6 Undead Sources Of Inspiration For Writers Who Are Zombie Fans

6 Undead Sources Of Inspiration For Writers Who Are Zombie Fans

As a post-apocalyptic writer myself, I know the struggle of not having ideas. I'm here to help!

We've all been there; sat down, staring at a blank white screen or sheet of paper, struggling to come up with some brilliant idea for a new undead tale that will wow people for centuries... and disappointed when nothing comes to mind. Don't worry. You're not alone. Post-apocalyptic fiction is my favorite kind of fiction, so I understand the struggle of trying to come up with fresh new takes on shambling monsters and hardened survivors. I still have a ways to go, but over the years I have racked up quite the repertoire to draw from whenever I'm coming up blank. Many of these are my personal collections of songs and pictures and thus tailored to my interests, but feel free to look into others!

1. Writing Prompts

I'll start with my favorite. Writing.prompt.s has an Instagram and a Tumblr, and he's definitely worth checking out. My favorite thing to do is mash together a couple of different prompts, then ask myself, "How can I add zombies to this?"

2. Music

Music is a wonderful way to get creative juices flowing. I have a zombie apocalypse Spotify playlist that I like to play whenever I'm trying to think of some horror. Not all of the songs have to do with the undead per se; Fort Minor's "Remember the Name," for example, may be twisted to describe a lone zombie hunter's journey to fame. You can choose to reinterpret the lyrics however you wish in order to create a new, original story.

Lyrical music isn't the only way to go! Instrumental music by bands like Audiomachine and Two Steps from Hell are also pretty awesome background soundtracks to any post-apocalyptic story.

3. Pinterest

I have a couple of Pinterest boards that I sometimes scroll through when I'm at a loss for ideas. From text posts and short prompts that I've saved, to interesting pictures that I can imagine myself explaining, to even the "creepy image" search that generates more odd and unexplained photos, Pinterest is an amazing platform from which to draw inspiration.

4. Your Surroundings

It's easy to forget that the outside world actually exists, but sometimes it's a perfect way to spark ideas! What's hiding in that dark thicket in your backyard? What mysterious creature could be forming that odd shadow cast onto the building in front of you? Why is there a chair on the roof? Is the guy at the customer service desk really human?

5. Dreams

I am one of those people that keeps a dream journal. On the rare occasion that I get enough sleep to dream, I definitely don't want to forget the odd stuff that my unconscious mind manages to come up with. Try getting into the habit of keeping a small notebook and pencil by your bed. Or, you can do what I do and keep a Word document of "dreams" on your phone. Slowly, you'll build your own personal database of odd and whimsical stories that you can write something off of.

6. The Zombie "Template"

Last but not least, the idea of the zombie itself. What if you messed around with the “template” of what we know as a zombie? Your new creature will still have to have some things that will give humans a chance to survive, but otherwise, have a field day. The stereotypical zombie tends to be a slow, shambling creature that will rot slowly. It moans for reasons unknown to people, is stronger than its living counterparts and has an insatiable hunger for human flesh. It reproduces by biting humans. It acts independently of other zombies, but will also not shy away from traveling in a large group. The only warnings of its approach are the sound of its shuffling footsteps and its groans, and the only surefire way to kill it is to destroy its brain somehow.

Ask yourself what you can do to change this template. For example, a recent short story of mine features what the narrator calls “Gross Dudes,” which are each walking shells that used to be humans. They lack eyes and have nostril slits and a lipless hole in place of a nose and mouth. They travel in small groups and secrete purple gas that induces paralyzing fear in any nearby humans. When they open their mouth, there is a mysterious purple glow in place of a throat. They move slowly and have short attention spans.

The key is to making your own post-apocalyptic creature is to ask yourself basic questions about its appearance, mannerisms, and quirks.

  • What does it sound like?
  • How does it move?
  • How do humans know there is one nearby?
  • Does it walk on two legs?
  • Does it have fur?
  • How are each of its five senses?
  • How does a human transform into one?
  • What does its skin look like?
  • Can it glow?
  • Does it travel with others?
  • Does it have a mouth, and if so, what does it look like?
  • Does it secrete anything?
  • Can it alter a human’s mental state?
  • How intelligent is it?
  • How does it hunt?
  • How does a human kill it?
  • Can it speak? What does its voice sound like?

After that, put a whole bunch of them in your story! The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr / David Simmons

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."

Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."

3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."

4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.

"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.

Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."

25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.

"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.

"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."

30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.

"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"

32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."

34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."

35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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'Bohemian Rhapsody' Is The Must-See And Must-Hear Movie Of 2018

If you haven't yet seen the new Queen movie, when you do, you definitely won't regret it.


"Bohemian Rhapsody" was hands down one of the best movies we have seen in a long time.

Focused on the life of Freddie Mercury and his career as the lead singer of the well-known rock band Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody paid a great tribute to the late singer. Rami Malek plays Freddie with extreme talent, there wasn't one moment throughout the movie that I thought anyone else could've played the part.

If you don't know who Rami Malek is, this was not his first movie, he played in the Twilight Saga's "Breaking Dawn" (parts one and two) and also in multiple "Night at the Museum" movies. Also featured in the movie were Mike Meyers, and Allen Leech ("Downton Abbey's" Tom Branson).

It cannot be said that Rami didn't channel Freddie's personality.

The actor and the movie itself did a great job as portraying Freddie as the legend he truly was. It walked us through a brief mention of Freddie's humble upbringing as Farrokh Bulsara and the very beginnings of Queen, to the Live Aid concert at the Wembley Stadium in London six years before his passing. Watching the movie, you feel all of the emotion, the confusion, the love, the eccentric personality of Mercury, and the sense of family the band really had despite disagreements they had throughout their career.

Of course, I wasn't even born when Queen was performing, so in a way, I feel it might not have affected me emotionally quite as much as the way it affected many others in the theater. With laughter, tears, and even clapping, we were all engulfed in the life and career of Freddie Mercury.

Although some things may have been a little more dramatized or even underplayed, such as Freddie's sexuality, relationships, and the other band members' lives it was a great movie. In my opinion, even without those aspects, you could still relate and feel what Freddie was feeling, it did touch on a few relationships, however, this was not the focus of the movie and I don't feel it needed to be.

While the "Tomatometer" on Rotten Tomatoes only gave the movie a 60%, the "Audience Score," shows that 94% rated the movie with a score of 3.5 stars or higher. Some people who left reviews on IMDB felt the movie should have shown more of Freddie's life after Live Aid, and another review of only 3/10 stars claimed, "This move comes off like a LIFETIME film and not a serious Queen or Freddy Mercury Biopic for the big screen." Despite reviews such as this where people claimed to be disappointed, from the 55,071 user ratings, the movie earned an 8.4/10.

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