibly unique either.

But specificity? Yeah.

I mean, just look at all the stories that take place in "real life". Maybe some people find them boring, but when they're done right, it flies.

Setting-wise, think about it this way. Think about your own room.

On one hand, you can mention that it has your computer, your bed, your desk, your chair, w/e.

Or you can talk about the hole in the wall that your doorknob had punched through the wall once, when you opened too hard.
The fact that the desk's edges are split, because the wood bloated from some drink spills.
The little marks written in markers, tracking the growth of your height since you were a child.

Things that only "you", or for a novel, only the character, would take notice of, or know about. It just helps make things that much more memorable, or feel that much more "honest", than a clinical description.

When you talk about an item, give it a history. When that is out of reach (because the character wouldn't know), give it a personality.

Bargadiel
March 24th, 2011, 01:56 AM
I hate to say this but there isn't really any "originality" left in the world. Almost everything is copied from something else. I mean, take a look at Type-Moon as a whole. Sure, they have a ton of characters; but take a closer look. Most all of these characters, were based off of other characters that they've done before. Whether it be an ability, a role, personality, or just an appearance.

Araya Souren, Nero Chaos, and Kotomine for example
Kokuto Mikiya and Tohno Shiki
Enjou Tomoe, Arihiko, and Shirou
Sakura, Kohaku, Asagami Fujino
Akiha and Azaka

I could keep going, but you see the picture I'm sure. In the end, don't get down about it. Write the story the best you can and ask your friends about it. The Nasuverse was created as a magic-based universe in our world. The terminology and lore, behind vampires/magic/dragons whatever is common knowledge from different myths and stories, and just crammed all into one world to help explain it. But it's never about just the content, or just how it's written, but rather the combination of BOTH as ONE single entity. I'm sure you can do it.

Chaos Greyblood
March 24th, 2011, 02:01 AM
And don't cheapen the characters or really derail them. You'll not be keeping readers that way.

Twelveseal
March 24th, 2011, 05:14 AM
Don't feel too bad, GAR. I have a friend who does the exact same thing, and it actually cripples him as an author. He gets really moody about it when someone points out the similarities on plot or character design to anything else, and he ends up scrapping the idea totally. In other words, he never finishes his projects.

I'll say this as advice: Make what you like. Don't outright copy something and say it's original, but still, make things you think are cool. It doesn't matter if it's been done before. It certainly has. What you're looking for is not a wholly new idea, but rather, your own unique vision of that idea.

Let your own creativity take hold of your ideas and flow with them. Even if it's similar to someone elses, it's just a case of great minds thinking alike. So long as it's something you've come up with, you've written, it's uniquely yours. Don't let similarities stop you where copyright laws won't. Just look at Nasu. Dude takes things he likes and just chucks them in a setting, writes things he thinks are cool about those ideas, and now here we are at a fansite for this guy's work. Some of his characters clearly overlap with other people's works. NRVNQSR Chaos and Kohta Hirano's Alucard, or Ciel and Alexander Anderson, or Sion and Walter Dornez. The setting of Notes has so much of an Evangelion feel to it that there's a fanfic for that on this board.

Not one bit of that stopped him, so I can only recommend that you write the kickass stuff you like, whether it sounds like somebody else's work or not. Enjoy yourself without worrying about being original, and there's a good chance you will be original.

Mike1984
March 24th, 2011, 10:33 AM
Yeah, like everyone said, it's simply not possible to avoid making characters that are superficially the same as already existing characters. Pretty much every possible character that could ever be made probably already exists somewhere. All you can do is make the story as a whole unique, and not make the characters obvious rip-offs of those made by others. As long as you can do that, I don't see the problem.

GARcher
March 26th, 2011, 12:53 AM
When you take in a character via an abstract lens, it's impossible to get a completely original character. If you think about your own cast of characters with the level abstraction of like "a kid that aims to be at the top, an electric rodent, a whiny girl who is afraid of bugs, and helpful guy who is a bit perverted", you're going to have a lot of trouble feeling your way into something comfortable.

