30 October, 2008

The Every Day Zombie


If there's anything I've learned during my recent foray into zombie culture, it's that the best zombie stories in the world are not the typical zombie apocalypse tales they terrorize us with in the movies. While I won't deny George A. Romero is one of my heroes, and that his films are a definite inspiration, many of the better zombie stories I've read have been different. Zombies as advocates for painful death, zombies rising to support anti-gun laws, murder victims rising cursed from their graves to follow their killers like lovesick puppies... all relative in a world gone mad without the apocalyptic pressure. Those situations are all on the more extreme level, but there are worlds in which zombies and humans coincide, where teachers hang onto their drive and try to teach the zombie children even though there is no hope for the future.

One of the nice things about zombies is that there is an abundance of material for research, and writers like Max Brooks make their fictional contributions so incredibly real that you can almost imagine you're living in an upside down world infested with the walking dead.

I started to have a moment of anxiety over the fact that I hadn't drawn up a master plan for NaNoWriMo, even though I rarely plan before hand. Then I decided to adopt a zombie mentality about it. Zombies have no plans. They don't have elaborate or extensive plots driving them; they simply are. While I have the basic idea formulating always in the back of my mind, I know that anything can shift the plan at any time and I'm not afraid.

I do still have my zombie short story to finish--a piece I hope will be connected to the world I am creating in the novel. I had a point where I wanted the two female protagonists from the stories to at least cross paths, so that should be fun. Here's hoping I get it done before tomorrow night. At least the rough draft anyway. The Ghost Hunters Live seven hour episode hosted by Josh Gates has me hesitant to even start my NaNo novel at midnight, but I'm sure I'll find a way. I'm also still debating on whether or not I want to go to the local kickoff. Meeting new people is scary. Zombies don't meet new people, they eat them. :p

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