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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?