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What Do You Want in a Werewolf Book?

As a huge book lover I spend every day checking out various book websites looking up new books, reading reviews, taking part in discussions and so on. Something I am seeing a lot of on those sites, as well as this one, is people pissing and moaning about certain books or things they are sick of seeing in books. I’ll admit, I’m guilty of this too. I am the first to rant about a terrible trope, a cliché storyline or a Mary Sue lead. So I decided to switch things up today, instead of bitching about things I hate to read in werewolf books, I’ll list off what I want to see in a werewolf book. Make sure to join in on the werewolf book love by leaving a comment below listing off what you want to see.

My list:

  • A strong, but realistic, female lead. I can’t stand reading about pathetic damsels in distress, it makes my inner feminist angry, so I love books with strong female characters. However, I want them to be realistic, no one can be the strong hero all the time so there needs to be a balance. She has to have her weak moments and her flaws, she can’t always be perfect.
  • Powerful werewolves! One thing you see a lot of in books are werewolves that are pretty badass, until the vampires show up, then they are giant pansies. So werewolves that are high up on the food chain would be fantastic.
  • Mystery. I love a good mystery and I love plot twists and turns. It would be fantastic to have a mysterious werewolf book. Most are pretty blah and unoriginal, so I really want one that gives you a giant mystery to unravel, one that shocks you when events are revealed.
  • Proud werewolves. I don’t really like werewolf characters that are full of self-loathing and are annoying angsty. I would love to read a book where the werewolf is proud of what he/she is.
  • History. I don’t necessarily mean that I want a historical novel, but that I want werewolves with a history. I want a long backstory, I want generations of werewolves, a werewolf legacy that spans centuries. I don’t want to be thrown into a modern story where you know nothing of the werewolves or where they came from.
  • Magic and fantasy! I love fantasy books full of wizards, magical castles and wild adventures. A werewolf in that type of magical setting would be awesome. I do love modern werewolf stories set in our world, but it would be interesting to see a werewolf in a fantasy world. Also, a magical werewolf instead of a more scientific one would be great! I enjoy stories where werewolfism is a contagious disease, but I want to read a new story where it’s something more magical and enchanting.
  • Other supernatural creatures. I know many people hate when writers mix a wide assortment of supernatural creatures into a story, but I love it. The story could still focus on werewolves while also have other creatures in it.
  • Some romance. I do enjoy the occasional romance novel, but my favorite books are the ones where the romance doesn’t take center stage, where the romance itself isn’t the story, it’s just an added bonus. I want an action-packed story with just a little romance sprinkled on top.

I could go on and on forever listing off things I want in a werewolf book, but I’ll stop myself now before I go overboard.

Now it’s your turn! What do you want in a werewolf book? Is your dream book full of horror and gore? History and mystery? Romance? Let me know in a comment below.

– Moonlight

About the Author
Moonlight loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to werewolves and other supernatural beasties. She writes for top genre sites like Vampires.com and Werewolves.com. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and you may lose a limb. You can stalk her via her Twitter.

By moonlight

One of the writers for werewolves.com, as well as vampires.com.

38 replies on “What Do You Want in a Werewolf Book?”

The werewolves are always just harry guys with short tempers, so i guess more wolf like and more self control, but not to much, like Twilight werewolves. And maybe some girl werewolves for a change, and i totally agree on the “no damsels in distress” thing, it gets a bit old. also, more than just vampires as enemies, like other were-animals, or other mythical creatures entirely, just NO vampires. There also has to be background to the characters, something that makes them unique, like how J.K. Rowling did with all her characters and gave them a short but detailed back story. There has to be some relationships and romance, but to an extent, there are way to many werewolf romances out there that are sooo predictable.

I personally like werewolf stories with some action and sex. But mainly proud werewolves with background story and plot twists.
I rlly dislike when werewolves loath themselves and then later on, the one werewolf who is proud to be what he is, gets killed.
My perfect werewolf book would be placed in medieval times, with good fighting scenes and a few sexy ones. Some old legend and a plot twist back stabbing with a character you would have never thought was able to do it.

Im over the damsels and the angst. Werewolves are proud and strong individuals. I want to see more books, tv shows, and movies that center around werewolves who arent tormented souls dealing with a curse or mindless animals, but real, everyday people dealing with everyday issues. Werewolves are people too! Lol

My perfect werewolf book would be a horror book with bada** fight scenes mixed with a little werewolf history and fantasy.

agreed! the whole damsels in distress thing has been overdone, i think we can handle ourselves now!but its nice when a really hot werewolf guy jumps in to save the day ;) i would love to read a series of books where the werewovles are in contact with like demons (like actual demons…not vampires for once!) banshees just a bunch of just the most random things!! with like a murder type mystery to solve, and they became a werewolf thru this mystic spell..or situation, instead of them hateing themselves, they should be like *Uh yea…im a werewolf!* with alot of history thrown in(BIG fiction-History fan here) could be there own personal history, or in some important time in history that happens to have werewolves there that people overlooked or choose not to recognize,and lots of details about the murders(lots of gore and violence..i know im disturbed). if someone could combine all of this…i would read it over and over again!

