Vampire Gifts - and Their Scarcity in Bree Tanner

A discussion of the novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

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Vampire Gifts - and Their Scarcity in Bree Tanner

Postby December » Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:12 pm

Can't do better in introducing this topic than quote the user who requested it:


Misspikaboo wrote:
Since reading BT, something which struck me as odd was the complete lack of gifted vampires, with the exception of Fred. I'd like to request a thread discussing why Steph might have pulled back on the power-playing, so to speak. It seems odd that nearly every vampire coven we'd read about before has a mess of talented vampires, but one as large as Victoria's only had the one. Perhaps it was simply because most of the newborns were "dregs"...? I really want to discuss this.

Also, this thread could discuss the raised issue of gifts in general; from the Twilight Series, I'd always gotten the impression that each vampire had a gift of sorts, a trait that was amplified during the transformation, even if it wasn"t something cool like shooting lightening, ie Rose's beauty. But Steph pretty much pulled the rug out from my feet on that one as none of the twenty-something vampires (again, excluding Fred) appeared to notice any special gifts or enhanced traits.
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Re: Vampire Gifts - and Their Scarcity in Bree Tanner

Postby dandyvampgirl_13 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:10 pm

My thinking on the lack of gifts was that, to Bree, none of the other newborns mattered. SM did the same thing in the Saga- since its written from one person's perspective, you only see one side of the sotry, and she focuses almost exclusively on that. We only see what Bree wants us to see, what she's thinking about, what is important to her. And, as a newborn, the only important thing was her survival. The other newborns were only minor obstacles to her survival, and she only concentrated on them when they got too near her or she was forced to interact with them. She may not have considered normal gifts, the small talents that were brought up with the change, since only the "big" gifts (like Raoul gift, or, more obviously, Fred) were emphasized by Riley. The smaller natural talents enhanced by the change were probably overlooked as being unhelpful to fighting, therefore, Bree wouldn't have thought of them. On her own, perhaps. Maybe if she had noticed a talent of her own that had been enhanced, it would have been spoken of, but she didn't really get the time to think about it, did she?
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Re: Vampire Gifts - and Their Scarcity in Bree Tanner

Postby misspikaboo » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:50 pm

Hmmm. An interesting take on it. But I would think that since Bree appears to be one of the few newborns who is using her brain, she would be analyzing the others as they are threats to her survival. That was how she noticed Fred's ability to repel others, even without knowing he was "special". And she noted vaguely Raoul's ability to get others (albeit, stupid others) to follow him. This shows a sense of critical thinking that Steph has shown Bree is capable of while the others are not. It could perhaps be a gift of her own that went unnoticed.

Still, I'm more curious as to the why for the lack of gifted newborns. Is Steph implying that gifts are not only rare, but manifest only in the case of exceptional vampires? Fred was perhaps the only vampire who was conscious to Riley's lies enough that he could break free from the coven without needing the support of another. This put him in a league of his own - is that why he displayed a power? Or was his suspicion of Riley because he was alienated from the other?

I guess because I lurk around fanfics in which every carrie has a million different gifts I find it heard to believe that the Cullens' house is home to so many talented vampires while Vicky can only create one by pure luck. The needle in a haystack theory just doesn't satisfy me.
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Re: Vampire Gifts - and Their Scarcity in Bree Tanner

Postby ringswraith » Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:01 am

I think the main reason for the lack of powers in the newborn army is simplicity.

First, it would be easier to write about a group of vamps that had little to no special powers. Having a power marks you as special, as Riley put it to them, and take a look at how much space we have in the novella devoted to Fred.

Second, it would make the victory of the Cullens and the Pack much more plausible. Picture if you will Fred being present at the battle- his ability alone could have been disruptive enough to cause some damage to our protagonists. It's more clear-cut a victory if you imagine that the newborns had nothing but newborn strength on their side, not to mention less complex a scenario if you don't have to figure out whether Power A beats Power B.
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Re: Vampire Gifts - and Their Scarcity in Bree Tanner

Postby misspikaboo » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:10 pm

ringswraith wrote:It's more clear-cut a victory if you imagine that the newborns had nothing but newborn strength on their side, not to mention less complex a scenario if you don't have to figure out whether Power A beats Power B.


