Killing Days Side Story: Finn and Zoey

Finn and Zoey was the original story that I wrote back in 2014. They were the main characters of their own apocalypse, much like how Dani and Ruby are the main characters of this apocalypse. In the original story, Finn and Zoey solved the apocalypse within two weeks. Where as the ending of Killing Days, the apocalypse is still active a year later. The ending of this book will most likely be open ended, since I want to explore more of the two main characters later. I have ideas for a few situations to happen in the story, but at the moment, I have no real plot. So i’ll be outlining the characters and a bit of the setting in this book, as well as how characters have translated over from the original copy.

The story was much more of a fan story, using the same types of infected as Left 4 Dead. Rather than being a story about a journey to get evacuated, the story took place in only a handful of locations. A small town, The Leisure centre that I had the idea for the story, and finally London. The Apocalypse started pretty much instantly, The science didn’t make sense, but a giant explosion like substance turned most of the population into zombies. Writing this down knowing that people are going to read this is also fairly embarrassing.

Since the book is taking place is the same world as Killing Days, a lot of these elements are easy to transfer over. The start of the Apocalypse I’ve already defined in Killing Days, a sleeper virus that became active over night. The Leisure centre can easily be swapped out for a smaller safe zone, One that is much more practical. the inclusion of London could be swapped for another city in Osland. However, depending how this plot plays out, the City might not be needed.

Finn was originally fourteen years old and the main character along with Zoey. He was smart, logical, an expert shot with a pistol, Apocalypse survivor extraordinaire. A character without any real flaws or room for growth. To change him, I want to age him up to seventeen, While he might be smart and logical, he now lacks as much physical ability. He knows how to shoot a gun, but has never held a gun before. His growth through the story is going to be both physical and mental, learning to open up more to others and his journey to becoming a leader.

Zoey, was the original basis for Ruby in Killing Days. Shy, nervous, only has one parent, mostly athletic. I want her to keep this introverted personality. Ruby expresses herself mostly through her Gymnastics. I want Zoey to express herself more through the medium of art. Like Finn, Zoey is also going to open up more, not constantly relying on others for help.

The Mentor is an important role of any story. in Killing Days, several people can be seen as Mentors; Graham, Nick, Ruby’s dad, Ruby’s Neighbour Joe, among other people. Because this story is going to be set in one location, I want to make sure there’s only one mentor. I want the Mentor to be someone similar to Graham, a high ranking member of the Army. The name I’ve decided on, for now, is William. William will be commander of the safe zone, he sees potential in Finn and Zoey. This also means he also acts as “The Herald” Archetype, calling the main duo to adventure. William was a character in the first book, however he was unnamed, being called the nickname “Host” He was the one who explained the situation in the original book, acted as The Herald but was mostly unseen. I want him to play a bigger role in the book this time.

A character type I’ve referenced before in Killing Days, are the over confident ones. These are the types of people who “know what they’re doing” They think they can be the lone wolf, know the ins and outs of a zombie apocalypse. These characters are referenced to be the ones who died first. Dani and Ruby spent their first two weeks of the Apocalypse running, and without each other, they wouldn’t have made it. I want to add an antagonist that acts as a minor antagonist, who thinks he’s the best, but throws a spanner into the works. I believe the closest archetype for this characters is “The Trickster” In this case, they are called Sam. In the original book, this character’s ego kept growing, thinking they were the reason why everyone was surviving and that they were the hero of the story.

Now I’ve got the characters and base setting out the way, I need to move onto the hardest part, the plot. I’ll have the next update for this side story ready for Wednesday the 19th. By then, I will have plot points worked out and probably started writing my first draft of the story. Keep an eye out for future updates! Also, you can follow my blog page to receive notifications when I upload them, or follow my twitter, I tweet whenever I add a post! Thank you for following me on this Journey!

Defining my main characters (Killing Days Version 4)

While possible, it is hard to pull off a story without a protagonist. The book is about them and their adventure. Most of the time, the protagonist will be the narrator character for the story, and we’ll see the book through their eyes. I also want a Deuteragonist in my story. a deuteragonist is almost like a “Sidekick” for the main character. However, they are not to be confused with secondary characters, a deuteragonist can be just as important as the Protagonist. In Killing Days, the Protagonist is Danielle Alder, and the deuteragonist is her cousin, Ruby Alder.

Danielle Alder is sixteen years old at the start of the story, born 23rd of June. if the people who went to her school had to describe her in one word, it would be “Loner” Dani doesn’t easily make friends, She’s doesn’t trust people. If people end up working in the same group project as her, they can expect to kick back and let her do all the work. Dani spends a lot of time in her own world, wondering what could be. She spends her days waiting till she can see her cousin again. Dani also spends a lot of her free time playing video games, from puzzle games to shooting games, She’s a tactical thinker, intelligent, problem solving. She takes initiative in games.

Over the course of Dani’s story, I want her to become more confident, trusting, open. I want her to go from being a loner, to a leader. Someone who can inspire others. She won’t be afraid to fight her own battles. throughout the course of the story, She’ll learn that she can’t always work alone, Doing nothing is the worse course of action, and trust that other people know what they’re doing.

