The Way of the Word

21. January 2010

Novel in Progress: Revenge of the Walking Dead

I realized the problem I had with the ending to my novel, and what I need to do to fix it.

The ending as it was: my main character, Christopher Price, is possessed by the voodoo god of the dead, Baron Samedi, who uses Chris’s body to kick zombie ass.

That’s an overly simplified version. The actual story involves getting the god to realize that he has been duped, so BS gets a mad on at the socerer who created the zombies, etc.

In the outline, it’s a real kick-ass ending. But I’m sure you all see the problem right away.

In Hollywood, they call it “protect your star.”

The problem is that Chris, the main character of my entire series (Revenge of the Walking Dead is a sequel to a previous novel, Carnival of Lost Souls) is passive. Sure, he’s the one who is needed to serve as Baron Samedi’s horse, but in the end it’s Baron Samedi who does the ass-kicking. That won’t do.

So what I did yesterday, instead of tinkering with chapter 24 to fix the problem of the zombies being funny instead of menacing*, was figure out how to change the ending so that Chris plays a more active role in defeating the zombie master.

*The first half of chapter 24 was one of the creepiest scenes I’ve ever written. Then I let it rest for a week for personal reasons. When I got back to it, I hit all the story beats I wanted to hit, which were supposed to explain how the zombies work in my story while at the same time moving the story forward. Sadly, I was in such a different mental place that, well, it didn’t quite work out as envisioned. So I now need to rewrite the second half of chapter 24.

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