Questions for Readers

Zombie Novels and Stories

Questions for Readers

Postby mission_survivor » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:05 am

For me, the most important aspect about Zombie fiction is the outbreak. But it is quite often over looked or questionably proposed.

How much time would you invest in a story that explains origin and outbreak, before you are thrown into the carnage of the z-poc?

I do not like being pulled thru time when reading (or even watching) a story, via flash back scenarios. But I also understand the need for pacing.

Lets say the average novel is 250 pages, with 25 chapters, 10 pages a chapter (all for easy math). How many chapters would you be willing to read, before you would need the undead to start ripping apart the world?

Does the causes (how it became a global event, why the military fails) of a zombie outbreak matter to you?

Are creature mechanic's (how a zombie can still move, how it hunts, etc) matter?

Which is more important to you as a reader, Character Development or Story Progression?

Does being pulled thru time bother you, or okay as long as the time shifts are apparent and not confusing?

Thank you for any comments you are willing to share, as they will help me write a better story.
Most of my comments should be read with your best "BROCK SAMSON" voice. While others should be read with your best "CLINT EASTWOOD" voice. A few, and I mean a very few should be read with your best "JOE PESCI" voice.
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Re: Questions for Readers

Postby CavWarrior » Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:16 am

Whether I know the cause or not doesn't bother me. Far too many times, the reason authors give for the outbreak is hokey and unbelievable. That detracts from the story for me. I like both story progression and character development. A good story needs both. If the story progresses but the characters are undeveloped, then it's simply a meaningless action story with wooden 2D characters. I've seen far too many stories where it jumped from one actions sequence to another with wooden characters and barely a semblance of a plot. "The man did this. The man did that. The man smiled. The man rode off into the sunset." So called "men's adventure" books are famous for that sort of thing. That's why I don't read them. If the characters are developed but the story line doesn't progress, then it comes to resemble nothing more than a long, boring soap opera. As far as "flashbacks" go, as long as there are only a few and they actually have something to do with the plot, then I'm fine with them. Hope this helps.
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Re: Questions for Readers

Postby UnderDude » Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:44 pm

Personally I want to know the why and how. A well placed flashback is just fine by me, just don't over do it. There's no need for a ZPAW Pulp Fiction type film.
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Re: Questions for Readers

Postby ConSeannery » Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:52 pm

A series I read called The Remaining did a good job of explaining the outbreak. Check it out sometime
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Re: Questions for Readers

Postby mission_survivor » Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:33 am

ConSeannery wrote:A series I read called The Remaining did a good job of explaining the outbreak. Check it out sometime


I'm gonna check out the sample on this. Thx for the ref. The 5 star rating at 1,253 kind puts me off to it, because I only rated World War Z with 4. Inside image looks cool though.

@UD - My concept is based on the many ancient cultures that have a creature myth similar to the zombie. That zombies are real, and have always plagued mankind. It is caused by a virus that mutates bacteria, fungi, and human cells. I got pissed when WWZ used Rakshasa in the movie; I don't recall it being used in the book. And even when "The Strain" used the name strigoi for their vampires (until the projectile tongue shot out, I was hoping it was a zombie series).

@Cav - I just get turned off by the unexplained spread of infection, especially if the turn time is too quick. After re-reading I am catching too many scenes that drag out just to show the human side of the main char. I do want my story to be more action driven than drama fueled, but not at the sake of char dev. Until I read your comment, i was thinking about using flash backs to expand character development. But the first chapter is a flash back via nightmare from 10 years ago, which offers an engagement with the undead.

The main story is set in modern time. But the mythologies are fascinating to me and I would like to do a few novellas about them. I'm gonna take a break from editing to read the sampler from "The Remaining," thx for the help y'all!
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Re: Questions for Readers

Postby UnderDude » Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:12 pm

I was very disappointed with The Strain. I was expecting a natural pandemic type thing, not a Grim Reaper type villain.
I did a good amount of studying historical zombie/ghoul legends. Hollar if you want to hear about a few I found.
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Re: Questions for Readers

Postby mission_survivor » Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:31 am

UnderDude wrote:... Hollar if you want to hear about a few I found.


This is me Hollaring back.
If you know any from Africa ( I consider the Haitian Zombie to be from Haiti not Africa) That would be helpful. I want to do a Tarzan/ King Solomon's Mines short story with my Undead. Or a flesh eater myth from Australia.