Great post! I don’t have a preference myself whether the lead is a male or female, and it doesn’t bother me if either gender is in distress. To me it’s really just the conflict itself and how interesting it is, not who it involves or what role they play. Re: powerful werewolves, I think they’d make for great vampire slayers. I completely agree on the mystery aspect, and would also like a “were” that didn’t get angst-ridden about his predicament except as a subplot but not a main driving feature of his persona. I’m a fan of the backstory too and like a good origin story, with at least a hint of ancient. Magic vs Science? I loved the original wolfman with the gypsy curse. I’m a bit tired of the whole supernatural romance myself at this point, but it does seem to be popular and I find myself really enjoying the series that feature it prominently so I suppose I can accept a bit more of this.

It’s nice to see that I’m not the only one who thinks the pathetic female lead is annoying as Hell (considering it is and all!), as well as the bad supernatural romance (because most of those writers commit crimes against literature just by writing…). Something else that bothers me is fakelore–for example, the ‘mythology’ in Twicrap isn’t anything like the actual Quileyute creation myth and etc. I absolutely abhor fakelore–you either make up your own crap, or you follow something true. No buts about it. As mentioned before, little to no romance (Kelly Armstrong has made me hate this with a passion)is preferred. An actual plot would be nice for once–Luna, for instance, had none. No mixing of genres or different creatures unless it’s done right (having vampires vs. werewolves, for example, is a no-no).

…really, what I’m trying to say is a werewolf book with few to no cliches!

Hello, you may not see this, but I am currently writing a werewolf story. I have been on different websites front and backwards searching for some type of thing I can do to improve the horror factor of the werewolf. I am not a big gore and horror person, but I adore the fantasy and the romantic elements to stories. I really agree with the horror, but I want keep that minimal and really focus on the main conflict with a little romance in the mix.

I guess I’m the odd one out on my werewolves. I prefer not only werewolves that are scary, but I like it when the idea of BEING a werewolf is terrifying. There’s a lot of wish-fulfillment going on with our monsters today, and I just wish someone would speak up and remind everyone why we call them monsters in the first place. Not only that, but I think that the “proud werewolf” and “being werewolves is fun” concept could easily lend itself to a nightmarish subversion, where someone gets what they want and it’s nothing like they thought it would be. I dunno, I just…I grew up being afraid of werewolves, and enjoying werewolf movies and stories that much more because of it. If I want to read about shape-shifting superheroes, I’ll pick up a comic book with that premise. I want my werewolves back in the horror genre.

I will say, however, that I would like a little more realism when it comes to the characters. I don’t like idiotic damsels in distress either, however, I also don’t like over-powerful Mary Sues who seem to make “badass” more of a fashion statement than any real qualities. If someone was being attacked by a werewolf, I wouldn’t expect them to be some super badass who handles the situation without breaking a sweat, but I wouldn’t expect Princess Peach either, and that goes for male AND female characters.

I like the idea of werewolf history being embraced, and it is something I’d like to see more of, but there’s just one problem: there’s a lot of REAL werewolf history that is frequently ignored. How often are the French Werewolf Trials ever made an element of werewolf history in fiction? Not only that, but it seems traditional werewolf story lore has been abandoned. I’m not talking about, for example, the full moon = transformation thing, or any physical trait. I’m talking about the old concept of Satanic rituals, hermits in caves and secluded houses, child killing, werewolf witch trials, all things that factored into old-school ideas of werewolves that have been abandoned in favor of urban hipster BS.

All of that said, I’m all in favor of there being a variety of werewolf fiction out there. It’s just that a lot of it seems unbalanced, and more often than not, the things I personally would like are ignored. I think everyone should get what they want, whether you like your werewolves sexy and proud of their condition, or terrifying monsters that belong in nightmares and not daydreams. I just wish more people realized that folks like me are a part of “everyone” too.

I agree, the badass Mary Sues are annoying as all hell. They are ridiculously overdone and frustratingly fake. The writers just throw them new powers to deal with every new challenge, like Anita Blake, the biggest Mary Sue of them all. That’s what I love about Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer series (no werewolves in it but there are LOTS of magical beasties), she doesn’t do the Mary Sue crap. Her main character Cassie isn’t a cocky bitch ready to take on anything, she gets scared and only fights when someone attacks her…and she barely survives those encounters. She seems like a real person, yes she fights to save her life, but she gets scared and she runs when she has the chance, which is what any sane person would do.

