This past weekend was the local Zombie Walk in Asbury Park, NJ. I’ve gone for the past several years, dressing up for all but one. It’s a whole lot of fun and people are generally cool to each other and enjoy the camaraderie of looking for tasty brains.
One of my favorite parts about it all is seeing everyone’s amazing creativity. I try to capture as much of it as I can on my camera because 1) I like to share it with others who couldn’t be there 2) People love to find themselves in the pictures later 3) The images can make for great story fodder!
I don’t really write horror (although A New Kind of High counts) but zombies and other dark type creatures can certainly make an appearance in the Errand Girl of the Undead stories. Being able to take my time and look at the photos and see how these people make blood flow and skin peel allows me to describe it in words that will let my readers get their own vivid visual.
Not only do my observations allow for better descriptions, they inspire me on the whole. Seeing these people gets the sparks flying in my brain. How did that whole Amish family turn zombie? Has Jason come back yet again? Are those zombie parents really going to eat their baby or will one of the hunters rushing in to save it?? The possibilities are immense and had I not gone, watched, captured and participated, I’d be lacking in a ton of great inspiration right now.
Regardless of the situation, you should always take the time to observe. You never know what could inspire you. It could be an unusual flower, a parent soothing their crying child or Disney princesses who have been zombified and are moaning for your brains.
What do you see that inspires your writing?