1. Leishua

    Leishua Member

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    Stumped over naming a race of zombies

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Leishua, May 31, 2018.

    I've been thinking about this the whole day and its driving me nuts guys! So in my story there are a bunch of undead that were created by an artificial virus carrying artificial intelligence and mutated genome.

    The result were a race of badly mutated bodies controlled by a single hive protocol controlled by 8 people. I've been trying to think of a name to call them. They are described as a bunch of bloated fluid filled bodied, many of them their heads have been pushed out with a protruding sensory organ coming out of the neck area to detect prey. They mainly scratch but some variants may have heads and protruding worm like appendages.

    I just can't seem to think of a very original or scary name to call them. Flayers... The Bloats.... Scratchers?

    These monsters serve as a crucial part of the story as this outbreak is part of what made this setting the way it is. The rise of robotic soldiers and private militaries to combat a messy regional situation. Which profitted certain parties immensely and allowed them to clear some of their rivals.
     
  2. irite

    irite Member

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    You could derive a name from the virus (leprosy = leper) or the name of the group of 8 to represent that they are their minions and under their control. Although I get the feeling your looking for a name based on characteristics like a mummy because it is mummified. The 'mummy' gives the reader an image of their appearance in a single word and even if you had never seen one, having the description would create an exact mental image, that image would return every time the mummy was mentioned... I can't see your mutants to give them a name but can you give them a name for now so you can move forward and keep writing the story until the name comes or does the story hang on their name?
     
  3. Leishua

    Leishua Member

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    Currently i'm just calling them zombies as a place holder. The group of 8 are called the Pariahs. The virus was never named however during the outbreak they coined the event as The Blight which i've thought of calling them Blighters. Which is pretty fitting considering their appearance and their fate as unfortunate victims. I'm not sure if its scary enough to the characters. I figured since they are a frequent source of fear that they may be called something that sounds scary. For now its just zombies till i find a better name as i continue to write.
     
  4. irite

    irite Member

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    Just from a UK perspective blighters is a kind of upper class "I tried to shoot the trespassers but the blighters got away" or outdated adults/parents trying not to swear phrase, "stop kicking that flaming ball against my wall you little blighters"

    The Blighted of the Pariahs?

    Oh and a stupid joke from my dark outlook on the world, the soldiers are already robotic and have been "just following orders" for a long time.
     
  5. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    Blighters is just fine as a name for them. I don't think the name needs to be scary or anything. Just look at all the names they use on AMC's TWD. If I remember correctly, Walkers is the usual suspect. There's nothing inherently scary about that word.

    Also, I have trouble believing that the virus wouldn't be named. I could be wrong, but in the age of media, everything gets a name.
     
  6. Leishua

    Leishua Member

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    Gotcha guys,
    @irite yups the soldiers have been pretty much replaced mostly by androids to reduce the need of human life lost in combat. Didn't know blighters were used in that context. I gotta note that down

    @spencer Fair enough, the virus in the Walking Dead wasn't named either though neither did iZombie. What they did though is explain how the virus works. The closest thing the virus could be described as a human version of green-banded broodsacs or Leucochloridium. Its a tiny worm like spore artificially engineered to take over a host similiar to how parasitic worms take over snails. The 2 main variants of them has one where the head is pushed out or pushed to the back of the body and the worm extrudes out from the spinal cord to act as a sensor outside the body. The smaller one burrow into the brain and into the eye sockets and takes control from there with the head intact.
     
  7. irite

    irite Member

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    I don't think a medically diagnosed name for the virus is important. As an example, if in the real world the birds fell from the sky dead, then, they would need to be collected, tested, results checked.... Then it would be named. Up until then it might be labelled by "them" in charge and repeated by "us" the masses but it couldn't have an official name unless it was already know or a deliberate act. So in the context of your story it's us the masses and them the controllers. Yes it is deliberate but in their need for control the less they tell us the more it benefits them. If everything is in chaos and everyone is fighting for their lives it's extremely hard to collect/test bodies and there would be no mass media to then spread the results of the tests or give us the name.

    Blight and Blighted are good, to me they represent darkness and fear, destruction of crops, unfertile ground, starvation, death and suffering like the Irish potato famine. Fighting a war your too weak to fight wishing for the emancipation of death knowing you'll never be free from the masters that control you.

    Blighty and blighters are comically cute and quaint (in the UK) so it depends on your audience and your feeling for your work.
     
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  8. Leishua

    Leishua Member

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    Gotcha, my audience is mainly in north america and asia. Its actually in chinese but i'm thinking about the major things i might have to name in the english version.
     
  9. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    What about giving the virus some very clinical name and calling the victim-zombies after it? Wasn't Resident Evil the T7 virus or something?

    "Don't go that way, it's full of X9s down there."
     
  10. John-Wayne

    John-Wayne Madman Extradinor Contributor

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    The Zedcorps 0r Zedcordians.
     
  11. irite

    irite Member

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    Never played it or watched the films. I was more into Metal Gear Solid and i still hear that voice calling out Snake, Snake! When it all goes wrong and I wonder why I bother or trip over and end up sprawled on the ground it's me actually saying Snake, Snake!

    Some people wonder why everyone thinks they're weird... I don't need to wonder.
     
  12. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    I haven't played the game either, just saw the movies, mostly on cable. Speaking of games though, have you ever played The Typing of the Dead? It's a rail-shooter where, when the monsters appear, they have a word attached to them which you have to type to get them to die.

    Yes, type.

    And it was an arcade game for a while, back in the early 2000s.

