WHERE YOU COME FROM
Settings in Zombie fiction
By John Palisano
How can a city be a character? Isn’t it just a series of roads? Buildings? A created architecture? Yes. And no.
Anyone with a pulse who has visited New Orleans can feel the presence of something else in the air. It’s as though there is some other mysterious quotient oozing its way through every brick and iron gate. The city possesses you. It’s not just one thing. It’s difficult to pinpoint. Writers have spent novels on trying to capture what it feels like. When they do, it’s magic. Would Interview with the Vampire be the same anywhere else? Absolutely not. Louisiana definied so much of what made that book unique and unforgettable. As we’ve seen in subsequent installments in Anne Rice’s vampire stories, placing the characters in different locations can radically change the tone and feel of a story, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for much worse.
How does an author truly capture the essence of their location? Simply placing a story in a town of city, like Chicago, for instance, is hardly enough. The city needs to be integral. If the story can be transposed, the location is not a character. We’ve seen several infamous examples lately of classic books and stories transcribed into film where a location was changed from London to Los Angeles, or Los Angeles to New York…with the end result being generic and uninspired. They failed to understand how integral the original story was to where it was told.
Think of it this way: if you’ve ever had the experience of being told a scary story out in the woods, or on a dark beach, and elements from those places are used, then you know how effective they can be. Now think about hearing that same story while sitting on your couch at a party with many friends. It’d likely not be scary at all.
So that’s what the best uses of location can do: transport us to that place, and make us really feel danger and fear, and that anything might happen next, because there’s lots of places for the undead to hide, and there’s only a few safe places left. Where will you go? You, or the characters in the story, will go to the places you know best. You’ll go where you came from.
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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 30+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.
Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!
Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!
#SummerofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!