And I would also LOVE werewolf folklore and legends in a book. I am in love with folklore, those posts are always my favorite to write, and it would be great if someone wrote a story inspired by them.

I just wish that the publishers would understand that there IS a market for horror, and werewolf horror. Someone out there is writing it. In fact, someone might even be sitting on the werewolf genre’s Dracula, but I have lost a considerable amount of faith that the publishers would notice it. Paranormal romance, urban fantasy, I understand that there is a market for this. Many people grew up watching programs like Buffy and Angel, and greatly enjoy this genre of fiction.

But I want something else. I don’t want badass. That word is so overused, and often in the wrong places. I want werewolves that are frightening, not badass. I don’t want to cheer for them. I want to cheer for their would-be victims to make it out alive. People forget that the root of the werewolf lies not in romance, but in fear. Fear is the oldest human emotion, and the strongest one. The werewolf in particular taps into a great fear: the fear of your neighbor. The fear that some stranger, completely ordinary and unremarkable, is only a charade. This fear has been tapped into with much success over the years. Body snatchers, zombies to a degree, machines that have crossed the uncanny valley, and plenty of other things. In real life, we might walk past someone as normal as you and I, but behind closed doors, this someone might be a rapist, or serial killer, or pedophile, or any combination of these things. Or worse.

The other fear the werewolf taps into is the fear that no matter how many strangers we question, it is our own reflection that masks a beast. This fear that we have become something else, doomed to a life of horror and tragedy. In a world increasingly terrified of viral outbreaks, of desensitization of violence, of self-inflicted deformity through unhealthy lifestyle, and many other things, the werewolf can easily terrify.

But no one wants to tap into that. No one sees the potential. Many people fantasize about either meeting werewolves, or being werewolves. But how often do people really stop to consider the horror of such a wish coming true? If you want to see what happens when men turn into monsters, you need only turn on the news.

My perfect werewolf novel would have a werewolf that was turned by some kind of magic spell gone wrong, like the werewolf was a Amateur witch that was experimenting with some type of forbidden spell before she had a accident with the spell. The book would take place in a Medieval/Magical setting with plenty of action and adventure. There would be other monsters in the mix, but not vampires. i am sick of vampires and how people think they are so sexy and whatever. There would be a big mix of were-creatures and demons. and it would be worth reading :3

That sounds awesome! I did a book about an ex-werewolf that was captured and tortured by vampires who burned away his wolf side and turned him into a vampire- his worst enemy… sort of like a self tortured soul. Sound interesting at all?

dear werewolf website, i want to know how much does the werewolf blood, really cost? & if is cheap, i will buy it. only three dollars. but make sure u send it. through the mail. okay. i may send back the money. through the mail. thanks by savannah rauls

I would enjoy reading a Werewolf novel that DIDN’T focus on the main character being a woman. I mean, it doesn’t bother me as much as I’m laying it down, but sometimes I just get so pissy only seeing girls in love with the Wolf Guy, and even then the guy is SO ANGSTY and just WIERD. Why can’t we have a good novel with a BOY (that is, like, 13-17 for me)who is kind of a wise ass,a bit of a loser, and either gets turned himself or a loved one is turned, with a TAD bit of Romance pinched in here and there. Is that so much to ask?

While I’m delighted that there are more werewolf novels in the market today, I am so tired of these paranormal novels a la Beauty and the Beast. Always these male-centric werewolf novels! Why not have a novel in which THE WOMAN is the werewolf and her sweetheart has to come to terms with that dynamic in their relationship?

Furthermore, I would love to see more werewolf novels that are set in an era later than the medieval period. Why not more novels set in the Renaissance, during the Reformation, English Civil War, Thirty Years’ War, the Regency Era, the era of the Transatlantic African Slave Trade, French Revolution, and the early Industrial Revolution, for instance? One could craft a novel that starts off with an English lord (a veteran of the Peninsular Wars), who, while on a hunt after sundown, shoots and wounds a large animal, which turns out to be a female werewolf? He is utterly enchanted with her physical beauty, seeing her nude and bloodied while his dogs are barking and poking her with their teeth. Quickly, he takes it upon himself to carry her on horseback to his manor, where she’s placed in a small room and tended to by a doctor who accompanied him on the hunt. She hovers between life and death for several days before coming to. Subsequently, the lord makes inquiries about her and discovers that she, too, is a noble!

I think female werewolves should be given more of a place in werewolf novels today. Thankfully, there are some of those type of werewolf novels available now. I read them when I can.

