Category Archives: Creativity

My terrible Zombie Apocalypse Novel concept

If there’s one thing popular media is short of these days, it’s Zombie Apocalypse Fiction.  I’ve been a long time fan of the zombie genre; I’m not some obsessed superfan that has an encyclopedic  knowledge of trivia from George Romero movies & obscure manga, but I started reading The Walking Dead comic back when it was in the early teens, treasure my copies of The Goon, and thoroughly enjoyed the 2004 version of Dawn of the Dead (it’s hard to believe that came out over a decade ago).

Now, everyone has a zombie book or flick.  The Walking Dead has been adapted into a hugely popular television show with a spin-off series getting ready to launch.  The iZombie comic book is on one of the young adult networks.  Max Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide wound up with a sequel & the sequel spawned a movie that didn’t live up to the book’s potential and on and on and on.

My concept for the Zombie apocalypse came about when considering the feasibility of how zombies could happen.  Medically, it’s impossible for the ‘dead come to life’ zombies to exist, it violates laws of biology (you need ATP for muscles to work), the laws of physics (you need energy for things to move) and basic common sense.  A lot of people much smarter than I have put a lot of thought into trying to rationalize how zombies could take place so the logical thing is not “the dead have come back to life” but “some unknown / viral / biological agent has turned normal people into creatures with zombie like attributes” – think 28 Days Later, John Ringo’s Under a Graveyard Sky series, and the Flood from HALO.

But, that wasn’t enough.  I am also a large fan of fate being cruel, but not out of deliberate effort.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The Holy Trinity of Murphy’s Law, Finagle’s Law, and Hanlon’s Razor, with humanity driven to near extinction as a result.

There are also some less than flattering plot devices needed to make this happen, but we shall see whether I can overcome my distaste for that sort of crutch.

I’d written the first act of my book when my house was robbed and my laptop containing the only working copy of the book was taken.  Discouraged, I gave up and then… life got in the way.  The urge is still there, however, nagging me.

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Envy of those who create

I have remarked in the past that I have a deep seated envy towards those who are artists, no matter what the medium.

My problem lies primarily in focus (more procrastination than anything else) and fresh ideas.   I am not a fan of motivational sayings in general; they are largely just empty words; if all it takes to motivate you is a phrase then the problem isn’t a lack of words but a lack of inner drive & self control.

Despite this, a few spring to mind:

“Good artists borrow. Great artists steal.” (origin disputed)

I’m utter shit at coming up with ideas by myself.  My wife will be the first to tell you, though, that if I am given a grain of sand to latch onto, I can make it a pearl.  I’m fantastic at improving ideas and building off them.  I can come up with 100 suggestions, flesh out all manner of backstory & histories and make believable characters.  I just have serious issues creating that initial grain of sand.

I’m fully aware that the vast majority of talented artists, writers, and creative people of all stripes are not simply gifted, but had to work for it.  I am well aware of my many failings as a man, with procrastination and a lack of focus for many things being among them.  To use another hackneyed quote, “The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried”

So… I am envious.  I envy the sculptor who can mold clay to become a being, or reshape rock into a human likeness.  I envy the musician who can captivate others with their melodies (through voice or instrument).  The photographer who has mastered light and exposure.  The writer (especially the writer) who can create worlds and people that evoke the entire range of emotions.

I know I could do something. I just have to put the effort forward and the time to both produce and improve

Hell, that 50 Shades series started off as fan fiction of Twilight so really I have no room to complain.

Nearly a decade ago, I sat down to write a book.  I’d finished the first act and showed it to a few author friends who (surprisingly) were impressed.  Unfortunately, that work was lost when my house was ransacked and my laptop stolen.

Maybe I should follow my own advice and just write a bit each day.