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Thursday, October 20, 2011

In The Throes of Thursday--Why Zombies?

Question: What's scarier than an a Zombie? 
Answer: Two Zombies.

Unfortunately, when there's one there's never only two; Zombies come in hoards and you don't have to go looking for them either. They'll find you. (Insert scary scream here.)


And people can't seem to get enough of those ghastly, grim vacant creatures. Why is that?
I guess it's because we love to be scared.

Vampires used to do that job, but then movies like Love at First Bite came out, and then someone wrote a book about a gentle, lovesick vampire that also happened to be hunk. How can anyone be scared by George Hamilton or Robert Pattinson? Vampires might as well be bunnies now--not the Monte Python type bunny.

As a writer, I used to wonder how many Zombie books would make too many, but now I know. There will never be too many. The reason is simple. The stories of flesh eating monsters aren't about the flesh eating monsters at all. They're all about the humans who have to deal with them and how that traumatic experience affects those who are alive.

Will timid Maxwell suddenly find his courage and race to rescue Sarah, the girl who makes fun of him, from certain death?

Will Jasper, the hunky star quarterback, run away terrified, leaving his girl friend as the killer hoard approaches?

Will the school's low-life be the one to devise the plan that saves the auditorium filled with trapped students?

Just look at the tension those questions produce.  I guess writing a book with Zombies is a great idea if you want to reveal the true nature of your characters by putting them into tense and testing situations. However, if you'd rather just write about bunnies, there's room for that too. Or think outside of the box and be the first to write a Bunny-Zombie sort of book. Oh wait! It may be too late. One's already been made into a movie.

15 comments:

  1. Okay, that would give me nightmares. (Personally I don't get the zombie craze.)

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  2. I don't get zombies either. Nor do I have any interest in vampires, and the only werewolf I like is Remus Lupin. I'm not hugely into fantasy creatures as MCs or antagonists. If the story (a) isn't so dreadfully dark, or (b) the fantasy creatures are sentient animals such as those in the Redwall series or Gregor the Overlander, I'm much more apt to like the book.

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  3. ROFL - Zombie bunnies? I've heard of taking the evil characters and making them good for a new twist on an old plot, or the other way around. BUT, seriously, zombie bunnies?

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  4. You're so right, it's the scary, out-of-the-ordinary situations zombies and other creepy monsters create for "normal" characters that's important. Although zombies are pretty easy to outrun, which never made much sense to me--unless you're surrounded by them, of course!

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  5. For some reason, I always found zombies more funny than scary. Zombie bunnies, was that from Wallace and Gromit? Oh, right, those were Were-Rabbits.

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  6. I'll have to dig up (excuse that horrible attempt at humor)the remake of the Night of the Living Dead with Bunnies. Actually, it's better than the original film or any of the remakes.

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  7. You know I love this post, right? LOL. Though Robert Pattinson is a little scary... He he he. You nailed it. It's always the human interest whether the character is human or flesh eating rodent. Um, yeah.

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  8. Zombie bunnies? I'd rather have plot bunnies. ;) Great post!

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  9. Haha, zombie bunnies! Who woulda thunk? I'm such a scaredy cat, but I think I can handle zombie bunnies!

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  10. Lee, I love your added graphics. Zombies, huh? I haven't really gotten into them... yet. But I never say never.

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  11. Zombie bunny = BEST THING EVER.
    But aside from that, yes, I agree :) even the stories that are "about" vamps are really about them either coming to terms with losing their humanity, or not... (here's looking at Anne Rice!)

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  12. Anne Rice gave me the biggest case of the "jumps" I've ever had, even with Stephen King. She's a master at creating the living dead and making them stick with you! Shudder.

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  13. I have never been a zombie fan, I find them more funny & silly than frightening. Fabulous interview above on Bay Sunday. I enjoyed listening to what sparked your ideas for the different novels. Congratulations

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  14. LOL on the joke! Yep on the two zombies. Just finished watching season one of Walking Dead. Oh my. So good!

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