The Next Zombie Apocalypse: finding story ideas everywhere

I was shopping online recently and came across what could ONLY be the source for the next #ZombieApocalypse. I bet the other option on that dropdown menu is "Flesh Rejuvenation."  


Don't trust anything with "bio" in the name. Have video games taught us nothing?! (Annotation: Yes, I'm 'aware' this isn't a zombie-inducing spray, as it was lovingly pointed out by Stephanie, but let me dream, would you?!)

I am feeling like I need to write (also finish) a zombie novel. There is something about the unknown, terror on every corner, fighting for your next meal and shambling footsteps that just makes the author in me giddy.

Also a bit sick.




One habit I've formed as an auhor is to take pictures of everything that makes you wonder. I can't rely on my memory to keep story ideas safely tucked away, so I have 3,000+ photographs on my phone and hard drive. A fraction of them bring back story ideas (many, many of them are cat pictures). But when I saw this Biofreeze product, I was drawn to remembering another location I had visited in December that had me fearful for my life (jokingly, like the above post).

From any of these pictures could spring zombies, characters, dialogue ("If those aren't peaches..."), story titles. I keep them just in case.

[I mean no disrespect to the business owner whom these images are credited to. He's actually a super sweet guy, whose misleading storefront makes for good story fodder.]

Video! Writing The Burning City, Chapter 9, Entry 4

This is the beginning of Chapter 9, Entry 4 of The Burning City! Witness my writing process, from my Spotify playlist to the folder where the story is kept. I wrote a few notes as I went along (like correcting words and forgetting what certain demons look like!). This is as raw as it gets--the creative process, complete with errors, forgetfulness and mental pausing. Thanks for watching! I recommend watching this in High Definition (720) and Full Screen to see all the text. Click on the small gear on the bottom left hand corner to adjust accordingly.

I'm using a screen capture program called ActivePresenter. The full YouTube link is here:


Writing Resource: ActivePresenter, a screen capture software

This morning I sat down at my computer with the intention of continuing my work on Chapter 9 of The Burning City. I had my coffee, my solitude--and, as usual, my brain had other plans. My sister-mine Stephanie (of Steph Skiles Creations) had recently started making short, funny videos about her problems as a Story Board Artist. She plans on breaking in (and tearing up!) the Freelance Artist platform in 2015. She's taking steps to get herself out in the public, using her presence as a diving board. You can see her videos on her Tumblr page, or watch video 1 and video 2 here. As usual, Stephanie inspired me. I went searching for screen capture programs so I, too, could make videos about my writing. We had talked about it briefly; I told her, "I'm too self conscious, I can't get on a camera!" (My teeth... no, not meant for the camera). So she suggested I could write what I wanted, speed it up, maybe narrate it (I tried the audio thing, I also don't like how I sound!). So I thought, I like to write. I could just record the screen, right? So down the rabbit hole I went. Luckily, it didn't take me long. My first stop was Adobe Captivate. To the tune of $400? No, that was simply unthinkable.

Fortunately for me, the internet is as frugal I as am. Two links down on Google and I see the "free alternative to Adobe Captivate," and I'm already clicking it. I read the article, and went to the website. The free version of the program met all my basic requirements:

Active Presenter, FREE includes:

- Full record mode, in high quality - No watermark - No time limit

It also has an editor feature that lets you string images and recordings together, add narrations, and export to video (avi, mp4, wmv, mkv). The full purpose of this program is to help create and distribute learning materials. As such, it also has options like adding multiple choice questions, highlighted text, focus points--very helpful when relaying information.

I haven't found a use for those features yet, but I've only been working with it for a few hours. I can see the potential to be very great, and I have no complaints.




ActivePresenter Export

How Does It Look?

I could tell you all day how great the recording quality is--but I'd rather show you. I've used other programs before that simply cannot capture the clarity of typed words on a screen. ActivePresenter did not disappoint me!



Do you have experience with other screen capture software? Do you prefer a free or premium version? Leave a note in the comments to share your knowledge with the rest of us!