1. Leaka
    Offline

    Leaka Creative Mettle

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,825
    Likes Received:
    36

    A Plot Idea about Rain

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Leaka, Nov 25, 2012.

    Disclaimer: This is not a thread about asking people's opinions about a plot. This is a discussion about a plot. I'm the type of writer who likes to talk about an idea and get some interesting response to help fill out and flesh the idea. It's a discussion.

    So I was considering writing a horror novel based on rain and zombies. Okay that doesn't seem like much information. I had this interesting idea that one day it started raining, but there was clearly something wrong about this rain. If people got into contact with the rain they would decay, not die, but decay. Rotting flesh, and driven mad with the desire to kill. All the cunning and madness of a living being and no messiness of brains. I was considering bringing in interesting concept with water and making water fearful. Drowning. And all kinds of imagery with water.

    But that's all I have. I don't really have much of a full Point A to Point B plot fleshed out yet. So, a discussion and some questions would be helpful to me. Thanks everybody.
     
  2. Yoshiko
    Offline

    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    27
    What is the reasoning behind why the rain has this physical effect? Is it only humans that have a reaction when in contact with this rain or does it also have an effect on fauna and flora? Does the skin react instantly on first contact or is it more like a form of erosion where it will take years of exposure to show any visible/significant damage?

    Why are these people going to be "mad with the desire to kill"? Is it a chemical reaction or simply a change in mentality? Eg: unable to accept the change/jealous of those who remain normal. Is it possible for those with a strong will to have some control over this desire to kill?
     
  3. Leaka
    Offline

    Leaka Creative Mettle

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,825
    Likes Received:
    36
    I have aliken the the rain to some sort of "illness" only carried by the rain and whatever the rain touches. It happens to affect fauna and flore other than humans and the effects of decay is for as long as you are exposed. The more you're in the rain the faster you decay. I have the idea of this guy half his face is skull like and open with water pouring out of his holes like miniture fountain. I have also considered there are people immune to it and do not decay for whatever reason.

    I think it's a combination of both cannot accept their changes, and a chemical reaction with the rain. Some people desire having flesh again and hunt down other people for their skin, named the Flesh Seekers.
     
  4. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    It's still your job as a writer to develop the plot. Excercise your own imagination. Trust your own imagination. Don't leech of of how someone else would develop the idea into their story.

    Find your own voice. You're only cheating yourself.
     
  5. chicagoliz
    Offline

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,295
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Read about the history of and symptoms of Rabies. Throughout history this has been a very feared disease, and it is all tied up with a fear/revulsion of water. Many literary monsters (including zombies) have elements of a fear of rabies throughout the story. I'm not saying you should actually make the disease rabies, but it might give you some good ideas about how this might work and how society could react. By making the water actually harmful, you could push this beyond what had actually happened.
     
  6. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Someone else on here once had the same idea you do now - it's called White Rain, I think. The white rain killed everyone that it touched, and when the survivors went out to clear away the bodies, the dead came back to life as zombies. It was really well written, the two scenes that I read of it. Maybe search for it on the forum :)
     
  7. Leaka
    Offline

    Leaka Creative Mettle

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,825
    Likes Received:
    36
    I don't think I'm leeching off of anyone. Most of the time when people write what they write, I tend to one answer from my own imagination and two blend something I liked about what they said with stuff from my own imagination. I only discuss plot and ideas with people to help marinate my own idea from my own imagination.

    @Chica: I want the rain to be kind of more supernatural if that makes sense. I want to give it a sort of mysterious quality. I don't want a real disease. The qualities of a disease, but the power of the supernatural.

    @Mckk: I'll check it out. :)
     
  8. Dagolas
    Offline

    Dagolas Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    France
    Interesting plot, but why does the rain turn them to zombies?
     
  9. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,828
    Likes Received:
    2,382
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    I used this idea once for one of my screenplays! I got the idea from the movie Bowfinger - chubby rain lol!
    I also took elements from a favorite horror book of mine from the 80's The Breeze Horror by Candace Caponegro
    in which they were shooting garbage into space ( I think ) and triggered off a dire acid rain that turned
    anyone caught in it into mutant kinetic zombies. The heroine winds up being caught on an summer
    vacation island with a handful of survivors and the mutants. Cool book by the way.
     