Just accept the fact that at that level, you will have to resemble something, somewhere.

Instead, dig deeper. Accentuate your characters on the micro-scale.

Be specific.

These are the things that will set your novel apart.

Say, look at Harry Potter. There's nothing special about a SPECIAL kid, his tsundere friend, and best friend trio. Going to school. It's called Naruto.

Instead, it's set apart by microscopic details. Chocolate frogs that try to escape, jelly beans of every flavour, photography that captures personality and movement.

Don't obsess over making the story unique. Don't obsess over making the characters unique.

What you need to worry about is making the book unique. And the way you do that is making it read uniquely, and that is all in the small details and being specific. Not rolling some combination of character traits and quirks that have never been done before.

It's something which I feel really enrichens the story. I try not to go overboard with it, but attention to detail is a good way to catch a reader's attention IMO. And it has the benefit of making the story unique. I think I can't really deviate much from templates in storytelling, but I can try to aggregate unique elements that will make my characters stand out among the rest.

I found out my writing is better when I bring more details to the scenes, however when I'm writing dialogue I usually forget about it. IMO my scenes with dialogue are lacking because of it, even though other people found them nice.


I hate to say this but there isn't really any "originality" left in the world. Almost everything is copied from something else. I mean, take a look at Type-Moon as a whole. Sure, they have a ton of characters; but take a closer look. Most all of these characters, were based off of other characters that they've done before. Whether it be an ability, a role, personality, or just an appearance.

Araya Souren, Nero Chaos, and Kotomine for example
Kokuto Mikiya and Tohno Shiki
Enjou Tomoe, Arihiko, and Shirou
Sakura, Kohaku, Asagami Fujino
Akiha and Azaka

I could keep going, but you see the picture I'm sure. In the end, don't get down about it. Write the story the best you can and ask your friends about it. The Nasuverse was created as a magic-based universe in our world. The terminology and lore, behind vampires/magic/dragons whatever is common knowledge from different myths and stories, and just crammed all into one world to help explain it. But it's never about just the content, or just how it's written, but rather the combination of BOTH as ONE single entity. I'm sure you can do it.

Yeah but Type-Moon's characters are their own, they're not taking them from another author, which was the issue I was having with my story. But I agree with you on the similarities, in fact there was a thread in the old BL with mocking pictures of the following:

Arcueid + Hisui = Saber

Akiha + Ciel = Rin

Satsuki + Kohaku = Sakura

And... well, even though it's kind of a superficial look at things, I somewhat agreed with it. :D


And don't cheapen the characters or really derail them. You'll not be keeping readers that way.

What is to "cheapen" a character? I didn't get it.


Don't feel too bad, GAR. I have a friend who does the exact same thing, and it actually cripples him as an author. He gets really moody about it when someone points out the similarities on plot or character design to anything else, and he ends up scrapping the idea totally. In other words, he never finishes his projects.

I'll say this as advice: Make what you like. Don't outright copy something and say it's original, but still, make things you think are cool. It doesn't matter if it's been done before. It certainly has. What you're looking for is not a wholly new idea, but rather, your own unique vision of that idea.

Let your own creativity take hold of your ideas and flow with them. Even if it's similar to someone elses, it's just a case of great minds thinking alike. So long as it's something you've come up with, you've written, it's uniquely yours. Don't let similarities stop you where copyright laws won't. Just look at Nasu. Dude takes things he likes and just chucks them in a setting, writes things he thinks are cool about those ideas, and now here we are at a fansite for this guy's work. Some of his characters clearly overlap with other people's works. NRVNQSR Chaos and Kohta Hirano's Alucard, or Ciel and Alexander Anderson, or Sion and Walter Dornez. The setting of Notes has so much of an Evangelion feel to it that there's a fanfic for that on this board.

