Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Zombie Hype and Trash Fiction (Page 2)

  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Zombie Hype and Trash Fiction
MattLeo
Member
Member # 9331

 - posted      Profile for MattLeo   Email MattLeo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Zippo -- I think you SHOULD write the Zombie from IT story.
Posts: 1137 | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Robert Norwall,

When I first encountered zombi, from Bantu, that was the standard singular form, zombies was the plural usage. But then again back then words with the co prefix were hyphenated: co-operate. I've lived long enough to see many changes in language.

Posts: 2773 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Natej11
Member
Member # 8547

 - posted      Profile for Natej11   Email Natej11         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I do have to say, even though it's not a story about zombies, in George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series his parts about the White Walkers and wights are some of the coolest zombie scenes I've read.

It is definitely possible to have good zombie stories. The problem is zombies are a lot like a natural disaster, and having them as the entire focus of the story gets old when you've seen it done again and again and again, usually not very well. Stories that include zombies but don't focus exclusively on them are usually lots more interesting, the same way a story about how people interact or behave during a natural disaster would be more interesting than just having the entire thing being only about them surviving it.

Posts: 579 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zippo44
Member
Member # 9782

 - posted      Profile for Zippo44   Email Zippo44         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
MattLeo,
As I explained in my introduction to the forum, I am not a writer. I am a reader. However, I might pitch the idea to my wife the writer and if she decides to go with it, then I'll fulfil my usual role of reader/editor/thesaurus/IT support.

Posts: 13 | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Osiris
Member
Member # 9196

 - posted      Profile for Osiris   Email Osiris         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Like a zombie, this thread will not die! [Smile]
Posts: 1016 | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
s_merrell
Member
Member # 5339

 - posted      Profile for s_merrell   Email s_merrell         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm glad this thread didn't die. I didn't mean for it to get quite so controversial--though since I hold such strange views, I guess it couldn't be anything but.

I do think zombies could be done well, but not for the sake of zombies being zombies. The hook's been used and abused for quite some time now: "There are these dead people that come back to life. They don't communicate very well and they want to eat your brains." There's no novelty there.

But I do think they could compose a part of a larger work, so long as they're not the only cool thing about it. Does substance require novelty? Is something substantial only so long as it's innovative?

Posts: 41 | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LDWriter2
Member
Member # 9148

 - posted      Profile for LDWriter2   Email LDWriter2         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Does substance require novelty? Is something substantial only so long as it's innovative?
Hey a question concerning writing in general. [Smile]


To respond to it:

I don't think so. I've read many great stories and novels based on plots or items that some could say are overused. Some writers put a twist to them--using Resnick's novel as an example again-- and others are just so good at writing they can take tired, old overused plots and make them fresh. I think Isaac Asimov could be one example of that. Someone here stated he used only one plot- I don't if it's true but I can see why they would think that- but his creativity made each story something special.

It could be better if we--as learning, non-pro writers-- to try to use fresh or novelty ideas but that can be down right hard. And I have read First novels that won't all that novelty but still captured my attention.

Oh and I used novelty there on purpose.

Posts: 4632 | Registered: Jun 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zippo44
Member
Member # 9782

 - posted      Profile for Zippo44   Email Zippo44         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Shoot, you want a twist on classic zombies? How about Archer-Daniels Midland (renamed to avoid litigation) discovers the Haitian zombification process and markets it to bereaved pet owners to revivify the deceased Fido and Fluffy. They do this as loss-leader so they can sell their new line of pet food made of cow and pig brains.

***Zombie Chow from Purina, now with more cerebellum!***

Posts: 13 | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
s_merrell
Member
Member # 5339

 - posted      Profile for s_merrell   Email s_merrell         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sometimes, I wish the UBB allowed me to "like" posts. Because that post is liked, Zippo.
Posts: 41 | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I suppose you could quote the post and then put "like" after it.

But if anyone puts anything other than "like" in that kind of response (as opposed to actually commenting on what they've quoted in a helpful and insightful manner), I hereby warn that I will delete any such "unlike" (or similarly negative) posts.

Posts: 7805 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zippo44
Member
Member # 9782

 - posted      Profile for Zippo44   Email Zippo44         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I wish there was a forum thread in which I could toss out ideas for development by some poor idea locked writer.

I offer them to my lovely and talented wife and she tells me to write it myself. Dang it, I don't want to write it! I am no writer, I am a reader and a proud one at that. The mysteries of storytelling are beyond my meager talents. Believable dialog is impossible for me to write, and character development is just not there; yo no habla story arcs and hooks. I just want to read the story after someone else writes it.

I might even have to start going to SF cons again just so I can slip story ideas into drunken discussions in hospitality suites in hopes of reading the story in a mag later.

Posts: 13 | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MAP
Member
Member # 8631

 - posted      Profile for MAP           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I wish there was a forum thread in which I could toss out ideas for development by some poor idea locked writer.