I did something similar to the werewolf-girl and human boy, only she was a vampire… It really annoys me how it’s always the girl who is weak, innocent, perfect human who falls for a dark, handsome and sexy werewolf guy. It’s bullsh*t!

personally I would like to read a novel that focus on the supernatural abilities of werewolf I mean just like vampires always have there abilities why cant were wolves since there abilities are a part of them whether in human form or wolf form . and I agree that the supernatural aspect not the scientific one should be brought back to the werewolf world

Tbh I’n creating a story just like that haha
I am totally with you. The big WolfGuy that turns out to be the popular one at school… that one pisses me right off. I need somebody who’s not popular, but alone. And they protect the whole town from rogue invaders, but nobody knows it. Then a huge threat comes and he gets exposed and finds out he isn’t alone and maybe a bit of romance intertwinced. Anyways something to that effect, and I’d pick it off the shelf instantly.
Totally agree with you. I’m working on it haha

Scariness factor

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I want people to be afraid – People are usually like ‘Oh, you’re a wolf… that’s incredibly sexy/cool.’ But I want them to be TERRIFIED, and have characters that even break ties with the main because s/he is a monster.

I want the werewolf to be afraid – I’m writing a book about house dogs that suddenly turn human, and they are HORRIFIED! So should regular werewolves. They shouldn’t just go ‘Oh… I turned human. That’s cool.’ I want werewolves that are afraid, but grow into their own skin.

-_-_-

Asthetics

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I want them to be ugly… sometimes – Although I like a good pretty wolf like in ‘Bitten’, I prefer the giant ugly looking canine in ‘Being Human’. Josh is UGLY!… Depending on your perspective. Which is what makes it so cool.

-_-_-

Plot & Misc

For once… NO HUMAN x MONSTER ROMANCE!!! – This one is pretty self explanatory. I get frustrated at re-hashings of Twilight. (If that wasn’t already kinda lame.)

Adult, or children werewolves – I get tired of teen werewolves. Again – another Twilight pet peeve. I see teen monsters everywhere. For once, kids? I’ve never seen werewolf kids.

I’ve got you covered with a lot of these! Minus the other magical characters. As it looks right now my story is simply about Werewolves, although later on I might introduce other creatures. Keep an eye on my Twitter & blog for random snippets and updates about how my first draft is coming along, if you like. I’m doing my best to write a great werewolf novel because i’m so sick of all of the cliches too.

I may be fierce late to this discussion, but the first several points had me yelling and pointing at the phone screen screaming ‘yes! Yes YES!’. I currently am in the very final stages of writing a medieval fantasy werewolf novel with as little bullshit as possible, that focuses entirely from our antagonist’s point of view, none of that junk about how he affects the lives of others, this is barebones enjoying being cursed.

Approaching about 90,000 words, there’s no full moon influences, cursed silver artifacts, love, vampires or religious influences. It answers a lot of needs and wants that I personally want out of a true werewolf. The conception of a wolfman? Scrap that nonsense, this is a quadruped timber wolf in appearance, nothing extraordinary except perhaps it is only slightly larger than what is deemed average. And I do only mean slighter.

I think, it should capture attention to the lycanthrope fans, because I’m personally sick of recurring themes with werewolves. Plus a psychotic bastard that may enjoy setting out to cause misery and death (instead of having no choice but to do that against will) might actually shake it all up again. It’s 1543, you’ll need a lot of savvy to stay ahead of this creature…

This is a good sight for me. I am writing a fiction novel where I have different types characters: angels, werewolves, vampires, sorcerer’s. I actually came up with a totally different type of origin of werewolves & vampires than what has previously been done in the past. I’m not going give anything else away. But I’m going to save this sight in my favorites as a reference.

It’s a great list with a lot of honesties in it…
I think we’re all waiting for that one book/series/whatever that just hits the spwbgukblrgjnlrl/jnrfsijfE’IJR/JNLRG’IKJRF’IEFWN’JR

Sorry about that, my cat decided to do a forward roll on my keyboard.
As I was saying, we are all just hoping for a werewolf story that’s got no clichés in, a killer side couple (eg Malec (Magnus and Alec)), a brilliant lead character/s and a story line full of delicious twists and unexpected outcomes…
Easy…right?

I would also like to add… NO REALLY RARE WHITE WOLVES!!! THEY AREN’T RARE THEY’RE NORMAL WOLVES FOR F*CKS SAKE! I AM BORED OF WEREWOLF STORIES WITH A RARE WHITE WOLF THAT HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE!!
THEY ARE NOT RARE!!!!!!!
*smooths down blue flame hair* I’m cool, I’m cool.

There’s a book you might like i just finished reading and it has almost everything you listed on here it’s called Blood Or Chocolate awesome book you should check it out magbe

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