Not one bit of that stopped him, so I can only recommend that you write the kickass stuff you like, whether it sounds like somebody else's work or not. Enjoy yourself without worrying about being original, and there's a good chance you will be original.

Your post was really encouraging! And the similarities between Anderson and Ciel are spot on! I guess there's not much to be done when you've got a vampire hunter affiliated with the Church... My story has a character like that, but she doesn't have the same motives as Ciel or Anderson, nor does she have the same powers as them. She's more "human" than them, in the biological meaning of the word.

The creative process of my story has given me headaches because of my issues with originality. So far I have a character with traits similar to SHIKI (appearance), Roa, Saber (some habits, way of speaking), Dark Sakura (possession), and so on... The main character is similar to Hisui in appearance (but that's just a coincidence since I've modeled this character's appearance around a redhead childhood schoolmate I had a crush on) and in that she used to be lively but became shy and serious (though her reasons are completely different). I admit Type-Moon has a good deal of influence in my work. ;) But I was surprised to find out that much lol.

I find consolation in seeing that Heroes (the TV show) was so much similar to X-Men and stuff like that, but the author went a different way with the story and he ended up creating something unique.

It's a real shame I'm writing the story in my native language (Portuguese), otherwise I'd even post it in the board. I'm well versed in English, but translating it takes some time and effort which I don't want to spend.

Bargadiel
March 26th, 2011, 11:48 AM
Well who's to say that Type-Moon's characters aren't copied from somebody elses, or at least inspired? For all we know, Nasu could have read some book from the 40's or something and went "oh thats a cool personality" while Takeuchi saw some old manga and thought a hairstyle or something would be nice to use. I have a friend who's majoring in Computer Animation with me who creates characters all the time, it's his life. He is 27 now and since he was in Junior High he would make characters, draw them up, and write stories about them. To this day he has over 1000 archived characters, and when I got him into Anime and Type-Moon he was freaked out as to how he had already created a character similar to what he see's in the story. This is unavoidable. It doesn't matter if the content in itself is original, it only matters how it's utilized and presented.

Bargadiel
March 30th, 2011, 03:59 AM
Sorry to double post but I've been subscribed to this guy on Youtube for quite awhile and found it pretty funny and relevant to this. Lol


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-AzROhh84Q

GARcher
March 30th, 2011, 11:13 PM
Sorry to double post but I've been subscribed to this guy on Youtube for quite awhile and found it pretty funny and relevant to this. Lol


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-AzROhh84Q

Haha don't be too concerned with the double post, you took some time to post this after your last post so I think everything's ok. (mods might view it differently though, hopefully not)

I liked this video a lot! Thanks for posting it.

I think I've moved past my initial worries... Now I'm more concerned with enriching the content within the story. I have a pretty good idea of the big events that will happen in the story, but I want to add more stuff in-between...

Mike1984
March 31st, 2011, 10:26 AM
Haha don't be too concerned with the double post, you took some time to post this after your last post so I think everything's ok. (mods might view it differently though, hopefully not)

I'm pretty sure they won't. Double-posting is a problem with you do it with no good reason, and a week-long gap between the posts is a perfectly adequate reason, even in a thread like this.

MrTags
March 31st, 2011, 12:33 PM
Btw, wasn't Archer based on Millions Knives from Trigun?

Bargadiel
March 31st, 2011, 05:07 PM
Now I'm more concerned with enriching the content within the story. I have a pretty good idea of the big events that will happen in the story, but I want to add more stuff in-between...

Sweet, keep us posted on your progress!

Ruca_Milda
March 31st, 2011, 06:46 PM
GARcher...if your Portuguese is Brazilian Portuguese, mind Posting/PMing your story? :3 /native language = Brazilian Portuguese.

DragoZERO
April 1st, 2011, 12:02 PM
The trick is not making it look like it's been done before. Or take a common thing and give it a twist. For example in one series they do a wrestling show for their school festival.

