Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Thrill is Gone

... in a splattering bloody mess.

Yeah, I watched The Walking Dead. And I'll probably watch a few more episodes but only because an old buddy from my TSR days is one of Negan's henchmen. When my old buddy ceases to walk around with a pick ax--Ciao! In my opinion--my blog, my opinion--the storytellers took it too far with the popped-out eyeball and the smashed skulls. Blood without plot...well, not much plot. Blood. Blood. Blood. And a gob of flesh hanging from the baseball bat.

There was blood and gore and shock value. 
Battered characters. 
Crushed souls. 
But there was no real story to it. 

Sure, the writers can say they needed all the "ick" to affect the characters and to further the action in the remaining episodes.

But in this episode, I couldn't find the story. If I'm going to invest time in something--time is precious and once spent you don't get it back--I want there to be a story, a good plot. I want the action to move from Point A to Point B and eventually to Point C.

B and C were missing from that episode.

The thrill of that show, to me, is gone.

My friend Christine Verstraete has a much better zombie story, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter. It's got gore in it, and history, and it didn't jump that proverbial shark like The Walking Dead. It's got A to B to C. 

I put down books that don't get to B fast enough. 

I like to be thrilled...with movies, books...I want my entertainment to make me scootch forward to the edge of my seat. I want a book that MAKES me turn the page even if I'm tired and thinking about calling it a night. Tug me through the story, hang me at the end of a chapter. Keep me up. Keep me engaged with the characters.

Don't make me think I'm wasting my time.

Some of my fellow writers criticize Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code as not being well written. Sure, when I read it I wanted to take my editor's red pen to every other page. He's not an elegant writer. But what Dan Brown did right was pull me through the book, hang me at the end of a chapter. I had to keep reading The Da Vinci Code because he made me want to know what happens next. I don't care what happens next to Rick and his crew in The Walking Dead. It doesn't have me on the edge of my seat. I've read most of Brown's books, by the way, and studied his page-turning technique.

My current writing project is a thriller set under Rome. I like to read thrillers, so I thought I ought to write another one. I'm a little more than halfway done and I've just offed one of my characters. I let Christine Verstraete select who I "gave the ax" to. It's not a bloody ridiculous death, and I don't show you the body in all its awful detail. I don't need to...though I am more than capable of describing awful stuff.

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child write great thrillers...I've a bunch of them on my shelves. Raymond Benson can spin a thriller to make you say WOW and reach for his next book. Ridley Pearson, Stephen King, Ken Follett, Karin Slaughter, Gillian Flynn, Dean Koontz, Jack Higgins...they can deliver good thrillers. 

Kevin J. Anderson has put together a great bundle of thrillers...tinged with science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy. GOOD stories, edge of your seat stuff, make me turn the pages stuff...each one better (okay, in my opinion) than what the storytellers did in The Walking Dead. Seriously good reading. Thrilling reading.

And, yes, this is a plug to latch onto Kevin's Thriller Bundle. I've a book in it--Pockets of Darkness--which has gore and STORY in it. Donald J. Bingle has his excellent Forced Conversion in it too. Yeah, this is a plug so I can sell books. I'm a full-time writer, I make a living by selling books. But it's also an offering of good thrillers. I don't recommend bad books. I will never recommend a bad book. I used to recommend The Walking Dead to my friends. But I don't do that anymore.

The thrill is gone from The Walking Dead. But the thrill is here courtesy of Kevin J. Anderson. Here's the link to that Thriller Bundle.

Find The Dead of Winter, my new mystery, on Amazon here. 

And my Amazon author page here.  

My personal webpage is at www.jeanrabe.com

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  1. Sadly it seems like many stories with a great start there is no end to Walking Dead. Sure real life in an apocalyptic world might be one dreadful treading from one near disaster to another but this is a story than needs to give readers an payoff ending. It might be the zombies win and we all become zombies, it might be civilization blooms in walled cities with armed trade routes, it might be the zombies are defeated and society rebuilds but the series and the comic wanders on across the wasteland without any payoff for the reader just heartache, gore, and more of the same...

  2. Thanks for the mention! Well I'll be watching TWD later than everyone as usual, but I already know who got killed, which doesn't bother me. I don't like excess gore in movies (surprise!) but I'm still a zombie fan, of course. The deaths were expected though as the series is following the comic so everyone says. I'll be grossed out, I'm sure, but not turned off... yet.
    Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter

  3. And I liked Da Vinci Code, too. Kept my interest. I read Inferno and it wasn't as good, though. Be interested to see if the movie is better on that one.