1. PrincessSofia
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    PrincessSofia Active Member

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    Undead.what does this word make you think about ?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by PrincessSofia, Oct 11, 2015.

    I have finished writing my novel tonight and even though I am going to focus on another project before editing this one , I have something I'd like to have your opinion on. I use the word undead several times , and would also like to use it as a title. What does it make you think about ? ( after I get a few answers I'll explain how the idea to use it came to me and also what it refers to).
     
  2. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, this is perfect for my 666th post :D

    Plague. Whether intelligent (vampire) or mindless (zombie), whether biological or supernatural, the infection replaces everything in it's path with more and more copies of itself until there's nothing left of anything else.
     
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  3. ShalaylaW
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    ShalaylaW Member

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    It makes me think of an unchangeable state, trapped and despairing between worlds in a statuesque form, unfeeling and cold. Also makes me think about raving monsters of human beings, clawing from the grave, all that fun stuff. Makes me think about decay, and how much it has/hasn't changed them.
     
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  4. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    The first thing that comes to mind is modern zombies stories.
    I happen to be a bit of a mythology nut, so I also think of draugrs. Since much mythology revolved around veneration of ancestors I've always wondered who came back and why? You better believe I will be burying my ancestors with all their favorite things. To be completely honest I'd like to construct a burial mound, but don't think I'd be able to get planning and building to give me a permit for that once grandma kicks off!
     
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  5. Moth
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    Moth Active Member

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    Zombies, basically. Vampires. The physical, animated dead.
    Example: Ghosts aren't physical, they're the spirits of the dead rather than the undead. At least in my mind.

    Thanks to modern media, zombies and vampires and similar are pretty much the go-to when someone says "undead". Unliving, on the other hand, isn't used nearly as much.
     
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  6. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    It just makes me think of the definition. A dead body that is animated by other means.
     
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  7. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Because of the cultural background, "Undead" makes me think of zombies. If I was more of a fan of vampire fiction than zombie fiction, I'd probably think of vampires.

    But, I can't in my mind separate "Undead" from its frequent use in popular fiction and media. If I wanted to write something that wasn't from that genre, which approached 'undead' in a different way, then I wouldn't use that title, but would think of a new word or phrase without the cultural baggage.
     
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  8. PrincessSofia
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    PrincessSofia Active Member

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    Thanks for all the answers ! Unfortunately you all confirm what I was thinking lol. So basically the plot and the last few scenes of this novel came to me in a dream and in the dream my MC kept saying that one character was an undead and she asked him are you a vampire ? And he said no and when I woke up I wrote it all down and I felt like this undead character had to come from Irish mythology so I dis q quick research and I found that the fomorians , mythological irish gods of destruction/demons were also called the undead. And some legends say they're immortal, so I'm using the word undead in the sense of cannot die, but also because the legends are using it.But since most people think about vampires and zombies I should probably change this world.Or what if I explain in the novel that the legends call the fomorians "undead"?
     
  9. Woof
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    Woof Contributing Member

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    Tricky one. Undead, for me, definitely means to be reanimated from a state of death. What you are describing does sound like you need a word more akin to 'without death', aka immortal! It's hard to use that without it having solely positive connotations though. Perhaps simply altering it to Undying would be enough?
     
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  10. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    There must be many ways of expressing the concept 'Undead' without using the word, or another cliched word. I can think of a couple but don't want to suggest them as if I do it will reduce the options that you have. 'Fomorians' is an interesting word in itself, sounds mysterious, and because they are lesser known, fresh. To me at least, Irish people may disagree.
     
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  11. PrincessSofia
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    PrincessSofia Active Member

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    Thank you both for your answers, it helped :). I do use the word fomorian many times as my MC is actually learning about it in class, but in my story there's also another kind of creature, which belongs to Irish mythology as well. They are also immortal, but very different, and similar at the same time, that's why I would like to find a word that I could use to qualify them both. Undying sounds good, maybe I'll use it.
     
  12. ShalaylaW
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    ShalaylaW Member

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    Ohmygoodness how did I not think of that!?!? I'm Irish, and I remember my parents saying something about that.
    I honestly think that's an insanely cool twist! :D
    If you needed a name for one specific fomorian (undead) I would suggest Balor, the demonic king of death in Irish mythology. Just a suggestion :) I adore this idea
     
  13. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    Why does everyone go for the post-Christian versions of mythology???
    Death does not equate with evil or demons.

    How about Nantosuelta? She is a Gallic goddess of death. She protects those who have passed on and blesses those who properly venerate their ancestors with abundant life.

    Or Sucellos? A Celtic god, whose name literally means, he who strikes home. He is a hammer god, but is often depicted with a club as well. He is a god of the dead as well as a god of plenty.

    Also Ogmios--Gallic god of speech, corresponds to the Irish god Ogma (creator of the ogham) and who defeated the Fomore. He leads the dead.

    Frankly, I'm fond of Epona. and Wales isn't far off if you're up for Gwydyon?

    And if were going Celtic why not go all out and choose Dagda? He can slay & restore life.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  14. ShalaylaW
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    ShalaylaW Member

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    Thanks for singling me out :agreed: Not everyone knows mythology down to the details. Just chose it because it was off the top of my head and it sounded pretty neat.
     
  15. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    A bit off-point anyway, since PrincessSofia said the fomorian are " mythological irish gods of destruction/demons" so she isn't exactly looking for gods of death. She is looking for another way to refer to fomorians.

