• Writing

    Rise of the Undead

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    So I’m big on writing updates and word counts lately, and I’m not sure why. I’ve gone through phases on the whole “monthly writing repot” idea over the past few years, I do like it as publicly posting my progress tends to have a slight focusing effect on my work and we can all use all the focus we can get. I’ve actually toyed with the idea of doing a weekly one, but I think the only person who cares at that level is me.

    Besides, I just did the report for February a couple of days ago.

    Instead of something else very numbers intensive, I’m going to write about the themed short fiction project that will follow the Novelette Project. I’m calling it… The Undead Project. Yes, so very original. There will be a real title at some point, but this is how I think of it at the moment. I’ve mentioned it several times, but never in very much detail and only really in terms of working on a story for it.

    Zombies and Vampires have both had their day in the sun lately, so to speak, but there are plenty of other undead creatures in standard mythologies and some of them don’t get a lot of time in print, in spite of being pretty interesting. I’m considering it a writing challenge.

    I should also say up front that I don’t consider myself a horror writer at all. I’ve published several stories in horror anthologies, but I think if you look at those, you’ll find my story is the least horrific in the collection. I’m not out to scare or disturb my readers. I’d like to entertain, and it’s nice if I make you think once in a while, but it’s always more about the characters for me than the gross or creep or ewww.

    So that’s the biggest part of the challenge: undead monsters and not so much about the horror. The rest of the challenge comes into finding stories at different lengths. I think I want to include a novelette or two, but most of the stories will probably fall into two ranges: 3-5k or under 1500 words. So shorts and flash.

    For planning purposes, I’ve broken things out into corporeal and non-corporeal creatures. For the corporeal list, my tentative selections:

    Draugr, Ghoul, Jiang Shi, Mummy, Revenant, Skeleton, Vampire, Zombie

    Yes, I’m including zombies and vampires. They’ll have some significant representation in things I’ve already written or ideas I really want to try. There are other creatures that might find themselves included. After all, variety is the spice of, er, life, right?

    Non-corporeal:

    Ghost, Phantom, Spectre, Wraith

    Yes, these are all different creatures, though it’s hard to tell that sometimes.

    The basic plan is around 100,000 words for the whole project. If it goes over that a little, I’m not going to stress too hard about it. As long as it’s not too far over. I’ve built a framework of 20-ish stories and nearly as many flash pieces. Probably. And I say probably because even though the plan is laid out in fair detail, everything can change on a moment’s notice if I get an awesome idea for something.

    For some reason, I also have this odd Gilligan’s Island theme playing parallel to it. Need to see how this works itself out, but it could be both bizarre and funny. Sing it!

    With Zombie fun,

    And Mummies too.

    Add in Vampires

    And some Ghosts.

    Skeletons,

    Howling Wraiths, and at least one Ghoul.

    As the foul undead rise.

    Or maybe just stupid. We’ll see.

    Be well, everyone.

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