Blogs by Rebecca Brock
Writing "Trailer Park of the Damned"
10/26/2007 12:03:23 PM
I thought that I'd take up valuable interweb space by re-posting some blogs about the writing of some of the stories from my collection, Abominations. Enjoy...won't you? ;)
"Trailer Park" was my first zombie story ever. I had just discovered Homepage of the Dead and their fiction page and was hooked. Some of the fan fiction wasn't so great, some of it truly sucked dead donkeys, but I found a few stories that just knocked me on my ass. They reminded me of the stories from Book of the Dead I and II (edited by Skipp & Spector) that I had loved ever since I was a teenager.
I honestly don't know why I hadn't thought of writing my own zombie fiction before then. I think maybe I had thought that since it was really a Romero thing, I couldn't write my own zombie stories set in that world. As a teenager, I had started writing a very ambitious novel with zombie-like monsters, but I had never gone full-on zombie.
The original idea behind "Trailer Park" was to have Jolene and her boyfriend Ray as a psychopathic, serial killing couple who liked to torture female zombies (since there was no law in the trailer park and anything was possible). It's still a fairly interesting idea to me that I might play around with later on, but as I started writing the story, it just didn't want to work for me. I liked the character of Jolene too much.
As I was writing the story, it occurred to me that in an apocalyptic setting, it truly becomes a man's world. All the advances women have made over the years would be wiped out. In most post-apocalyptic stories, women are either supporting characters who exist to sex up the macho hero, or they're cast in the hard-as-nails "Ripley" stereotype where they know instinctively how to lock and load any piece of weaponry they're handed.
I wanted to write about a woman who is neither of those things. Jolene is just stuck in a bad situation with her boyfriend when things get worse with the zombies. She's never had to take care of herself before, always having a man in her life to tell her what to do and think, and when she's finally on her own, she's terrified. She doesn't know how to take care of herself, she isn't brimming with confidence or as tough as nails. She's just scared. I can relate to that kind of character.
The original version of this story, by the way, was much less violent. Neil from Homepage of the Dead suggested that I take more time dealing with the guys from the trailer park who are stalking Jolene through the Sav-Mart. My brother helpfully came up with some painfully violent scenerios that were disturbingly fun to write.
More on Jolene's story later :)
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More Blogs by Rebecca Brock
Christmas-ish - Thursday, December 13, 2007
I'm such a wuss - Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The Mist": Best Horror Movie Ever? Probably. - Wednesday, November 21, 2007
My romance novel - Monday, October 29, 2007
Writing "Family Value" - Friday, October 26, 2007
Writing - Friday, October 26, 2007
Writing "Trailer Park of the Damned" - Friday, October 26, 2007
Why I self-published - Thursday, October 25, 2007