Ruby Alder is also sixteen at the start of the story, born 7th of December, making her older than Dani. She is reclusive, shy, anxious. She lost her mum six years before the story takes place, and shortly after almost lost her own life to the same disease. The highlights of her life is the two points in the year, summer and winter, where she gets to see her younger cousin, Dani. Ruby also has a history of Gymnastics, loving how free she can move after years of training.

As Ruby grows through the story, I want Ruby to realise her importance in the world. Her to be able to help people and push them forwards, help them back onto their feet. While she lost her mother at a young age, I want her to adopt her own motherly role towards characters. While Dani inspires them to do great things, Ruby inspired them to stand up and keep going. knowing that the small things matter too.

To contrast the characters. I want Dani to inspire the major heroic events in people. Making people feel brave and confident enough to save other people. While Ruby helps people save themselves. Getting them to smile, stand up, and spread a small bit of happiness. Through Dani’s intelligence, and Ruby’s athleticism, the two become a great team. They couldn’t survive on their own.

Setting Killing Days (Version 4)

I’ve chosen to write their story, not write a story for them.

I never thought I would get onto a fourth version of Killing Days, I thought I would write it and be done with it. As I have done with the 8 or 9 books which I have written (and never shared) But the book holds a special place in my heart. The characters are important to me and my own life, so I want to make sure their story is perfect.

The story has four phases, each one requires a different setting. I’ll be calling these “Normal Life” “Start” “Middle” and “End” I want to ensure that these settings in their basic forms represent seasons, how far into the Apocalypse the main characters are, how people are reacting to events, and how the characters have grown.

“Normal Life” is going to be the start and End of the story. Encompassing two or three chapters at the most. Normal life is also told in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey, represent the start and end of the story. As my blog grows, I’ll be posting more theory on the different steps of The Hero’s Journey.

Getting back on topic, “Normal Life” is going to follow the primary protagonist Danielle “Dani” Alder. This predominately is her story. While Ruby Alder is also a protagonist with her own story arc, there is going to be more of a focus on Dani. During these chapters, I want to establish who Dani is as a person. A bench mark of how she is at the start of her story and again at the end of her story. I want to show how much Dani has changed due to what she has experienced over the course of the book. I want readers to have a good grasp on who she is during her normal life, then expose her to the trials of her life.

“Start” is going to represent the end of summer and autumn in the book. the first weeks to months of the story. For this, the world need to be more chaotic. People are scared. The first week or so, people think this new Apocalypse is a bad dream. once we get past that, they’re hoping that a hero is going to swoop in and save them. As we get to the tail end of this section. those “heroes” are going to emerge.

“Middle” is going to make up the main chunk of the story. working from the middle of Autumn into Winter. In this section, the population of the apocalypse have come to accept the reality of their situation. The people are settling down to their life in safe zones, accepting that one day they might be killed. Meanwhile, the “Heroes” of the apocalypse are keeping people safe. In this section of the book, the apocalypse isn’t new anymore, and now people are much less focused on surviving, they’re focusing on thriving. Due to how long it’s been, Safe zones are sending out raiding parties to search for food and supplies. Independent factions are becoming bolder, raiding other people for supplies.

“End” is going to take place in spring. Only the strongest have survived this long. Safe zones who have gotten this far are starting to branch out from just one building. any independent factions would have suffered great losses and started to merge together. Due to production in this apocalypse coming to a halt, most supplies are non existent anymore. People have turned more to hunting and gathering, raiding has mostly been wiped out.

To further emphasise the “End” section. Within another year, The larger safe zones would have become new towns, smaller safe zones would have integrated into the larger towns. Independent factions would have made their their own smaller towns or dispersed back into other safe zones. tradespeople will become crucial to developing new towns, and society would be rebuilt.

Dani and Ruby are going to follow the more “Hero” role in the books, while they aren’t going to be the only ones in the story. They are going to make an impact. When I read, watch, or play stories. I always wonder why does it seem like the main character always does something great? That’s not because the Author writes a random character to do these things, but instead chooses the most important character. in this selection of events. Dani and Ruby aren’t heroes chosen by a deity. In this world I’m creating, they’ve made a lot of change. I’ve chosen to write their story, and not write a story for them.

As always, Thank you for support, Please leave a comment with your thoughts and feedback, I always appreciate it! If you want to get in contact, send a message to me through my “Contact” page. or tweet me @RinCrowe.

Thank you for joining me on my Journey!

Killing Days Personal Review

I’ve spent the last couple of days thinking about my current project, Killing days. As I’ve stated before in my “Rin’s Start Line” Post (Link: ) I did outline my hopes of rewriting or making a new story in the Killing Days universe. And that is what I’ve decided to do. However, I want to take this time before I start my planning of my new book, to reflect on Killing Days.

