How to Make a Zombie: Or, Starting My Own Mini-Apocalypse

Yep, I’m thinking about zombies again, along with researching and planning for a new book. It’s kind of along the lines of “and now for something COMPLETELY different,” and nor is it something I think I’ll stick with, but I need something that’s a bit fun, which is what has me working on how to make a zombie. And I’m hoping maybe you, the readers out there, can help. (Thank you especially for the ideas from Chyram, who has a very neat fiction blog dedicated to zombie survival and safe houses – visit at: http://terryfoxsafehouse.wordpress.com/)

See, I think I’ve figured out the general ways one can create a zombie, but of course, I have be difficult. Thus I’m working out how to make zombies 1930s/40s style, AND I want two different types.

Here’s what I have figured out:

  • I’ve decided I want my zombies to maintain some degree of humanity (thus their personalities, etc), which may be achieved via degrees of “zombification” – that is, I think one of my “types” may be like a disease or illness that can be divided into distinctive stages.
  • the zombies were intended as weapons, but like training a rabid dog, you can point it in the right direction, but that doesn’t mean you can control it.
  • the central characters in the story will be battling humans, along with the two types of zombies – which may actually attack each other, too.
  • whatever causes the zombies can be transmitted, but not so easily that  it can’t be contained (i.e: one of the plot goals).
  • looking for “scientific means” to create the zombies, since the paranormal (ie: voodoo zombies) aren’t really what I’m looking for.
  • one type of zombies may be like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, which is kind of a type of zombie if you think about it (probably the ones originally intended to create a kind of “super human” since Frankenstein’s monster was a bit “super” himself.)
  • the intent of the experimentation / scientific research probably wasn’t to create zombies, but this became a kind of bi-product (perhaps considered a success, or perhaps not.)
  • the second kind of zombie may have been the result of germ / bio warfare research gone wrong (or perhaps exploded – since things exploding is usually the “wrong” result.)

Okay, so that’s what I’m working with for now. But I’m still a bit stymied on the whole idea of how you start researching one thing, like the common cold, and then “oops! that’s a zombie!” comes about. I’m also certainly no scientist, which doesn’t make it easier, along with the fact that what’s capable to create a zombie in modern times would not necessarily have worked in the ’30s and ’40s.

Hmm … does a zombie have to be out of control? What is their goal, what do they want (and no, they don’t want brains)? And finally, how to you bring a zombie outbreak under control successfully AND keep it a secret from the world? I can see that in some ways, the 1940s makes my job easier (you don’t have to worry about the zombies surfacing on YouTube or Twitter), but also harder (how advanced was virus manipulation? Could a toxin conceivably (ie: half-believably) create a zombie?

Anyway, please share your ideas, since I’d love to hear them. Plus, what makes a good zombie story for you? What is a “must-have” for a zombie story that maybe I’m overlooking?

Thanks for reading and sharing your ideas, and have a great week.

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