My Zombie

I’ve just finished reading Joyce Carol Oats’ novel, Zombie, and I’m reminded a little of my own frustrated boy character in TI. We have in common the subjects of madness, time and troubled protaganists who have the need or (obsession) for experimentation. But where Joyce deals with the violence of madness, my guy encounters it by way of his curiousity. Ultimately you feel sadness and pity rather than hatred. I wonder however, if this is where I went wrong, Maybe I can’t commit to the brutality of reality.

Oats’ main character Q..P, is that strange someone you may have seen on television or read about in the paper. You find yourself wondering how people are capable of killing and torturing so calmly. Her razorsharp prose in the book really creates the monster in the mind’s eye. Oats doesn’t sag, she gets stronger and stronger. Her writing is confident and she deals with amorality in a way I wish I could.

Kudos to her and to Zombie.  I was depressed and haunted for days. I couldn’t get my story to sustain that level of intensity. I lose focus and just want to get it over with. Then again, Oats is an experienced and prolific writer, she can go the distance. She has the drive of an athlete envisioning the finish line.

Also, she is unapologetic. Q…P is who he is. She doesn’t try to make him likeable for her readers.My story’s ending is a little sloppy from all the rewrites. Despite my closness to the subject matter and time devoted, I’m ready for a parachute. I am also a little worried that I can’t nail the ending with a Nadia Comanice dismount. I wish my writing could be as resolute and direct as Zombie. But I have to be realistic. I’m making notes for the future.

One Comment

  1. K-Zombie

    I agree that ‘Zombie’ is a great if disturbing read. I think it is the first time I actually felt sorry for a literary character. Poor Squirrel. Incidently, would you agree that although QP wants to have his own zombie, ironically he is actually a zombie himself, devoid of emotions or humanity?Good luck with TI. Don’t worry about getting the ending like Nadia. Most writers can’t quiet nail the landing of their stories and end up trailing off somewhere. Maybe it is the curse of creative writing to come up with brilliant ideas and concepts but the inability to end them in a satisfying manner. Perhaps we find it hard to truly kill off our babies so they end up as a member of the living dead – still alive in our consciousness but impossible to just kill off.Remember – shoot them in the head.

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