Good luck.

Kaorin
April 1st, 2011, 02:18 PM
Consider: There are two bands, both of them have developed their own unique style and sound, but have somehow composed a piece that has the same chords, buildups, bridges and rhythm for the most part, but both of these bands have never met each other.

From an outsider's perspective, it would seem like they are copying eachother, yes? But both sides have composed the pieces from their hearts, and even then there are small nuances that can completely change the whole feeling of a song, things as small as a few misplaced fingers along the same scale, or simply recording a part with a whole new instrument. I think that the same can be applied to compilations of words, stories.

Chaos Greyblood
April 1st, 2011, 03:11 PM
When I meant to not cheapen the characters, I mean not to make them too much into self-made Sues (Canon Sue, Marty Stu, Mary Sue, whatever Sue's on the story) or try to make them too invincible or make a villain way too cliché or super-duper-mega cheapass. Also, you won't find many fans that like characters that are too stupid for their own good. When crafting characters, you must always keep in mind their virtues and flaws, their circunstances (as well as ones that can change them), what drives them onward in the story and what's the reason behind everything they do. Coming up with their own background is also a good idea to provide some depth in them.

Yeah, it took me a while to answer that part, but I wanted to come up with a reasonable explanation for this.

Elf
April 2nd, 2011, 04:26 AM
And another thing to remember there are only 5 story lines. That's right, you heard me, just 5 story lines in the existence of man kind. There are five basic stories, but the devil's in the details.

Same way with characters. There are character archetypes as well. But the devil's in the details.

GARcher
April 3rd, 2011, 06:00 AM
GARcher...if your Portuguese is Brazilian Portuguese, mind Posting/PMing your story? :3 /native language = Brazilian Portuguese.

Actually I'm being a little wary of distributing it, because I'm undecided on whether this will be a commercial project and it gets a little sensitive... There's also one big issue with posting it: the beginning of the story was inspired by a real case I came into contact with in my work and I don't know how the girl would react if she ever came to know I wrote a story out of her misery... Well, I wanted to give her a different destiny in fiction, because I was really moved by the events she went through...

If I decide to make it a non-commercial project, I'll set up a blog to post the story on.


When I meant to not cheapen the characters, I mean not to make them too much into self-made Sues (Canon Sue, Marty Stu, Mary Sue, whatever Sue's on the story) or try to make them too invincible or make a villain way too cliché or super-duper-mega cheapass. Also, you won't find many fans that like characters that are too stupid for their own good. When crafting characters, you must always keep in mind their virtues and flaws, their circunstances (as well as ones that can change them), what drives them onward in the story and what's the reason behind everything they do. Coming up with their own background is also a good idea to provide some depth in them.

Yeah, it took me a while to answer that part, but I wanted to come up with a reasonable explanation for this.

What's Canon Sue, Marty Stu, Mary Sue...? You mean stereotypes?

Actually making a character ubercheap works in some stories. I mean, look at Hellsing's Alucard (who was mentioned in this thread): he's so absurdly powerful in his universe that the outcome of his fights is pretty much decided from the start. The TV series gave him a decent match (Incognito) but when Alucard was at full power he beat him easily.

There should be some sort of balance in the effort the hero should spend to beat the villain. A completely flawless, invincible hero is as undesirable as one who's obscenely beaten down to death and ends up winning the fight because of some miracle. The explanation for the victory needs to be logical IMO.

Now, I want to ask you guys something. I've got a girl who was severely (I mean REALLY) injured, but she happens to be able to regenerate wounds to the point her body looks like it was never hurt in the first place. To move the story forward, I need this girl to become timid, recluse and somewhat afraid of people, and an event related to this ability of hers must play a role in this transformation. Which could be this event? There are no penis worms in my story, so I thought about making it so that she's accused of being a witch (and people in my story hate witches) and ends up being bullied at school to the point she doesn't trust people anymore. People hurt her just for the heck of it, because she regenerates her wounds anyway. I couldn't think of anything better, but any suggestions are very much appreciated. ;)

Jase
April 3rd, 2011, 01:59 PM
Time period?

