1. Venicia
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    Venicia New Member

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    Undead or Better Left Dead?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Venicia, Mar 30, 2014.

    I'm working on fleshing out a random plot idea that keeps knocking on my door, but I've run into problem and would appreciate other peoples' input.
    I was thinking along the lines of a government engineered virus getting released by accident and the vaccine or cure first raising mortality and then "helping" the virus mutate.

    That's where my problem starts. It'd be all to easy to introduce zombies at this point, but it's too little, too late for zombie fans and probably too much for "haters".

    Being a fan myself, I can't judge the reception of the latter, so, I'm asking for opinions:

    Go undead or come up with a different final ~3rd?


    If it matters, I don't intent to go commercial with this, just sites like fictionpress if at all.
     
  2. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I don't call myself a 'hater', but I don't want to even hear about another story containing zombies. It seems you could figure out a scientifically-accurate way to spread the virus.
     
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  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I'm with @stevesh. I'm not a hater either - I'm a fence-rider - but am a little burned out and bored with the trope. The advent of films that are zombie movies in disguise (The Colony, The Last Days of Mars) only makes it worse. If it looks like a zombie, shambles like a zombie, eats like a zombie, I don't care what you call it, it's a freakin' zombie. A rose by any other name....
     
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  4. stormr
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    stormr Member

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    I pretty much love Zombie movies, and stories. Even though as mentioned that they've been pretty much all played out. And the big thing nowdays is to have a bunch of zombies but simply never call them zombies. Yea they fool all of us, it can't be just another zombie movie if we don't call them Zombies right!

    Anyways to get back on track here. Don't let the fact that there is an over abundance of zombie stories out there, hard core zombie fans will read anything about zombies. But be sure not to do the same old zombie story. And especially I've been noticing an awefull lot of 'Military vs. Zombie' types on the rise.

    Keep the storyline simple, yet entertaining. Keep it based on a small amount of people, something like a real life family facing the zombie apocalypse type thing.

    Don't be afraid to explore new grounds. Have different types of zombies based off of age of decomposition. Maybe new and recently fresh zombies can run, maybe even have some kind of residual skill to them. Old zombies move slow and grunt. Use details to show us perhaps what would happen to a zombie when they reach the point of rot, that they simply can't function at all anymore. What woud happen to them.

    There are tons of new ways to write out a zombie story. Watch alot of zombie movies and take notes. Then write down not to do anything you just seen. Aside from that write questions, when you see something wonder why it happens ,and how it couldve gone differently. Also avoid the cliche version of only one survives, or one of the MC gets biten then turns to attack everyone else because no one wanted to kill him/her or send them away.

    I say go ahead and write out a zombie story. The virus thing has been used to much though, and also the idea of rage. Walking dead did it good with it being in all of us. Just come up with something new, it can be simple as well. Hell Zombieland had it all start with someone eating a contaminated burger at a fast food joint. Or you can go all out and do the whole 'Hell is full, so the dead shall walk the earth' routine, no ones covered that one in a while. Or be unique and never mention anything about how it starts, just have the people knowing that zombies are real and we need to survive now.
     
  5. Venicia
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    Venicia New Member

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    Thank you all for giving me some angles to consider.
    And, yes, I realize that both zombies and viruses are overdone, but I'm essentially just going though ideas to practice different things before tackling the story I've more or less been developing since I was 11.
    The point behind this one is to write something that requires a lot of action scenes, because I suck at those, and get people to actually critique it after.

    Actually, I might just go for a short story rather than a novel length project, try both a zombie and a no zombie approach, and see which I prefer.
     
  6. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Even though I love the series, that's one of my criticisms against The Walking Dead TV series and comics...why call them walkers? And not just that, but they only call them walkers. Haven't the main charactrers ever seen a zombie movie and realised actually these walkers are zombies? :rolleyes:
     
  7. novemberjuliet
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    novemberjuliet Member

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    @Thomas Kitchen I'm pretty sure they've called them zombies plenty of times in the comic. Walkers is like a category or something just like Lurkers, Ghouls, etc.

    Regarding OP, you could get away with a virus story as long as you make it unique to yourself and it wouldn't hurt to come from a different angle with the plot (i.e. focus on morality or something as opposed to getting bogged down describing the virus's effects of the zombies and whatnot.) Don't let popular opinion narrow your choices. World War Z was popular because it approached the zombie trope from everywhere no one was expecting. The best pieces of zombie fiction aren't written about zombies really. that being said, a good enough writer can still make the whole virus/zombie idea entertaining if that's what you're going for.
     
  8. du59
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    du59 New Member

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    There's always the angle of making the main character the zombie. Shambling, eating flesh, swarming with other recently undead, mix all that with impulses and flashes from the afflicted's past life and you could make a compelling little narrative.
     
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  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You see, this I actually quite like. I think the film Warm Bodies took a very clever spin on this idea and with the zombie trope by using the trope itself as an indictment of our ever more tech-obsessed culture. There's a very quick, blink-and-you'll-miss-it, scene at the beginning of that film where R gives a teensy flashback to life before zombihood where he's in the airport and absolutely every single person in the scene is glued to their cellphone or tablet screens. It's the key moment that tells you what the whole film is about.
     
  10. Venicia
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    Venicia New Member

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    Honestly I'm not sure whether I should thank you all or curse you. Your replies have gotten me to start developing this idea on the side rather than focusing all my energy on my Camp NaNo project like I'm supposed to.
    The deeper into the outline I get the more I realize that this story has no place for either zombies or a virus. It's shaping itself into more of a conspiracy story, but I will definitely keep all your suggestions in mind for future stories.
    I hope this doesn't count as wasting everyone's time, but it did help me a lot with figuring out where I wanted to go with it.

    PS: I love the idea of a zombie protagonist.
     
  11. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Regarding thanking versus cursing: A little of both. :p

    But seriously, good to see that you're getting into your story. :D Have fun with it, Venicia!
     
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I'm with Link. :) Brainstorming is about helping you wheedle the ideas out of your own brain, not giving you ideas. This was a prefect discussion, IMO. ;)
     

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