Suddenly, everyone seems to be going crazy and killing people, and Danny and his family do not know who is going to turn next—it could be one of them, in fact. HATER has it all. I constantly read books in the genre and other genres as well. Not only do I want to see what other people are writing, I learn something from every book I read regarding style, voice, pacing, plotting, characterization, action, etc.
Jeff Long taught me about horror, Jonathan Maberry about how to keep a story moving, Conrad Williams about putting grit into your realism, Jeff Carlson about conflict, David Moody about people responding realistically to stress, and so on: The list is endless. Writers are always writing. But note that writing does not necessarily mean typing. I carry around a pen and small notebook in my back pocket at all times.
25 Fun and Frightening Zombie Books for Kids
When something good comes to mind, I write it down. Over time, these notebooks feed the outline, and ultimately the novel itself. Conflict drives a story. The more central rule of creating writing is that conflict is interesting—conflict between people, between people and themselves, between people and zombies, between people and their environment. In a typical storyline, of course, this looks like: Establish the normal, introduce the element that upsets the normal, and then establish the new normal. Michael Crichton had a gift for layering multiple conflicts on top of each other.
Conflict, however, should never be contrived. While Romero was pioneering, today that kind of thing should be avoided in zombie fiction. Lori and Shane have a conflict in that Shane is in love with her. Rick and Shane have a great conflict in that Shane wants to do whatever is necessary to survive, while Rick wants to do the right thing to have something to live for, even if it risks survival.
Avoid villains that are bad seemingly for the sake of being bad. The best conflicts are between real people who simply want different things. Suppose we have a group of survivors, and one of them is wounded and needs help. They get to a hospital, where they think they can find supplies, and get shot at by a sniper firing out of one of the windows. They return fire, and a stalemate ensues during which time the survivors parley with the sniper and the wounded survivor continues to weaken. We find out that the sniper is actually a doctor who is protecting a group of sick children that he was treating before the apocalypse, and is still trying to keep alive.
Now our empathy is torn as the reader. Who do we want to win? The reader should at this point want them to negotiate and work it out. Can these people trust each other? Suppose the doctor dies. Suppose the survivor dies. Write your fears, not your desires, into the apocalypse.
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I believe there are two types of apocalyptic fiction fans. One sees the apocalypse as a proving ground for themselves.
Zombie Picture Books
Imagine roaming free, having survived while most have perished, and fighting an adversary over which you have many advantages, especially if the zombies are the shambling kind. An exciting idea, right? The other kind sees the apocalypse as just that, the end of the world. Imagine losing everybody you love. While zombie fiction should deliver excitement, and function as thrillers, they should also frighten, functioning as horror. Let the story flow naturally, where it will, where it must. This is a phrase one hears a lot when talking about writing. It means when a reader reads something, they willingly put aside their disbelief in order to engage with a story.
But the writer must meet the reader at least halfway. If the story forces conflicts, becomes predictable, has people doing superhuman or amazingly stupid things, and so on, the reader will be jarred from the story, and once they are jarred, the spell is broken. Bad writing does the same thing. Typos, bad grammar, and overly clever phrasing that calls attention to itself in third-person narration can all push the reader away. Write a story about people with zombies, not about zombies with people. Readers need somebody to empathize with in the story; in a sense, characters stand in for the reader.
As terrible things happen to these people, the reader feels like these things are happening to him or her. But if the reader has nobody to care about, they will not empathize. This is an important rule: Give the reader people he or she can care about, and make them real flesh and blood people, not stereotypes.
Part of making them real people is for them to respond realistically to the horrible things happening to them. In AUTUMN, after the world ends, most of the survivors congregate and then lie on the floor in virtually a catatonic state, unable to do anything. The man winces and leaves the room without a word.
The man, we know, misses his wife, who is infected. Writing about an apocalyptic survival situation requires research into many things—guns, field surgery, fire starting, water purification and so on.
Do your homework, and get it right. This not only respects the willing suspension of disbelief of readers who know this stuff, but also creates more realism in your story. The most realistic you can make your story, the more frightening the monsters are that inhabit it. His world is so detailed and realistically portrayed that you can almost taste the ash in the air. In real life, soldiers get PTSD, vomit at the site of extreme gore, panic, refuse to shoot civilians, etc. Rifles jam, smoke obscures visibility, people communicate by radio, operations are planned, choices in decision-making create ethical dilemmas, etc.
This realism flavors the novel and makes it even more gritty, dark, disturbing. Although some readers believe I am former military, I have never served. Instead, I did meticulous research, reading dozens of actual military manuals and other publications to learn the basics of small unit tactics, hand signals, radio protocols, equipment, slang, weapons, formations, chain of command, etc.
To create a zombie story, the author of course needs to create zombies and set up the rules governing their behavior. Do your zombies shamble, run, or both? An award-winning rhyming book for young readers about a little zombie who just wants to make friends. Witch Wizzle and Witch Woodle have all kinds of stories about the bad behavior of zombies, ghosts, vampires, and other monsters.
The first in a series, this is a fun Halloween book, complete with educational activities and coloring pages. Eddie finds a zombie in his backyard, and invites Harley in to celebrate Halloween with him. Eddie intends to show him the ropes and becomes fast friends with Harley.
List of zombie novels
Zombelina loves to dance, and she does it every chance she gets. At her first recital, though, she gets a bad case of stage fright, and her zombie groans give her away. This is the second book about a very lucky calico cat called Toos. When his human family fly to Chicago to help stop a zombie outbreak, Toos slips out of his crate to help whenever he can.
Just like its inspiration, this zombie eats his way through his favorite foods, including clowns, astronauts, and, of course, brains. The first of the School Zombies series, this book chronicles a field trip that Trevor and his classmates make to an aquarium. There, they meet Dr. This series is a perfect fit for reluctant readers! His sister is a victim, as are the neighbors that are destroying his house. They have a plan, but it will all depend on making it out of his house alive. Tom is convinced that zapping his goldfish Frankie back to life with a battery is the smartest thing he has ever done.
His older brother is a mad scientist, so it never hurts to have backup when they butt heads, especially if that backup is in the form of a hypnotic zombie goldfish. This is just the first book in a super-fun series. The popular game has become a popular series of books.
There are plenty of books to keep kids reading for a good while to come.
Writing The Zombie Novel: Lessons on Craft |
Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house, living off a diet of Oreos, Mountain Dew, and video games, while his town has been overrun by a monster-filled apocalypse. Together, they will go up against the monsters and take back their town. Of course, it will take more than one book to do it.
Middle school is tough enough, but Bill Stokes has it especially hard.
- A Diamond for Jasmine.
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Now Bill has to deal with being undead. And he thought puberty was hard! Will Ritter searches for a safety, and finds himself with the Undertakers, a group of teens that have built their own sort of army to fight the walking dead that have invaded their town.
She has to find a way to balance her search for zombie bees with finishing her collection in time for the camp runway show.