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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Untitled Zombies Are Coming!!

Sometimes it feels like the more I need to write, the harder it is to get started.  Today, I'm aiming to do 1,800-2,000 words to make up for lost time.  (What am I doing on the Internet??  I should be writing!!)  I'm a week behind schedule, and I'm still aiming for release on April 1st.  If I have to, I'll push the release to April 7th because I don't want to put the novel out there if it's not ready.

The story itself and all the characters are done and hashed out, and the actual writing is coming along well (even though I'm behind schedule).  I'm aiming to be done by the 17th and allow two weeks for editing and proofreading.  I still need a cover and a title.  A few ideas have come about what to title my zombie novel, but none of them seem to fit yet.  I'm hoping it'll just come when it's ready to.  It's currently saved as "Untitled Zombie Apocalypse Novel" but I don't think that title is really catchy enough to use for the finished product.

I'm not re-inventing the zombie genre, but I do think that mine is better than 90% of the stuff already available.  There's so much zombie crap, really- stories with no action, no set "rules" of how the infection/undead mass acts, no realistic or relatable characters, and boring action sequences that seem entirely disconnected from the plot.  I know my novel won't be absolutely perfect, and I know not everyone will like it, but I like it and I hope that others out there will enjoy it, too.

There's two things that have really helped me with this novel (and two things I use for almost all my work):
1. Pages of Notes.  I have sections for characters, events, rules that must be followed (in this case, how the infection spreads, how it affects the body/mind, and how the undead act), things that I have mentioned that are important for continuity, specific pieces of dialogue I think of that I want to use at some point but not at the moment, town names, and anything else that I may need to quickly reference at any point in the writing process.  I keep it very organized so it's easy for me to use so I can find what I need rapidly and get back to writing.  This has helped tremendously on several occasions.  Sometimes when I am stuck on the part I'm writing, I'll pop over into my notes, read a bit, maybe write a few things in there, and usually it breaks the writer's block.
2. Flashcards.  I recently started doing this, but it's indescribably helpful!  I write the main points of the plot (and even minor events that I want to include, or specific character developments that need to occur) on their own card, then I lay out the flashcards on a table and look at everything that will be happening.  Then, I'll arrange the flashcards in the order that I think works best, read through them in that order, and see if it works.  If it doesn't, it's really easy to move around the flashcards again and try out different orders.  It's so interesting to see how just changing the order of things can affect the story so profoundly, and often the order of events affects character motivation for succeeding events.

Time to get back to writing- I'm off again to rendezvous with the undead.

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