The Way of the Word

19. January 2010

Novel in Progress: Revenge of the Walking Dead

The zombie apocalypse has begun. The zombies have risen. Again.

In chapter 24 of my novel. Manuscript page 140.

One of the ideas I had was that I wanted to emphasize the tragedy of being a zombie by taking several of them, perhaps ten or so, and show how they went from human being to zombie. Yesterday, I wrapped up chapter 24, which is the zombies rising again. Told from the POV of one of the zombies. (I use a multiple POV approach in this novel.) Before last night, I was quite proud of this chapter. It was very creepy.

After last night, I think I’ll need to rewrite it massively. Because I accidentally made zombies funny.

What happened was that since I’m using the original zombies, the Hoodoo-created ones, I’ve got the slow and clumsy type. Which wasn’t that much of a big deal. As I said, it was creepy. But focusing on this one zombie turned out to be a mistake when I described the zombie attack on the guards this particular zombie, for a variety of reasons, didn’t manage to be one of those who attack and kill the guards. So instead of creepy, he became somewhat ridiculous. Slow, clumsy and uncoordinated. The scene would work as it is in a visual medium like comics or movies, it doesn’t work in prose.

I’ll need to fix that in revision. Knowing me, I’ll probably get on it tonight, and spend the entire rest of the week on it. I’m the type that can’t let go of a scene until I’m happy with it. I can’t just put it aside and continue working.

One of the consequences of that is that when I’m done with the manuscript, it might technically be a first draft, but in reality each scene has been revised constantly.


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