A Non-Profit Group of Writers Helping Writers
July "100 Words Or Less" Writing Challenge Survivors
Coverage notes from Strange World Productions Reader
When you only have one-hundred words to sell a concept, the challenge is to put as much imagery into your words as possible – to make the story come alive in the mind of the person you're telling it to. It's very much like a “30-second elevator pitch” - you don't slap the story together just as the doors are closing; you plan it carefully, you rehearse it over and over, until every word, every second counts.
For the majority of entries I read, I suffered the opinion that ninety percent of them were slapped together in a matter of minutes, without any thought to how they might be improved, tightened, the characters made more endearing, more sympathetic. That was bad enough. But the worse thing I felt was that the writers didn't see or respect me, the reader.
So a word of warning, writers: Never think that your opinion alone will carry your story forward to print, performance, or production. You've got a goldmine in peer critique in this thing you call The Alameda Writrers Group. Use it.
And now on to my coverage notes:
“My Life,” and Being Undead
What’s “undead?” I first thought “undead” was a political trick like the humbug of declaring persons “dead” while alive (“unalive”) during my administration. That fraud seemed similar to using the names of really dead as “voters” during elections. Then, zombies forced the tinkering with definitions, so a blue-ribbon panel started to spin “dead” policies. Unfortunately, they were eaten while investigating zombies. I escaped in a smoke screen after Hillary lit a cigar. Backlight had outlined an “undead” Monica-substitute approaching. Hillary’s comment to me, “You’re dead!,” helped me draft my first “undead” public policy. … Run!
Actress Moan Clawford has a most devotedly cloying daughter. Ousted from the studio by a one Louis B. Slayer, Clawford falls apart, quite literally, by becoming catatonic and losing several body parts. Daughter X-tina attempts to put her mother back together with wire hangers to which Moan replies, "No...wire...hangers...I work and work 'til I'm half dead (quite literally). Why can't you re-erect me with the respect I'm entitled to?" Ouoth X-tina: "I'm not one of your HANDS!!!" They eventually seek out the ghost of a more famous director as Clawford utters the unforgettable phrase, "Mr. DeKill, I'm ready for my close-up."
NATIVE SON AND THE ZOMBIES
By R. C. Thompson (w/apologies to Richard Wright)
Circa 1930's Chicago. After African American Bigger Thomas accidently kills Mary Dalton, the leftist daughter of his employer/landlord, he decides to dispose of her body.
In the woods of upstate Illinois, Bigger says some words that he had heard his Grandmother say at a funeral. Bigger unwittingly mixes up the words. Instead of being a prayer of forgiveness it is a spell that causes dead to rise and walk.
Mary rises and calls a Zombie army to follow her to exact her vengeance on Bigger Thomas' family. Bigger must now hide his crime and protect his family.
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVENTH CORPSE
Lost and alone, Snow White moves in with six lazy, catatonic little old men and cleans their house top to bottom, including their closet wherein the finds a seventh UN-undead dwarf--Sleepy. As apples are the only cure for UN-undeadness, the six undead dwarfs stodgily tackle an old witch hobbling through the forest, steal her apple, then eat her brains! They feed the unbeknownst poisoned apple to Sleepy inadvertently worsening his UN-undeadness until a sexually confused young prince stumbles though the forest and kisses him! Show White then falls for Prince Charming, a love die-angle ensues and they live catty-tonically ever after...
On the maiden voyage of the Titanic, everything is going swimmingly until a press photographer tries out his newest toy -- a stereoscopic still camera. Revealed only in the second eye, evil dead spirits walk among the living. The Captain scuttles his ship, all souls trapped at the bottom of the ocean. Until James Cameron's 3D documentary resurrects the dead. Ghost ship Satanic sails the seas, seeking damned souls and spreading its evil throughout the world.
ZOMBIE GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL
Hack movie director Benji Laveau is making a low budget version of the famous showdown on location in Tombstone Arizona and for luck he asks the blessing of his religious mentor, the Voodoo princess Damballa. Unintended consequences result when the residents of Boot Hill arise from their graves just as the big scene at the O.K. Corral is about to be filmed. Some of the zombies are still packing their six guns and include a few well known, if somewhat decayed, gunslingers from the Wild West who use bullets to get brains.