I'd really hate to think that Steph cut corners just for simplicity's sake; I give her too much credit to think that. She's always come off as an author who thinks through every detail of her story and sticks to the rules she creates. Whether it means keeping the veggie vamps to a scarcity or keeping everyone in character, she sticks to what is true to the world of Twilight. So I have to think there is a more meaningful answer to the lack of gifted vampires then Steph simply wanting to make thinks easier for herself/the Cullens.

Continuing with this thought, Steph must have had a certain reason for making Fred unique among the newborns and I stick by my belief that it was intentional, not merely convenient.
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Re: Vampire Gifts - and Their Scarcity in Bree Tanner

Postby ringswraith » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:26 am

misspikaboo wrote:I'd really hate to think that Steph cut corners just for simplicity's sake; I give her too much credit to think that. She's always come off as an author who thinks through every detail of her story and sticks to the rules she creates.


I'm going to sound like a donkey's behind for this, but I would have to say that this is not the case.

One just has to look at any of the Explorations threads, or the Science thread, to see that this is not the case.

And I myself have said that she in fact does not stick to the rules she creates. Case in point: Bella Swan Cullen.

(And since Giovanni has seen her around, he would like to go ahead and apologize to Signorina Cullen for anything this writer says. He also apologizes for missing the wedding.)
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Re: Vampire Gifts - and Their Scarcity in Bree Tanner

Postby misspikaboo » Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:33 am

ringswraith wrote:And I myself have said that she in fact does not stick to the rules she creates. Case in point: Bella Swan Cullen.


Well, I guess I have to give you that one. :)

Maybe it was just wishful thinking, but I thought there would be some ground-shaking, earth-shattering reason behind the untalented newborns. I shall keep my faith a little longer, hoping someone else may have put too much thought into this topic, as I have.
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Re: Vampire Gifts - and Their Scarcity in Bree Tanner

Postby AyaDiefair » Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:20 pm

I am surprised there isn't more discussion about this crucial topic as I find it an intriguing discussion piece.

December wrote:
Why Steph might have pulled back on the power-playing, so to speak. It seems odd that nearly every vampire coven we'd read about before has a mess of talented vampires, but one as large as Victoria's only had the one. Perhaps it was simply because most of the newborns were "dregs"...?


For this specific subject, being a personal writer for my and close friends and family entertainment purposes, have written and role-played several Vampire based stories of all types find that having Vampires or other supernatural beings all have gifts can make details, descriptions, and compatibility really hard to create and layout into a story format. Steph wrote the novella after Eclipse, therefore she already had a very small layout of the newborn army and its outcome she couldn't ignore because it was already written. And since novellas are usually short (I haven't seen very many, but from what I have they are less then 300 pages long) details had to be brief.
Although having everyone with a gift can make things more interesting, it makes it overwhelming for the writer as well. You have to come up with the gifts, how they work, and how to describe them, then remember them all. It is a headache. Limiting the number of gifted vampires like Steph did in the novella makes sense to me, it was based on one newborns perspective. I think Bree herself had the gift of being able to repel or ignore other gifts to a certain extent only because she was the only person able to bare Freds repulsive gift and Raoul's persuasive leadership skills to a certain extent. Whether Fred let her near him is vaguely mentioned to disregard this theory.
Also, all the newborns were under a year old, in the frenzy stage. All they wanted was blood, blood, blood, so there could've been more newborns with gifts, they just couldn't realize them or figure them out because they were preoccupied with more important things in mind to them. If I write something about a young Vampire with a gift, I don't like them to realize the gift right away, it makes the story be able to go longer with the progression period of figuring out the gift, then learning how to use it, then learning when to use it.

(Sorry if I butchered that topic. ^^;)
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Re: Vampire Gifts - and Their Scarcity in Bree Tanner

Postby ringswraith » Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:26 pm

I disagree with regards to Bree's having any special ability at all. They did mention that Raoul's power only worked on certain people, and Fred did let her near him consciously- she mentions the effort it took for her not to feel like retching whenever she tried to get near him. Lastly, if she had some kind of resistive ability, one would reasonably expect Jane, Edward, or Jasper to have noticed this during the conversation in the field.

As to everything else, I did mention that the main reason for the lack of powers here is simplicity (my opinion), so I agree with you on that.
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Re: Vampire Gifts - and Their Scarcity in Bree Tanner

Postby AyaDiefair » Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:54 pm

Ah, I looked back at the book and did notice she mentioned it being difficult for her. I read the internet version of it the first time so details are a little off for me. Thank you for that point, ringswraith.
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