Cause getting lit on fire and strung out on a stick for days starving will probably get you pretty anti-social.

Beware though, you'd probably have to play a subplot if she's going to come to trust any other characters from then on.

Twelveseal
April 4th, 2011, 03:57 AM
Location is also important. Different cultures will have different views on things like that.

GARcher
April 5th, 2011, 09:47 PM
Time period?

Cause getting lit on fire and strung out on a stick for days starving will probably get you pretty anti-social.

Beware though, you'd probably have to play a subplot if she's going to come to trust any other characters from then on.

Setting is modern times. It would be a bit difficult to write something related to the past without some sort of source material (that's what made a friend stop writing a novel he created).

Her trusting another character is pivotal to the story... Now that you mentioned it, I might have to work more on that part. But up until then, there's plenty to write. I'm still on the part in which she's a child. She'll grow to become a teenager (TBH I can't wait to write this part as this is where all the main action and important dialogue begins!).


Location is also important. Different cultures will have different views on things like that.

Location is Western world. I'm not naming cities or countries in the story, but naturally it's got the most influence from where I live in (Brazil).

Right now I'm a bit uneasy because there are some similarities with Tsukihime... For example, one of the main characters is a half-demon who has to deal with something pretty similar to the inversion impulse, except it's age-related (he will "invert" when he reaches a certain age) and it doesn't make him into an irrational bloodsucker but instead brings about all that is most evil in him, and he doesn't only suck blood but also consumes the flesh of his victims. Nevertheless, I deviated from Nasuverse's rule on how "nutritious" the absorbed creatures are (for example, mythic beasts and feral beasts provide a lot more energy than humans, hence why Nrvnqsr absorbs those instead) and instead focused on making humans the most powerful creature because of Christianity's idea that humans were created with the same shape as God himself. Besides, the way I intend to write the scenes of him killing and eating his victims is pretty Nasu-esque. :p Though my writing style has nothing to do with Nasu's. I like his style a lot but I don't write like him, it's incompatible with me... :D

Cascade
April 7th, 2011, 10:07 PM
I read OP's post and thought he was worrying about copying his old stuff unconsciously (which I do) until he mentioned other writers. It reminded me of the writer from the anime Trapeze who pukes from OCD whenever he thinks he's copied something he already wrote in a previous work, lol.

You could tie in some local folklore to give it a natural flavor, regarding the regenerating girl and how she becomes ostracized. I know nothing about the region, but not naming cities might make it tough. You could think up a folk story based on something from actual Brazil and apply it to her as a red herring rumor regarding her abilities, obfuscating the real truth. So she's supernatural, just not the kind of supernatural the locals think she is.

GARcher
April 9th, 2011, 02:29 AM
I don't think it would be okay to mix Brazilian folklore into the story, since there will be vampires in the story and, well, vampires aren't part of Brazilian folklore as far as I know. I know where to get with her character, I'm just a little in doubt.

For example, the half-demon I've mentioned. The idea is that he'll fall in love with the female protagonist, but he has to kill people and eat them to obtain enough energy to survive until he becomes another thing which embodies the evils of this world. There will be a problem of acceptance by the female protagonist, who may not approve of his actions. This reminds me too much of Shirou and Sakura's love story in Heaven's Feel. The way she's a vessel for something which is all evils of this world (Angra Mainyu), the way he's determined to overcome this to be with her, even the way she sucks blood (Realta Nua only, may not be canon!) to replenish her strength, all of this reminds me of my story. But, even though Nasu's works are a huge inspiration or me, I don't think I've used his ideas consciously. And, well, I've gone too far with the story to rewrite it using different ideas. Also, my character is different from Sakura. He's not passive, in fact he's the one doing the main fighting in the story, because he's determined to protect the protagonist, and he also has different powers from Sakura (I'm talking mostly about her dark version here), though he may have the same white hair and red eyes. But I'm just too annoyed with the similarities. I've said it before, "the hell with it", but I keep coming back to these issues lol. I guess you can call me some sort of a paranoic person. I just want to write a story that people will like. And I'm afraid that people will point at me and say "you copied this from x" or something like that.

