Last week there were Zombies in my yard and in my house. Worse. They’d taken over my office! Screenwriter guy wrote a zombie screenplay, Screamwriter. It’s a comedy, a fifteen minute short where a screenwriter’s characters come to life, or in this case, become a little less undead. And of course Screenwriter recruited friends as actors. I did not end up getting to be a zombie. I play the screenwriter’s wife. And the good part is I miss the three hours of make-up it takes to transform into one of the undead.
But I do get to watch the process. And I have to say it reminds me of writing. You could say everything reminds me of writing, and you’d be close. But when I watch the make-up artist lay on layer after layer of paint, latex, coffee grounds (who knew!) , and some strange red substance I can't identify, I thought about me creating a character. The more layers of complexity I add, the more real my protagonist becomes. The big revelation for me was that sometimes you have to scrap and peel away layers. Yes, it's true! The make-up artist must peel away a little of her work to create the effect she wants. I realize that there are times when less is more. I have to peel away layers of description, to reveal more, asimple gesture, a fragment of dialogue may be all it takes.
But that's where I'll stop the analogy and tell you the funny bits like finding a random arm in shrubbery or Zombie Zach using the restroom in the park near our house. He definitely heard someone come in behind him. We all heard the shout as a man came shooting out the restroom door. There's nothing like a little fantasy to get you through the furnace of summer. And every now and then, I need a big distraction from waiting for publishing news. My cover for Beyond the Door should be coming out in the next few weeks. I have a new manuscript on an editor's desk and I'm trying not to check my email every half hour. Brains anyone?