Three Sentence Thursdays – Zombie Edition #1

I’m going to use a different posting style this time as there are several things I’d like to address which are fairly brief and don’t flow well. So we’ll divide this post into little segments with bold titles of their own.

Don’t worry, the promised excerpt has a section too.

On Titles:
I’ve come up with a working title for the zombie book. It’s called Romance and Zombies until I come up with something better.

On Character Names:
The other day, a dear friend mentioned that the first thing she thinks of upon hearing the name ‘Daisy’ is Daisy Duke. I realized this was likely more common than picturing the Daisy from the live-action Super Mario Brothers movie, so I decided Daisy needed a new name. After all, she is not a booty-shorts-wearing redneck.

Daisy is now called Dawn, and shall be referred to as such from here on out.

On Progress:
I am currently just shy of 1,500 words into Romance and Zombies. I wrote almost 1,000 words yesterday, and almost 500 today. Writing two days in a row felt nice.

The Situation:
So you’re not terribly confused by the excerpt, I’ll explain a little. I did use the idea paragraph as the opening of the book.

At the point of this snippet, I’ve got Dawn away from the zombies in the yard and into her house. She has a broken nose and sprained ankle and is preparing to leave. Part of that preparation involves eliminating the zombies in her front yard so she can drive away easily, so she was headed upstairs to snipe them. But she heard a crash downstairs.

Three Sentences:
They were inside and headed her way.
Dawn dropped to a crouch as quietly as she could and brought her rifle to bear, aiming through the banister rails at the hallway. She waited with bated breath, palms sweating on the rifle’s stock.

On Process:
I think I like stopping in the middle of something important. I did the same last night and was able to come back to it tonight (technically this morning) and continue on without much trouble. I knew where the story was going because I didn’t stop at the end of the first scene.

I think I’ll continue to stop in the middle of the action. That might make Three Sentence Thursdays more interesting for you, too.

Unless I write drivel. If I’m writing drivel, do feel free to tell me so.

On Character Development:
I realized today that I don’t know enough about Dawn. All my main characters need further development. I have very brief, strawman descriptions of them all, but I lack details. My characters lack flesh at the moment.

I don’t know why I keep thinking, “Why do I need to know where she grew up? It’s not like I’m going to tell her life story.” I used to act. In theatre, when given a new character, I spent hours (sometimes days) fleshing the character out. I filled out questionnaires, wrote journal entries from the character’s POV, and wrote their life story. I could not bring a character to life on stage without doing the work. Why would I suddenly think I could do so on paper, with visible internal monologue, without knowing the character inside and out?

Everything about a character matters. I think I forgot that for a moment. I know I can’t continue Dawn’s story much further without getting to know her better. So I’ll likely spend the next few days doing just that.

A Closing Question:
Because I like asking (sometimes completely random) questions and tossing ideas around, this might become a regular feature here.

How would you handle a zombie apocalypse and what would you do?


I'm a writer.

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Romance and Zombies, Three Sentence Thursdays, Zombies
15 comments on “Three Sentence Thursdays – Zombie Edition #1
  1. Wyrd Smythe says:

    I believe it was mystery author Dashiell Hammett who had a work habit of stopping for the day in mid-sentence. That gave him a way to jump start work the next day. Complete the sentence, and off you go!

    Many authors write detailed biographies of their characters including back stories the writer never mentions. SF author Roger Zelazny (a fave of mine) once said he writes a couple scenes contemporary with his story, but never mentioned. Sometimes the characters make oblique reference to events from that scene.

    This makes writing more life-like, as the same thing happens in our lives: references are made to things we weren’t present for, never saw, don’t know about. There are mysteries in life; there can be mysteries in writing; you don’t have to tell your readers everything!

    ((Has Dawn been eating bait fish? When you are holding your breath, in anticipation or fear, it is “bated” not “baited.”)) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Paige Nolley says:

      Stopping in the middle of things is a piece of advice I’ve heard many times but hadn’t tried until now. ๐Ÿ™‚

      And yes. Character backgrounds are just as important for the writer to know as my needing to know how the zombies came to be. Even if I don’t plan to tell the reader.

      ((I was being literary and implying that she feels like bait on a hook, duh! /sarcasm I got the bare vs. bear bit right, didn’t I?))

  2. kristinapui says:

    I am the same, I write pages and pages on events in my characters life, entire scenes that occur alongside the visible scenes of the novel and a ton of information on their relationship with the other characters. You find that you’ve written someone who is entirely their own person, rather then just you pretending to be a fictional character. It is well worth the extra work! And if I were in a Zombie apocalypse, I would probably pack up my shit, grab my loved ones and run away into the bushes. I’m definitely not one to take the stand and fight approach, as your Dawn seems capable of doing.

    • Paige Nolley says:

      All she’s trying to do is run away. But sometimes you have to stand and fight in order to run away.

      I would be driving the truck in a zombie apocalypse. But I have some serious pedestrians-in-parking-lots issues to work out.

  3. diannegray says:

    I’m not sure how I’d handle a zombie apocalypse. First thing Iโ€™d probably do is hide away somewhere. Then Iโ€™d get myself a gun (or a shovel โ€“ Iโ€™ve seen a few zombies beheaded by shovels). Then Iโ€™d probably find a zombie cure and save the world ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Can I just say that I LOVE you for saying “bated breath” instead of “baited breath”? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have you ever heard of the NaNoWriMo challenge? I played along last year and it was a great motivator.

    Here’s what I wonder about a zombie-fighting character: does there come a point where she would have the option to take out someone else, in order to get the zombies distracted by someone else to snack on? Remember the joke about the two guys who are facing a grizzly bear, and the one guy puts on his running shoes? His friend says, “What are you doing? You can’t outrun a grizzly.”

    “I don’t have to. I only have to outrun you.”

    • (OOPS! Sorry. I was premature on the “enter” key.)
      I can see a lot of potential conflict if a zombie hunter had such a choice to make.

      What would I do in a zombie apocalypse? I never thought about it before….. but I’m a pretty good shot. I ain’t skeered. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Paige Nolley says:

        Oh it was ‘baited’ when I first posted the snippet. Luckily, my error was pointed out to me rather quickly. ๐Ÿ™‚

        As to the kill the living to save herself question, it’s a distinct possibility. Perhaps more than once. There will be a host of unsavory live people in this book, any number of which could die. The option to kill a friendly to save herself could arise too. The details will likely remain quite hazy until I write them.

        NaNoWriMo… I’ve been considering it. At present, I don’t write every day. On days I do write, I’m only churning out 500-1,000 words or so. I’ve been seriously considering it though. If my laptop is functional, thus giving me the ability to write while watching House reruns on the media box with my fiancรฉ, I will probably give it a go this year. Of course, I may wind up scattering those 50,000 words between two novels. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. MythRider says:

    I have nominated you for the Liebster Award.

  6. kristinapui says:

    Okay, well I see that someone already just nominated you but I’ve already done the post so I’ll continue anyway haha I also nominated you as a recipient of the Liebster Award, which I guess makes you twice as awesome. On my post it tells you what you are supposed to do next:

  7. […] Three Sentence Thursdays – Zombie Edition #1 ( Rate this:Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Six Sentence Sunday and tagged anthology, Arts, Kip Wilson, Literature, Online Writing, Poetry, Short story, Six Sentence Sunday. Bookmark the permalink. ← The Big Announcement! Writing to a Deadline AGAIN #4 The Big Announcement! […]

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