I have read about many, but always willing to read about more. I am familiar with the Hindu Rakshasa, Norse Draugr, Romanian Strigoi, Japanese Jikininki, Chinese Jiangshi, French Revenant
German Nachzherer, Mayan Wayob, Aztec Cihuateteo, Algonquian Windigo


I want to release a series stories as an undead anthology sets for: Europe, Asia, and The America's.

Right now I am working on the Aswang (Filipino Myth) set in 1521 Mactan, Philippine Islands. The myth is varied by regional accounts. Some think it is more like a witch while others claim it to be a werewolf or even vampire.

I've written about the Mayan Wayob myth and Xibalba set in pre-Colombian time.

Also started story concepts for Aztec underwold Mictlan, Cihuateteo during the conquest of Cortez 1500's

Sacajawea and the Corps of Discovery, exploring the Native American myths (Windigo type creature) 1800's

Haitian Voodou and zombies during the American Civil War 1865 (Abe Lincoln is not a zombie killer/hunter)

Nazi zombies WWII era (This will be America's first modern proof that Zombies are real.) 1940's

Vietnam era concept. An exploit of the My Lai Massacre and the VC tunnel network. 1965-68


Other cultural Death/Burial Rites have also been very entertaining to learn about as well as the Mythologies.
Most of my comments should be read with your best "BROCK SAMSON" voice. While others should be read with your best "CLINT EASTWOOD" voice. A few, and I mean a very few should be read with your best "JOE PESCI" voice.
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Re: Questions for Readers

Postby zombreach » Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:34 pm

How much time would you invest in a story that explains origin and outbreak, before you are thrown into the carnage of the z-poc? At the least, I want a good intro, such as a prologue, outlining the origin and outbreak. Depending on the length of the story, one to two chapters would be preferred.

I do not like being pulled thru time when reading (or even watching) a story, via flash back scenarios. But I also understand the need for pacing.In movies, I HATE flashbacks. In a well-written story, they are okay as long as it is very apparent that a flash back is occurring.

Lets say the average novel is 250 pages, with 25 chapters, 10 pages a chapter (all for easy math). How many chapters would you be willing to read, before you would need the undead to start ripping apart the world? If the back story is very interesting, I could read at least half of it before the dead became the main threat. Not that there should not be any carnage, even a hint of it and minor occurrences would keep my interest.

Does the causes (how it became a global event, why the military fails) of a zombie outbreak matter to you? I love details, so knowing how the threat spread and why the world is at its knees is important to me. I don't have to have it to be entertained, but it makes it more believable.

Are creature mechanic's (how a zombie can still move, how it hunts, etc) matter? It doesn't matter, but details are always a plus.

Which is more important to you as a reader, Character Development or Story Progression? I'd say character development. If I can't connect to a character, the story does not work for me. I need to care if "x" is killed or injured. I need to feel their loss on some level.

Does being pulled thru time bother you, or okay as long as the time shifts are apparent and not confusing? Minor time shifts are okay--say, no more than a month. Anything over that and I feel like I have missed something.
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Re: Questions for Readers

Postby Red Star » Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:12 am

:good post:
Time to get up, you're not dead yet...
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but you certainly will be if you don't move your ass!
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Re: Questions for Readers

Postby mission_survivor » Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:06 am

@Zombreach - Thx for the breakdown of the Q & A! Much appreciated.

@ConSeanerry -I read the sample of The Remaining by DJ Molles. I like that he uses infectious asymptomatic carriers to spread the FURY bacterium.

I also subscribe to this concept that the infection would need to be spread via asymptomatic carriers in order for it to become a pandemic.

His explained mutation of the bacterium causing a suppression of vitals (circulation/respiration)
makes me wonder if the infected can be killed with out the need of a head shot, as they are infected and not the undead.

Now I want to re-watch 28 Days Later.

UnderDude wrote:...There's no need for a ZPAW Pulp Fiction type film.

Love that reference. I have always wanted to watch Pulp Fiction in its chronological order.
Most of my comments should be read with your best "BROCK SAMSON" voice. While others should be read with your best "CLINT EASTWOOD" voice. A few, and I mean a very few should be read with your best "JOE PESCI" voice.
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