The Grave Gatsby
Nick consents to play Cupid for his cousin Daisy and her former love, bootlegger Gatsby. At a cocktail party under a green light, Nick notices that the olive in his martini is actually Gatsby's right eye. He is horrified to see Daisy and Gatsby make out and both their jaws fall off. Later during a Charleston contest, party guests lose several more body parts before attacking him. "They’re a rotten crowd!” says Nick as he plows down flapper zombies in Gatsby's yellow car. He beats back zombies to Gatsby's boat, yelling “so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Robinson Crusoe Versus the Zombies (or Robinson, Don't Let Them Cook-You-So)
Crusoe gets shipwrecked on a deserted island and stumbles into an epic feud between human flesh-eaters. The island's cannibals fight crazed shipwrecked zombies, zombified after eating an infected shipwrecked sailor. Now both groups scavenge the beach, hunting the shipwrecked and killing each other over the merits of cooked versus raw. Crusoe and Friday, an escaped native that Crusoe befriends, fend both bands off valiantly but are eventually cornered. The cannibals negotiate their terms-- Eat human flesh and become tribal connoisseurs or be cooked. And the zombies offer... Well, there's no negotiating with zombies, so it's eat or be eaten.
American Zombie Bandstand
A new dance craze is sweeping the nation – The Zombie! Put your arms out in front of you, sway from side-to-side, and groan like you just can’t groan no more! All the hip kids are doing it … but one day, a real zombie walks onto the set of the hugely popular American Bandstand.
No one can tell the stealth-Zombie from the real kids – even when he starts turning the dancers into Zombies one by one. Can Dick Clark stop it them before they take over the whole show – and then the world?
Do The Zombie … if you dare …
Wrath of khan II
“Khan, we saved you! Now let us change you back to the way you were.” Pleads Kirk.
“But who said I want to change back? No admiral Kirk, now that I have your ship, I have no use for you” utters Khan.
“Okay Khan, that's it, I demand you to give me back my ship and surrender” commands Kirk.
Khan replies “You are in no position to demand anything, I on the other hand am in position to do everything. And now that I have Enterprise, I will boldly go where no zombie has gone before!
Gone with the Dead!
Scarlet is a vivacious Southern Belle in love with (the engaged) Ashley Wilks, and is being courted by the self-serving scoundrel, Rhett Butler – but as the country is thrown into Civil War, the dead start rising from the battlefields of Gettysburg!
Now, not only must Scarlet try and survive the ravages of war and poverty, she must battle the un-dead as they march through the cotton fields of her plantation, Tara. Who will live? Who will die? And who will stand by Scarlet as she fights for her home? Rhett? Or the newly-turned Zombie, Ashley?
GUESS WHAT’S COMING TO DINNER?
Matt and Christine Drayton nervously await their daughter Joey’s arrival for dinner. In the 1960s she brought her first finace home and it was a very challenging moment for dad. The Drayton’s are white and John Prentice, Joey's fiance, turned out to be black. Matt didn’t approve of interracial marriages, sparking a night or argument. But that was over 40 years ago. John has since died and, pushing 100, Matt hopes he can survive the shock of seeing who his liberal minded daughter has picked for her second husband.
“What color do you think this new one will be,” the backward thinking Matt grumbles. “Probably green! You’ll see, she’s picked a Martian this time just to send me to an early grave!”
“It’s a little late for that, dear,” his wife says. “Besides, John was a lovely man. He always reminded me of Sidney Poitier.”
The door chimes sound and Christine shrieks in horror. Standing with her daughter is a Zombie.
“Look who’s joining us for dinner, father and mother,” Joey announces with sadistic glee. “And, father, you may not like this one either, but he’s bound to like you. He’s very, very hungry.”
Beware, a Zombies is who's coming to dinner! And you may be the main course!
Ha-a-awh! I know you are, but what am I?"