  10. Leaka
    Offline

    Leaka Creative Mettle

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,825
    Likes Received:
    36
    Well they aren't technically zombies, instead they are those whom seek flesh.

    "Your flesh deceives you, you do not need it,why don't you stop hiding in that room and give me what I deserve and seek. Give me flesh so I may be beautiful, so beautiful little mouse in it's hole, I want to feel the skin, that I so crave,"
     
  11. the antithesis
    Offline

    the antithesis Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know. Zombies are kind of like leftover turkey at this point. You could probably make it just that the rain is dangerous. If you were trapped somewhere, like at work or school, and the water became deadly, that would be a bad thing. How much water does the location hold? How many people need to ration it? Is the water in the tap safe? For how long? Do they have a lab? Can they figure out what's wrong with the rain water and remove it? Does removing it from the water just release it into the air?

    Stuff like that. The zombie thing... maybe I'm a curmudgeon but I don't like it.
     
  12. Leaka
    Offline

    Leaka Creative Mettle

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,825
    Likes Received:
    36
    Zombie is just the best way to define them.
     
  13. the antithesis
    Offline

    the antithesis Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, maybe it's just my opinion, but I never found zombies all that appealing in the first place and their recent, puzzling popularity has made them the lazy writer's monster of choice. Problem is, I don't see much that's interesting being done with zombies here, and I would like you to do better than that. Everything I had mentioned in my previous post is stuff you should address whether you keep the zombies or drop them, so I figured, why not make that the main source of antagonism instead? It's something that hasn't really been seen before, unlike zombies where even parodies are tired, overdone and never interesting in the first place.

    I mean, you could keep the zombies, but how do you avoid cliche and make them interesting? They're rotting, like every other zombie story. They're mindless, like every other zombie story. They're violent, like every other zombie story. So what's new here?

    You had said in your OP:

    Why not, instead of making that a symbolic background to your zombie story, make it the main thrust of your story? Like I said, you have to deal with it anyway. It just seems more organic to me.

    If you're still insistent on having zombie, how about giving them a reduced, secondary role. If the water gets into the brain, it rots the brain, causing dementia and soon after, death, but not before the poor sod caused some damage, like puking into the group's safe water supply or attempting to rape his ex-wife because he thinks they're on their honeymoon.

    Feel free to disregard my suggestions, but I think you have an idea here, but you're tacking zombies onto it. That may not be how you came up with the idea, but stepping back a bit, to me, the zombies look tacked on.
     
  14. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Your idea sounds way cooler than zombie stuff, and that quote up there - oh my goodness gave me the creeps :D I look forward to reading some of it if you decide to post it in the workshop!

    Reminds me too of Baldur's Gate 2 - there's a particular mission where a tanner was making a type of armour from human skin sewn together. It gave you like a -2 on reputation but really increased your hit points :D

    So what will your characters drink? You must have a safe source of water somewhere, or the most pressing thing in your book would not be these Flesh Seekers, but rather thirst. 3 days without water and you're dead.
     
  15. 123456789
    Offline

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,339
    Likes Received:
    3,086
    Get rid of the z word.

    Magic rain = leprosy + insanity (which I would consider not being exclusive to killing for flesh, but simply including it)

    You could satisfy people like Antithesis and Chica by offering plausible (according to some characters) scientific explanations for the rain effects while still adding in a mystic element through the reverence of your insane lepers, who believe the rain to be divine.

    I didn't think I'd ever say this after first reading the original post, but you might be on to something, if you flesh out the concepts of the leprosy (or whatever you want to call it) and insanity individually and together, to create enemies that don't waddle and grunt, but are capable of spewing lines like your gem about flesh deceiving. I don't see why your antagonists can't blend in with the non infected. The only issue I see is how to unify the infected, if that's what you're going for. Worship of the rain might be a start.
     
  16. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    So totally agree.
     
