The Making of a Zombie Bedtime Story

I’m pleased to announce that Deadlocked is nearing completion. After marathon NaNoWriMo writing sessions, I managed to squeeze in the editing time I missed out on while I was sick, and finally, Deadlocked is off to the beta readers. This is an exciting time for me, I use an opinionated mix of people who don’t really know me, people who know me and are highly critical and opinionated, people who like zombies, people who don’t like zombies but like a good story and two people who do not speak English as a first language (If they have trouble understanding a sentence, or find it unclear, then it’s probably not a good sentence. They are both fluent and enjoy reading English books.)

However, this is the end of the production for a Zombie Bedtime Story. Let’s switch to the beginning, because I am going to be restarting the cycle very soon:

I have a list of ideas, and a rough order that I want the series to follow. I’ve shuffled some ideas and events around, but the series itself has a definite beginning, middle and end.

I take the idea I want to work on, and flesh it out into a story. This story will have a beginning, middle and a conclusion. In my opinion (probably the only one that matters), each story needs to stand on its own. I leave Easter Eggs and tie-ins to future story lines, but nothing as overt as a “true” cliffhanger.

I’ve had good results both with and without outlines, but I usually have a good idea of what the main and side conflicts are, who the characters need to be and what particular flavor of gore I’m going to use. I have a notepad on my desk labeled “squick,” if I’m stuck for something extra gross I refer to it.

Once actual writing starts, the story grows organically, and new characters evolve or appear, buildings, extra character development and back story occur at this stage. I didn’t just sit down at the drawing board and decide what my characters hopes, habits and phobias are. They evolve out of my own sadistic desire to torture them, or because I want to get to know them better. Also, something about character development should go here.

Eventually, I finish writing, and get to editing. Here’s where I add extra details, ramp up the gore and make my characters swear more. I’ll usually flesh out the ending, for that final blaze of glory. If you’ve read Locked In, you know what I’m talking about.

I’ll edit again, especially around where I added new content. Then I send it off to be edited by a very patient person with an encyclopedic knowledge of English grammar, vocabulary and a strong stomach. Once I get it back, I adjust my manuscript accordingly, learn to use a damn em-dash and then, I am at the stage where I sent it off to many proof-readers.

Why did I make this post? I’m not sure. I wanted to write about Deadlocked‘s impending release, in a different kind of light. (It will be after US Thanksgiving, that much I know. I am tentatively hoping for the first week of December.)

What is Deadlocked about already, Thea?

That is an excellent question. Deadlocked is the third part of the Zombie Bedtime Stories, and it flows mid-way out of part #1.

Deadlocked follows Haley’s partner, Frank, as he comes to the realization that something is very wrong. All of his questions and concerns are ignored and he finds himself silenced at every turn. He is determined to save his partner and his friends. However, Frank is no hero, and finds himself fighting for his life as his efforts to do the right thing go horribly wrong.

Stay tuned for excerpts!

This post brought to you by the fact that I didn’t realize I was wearing a hat for the majority of the day.

NaNoWriMo word count: 12,125. There’s a space station in the story, and space stations are cool.


2 comments on “The Making of a Zombie Bedtime Story

  1. Good post. Interesting read on your methodology .

    Which hat?

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