Writing how *I* Think: Halloween Edition

9154997-cartoon-zombie-isolated-on-white-he-is-lurching-with-his-arms-out-stretchedHappy Halloween, everyone! Sorry about being out of commission last week- I feel like I lost a day there. This week I’m delivering on my promise to demonstrate my writing process with a little short fiction, so without further ado, have a story with zombies in it.



“Hey John, get over here. You’ve gotta see this.”

John tossed his empty can of beans over the edge of the convenience store they were camped on and crawled over to his brother. He leaned over, putting his eye to the rifle scope.

“Well would you look at that. He’s a big boy, ain’t he?”

“I told you we’d see somebody from up here.”

“Yeah, well scoot over so I can take a better look myself. For all we know it’s just another of those zombies just all riled up and bashin’ on the others.”

“With a hammer? In that get-up?”

John set up his own rifle, adjusting the lenses in his own scope. There was someone out in the parking lot a block down the street, a large man with a big gut swinging his huge beefy arms wildly. John zoomed in a bit more and could see he was smashing at the group of undead with a warhammer and blue shield bearing a triangle made up of three smaller yellow triangles. He seemed to be holding them off, but the monsters were slowly closing in around him.

“Shoot, there’s gotta be at least thirty of those things. Guess his shoutin’ got their attention.”

“Think he’s gonna make it?”

“Doesn’t look easy, but- whoa  Did you see that? He knocked that one critter right off its feet!”

Mash got up as John continued to watch. He dragged over their box of ammunition and started loading a round into his rifle’s chamber.

“What, you gonna start shooting at ‘em?”

“It ain’t Christian to leave a poor fella blowing in the wind out there, John.”

“Now hold on, little brother. I don’t know if we’ve got enough food for a guy like that. We’ve got enough for ourselves for a while until this thing’s over, but if we take in boys like that we won’t last long.”

“The whole reason we came here is so we could help folks, now you’re tellin’ me we don’t got enough food?”

“Well no, I mean, we do for, like, women and children and stuff but this guy can handle him- whoa, look out!”

Before the man could turn to react to the zombie that grabbed his hammer-arm, the creature dropped with a bullet through its skull. The man looked around frantically, trying to scan the surroundings, but apparently couldn’t see anything before he went back to fighting off the shambling hoard.

“Looks like he can’t see us with that big ‘ol helmet on. Alright Mash, you win. We can always use some more muscle, I guess. Let’s help this guy out.”

John and Mash then set to work picking off the zombies as the large man fought, slowly working from the outside in and taking out the ones the man had trouble with.

“Where’d King Arthur here come from, anyway, John? And what’s that he’s wearing? Looks like its made of chains or something. Do we got a time vortex now or something?”

“You need to stop watching so much tv. We had that festival thing last week, you know, where everyone dresses up as knights and stuff? He must’ve been in that or something.”

“Yeah I guess. Hey, looks like he got the last one. Yuck, good thing it don’t look like the ones of us left get turned into those things if we get splashed or nothing.”

The man slouched, setting his hammer down and pulling off his horned helmet. He looked around, scanning the buildings near him and shouting. Mash started to stand up, but John grabbed his arm.

“Look, we helped him, alright? Maybe he’s got his own place and don’t even need us.”

“John, it ain’t Christian leaving him out there like that. Poor guy’s tired and he’s got all that gear to drag around.”

“Alright, alright. Just get ready in case he decides to knock our heads in too and take our stuff. I’ll get a white tee shirt or something and flag him down. You get the shotgun.”

A pretty simple story, but I think it illustrates my point. Below is the outline I worked from:

  • John and Mash lying prone on a building with their eyes to the scopes of their rifles
  • They see a large man fighting off a group of zombies with a warhammer and shield
  • John and Mash debate whether to help the guy as he keeps fighting, clobbering every monster as it gets close. John thinks he doesn’t want to waste the ammo and that the guy seems like he can handle it, Mash says “it ain’t Christian to let a fella hang in the wind like that.”
  • A zombie manages to get behind the nerd/warrior but John takes the shot and blasts him. The nerd/warrior is surprised, but takes advantage of the help and beats down the rest of the zombies as he’s supported by the gunfire.
  • John and Mash talk as they shoot, wondering where the guy got all that stuff. John speculates he was in the recent Renaissance festival “with all the knights and stuff.”
  • The last of the zombies is put down and the nerd takes off his helmet and looks around. Mash gets up and starts waving an old white tee shirt. John protests, saying they don’t have enough food for a fella that large.
  • The nerd sees them and starts making his way over to their building.  Mash says “It ain’t Christian to leave a fella out there like that, and you know it.”Paul gets up and comments: “Yeah fine, but lets get ready just in case this fella decides to knock out heads in too and take our food.”

I changed a few things here and there, but the idea is to start with a simple outline of actions and scenes and to gradually fill in more and more detail.

I hope you enjoyed my story! Be sure to check out our new ezine today. I’m not in it this time, but we’ve got a bunch of creepy stories for you. Until next time!


About erikthereddest

I'm a Masters student in English, and I love technology and Science Fiction. I am refining and enhancing my (admittedly novice) writing talents under the sage advice of my friends here at Lantern Hollow Press, and with the great many books I am reading from the best authors I can find.

Posted on October 31, 2012, in Erik Marsh, ezine, Fantasy, Humor, Inspiration, Lantern Hollow Press Authors, Plot, Science Fantasy, Style and Structure, Writing Hints and Helps and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Zelda shield, perhaps? 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: