Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy Anniversary

I started this book last year in July, so I am just past the 1-year mark. To celebrate, here is ZPF’s origin story:

It started innocently enough (excerpts from writing journal):

Zombies: Various thoughts
July 14, 2008 -- been on a zombie jag lately, reading some zombie stories and thinking about zombie home defense.

Ahh. Zombie home defense. Sadly, my wife does not take this as seriously as I do, so our home has many vulnerabilities--principally unprotected window wells and several ground level windows on the front porch. We also have a flimsy fence--it could keep a couple zeds out for a couple hours. After that they will probably be in the yard

Next, it evolved into this:

Zombie Proof Fence
July 20, 2008 -- still in the zombie theme
> A story making fun of the movie Rabbit Proof Fence, and of the concept--a long fence that will keep one region of Australia (or another nation) free of zombies.

Zombies remained on my brain, and I realized that human survival would be far easier if natural death did not result in zombieism. To this end:

July 20, 2008 -- still in the zombie theme
Redactol, redactase, redactinase, restorol, restorase -- a drug that can be used to treat the living so that they do not become zombies when they die. The problem is, if this drug is ingested by a zombie, that zombie becomes a super-zombie.

That ended up as Reverol in ZPF the book.

And the final straw:

The kid
>One of my thoughts is that zombies won’t actually win...they will be fairly easy to contain and deal with...the world will be different, but it will still function.
>Show a young kid, 4-6, working as zombie bait...luring them into a trap.
>Kind of silly.
>Point: zombies are not that frightening.

The kid ended up being a 12 year-old refugee, but it took a few months for the character and her arc to solidify.

After this, more and more ideas popped out. As late as August 6th, I was still trying to whittle this story down to 1000 words for the Writer’s Bloc flash fiction challenge.

Then came World Con. The world science fiction convention was in Denver in 2008. So I went. And it blew my mind.

During the convention, the flash story grew into a short story outline, and about 6 pages of notes on the world. A new writer's series at the convention and chatting with several authors convinced me that I should tackle a book.

At some point in August (I did not capture the date), I set aside other projects and committed to writing this book. By September, I was passionately working on it.

Ever since, I’ve averaged 60 hours a month writing, and most of that has been on the book.

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