Saturday, September 24, 2011

Souless Saturday Research

You may have noticed I change the look of my blog. I'm getting ready for the horror blog hop next month when I have several horror authors popping in and I wanted a more ghoulish looking blog for the occasion. It's like primping and decorating for a party. (the drawing is from Deviant Art by Somebodystolemynick) Cool, huh?

I will first state that I watch very little television and movies. There is nothing that truly strikes my fancy these days on the boob tube. Since I write during the week, most of my major research time for my novels is done on Saturdays. I started writing about zombies and things that go bump in the night earlier this year. This is the time I watch all those horror movies, fact based shows, sweep the web for what's new, and  read what other (in this case) zombie aficionados' have to say.

Last night, my husband came to me and told me I had to watch this show which was streaming. It was about zombies versus vampires...and really cool. Yeah, my beloved is my biggest fan in all endeavors. It was after midnight so it was technically Saturday. It had to be one of the greatest things I've seen in a while. Max Brooks, of course, led the zombies input team. In case you've lived under a rock, his novel "World War Z" is now being made into a movie as I type. He's done to zombie readers what George Romero did to movie goers in decades past....put a new face on zombies.

Anyhow, back to the show. It took all capabilities into account from bite strength to the psychological aspects. While Brooks has written many zombie novels, I think even he was surprised at the figures calculated by the Deadliest Warrior team. It is one thing to think, dream, and create zombies, and quite another to actually see it in reality...even when it's play acting. I have to say, I have a much better understanding of both vampires and zombies now. The show ended with ...be continued, so I will be watching more episodes. Isn't being able to stream shows wonderful?

Now this would be a great premise for a novel...vampires versus zombies. It has probably been done, but I haven't seen it yet in researching. If you know of a story like this please let me know. Oh boy, grease on those squeaky wheels in my brain are turning faster than ever.

Now zombies are not a new creation in horror, the living dead have been around in film since the 1930's. I always thought they were of the 1960's until I researched it.  The more I read --the better zombies I create or spin off of. The better able I am to create the story lines and scenes. It's that old writers saying, write what you know. So I spend considerable time in researching what I write about as do most authors. The last thing any of us want is a reader coming back at us with an facts where we are wrong.

Now, I've taken some heat by writing in "Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption" about it taking up to three days after death for the zombies to arise. While I know it's been depicted as instantaneous after death, this is my take on the matter...even Christ took three days to rise from the dead and Larzarus seven. It's a techinical thing to me. The dead are usually cremated and/or buried within three days to a week. If the dead can rise from the grave in the movies and books, then the conversion or transition has to be after three days. The smell of decomposition would take several days. Anyhow that's my justification, in case any of you were wondering.

This brings me to my second research project of the morning. A movie. Three stars seems a bit high to me for this one, but it's cutesy versus scary. The "R" rating has to do with probably mostly with the subject matter than anything else. I'm talking about "Boy Eats Girl."

Yes, there is a brief naked back of a girl in the shower, and a really gruesome scene with a mini jobber, think harvester and backhoe on a small Cat bulldozer. Other than that it's tame. The make-up job on the zombies was mediocre at best. Yes, I've been watching all those make-up artist in preparation for my own zombie debut as a zombie author in full regalia. Actually, the zombie in the picture for the movie cover does a better job. I'll file this under research, as a not very good source.

Later, I plan on watching "Resident Evil." Does it really matter which one? It's butt kicking action, enough zombies to sink a ship, and Milla Jonovich. The screamers "B" movies have come a long way over the past few decades.

Yes, I will be writing.  That's right, writing, but not about zombies...the final edit for "mr. Goodbar Goes to the Hospital" is waiting, a tricky investigation scene in "Surviving Hank" needs details added, and in "The Mayan Serpent" my herorine is trapped in an undiscovered Mayan temple and a couple of scenes need reworking.

I know it boggles other authors' minds that they struggle with one manuscript for months on end, but I'll work on several at the same time. I hear it in comments all the time...how do you do that? It's the hats and compartmentalizing. It's doing my research, and fully planning my characters and novels before writing. I purposefully have a word count in mind when I start.

For example: for horror I look at a 40-50k word count, southern ficiton suspense is a 50-60K word count, for children's it's a 30-40K word count, and my espionage is 100-110 K word count. Now sometimes, the characters WILL throw me a monkey wrench into my plans and interject something I did not plan. It happens and I roll with it. I know to some this is very minimal as word count goals, but the point I'm trying to make is have a goal in mind while writing. If you pass it in telling your story that's fabulous.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.


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