Zombie Princess Fairy Tails as the zombie princesses must find their true loves and force them to become one of the zombies in a Unhappily Ever After Undead life.
A Clockwork Dead
In a dystopian future where sentient zombies mingle openly with the living in a state of quasi-tolerance, it’s not until the evenings when gangs of vicious undead youth routinely take to the streets in an opportunistic orgy of flesh devouring assaults.
Captured by his living, law abiding counterparts during such an assault gone awry, one such pragmatic zombie named Alex is placed into a zombie detention center where he is later put through a new technique aimed at ridding him of his zombification, and with it, his free will.
Call me Ishmael.
Three weeks at sea with Captain Ahab. All we had seen were dead whales, floating limp. Then the captain muttered, “It’s him. Zombie Dick”.
We put out on the dinghies. The mate yelled, “Keep him in front of you. He might be a hump back.” Another yelled, “I think it’s a sperm whale.” I pricked him with harpoon, but could only get a piece of tail. He charged our ship. “He’s trying to penetrate our porthole,” I yelled. But when we looked to the captain, it was too late. He had gone down on Zombie Dick.
The Phantom of the Oprah
The O Network's ratings tank after Oprah's strange disappearance. A young starlet is given a show, but it falls flat. She sits crying in her dressing room when a secret passage opens up and she is abducted by an overweight woman in a sequined dress and mask. The masked woman teaches her how to be a successful self-help guru, but then bites her. The young starlet screams in terror and escapes. Her show soon becomes a hit! But eventually, Dr. Phil realizes that she and her audience and millions of her fans have turned into flesh eating zombies and he must fight them with therapy...and AK-47s. Who will win?
The crowd moans its excitement, inexorably dragging itself toward the stage at the front of the huge mausoleum. The effervescent sparkle of red and blue disco lights play over the bloodied and bruised faces of the happy undead. It's difficult to tell, but there are smiling faces everywhere.
Over the happy groans of the crowd, the crashing chords of a guitar riff begin.
DAH-DAHH... DAH-DAH-DAHHH... DAH-DAH-DAH-DAH...
A deep, booming voice fills the darkness as purple, red and green lights fill the stage.
"Ladies and gentlemen! Please welcome the band that simply will not die! Welcome!
The Great... Rolling Stones!"
Kramer vs Zombie
In a world where humans copulate with zombies… and with other humans that just move like zombies… the unthinkable has happened! Kramer vs Zombie is the legal decision that the Supreme Court must render, but doesn't want to. The left leaning body, of this “off-center” character, must confront his common-law-zombie sarcophagus-mate for custody their off-spring, Z Cosmo Tology.
"My Fair Zombie"
"Look at her, Pickering!" Higgins roared. "A victim of the gutter condemned by every syllable she utters!"
Pickering cast a quick, furtive glance toward the decomposing woman on the chair.
"It's not her fault she can't speak well," Pickering whispered. "For God's sake, Higgins - she's a zombie! Look how her jaw hangs there."
"Yes, there are deficiencies of character," Higgins said, "but we can help. Watch!"
Higgins went to the woman's side and beamed down at her.
"Repeat after me," he said. "The rain in Spain stays mainly..."
"Garr raaarg ga harrgh maah..."
"No, no," Higgins interrupted. "Now listen carefully...”
"Little Miss Sunshine's Diary of the Dead Interviews"
Hi people,ya,it's me
Little Miss Sunshine
you did notice the title,right
"Little Miss Sunshine's
Diary of the Dead
WOW,we got a bright crowd
any of you know if your breathing
thats right ,breathing,so,take a minute
YES,I said a minute
this show isn't about you
well, is your name
Little Miss Sunshine
are you breathing,or did somebody
bring in a group picture,from a new wallett
check your pulse,we may need you for
"DIARY OF THE DEAD- THE LIVE INTERVIEWS"
Coverage: “Streaming conscious” running dialogue seldom gets any point across in a hundred words or less, especially when it's all one-sided. Have no idea where this is going and I'm wondering if the writer did either. PASS.