No other horror phenomena like zombies have captivated the entire world and flooded them with a mix of entertainment and pure fright. From Haiti voodoo-esque type of zombies, to Romero’s limping zombies, to modern run-like-hell zombies, we can all envision these brain-munching creatures beating at our front door.
What I learned-
1. If they limp by, shoot ’em-
Never let a thought go to waste, as writers we are confronted with a plethora of inspirations each and everyday. It would be foolish to let these great thoughts go to waste- keep a journal! Journals should be a requisite to anyone calling themselves an author; these journals can be used to track thoughts and document story progressions.
2. People complain about beating dead horses, but not dead zombies-
One of the most annoying words being tossed around the literary world is the deviant cliche`. This word is so frightening actually, that most authors leave behind perfectly good stories in hopes of finding solace in pure originality. As artists, we are influenced each and every day by books, movies, and the world we live. Follow a story through to the end!
3. Don’t get caught with your pants down-
My recent short story “Cycles” that was published by The Absent Willow Review on June 16th was a pleasure and honor, as well as a learning experience. I discovered three spelling errors in the text, and that is a mistake that will be forever imprisoned in the draft. Before submitting anything for publication, revise, revise revise! If your first draft doesn’t look like a zombie battleground when you’re done editing, then do it again! Editing is as much as a skill, as it is a torture. Learn it and prevail!
4. Better to go out with a bang, than consumed in silence-
The end of your story should resonate like a bomb in a crowded room full of the undead! Too often, authors will write a kick ass piece of fiction and then the ending fails the piece. Beginnings and endings, are two of the most important parts of any literary tale. Don’t let your readers down
5. Whatever you think about them they will never go away-
Critics are like hordes of zombies- if you ignore them, they will run up into your house and eat you alive; however, if you overcome them you will learn some valuable lessons. Never ignore a valid critiquing response or became dismayed by a harsh beat down. Instead, learn the error of your ways and ascend into a zombie/critic kicking mo’fo!
Good luck in the oncoming invasion.