Here I'm exposing all of my weaknesses to you guys, so that you can point stuff out to me. Well, I only came to Beast's Lair for help because you guys are a damn creative lot, you guys post a lot of fanfics, doujins even... I really trust you guys. I don't know anything else to say lol...

GARcher
November 6th, 2011, 08:27 AM
So, here I am, committing the unforgivable sin of bumping a 7-month old thread, hopefully the mods don't kill me for that... On top of that it's a double post... But I was inspired by Bargadiel's post to report back on my work and therefore that's what I'm doing. :)

Well, a few months have passed, and the story has evolved quite a bit. New characters were created (I usually go by the principle that, whenever I need someone do to something that the current characters can't do, I create another one, even if it's minor), I became more proficient as a writer, I developed quite a few subplots, was merciful with characters that were going to die but I thought deserved a second chance, and so on. The protagonist has evolved from "girl who regenerates" to "girl who regenerates and is the embodiment of the balance of life in this world and can control all six elements (I added light and dark, I know a bit cliché but works) as well as summon plants and convince animals", though I may need two books to fully explain her role in the story. I gave my vampires special powers which, although not necessarily original, are in line with their personalities, and decided to follow Western folklore because it's more reader-friendly where I live. The hero is relatively unchanged, he's supposed to be some sort of "Antichrist", but the evil hasn't corrupted him and he rejects his heritage, although he uses his demonic powers liberally (though he needs HUGE amounts of energy for that). I have some Church characters, a young nun who has some beef with the hero and hunts beasts with a bladed boomerang and a Polish priest who was turned vampire during a raid, but instead of killed outright by the Church, he was experimented upon and is now some sort of Alexander Anderson from Section XIII, except he has to frequently take hemoglobine capsules and vitamins to suppress his impulses and nurture his body; his weapon of choice is a Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum revolver loaded with blessed silver bullets which is a bit unwieldy for a human but not for something which isn't human. I wanted to make the nun blonde with green eyes because I HAVE to have a blonde girl in my story, but people might say I stole from Hellsing's Alexander Anderson... But! I guess it's alright if she isn't some freak who shouts "AMEN!" every five seconds like Anderson does, isn't it? :p Lastly, there's a female newborn vampire which I created to show the difference between the struggles of the thirsty newborn vampires and the cold ruthlessness of the ancient ones.

That having being said, I found myself with another problem which I'd like to solve as early as possible. I'd like to write a bit every day, but I'm... lazy. It's not really a matter of not having ideas, as sometimes the ideas flow when I'm writing, but I need to force myself to write more (even though it's not a job for me...), since I don't want to take three years writing it. :p I also become frustrated because I want to enrichen the experience by adding details after details and don't get where I want my story to be. I think those issues might be a result of me being insecure because I'm new to the game (it IS my first work after all)... I don't know yet what I'm most comfortable with.

So, I'd appreciate it if you guys and girls could shed some light on the matter... :) Thanks in advance.

EDIT: Also, I'd like some help with source material, especially about vampires. I've bought a few of the classic books already (mainly the Anne Rice ones, but I'm looking into getting Bram Stoker's "Dracula" as well), watched some animes, read Tsukihime, became aware of the Vampire: The Masquerade game, but I feel I could use more stuff to build my characters upon. Could you help me with this as well? I'm mainly interested in different classes of vampire, as in different power levels. I'm willing to make reference to other sources, but I'm a bit worried about copyright issues.