I offer them to my lovely and talented wife and she tells me to write it myself. Dang it, I don't want to write it! I am no writer, I am a reader and a proud one at that. The mysteries of storytelling are beyond my meager talents. Believable dialog is impossible for me to write, and character development is just not there; yo no habla story arcs and hooks. I just want to read the story after someone else writes it.

I might even have to start going to SF cons again just so I can slip story ideas into drunken discussions in hospitality suites in hopes of reading the story in a mag later.

All these things can be learned. [Smile]

My guess is that you wouldn't have joined a writers workshop if you weren't at least somewhat interested in writing.

I think you should give it a try. You might surprise yourself, and there is a lot you can learn from these fine folks here at hatrack. [Smile]

Oh, and just to be on topic. Yeah, zombies don't interest me much either. I don't find them that scary, but I'll read a zombie book if the premise is interesting.

Posts: 1020 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kokor Hekkus
Member
Member # 9593

 - posted      Profile for Kokor Hekkus   Email Kokor Hekkus         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Whilst I agree that the zombie trope is much over-used in this day and age, you should have a read of _World War Z_ by Max Brooks- it's a really fantastic and well-researched piece of world-building that any SF author would be proud of.
Posts: 12 | Registered: Aug 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by s_merrell:
Does substance require novelty? Is something substantial only so long as it's innovative?

Originality demands innovation. Be innovation a reinvention, a reimagination, an innovative blend of forms or genres, or something truly new under the Sun.

What's new and innovative about The Walking Dead? Compared to I Am Legend, the resemblance to the 1954 novel is striking, and to the 1971 film Omega Man, and the 2007 film of the novel, and the 1968 Night of the Living Dead film inspired by the novel. There's one superficial difference: the television saga is a serial television saga. The others are a novel and films, respectively. Night of the Living Dead doen't have a protagonist, per se. The others all have a single central character.

The TV drama has no single central character, an ensemble cast that is in a constant state of flux. No fixed central character, any of which might be gone in a subsequent episode, no fixed abode or stronghold, no set setting. Though the saga settles down in one place or situation for a season, the state of affairs is steadily declining. In order to draw out the saga, the third season will have to show an uptick in circumstances after bottoming out at the second season finale.

A difference subtextually for the TV show is the outcome looks like a foregone conclusion: there is no good outcome, no end to the zombies, no cure, no future. There is only a slim hope of finding a safe sanctuary. They want a home they can belong to but hope is dying. Thus the third season must show favorable progress or trail off with no satisfying conclusion. Two seasons to bottom out. Two seasons to raise hope. Two seasons to conclude the drama, if producers and writers know what they're doing.

Posts: 2773 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
s_merrell
Member
Member # 5339

 - posted      Profile for s_merrell   Email s_merrell         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've heard of World War Z. It might be worth a look, if only to learn how to implement something like this more creatively.

I like to consider the social and political ramifications of typical tropes. You can't just have unicorns and dragons in your book without them having some sort of extensive impact on your world. Same goes with zombies. Though, preferably, they'd have more impact than merely the post-apocalyptic grunge we're so accustomed to.

Posts: 41 | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I see zombi as a trope. Unfortunately, the gap bewteen accessible metaphoric meaning and literal meaning is broad for zombi tropes so far. Too broad to label zombi a trope, in my opinion.

A figurative meaning is zombi represent the sleepwalking undead masses who are indifferent to meaningful personal interactions. Their wants are socially harmful, self-serving, and emtionally meaningless. Their demise satisfies a need for vicariously striking back at the influxing pressures of modern emtionally dissociating life.

Posts: 2773 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Zippo44:
I wish there was a forum thread in which I could toss out ideas for development by some poor idea locked writer.

I offer them to my lovely and talented wife and she tells me to write it myself. Dang it, I don't want to write it! I am no writer, I am a reader and a proud one at that. The mysteries of storytelling are beyond my meager talents. Believable dialog is impossible for me to write, and character development is just not there; yo no habla story arcs and hooks. I just want to read the story after someone else writes it.

I might even have to start going to SF cons again just so I can slip story ideas into drunken discussions in hospitality suites in hopes of reading the story in a mag later.

Okay, I can't resist, so I'm going off-topic again, sort of.

Dear, Zippo44, all you need to do, if you want to get writers here to play with your ideas, is to start a writing challenge (see the Writing Challenges area for examples of what has been done before and how Hatrack River Writing Workshop challenges work within the 13-line rule of this forum).

You may need to come up with some kind of "prize" to get people to participate, though at one time, the only prize was that the winner could call him or herself The Winner--until the next challenge was finished, and a new winner was declared.

If your ideas are exciting and inspiring enough, though, you should get enough participants for a decent challenge, and everyone who becomes involved will thank you.

Once again, now returning you to your regular topic.

Posts: 7805 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2