    Don't watch much of this, it's just to prove I'm not utterly batshit insane:

     
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  13. irite

    irite Member

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    Thats amazing! Never even heard of it but I wish I had it now. There's a certain amount of "genius" to it, if you're going to let your kids play games where they see that kind of thing it's better they learn to type than brainlessly button push. It's the disconnect between the words and the action that made me laugh like a sign saying yellow written in blue or picture of a fridge that says bath in those read the word tests... With monsters running at you.

    It's a brave government that runs with the "get it right or die" policy of education... Very entertaining.
     
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  14. Wolf Daemon

    Wolf Daemon Active Member

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    What was the AIs name that created them? Call them the *AI Name* Virus such as; Miranda Virus, Vega Alpha Virus, etc.
     
  15. Stargate404

    Stargate404 New Member

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    Considering it is artificial it probably has some scientific designation like the X-31 Pathogen and a nickname given to it by the media. Ask yourself if, in your world, Zombies exist in culture or if they're a completely foreign concept. If it's the latter, you'll have a Walking Dead situation where every group calls them something different: "walkers," "wanderers," etc. and a nickname for the virus. If Zombie culture does exist however, then they'd probably call the virus itself "the Zombie Virus" and then call individual zombies different names i.e. a zombie with really long nails that claws people into ribbons would be a "flayer" and a big fat zombie full of plague could be called "plague zombies" or "bloaters." It really depends on your world and the zombies themselves
     
  16. grimshawl

    grimshawl Member

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    how about The Infected or perhaps Hivers or Hosts.
     
  17. Leishua

    Leishua Member

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    I had a good name for it but unfortunately it seems to be copyrighted. Its just a placeholder name for now as it isn't very important. The name of it is only known by the scientist who made it. The 2 of them have been dead for 15 years.

    @stargate The event takes place in south china. In china they don't really have a culture of the conventional zombies you see in media. In chinese mythos they are either Gui or Jiangshi. Meaning the undead are basically either ghost or vampires. And yup its the clawing zombie that is mainly described as a flayer. Zombies have been seen in western media by the people here but they don't really have a name to describe it. They normally use Jiangshi as the closest thing to associate it to.

    @grim The Infected is a placeholder name i'm using right now. I might eventually go for something a little more further from the conventional zombie terminology though. Perhaps Pariahs... These undead eventually are a nation in their own right. They have 10s of millions in their ranks and they are lead by a commission of 8 unique undead with intelligence serving a kind of hive mind which has been programmed to exterminate the human race. These 8 + the hive mind were not intentional. The creators of it had wanted to control the ourbreak for their benefit. But these 9 were too smart for it and could not have their protocols overridden essentially losing control of the outbreak and starting a full scale military effort.
     
  18. Nariac

    Nariac Contributor Contributor

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    "The Host."
     
  19. irite

    irite Member

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    jiangshi are probably closest to zombies but a lot gets lost in translation from any state to another. Even putting spoken words into text the tone is lost and easily misread...

    Just as a side note (I don't know if you speak/read chinese?) does "wo bu xiang qu" translate to I don't want to go? Someone told me it translates directly as "I not want to go" which is the closest to the reply to a question like, would you like to go to the cinema?

    It's for a name of a martial art/tao with the idea of, (1) I don't want to fight, (2) I don't want to move to that state of mind, (3) I don't want to die... All of which are sumed up in English by, I don't want to go. Even if it is an accurate translation in it's meaning, is there a more accurate phrase for "I don't want to go" in terms of the 3 meanings
     
  20. Leishua

    Leishua Member

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    Yup wo bu xiang qu is right.
    For 1
    (bu yao da)
    For 2
    (mei xing qu xiang)
    For 3
    (bu yao si)
    Quite rare for someone to use wo bu xiang qu for 1 and 2. 3 maybe.

    @Nariac maybe for the leader that might be a good name haha
     
  21. irite

    irite Member

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    Thank you, that is the problem with English, it is not as scientific as other languages. It's the same words and the meaning is altered by what you are answering. In other languages the words alter to create the meaning of answer you are giving. A lot of English martial arts 'experts' use the right words translations instead of the right meaning translations. Wo bu xiang qu could be a play on that English ignorance.

    It's just a personal story I'm writing and I'm not sure where it will end up, but, I need a name that is authentic that sums up simply don't fight/think/die that way. I might go with "bu, mei, you" as in 3 forms of 'no' with the reasons for saying no as part of the learning (would that work?)... It's an English man finding his own path based on the learnings from Jeet Kune Do with the reality that JKD is just a title for one mans concept and philosophy. "If people argue that JKD is different from this, or from that. Then let the name Jeet Kune Do be wiped out forever, for that is all it is, a name, please don't fuss over it." Bruce Lee's last words in his own story being the inspiration because all the man found was the last page of the book, then when he found the whole book he learnt it the right way.
     
  22. badgerjelly

    badgerjelly Contributor Contributor

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    Why not go for something less conventional like “The Serene”, “Meek People”, “Sloven”, or “Hushed”?
     
  23. Nariac

    Nariac Contributor Contributor

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    "Grateful Dead"
     
  24. Leishua

    Leishua Member

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    Don't think those fit too well, they don't seem to fit the experiences of the people who seen them to name them as such.
     
  25. CoyoteKing

    CoyoteKing Good Boi Contributor

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    Hmmm.

    Feeders? Eaters?

    Freaks? Geeks? Empties?

    I'm trying to think of what normal, everyday people would call them as slang.

    EDIT: If they're a hive mind... maybe "Puppets?"
     

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