  17. chicagoliz
    Offline

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,295
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Just to clarify, I wasn't suggesting that the OP read about Rabies in order to make the disease in the story biologically possible. Rather, the fear of Rabies (and also many other diseases, but Rabies was particularly feared due to the effects on the brain and specifically the fear of water that it brought out in its victims) drove people to come up with all sorts of explanations for the disease, including supernatural ones. Reviewing the treatment of victims of any epidemic disease, particularly those that occurred prior to the discovery and acceptance of germ theory, could inform the OP's writing and treatment of this new biological condition he is contemplating. (Although you can see plenty of fear in the treatment of AIDS patients as recently as the 1980s and 90s.)
     
  18. Leaka
    Offline

    Leaka Creative Mettle

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,825
    Likes Received:
    36

    That may be a good idea.

    "The water speaks to us, it's the first being that has whispered truth. From imaginations were created modern temples and monements to please a god that we debated existed or not. And now we have something to hold to, little flesh one. The water is our truth and it is not what we imagine, it rolls down our bones and what is left of our skin, and makes me feel....alive, as water drips down whatever I have left of life. You know what the water tells me little mouse? It tells me to kill you, softly. To take your wings...and tear your skin off...peacefully and softly, like a mother caring for her child."

    Even the Black Plague had some connotations of supernatural, demons, etc.


    @MCKK: I think that there will still be bottled water left. Those infected by the rain wouldn't need "for we drink what nature has given us and changed, we desire no true only the water that rains from the sky". Thus those whom are not decaying or immune to the rains affect could store on bottled water.


    edit-

    I think my inspiration is less Zombies and more Splicers from Bioshock.
     
  19. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    But what happens when bottled water runs out? People will hoard - it'd also be the first thing to disappear right at the beginning of the novel because people will hide it, and those who control the bottled water will be king, as it were.

    As for the Flesh Seekers, they would surely sit in the entrances of shops and supermarkets then - like an anaconda or a lion who waits at the waterhole because they know their prey must drink. Given your Flesh Seekers are so intelligent, they might consider breaking the bottles. Anything not of the true water that rains from the sky is surely "blasphemy" - and destroying these bottles make their prey helpless and delusional, making them easier targets.

    So how would you hide your stash of bottles? What sort of organised community would emerge from this? And how would they deal with the ever more urgent question of "What happens when we run out?"

    Is there a place where the rain has not affected? Perhaps your people can migrate and even find fresh lakes and rivers that have not been contaminated.

    Another question - what happens to the animals, insects and especially, fish and other water life?
     
  20. 123456789
    Offline

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,339
    Likes Received:
    3,086
    Leak, depending on how you write this, I'm not even sure you have to worry too much about all these questions.

    I see from your quotes, you're building very strong, frightening, inspired enemies. If you can counterbalance that with simple, frightened, and maybe weak protagonists. (rain worshipers are the cats, the survivors are the mice), the reader can simply conclude the MCs really don't know that much about what's happening. In fact, ignorance on the part of the MCs and the readers might enhance the fear of the story, especially if you pump it full of quotes like the ones you've been throwing around.
     
  21. Leaka
    Offline

    Leaka Creative Mettle

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,825
    Likes Received:
    36
    Well it's why I'm calling him Little Mouse.

    The story starts off with him hiding out in an office that he barricaded. Where the enemies taunt him from the door. He's actually shy and timid, and doesn't know how to survivehe actually ends um fumbling around. The person doing all the things MCkk is asking is the second lead in the story whom ends up being his personal survival shield.
     
  22. SuperVenom
    Offline

    SuperVenom Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    South Wales
    Is it just the rain that is contaminated or would rivers etc be as well? So like crossing bridges or using a boat would have extra dangers.
    Also just thinking has the water itself got character, almost an entity in it's self. Like some authors do with fire or natural disasters where people start to think there is an evil intention behind something with basically no consciousness.
     
  23. Leaka
    Offline

    Leaka Creative Mettle

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,825
    Likes Received:
    36
    I really am going for a supernatural rain. I don't see why everyone wants a scientific explanation for something that's suppose to be mysterious, that the reader can begin to twist their own ideals into the rain. Naturally what would make the water dangerous is all the living organism in the water. As most people corrode the moment they touch the water. The rain affects only living organisms. And as stated beforehand, there are people immune to corroding, but they have become "lambs to the slaughter so we may wear their flesh, as they have built this wool for us to use"

    edit-

    sorry misunderstood the intent of the question....woopsie, lol....'-.-
     

Share This Page