1. PGWhyte
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    PGWhyte Member Supporter

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    Zombies

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by PGWhyte, Sep 15, 2016.

    Do you guys think that the theme/genre is over done?

    Im trying to put together something with zombies and make it different if i can. Im just curious as to what you all think.

    Thanks

    Phil
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I personally think the answer is yes if the zombie story is just a romp through the trope for the sake of troping the trope. There's a great little film called Warm Bodies that uses the zombie trope to talk about digital addiction, which I think makes clever use of the trope to say something other than ahh! zombies! run! There's also a fantastic British show called In the Flesh that uses the zombie trope as an analogy for people living with HIV in the modern world.
     
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  3. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    I'm sure there are still plenty of people interested in reading a good zombie story but you'd probably have a tough time getting one traditionally published right now.
    I went through a zombie phase a couple years ago & read a ton of books. I'm over it for now. Maybe in another year or so I'd read another.
     
  4. PGWhyte
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    PGWhyte Member Supporter

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    Yeah, fair points from both comments. I planned on writing a few short stories and then write a few novels in the same universe as the novellas.

    I've really been toying with the idea of just completing my current work and seeing how it fairs ( free ebook ) before deciding on continuing with anything more on the subject.

    Thanks for your comments and looking forward to hearing more thoughts on the subject.

    Phil
     
  5. Dr. Mambo
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    Dr. Mambo Active Member

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    Zombies are definitely overdone. That's not to say you can't or shouldn't write about them, but a lot of horror and sci-fi magazines will specifically list in their submission guidelines "no tropes (e.g. vampires, zombies, etc.)" which makes it hard to find a place to send the finished product.

    If you're planning to give your material away for free, though, then it doesn't really matter if the subject is overdone.
     
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  6. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    The only way to have it not be like all the rest is to turn the tables as they say. Instead of Zombies turning and hunting people, flip it on its head. Other than that I can't help you. :p

    Good luck. :)
     
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  7. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    That's really the idea here. Everything has been done before. You just need a new lens through which to frame the story. Take some common ideas, mix traits, reverse roles, coin new names. Think outside of the proverbial box. Tell the story you want to tell. :)

    I firmly believe that the most important part of writing a story is actually wanting to write it. Rather than changing what you want to do to pander to editors. If the idea is fresh, the writing good, there will be interest in some form or another.
     
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  8. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    I generally like zombies so for me it's never overdone and also glad that due to the nature of the classic trope it can't be 'made interesting again'. Some tried and failed. They're not vampires. That said, a lot can be achieved with the classic trope by staying true to it and it will be interesting every time, for example it can turn out to be horror or comedy and even potentially take place in the same universe. Dawn of the Dead (2004, Zack Snyder) and Shaun of the Dead (its perfectly legit parody) are examples. Others have successfully tried changing it (I am Legend), but not without in my opinion ruining the classic zombie.
     
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  9. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Eta: slightly off-topic

    Uhm @Wreybies , are you sure the title is correct? I know 'Warm Bodies' and I can't for the life of me imagine what in there speaks about 'digital addiction'. The film itself is awesome, I agree, but not for this reason.

    In 'Warm Bodies' the story is told from a zombie's perspective when he falls in love. Almost everything in this story is a trope, turned consciously around. But I really can't imagine 'digital addiction'..
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, yeah, there's a scene at the beginning of the movie that's the clue. It flips back to just before the zombie apocalypse happens and R is in the airport and every single person in the scene is glued to their cellphone screen, R included. It's literally (or figuratively, not sure in this case) the first stage of zombie-ism within the commentary the film is making. The zombies go through other stages until becoming "bonies". Those are the ones that just cannot be helped, but the others can be brought back. Julie makes a real-world connection with R and little by little she saves him and brings him back. There are other clues as well. There's a little scene where Julie admits to Nora what's going on and Nora says she wishes there was still internet so she could go online and look up what's wrong with her. No internet = talking to real people = not zombies. The whole film is commentary about disconnection through addiction to digital media and technology.
     
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  11. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    With the current popularity of The Walking Dead, I don't think getting zombie stuff traditionally published is that hard right now. As plenty of others have pointed out, you just need an original twist on it.
     
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  12. scriveningnerd
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    scriveningnerd New Member

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    Personally, I don't feel that the genre is overdone, as it's my favorite genre to read, cull from and write.
     
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  13. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    My biggest problem with the "zombie" idea is the word, Zombie. It's lost its...pizazz. It no longer connotes mystery and intrigue because it's been over used.

    Needs a rebranding, so to speak.
     
  14. scriveningnerd
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    scriveningnerd New Member

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    When did it ever exude "mystery" or "intrigue"? I always found the genre and the concept to be fairly straight forward.
     
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  15. Spencer1990
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    Not the genre, I mean the word.

    At one point, it was fresh and would draw me in via mystery "how are they going to look" "how did they get this way" "what happened in the world to create them". Now that it's been done so many times, I don't have that intrigue. If someone were to coin a new name for a similar concept, different details, that sense might be renewed.

    I don't know! I'm still on my first cup of coffee! o_O

    Also, I never said it exudes mystery. Connotes, rather.
     
  16. scriveningnerd
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    scriveningnerd New Member

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    What would you call them?
     
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  17. Spencer1990
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    That's the point! If someone were to give them a rebranding, freshen them up, they might consider thinking of a new word. I don't write in the genre, probably never will, so I haven't the faintest idea but certainly it can (and has) been done. I.E., "Walkers", "Infected", etc., etc.
     
  18. PGWhyte
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    *whistles while trying to think of a new name for his Infected*
     
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  19. Spencer1990
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    Let me put it this way @scriveningnerd, If I (meaning my subjective opinion that no one else is forced to accept) came across the word, zombie, in a piece of writing, I would probably roll my eyes. It could be the very same story and they've come up with some clever name to use in place of "zombie" and I would NOT roll my eyes.

    Does this make sense or am I being ridiculous? The latter is entirely possible.
     
  20. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Smell.

    Professionally trained crime-scene techs with years under their belt will still lose their lunch when exposed to sufficiently decomposed bodies. Joe Schmo off the street facing a pack of dozens of dead bodies at point-blank? Not going to happen. People's teeth are going to look disgusting in a month because that's not what they use toothpaste for anymore. I wouldn't be surprised if it's not even called "tooth"paste anymore after a year or two.
     
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  21. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is a relevant point. A friend of mine gets genuinely angry about the way the 'infected' (which is what we're talking about in most cases) get labelled with the generic 'zombie' term. I find it amusing that he gets so irritated, but technically he's right. A zombie is only a zombie when they're living dead.

    You could do worse than dropping the term zombie for your story, but I'm just echoing what others have already said; swap roles, use fresh terms, put a different slant on things. It's going to be very difficult doing something original in this genre, but I'm sure it's possible.

    How about telling it in first-person from the POV of one of the infected? This way you can give them a voice, show that they don't only stumble/run around gurgling gibberish. Have the disease leave the brain largely unaffected, so that they can still think and feel emotions.

    Zombies are people, too, remember.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
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  22. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    When i started writing my current WIP (after the wave) had two groups of "infected" 'the fren' and ' the cray' (from frenzied and crazy) - the fren were your completely rabid unable to function 'zombies' , while the Cray appeared normal but had a psychotic hatred of 'normals'

    I subsequently decided the whole trope was over done and kicked the whole idea, and moved the action to a world decimated by disease but without the disease having left "zombies" behind
     

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