Last night, I went to bed depressed and curled up with Chelsea Cain’s celebrated thriller Heart Sick. I figured it might be good research, just in case I was going to teach a class on how to write thrillers.
The premise instantly gripped me. The story begins with this female serial killer sedating a male cop and torturing him before letting him go, hideously scarred. Think hammering nails into each rib to shatter them, and you get the idea.
I was intrigued. I read some then drifted off to sleep, and when I woke up I felt miles better. I don’t know, maybe I get some kind of perverse pleasure thinking as bad as things might be, some blokes might have it even worse ;P
But even better is that I woke up hitting upon an idea of a short story. I lay there and pondered what it would be like for animals in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse.
Which is weird because I’m generally one of those who are not really interested in zombie movies like my best friend Liz. Sure, I’ve seen the movies 28 Days Later (awesome), Dawn of the Dead and the pilot for that recent TV series The Walking Dead, but zombies are not particularly something that gets my juices flowing.
But to write a story about a dog surviving in such a calamity, now, that might be something. I lay in bed thinking of various theme and plots, and then got up to research if this had been done before. There are very few unique ideas, because chances are people would have thought of the same thing you have. The difference is the execution of that idea.
As far as I know, Will Smith’s 2007 film I am Legend did feature a dog in it (whose fate traumatised my best friend) but the canine was not really the centre of the story.
And then my Google search led me to this group of independent film-makers trying to get funding for their movie Play Dead. It features a few dogs trying to survive said zombie apocalypse in the streets of Miami after the presumed messy demise of their owners. Their trailer is something to admire!
I wonder what happened to the film-makers though. Last I saw, they set up a pledge and successfully raised the $3000 funding they need to produce the film. So where’s the beef?
Whatever it is, I’m gonna try my hand with this idea. And I went about the day feeling a bit more upbeat.
It just goes to show, sometimes you find your best ideas reading read sick, sick books before bed 🙂