On Writing with Chekhov

Finally, after our successful crowdfunding campaign to keep Scintilla going another year, I’ve sat down with Anton Chekhov and we’ve written two zombie mashups. It was hard to choose stories. I made it halfway through “Ward Six” before stopping. I wanted to write “The Zombie (Lady) with the Dog” because I thought it’d be funny to make all of her dialogue incomprehensible. But, does it need to be understood?

At Christmas Time with Zombies” is a little more subtle. The zombie narrative is hidden inside the larger narrative as a young miscreant writes a letter for a woe-filled elderly couple to their daughter. The horror story is not the most devilish part of the piece though.

So what was it like to write with Chekhov? Unfortunately, it was first parsed by Constance Garnett and comes across a little too stilted. However, I retyped both stories so that I would feel more free to add in my own text when inspired. In “The Zombie (Lady) with the Dog” that allowed me to more easily modify descriptions and add in my own text. At times it felt like taking a part a piece of clothing stitch by stitch and sewing it back again with my own flourishes.

In any case, I hope the people for whom the stories I for enjoy them, and that you all do as well.