1. CrimsonReaper
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    CrimsonReaper Active Member

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    Slaughterville, USA

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by CrimsonReaper, Apr 28, 2012.

    Okay so I started brainstorming and outlining a new urban fantasy last night to salvage the ideas from the previous one that just didn't work (wrote about a fourth of it, gonna work those scenes in). Most of the same characters are in it but the basic plotline is radically different. I'm actually doing a mini zombie apocalypse. And one vampire. That fights a werewolf. I mean that is pretty much a given right...

    The premise:
    A small "dying" town in the US (I was thinking one of those towns you find around abandoned coal mines) is basically being used as a ritual sacrifice by a cult. As in the entire town's inhabitants of two hundred or so. A big sacrifice, but not so big that it can't be covered up with some natural/industrial disaster. Which is part of what I wonder. What would be needed to isolate one town from the rest of the world for a full day and then make everyone think the population got wiped out by some tragedy. Maybe an underground fire in the old mine?

    For days prior to the attack, a series of conjured storms rock the town. The electrical interference plays havok on cell phones and other means of communication. So no dialing for the National Guard. It also floods the river running by the town, which is presumably what destroys the main bridge out. The other bridge out of town is basically setup as an ambush sight to pick people off as they try to get out. Once the town is sealed off from the rest of the world, cultists (the werewolf is one of them) and their pet zombies attack.

    So some questions about zombies:
    There is no virus or anything silly like that. These are corpses reanimated by demonic spirits. Much more sensible ;) You can blow their heads clean off and all you get is a blind zombie stumbling around trying to find you. This of course allows the scene where the supposedly genre-smart kid shoots one in the head and gloats, only for it to get up and stab him fifty times in the back. Yes, the zombies are coherent enough to utilize weaponry (knives mostly). They will eat some of the townsfolk to fuel the energies running their undead bodies, but most victims will instead be horribly mutilated/tortured as part of the ritual. Or made into more zombies I suppose. There is a ritual involved in that too. No worry about zombie bites turning you (though the townsfolk don't know that....) To stop them you have to either A) inflict enough damage that the body is useless or B) somehow drive the spirit from the flesh which requires a concrete religious symbol like a crucifix (with the little Jesus and everything, not just a cross) and REAL FAITH in it. Sorry athiests. You are boned. Magen Davids might work too. Was thinking of making the MC's family Jewish. They don't have superstrength, but the demons can use the body's full potential because they don't care about long-term damage. They literally burn up the corpses after a few days of inhabiting them anyway. The zombie's skin is actually burning hot from the energy involved. Should I call them something other than zombies?

    The other question is what sort of people stick around in a dying town?
    What I have so far:
    -The vampire (no virus; created the same way as a zombie, but the body was fresh and "took better" to having a demon in it); This strange woman befriends the MC and just happened to be passing through and actually had NOTHING to do with the cultists whatsoever. No sir...nothing at all...Stop looking at her like that. Just because a vampire was in town when zombies led by a werewolf hit doesn't mean anything. That's profiling...
    -The teenage MC and her mother, who run the grocery and were going to move in year or so after saving up enough money for the MC's college.
    -The local pastor who feels it would be wrong to abandon his flock. As a servant of God I figured he could exorcise the zombies and even keeps them front entering the holy ground of his church. Sadly the human cultists can come in.
    -An old homeless Vietnam veteran that everyone assumes is crazy cause he came back talking about the "monsters" in the jungle that massacred his squad. The MC is one of the few people that talks to the guy, much to her mother's chagrin. Come on. You gotta have the war vet that snaps and unloads a can of whoopass on the monsters...
    -The local stoners. Every town has them. These are the guys that watched all the zombie flicks, which gets most of them killed.
    -The last bar owner in town and his waitress/girlfriend, the "village bicycle". The waitress is friends with the MC. Cue heroic sacrifice....maybe...I mean the slutty girl always dies right?
    -The local "Hero" (homecoming king, star of the football team, etc.) stuck reliving his glory days. Many are content to be the big fish in a tiny pond.
    -The family that owned the mine and keeps a fancy house on the nicest hill in town. People like seeing rich folk suffer, so you gotta have their little mansion burn down or something.
    -The local sheriff and a couple deputies. How many cops would a town of a few hundred even have? Figured the big bad wolf would kill the guys personally to make sure they didn't have a secure landline or other means of calling out for help during an emergency.

    Sorry if that post was too long. Any other townsfolk/zombie food I should consider?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Are you asking our opinion of the story, or asking us to co-write it?

    To the former, a story concept means nothing until you actually write it. Story concepts are worthless. It's what you do with the concept - any concept - that makes you a writer.

    To the second question, do you think Joe Hill asks people what characters to add to his stories? Or any other successful writer?

    I will say this. Cutting off a zombie's head is effective even if it doesn't drop him. He can't see to find you, he can't bite you. What's he going to do, fatally ooze all over you?

    And why would there be a vampire in Zombie Town. The supply of fresh blood has mostly left town, even if you can suspend belief enough that there are zombies AND vamps roaming about. But it could be a comedy, I suppose.

    And perhaps you can write it better than you pitched it above. After all, the concept means nothing. It's all about how you write it, whether if succeeds or tanks.
     

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