Tag Archives: Zombies

Dawn of the Living Character Mash-up (Target Audience Characterpalooza)

I had just completed developing a new character for a series of books I was planning. I was quite proud of Zach and his bright shiny characteristics would appeal to a huge audience.

It was late and the braincells that had not been weeded out by reading, writing and drinking were telling me it was time to hit the sack. I knew enough not to argue, besides arguing with said brain cells would qualify me for a new room with really soft walls and some funky pajamas.

The following morning announced itself brightly and forced me to achieve consciousness. I have got to hang some blinds in that window, I thought. A hot shower and a cup of joe later I headed up to my writers nook anxious to let my character roam freely across the blank pages of my mind; no comment from the gallery please.

I took a seat in my writer’s chair*, powered up my laptop and opened up the notes file for Zach and stared at a blank ‘page’. I waited a few moments for the page to render itself but still nothing. No words, no stray commas, nothing. I double checked the laptop but it was fine. Unfortunately I had not bothered to back up my notes, Zach had disappeared.

It was as if the notes came together to create Zach and he walked off the page (or is it out of the file?). At that moment I heard screams off in the distance. Strange, I guess that’s what happened, I thought.

Well, he is relatively harmless. What could happen? The first rays of light that found him would kill him. That’s what happens to all vampires. Oops, not this one. He has an annoying habit of just sparkling in the sun. It was a surefire way to attract an audience of teenage girls. Vampires can be very romantic until the sun hits them. The whole ‘mass of putrid flesh’ thing is too grody for teenage girls to handle. Sparkling is much more fashionable.

That’s fine, I thought it’s not like he doesn’t have other limitations. As a vampire-zombie he will start decaying soon and no teenage girl will stick around long enough to be in danger. It’s a good thing I took that whole 50 shades of gray thing literally. He should be fairly easy to kill. An axe to the head and a stake to the heart should do the trick.

I gave the problem a bit more thought and found an additional flaw with that scenario. As a vampire-zombie-wizard he may be able to use magic to re-attach his head, as long he still has a wand and one of his hands. That can be overcome, I thought. He can still be killed, if in addition to removing the head and staking the heart his hands are also removed. That can’t be too difficult can it? No, definitely not a deal-breaker. The bigger problem is if he finds a broom and takes to the air. If that happens all bets are off.

This last thought put a damper on the whole ‘stop the character and save the local populace’ notion. I had run out of ideas and enthusiasm. It would be easier to
create a new character from scratch. This time I will have to rethink the whole vampire-zombie-wizard concept. Perhaps I went a little overboard trying to maximize the target audience. Now if I can just ignore the screams until Zach moves on to the next neighborhood. I hope he finds a broom.

*No , it’s nothing fancy, just a regular chair but since I would be writing it became my writers chair. It was parked in front of a desk. A writer’s desk. You can see where this is going.