1. Wasp
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    Wasp Member

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    Need Help Choosing An Assortment Of Characters For A Zombie Apocalypse

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Wasp, Jan 31, 2011.

    (You Don't Have To Read This Part) It Is Not Exactly A Zombie Apocalypse, But A Chemical Which Renders People Into 'Zombies' With Personalities The Exact Opposite Of Their Own And They Have The Need To Spread Their Disease. Since Rotting Flesh Isn't Exactly Ideal For A Children's Story (Well Teenagers) And Since In All Science A Real Corpse Invasion Would Quickly Fail Because Of Heat, Cold, Predators, Etc. The Condition Is A Disease That Turns People Literally Blue And Is Reversible. Biting Is A Terrible Way To Spread Infection So They Will Breathe Out A Gas That, If Inhaled, Turns People Into Them.

    Anyways, Irregardless Of The Science Stuff, I Am Trying To Figure Out What Characters To Include On This Journey. There's The Hero, A Young Man Of 14 And A Detective. Along With Him Is His Best Friend (A Robotics Geek), His (M C's) Elder Sister, His Friend's Younger Sister, And An Old Man They Run Into.

    However The Problem Is That There's 5 Of Them Already, And They Also Meet Up 4 More People. Now I Don't Have Any Experiences With A Zombie Apocalypse, But 9 People On A Journey Like This Is Bound To Get Them Caught. These 9 Are More Or Less Essential To The Plot, But I Don't Know How To Divide The Group Up. The Most I Would Like In The Group At One Point Is 4, But I Have No Idea How To Do It. Also I Am Still Thinking Of Adding More 'Survivor' Characters. This Is A Dilemma.

    For Now, The Other 4 Are: Zombie Expert Trenchcoat Guy, 2 Scientists, And A Zombified School Friend Of The M C.

    Thanks In Advanced, The Wasp™

    Oh And For The People Who Can't Read This, I Will Retype It When I Can Turn Off This Wonky Program So Please Don't Rage At Me.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    My advice would be to let the story create them - I let some characters tell my story - other characters the story creates. That way you know what you need them to be.
     
  3. Wasp
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    Wasp Member

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    Like Making The Story Split Them Up Or Something?
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I find I have 3 kinds of characters - but find it useful to let them tell me what is needed to tell the story.

    1) My minor characters which I can name, decide what they look like and what they do etc
    2) My special main characters that arrive full formed, completely dressed with a name but they are rare out of several hundred characters I have about four of them.
    3) Most of my characters evolve and change as the story is told the two best examples I have are Nate and Angus
    Nate began life as a minor character, his name was Paul Jackson, small, dark weedy looking and his job was Palace facilities manager he had been brought up by a policeman and his teacher wife, a fairly minor character. Then Paul announced to me he had been sleeping with the dead Crown Prince for the past eleven years :) I didn't know that - it allowed me to go back and bring Socrates back to life (one of my walk into head characters), he is now half sparrow/half immortal man, head of the secret service, tall wears brightly coloured eye patches and hats. Brought up in foster care by a loving but slightly bonkers couple who fostered lots of children. He no longer shy or weedy.

    Then There is Angus Lorenzo. Started off life as the little dark, very well behaved Prince Jonathan. Grew into a 6ft10 blonde seventeen year old intelligent, kind but with an attitude lol.
     
  5. Pen
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    Pen Member

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    Wasp Why Do You Capitalise Every Word It Reads Very Strangely And Is Probably Not A Good Idea If I Picked Up A Book That Read Like This I Would Drop It As If It Breathed Zombifying Gas On Me.

    There are character archetypes for these situations, including an expert, a gung-ho action man, a girly girl and a designated victim. I'd steer well clear of anything that could be directly compared to Left 4 Dead, zombie survival video game, so giving these survivors a reason for being together could lend both characterisation and separation from other stories in the same genre.

    Say they worked at a sawmill in woodland- you've got weapons there, vehicles, but also you're surrounded by trees. All of your characters are likely to be roughneck manual labourers, unless you want to throw an executive or manager in there too.

    Your five could take to the river to avoid zombies and make for the sawmill could be how they meet up. The overarching idea here is that people would likely survive as pockets, and when they are not at home (with family) then they are at work (with coworkers) and some jobs give you more opportunity to meet fellow survivors and arm yourselves than others.
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    In his original post
    Oh And For The People Who Can't Read This, I Will Retype It When I Can Turn Off This Wonky Program So Please Don't Rage At Me.
     
  7. Birmingham
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    Birmingham Active Member

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    Maybe you can tell it first as two stories. One plotline is with your main character, and the first 4 people he meets, etc.

    But then, every other chapter is gonna be another guy, in another place, who meets up with the scientists, etc. So that it'll be two separate stories, for a while, one about a group of 5, and one about a group of 4, and then, after like half the book, or whatever, they can meet.

    Think about all of the disaster movies you've seen. Many times characters don't even meet one another. Or think about many of the ensamble stories you've seen. It's not always about a group of different characters traveling together, but different groups.

    Take Jurassic Park, for example. Or the unusual style of Harlan Coben.

    Hope this helps.
     

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