    Personally, I like the suggestion of Undying. That sounds much more intriguing than undead. Undead makes me think of vampires first, and then zombies, as others have said. When I hear undying, I think of something that can't die. Like a god, or some immortal.

    Anyway, your premise sounds really cool and if you're looking for beta readers at any point, I'd be interested!
     
  16. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    When I hear undying I think of the cauldron born.
     
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  17. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    My brain associates "undying" with "undying lands".
     
  18. PrincessSofia
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    PrincessSofia Active Member

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    I dont know how to quote on my phone sorry . So, I don't even know why I have chosen Irish mythology,I just woke up and knew it had to be Irish mythology haha, but I guess maybe it's due to the fact that I'm moving to Ireland soon so I've been a little obssessed with Irish culture haha. For the people who suggested names, I already have chosen my mythological people lol but thanks :). Thank you all , undying is definitely the word I will use when refering to the two kind of creatures as a "generic name" :)
     
  19. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I flashed through several images when I saw the word "undead" in this thread. The first time I ever heard of it was in reference to Dracula, so I think vampires. I don't remember ever seeing it used for zombies. To me, zombies were never undead, they were just dead. But they hadn't stopped moving yet.

    I was also reminded of Gene Hackman's line from Unforgiven: "Hell, even I thought I was dead. Turns out it was just that I was in Nebraska." :D

    But I thought it might also be a good name for a Grateful Dead tribute band. Or maybe Wal-Mart customers. Certain members of Congress also come to mind. :p
     
  20. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    Actually, that is the point. Fomorians were only refereed to as demons AFTER their own myths were "Christianized." The original Celtic/Germanic/Norse traditions don't have demons. The Christianized myth claims the Fomorians were the enemies of Ireland's "first settlers" the Tuatha De Danann. However, the Trutha De Danann is a myth that arrived in Ireland with the Celts when the migrated from continental Europe during the Hallstatt period. Ireland's original inhabitants were Picts.

    Pre-Christian mythology has the Fomorians intermarrying with the Tuatha De Danann, just as the Celts intermarried with the Picts. The Fomorians are similar to the Jontnar of the Norse Pantheon. The Jotnar frequently interact with the gods of the Aesir and Vanir in competitive and non-competitive ways. Some Jotnar intermarry with the other races of gods and a good number are named as parents or grandparents. (Thor and Odin owe their parentage to these interbreedings.) This is very complex relationship between these two comparable races. It's not good and evil, and certainly not demons!

    If you are going to play around with Pagan Gods the least you can do is refer to their own myths and legends accurately. It's like writing a story about Palestinians, but only getting your information about Palestinian lifestyle and beliefs from Jews. Likewise, you wouldn't write about Jews and only gather information from the Palestinians. You cannot speak with any authority about a group if your only information was gathered from their enemy.
     
  21. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    So you're saying, essentially, that PrincessSofia should not write her book because she isn't obsessively informed about Irish Mythology?

    It's fiction.
    There are loads, and loads, and loads of semi-informed, mostly-inaccurate books that dabble in mythology. Just because she doesn't know anything about Picts doesn't mean she shouldn't write her story exactly how she wants it. If some publisher has a beef with it, he'll let her know. Otherwise, it sounds like a fine story and I don't think she needs to feel ashamed for writing based on the cursory information she has.

    I actually do understand knowing a lot about a topic and being so frustrated when you see people getting it wrong. I have experienced that myself. But PrincessSofia's story isn't about getting it all exactly right. And as we've seen in the case of Shalayla's Irish parents, the Irish themselves believe this post-Christian notion of the fomorians.

    If it makes you so frustrated to see it written this way, and if you are so desperate for an accurate Irish mythology work of fiction to be told, write one yourself.
     
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  22. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    Can I write Christian myths from a paleo-pagan perspective w/o having much of society jumping on my back?
    From this perspective Yahweh would be seen as a pedophile and Jesus would be a draugr who clearly needs to die a second death before he makes life miserable for everyone. And if they'd bothered to give him a proper burial and provided grave goods he probably wouldn't have come back in the first place.

    The short answer is no; a person can't write unfavorable accounts of Christianity. So why do so many authors write unfavorable accounts of early religions; often seen through the lens of Christianity? If you are going to write from a Christian perspective, then yes, make them all devils, demons, witches, and warlocks. What irks me is when people try to romanticize early religions and then end up with something that is neither Christian nor Pagan, but some mutant form of both.

    If you are going to write about early religions at least take the time to do a little research. I would never dream of writing about African folklore without spending a whole lot of time learning about said folklore and traditions.
     
  23. ShalaylaW
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    ShalaylaW Member

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    I completely agree with you. I mean, I'm writing a story based on the myth of Lemuria, a piece of land, like Atlantis, that has disappeared and shouldn't even be possible for it to exist. I researched the topic, but not EVERYTHING fit into the story I wanted to create. So I took bits of information and planted it into my story.
     
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  24. Moth
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    Moth Active Member

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    Disagree completely with that. A person can write whatever they want. How people react to that writing is a whole other issue. Publishers might not like the idea of a book that could insult many hundreds of millions worldwide, but might be slightly more okay with a less widespread mythology. I'd imagine readers would have different opinions.
     
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  25. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    The short answer is yes, you could write that. There are books out there that do present unfavorable accounts of Christianity. And I stand by my statement that fiction can be whatever.
     
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