Let’s start with my Main characters. Danielle and Ruby Alder. When I first created them, I gave them strong backstories, that I didn’t truly outline. Trying to go for the more “Show don’t tell” approach. However, in a book, this can be even further explored than just inferred. Other than that, I feel the characters did have attributes that made them different. Danielle being standoffish and brash, and Ruby being shy and quiet. I feel that I need to further show off their different skills in order to build their characters differently.

The situation of the story, A Zombie Apocalypse, has always caught my attention. This time around, I’ve made it too vague. skimmed over the situation too much. While the story isn’t focused on the situation, I feel like I need to enhance it to more than just a setting. I need to convey dangers to the characters better. I still really enjoy the setting of a Zombie Apocalypse and will definitely use it again. Outside of video games, Zombie stories don’t seem to exist much in fiction.

The setting, situation and my main characters, I am fairly proud of. However, the story isn’t as clear and linear as I would like. the trials that the main characters go through aren’t as related and may not further character development. In the later half of the story, I feel the characters get the development, but it wasn’t written in a way I would like. I tried to stick to my pattern of shifting character perspectives, that it limited me chapter to chapter. Over the next few days, I will be planning the story again. and my planning will be uploaded here on a twice a week basis hopefully.

As I came to the last five or so chapters of Killing Days in it’s current iteration, I started to have a proper narrative planned out. Upon realising it, I realised that I could improve the start of the story so much more. I have the starts of an antagonist planned. And when I get more into the planning of his character, I want to go over what makes a villain great.

I’ll split this planning process up into several sections. The setting and situation, the main characters, the antagonist, and the trials. Killing Days is a project close to my heart, and I want to make sure it’s the best it can be when I release it. Starting this blog has turned me from someone who just likes to write, to someone serious about writing.

Thank you all for joining me in this adventure, and any feedback feel free to leave a comment, send a message to me through my “Contact” page. or tweet me @RinCrowe.

What is a Setting?

At the start of my own story, I would like to make my first theory post about the start of any story, the setting. The Oxford Dictionary term for setting is as follows ” a set of surroundings; the place at which something happens “ This is a great way to briefly describe what a setting is. To explain it further in the terms of a story, it is a time or place where a story is set. It can further describe; Weather, immediate surroundings, or even a mood of a story.

What is the purpose of a setting? Simply, it sets the scene for the story. It gives a backdrop to a story. It establishes a location where a character is in a story. By describing the setting in greater detail, the reader can start to fully immerse themselves in a story. If an author greatly utilises light and weather in their work, they use a technique called “Pathetic fallacy” Where the weather represents the mood of a character.

A scene of pathetic fallacy that I will review is in the opening scene of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ( Link to the scene) The scene starts with the opening credits. the background is dark and cloudy, the once golden Warner Bros logo is now a dark metal. This sets the whole tone of the film and continues on the dark tone from the ending of the previous film. As the Title card appears on screen, the main theme from Harry Potter plays. However, it isn’t as filled with wonder and feels more grounded and darker.

After zooming into a light behind the title card, the scene is starting to be set up. The bright sky, along with earthy colours give a warm, dry, humid feeling. As the camera pans down, the main colour that can be seen is tones of yellow and orange, still reflecting the heat of the scene. This tells the viewer that it is most likely the middle of summer. continuing the shot, we see barren fields and shots of the main character, Harry, walking and sitting alone. This reflects the character and his mood. At this point, he hasn’t had a letter from his friends for months, He has been living with his Aunt, Uncle, and his cousin who have always isolated him, and before the summer, he went through a tragic experience that left him feeling alone. The setting of the barren scene, not only gives the time of year and place. but also reflects Harry’s feelings and emotions.

As the scene continues. Harry’s cousin, Dudley, taunts our main character. Harry reacts to his taunts in a negative way, and his main mood shifts from focusing on his isolation to his despair for his lost friend, and anger towards his cousin. In this moment, the weather changes. the scene changes from the hot yellow and oranges to cold blue and greys, and a roll of thunder represent’s Harry’s anger. The scene changes the visuals so rapidly that you can feel the temperature drop.

The scene then changes once again to Harry and Dudley running down a road, While this moves away from the setting slightly, the camera work and character’s expressions change from anger to fear, setting the scene for the Dementor attack that comes next.

Moving on from how a setting can show emotion and tone of media, we can talk about why a setting is important to a plot. Without a setting, there is no place for a story to take place. By establishing a setting quickly and effectively, we can start to picture the world that story takes place in. Whether it is the cold cobbles of a medieval town, or the colossal concrete towers of modern life. The setting immediately sets the tone and theme for your whole story. Describing and establishing the setting should be the first thing in media. Even if it’s the start of the book, A scene change, or time change.

To conclude, A setting is the most important way to start a story. Without a good basis for a setting, the character won’t seem as grounded in the scenes. and the consumer of the media might misinterpret the feel of the story. In addition, through the use of Pathetic Fallacy, a setting can be used to explore characters and their emotions.

Rin’s Start Line

Life is writing your own story. You have a start, an end goal, now you just need to fill in the rest.

My name is Rin Asuka. At the time of writing, I am an aspiring Creative Writer. Hopefully, as this page develops more, I can drop the word “Aspiring” and truly live out my dream of being a creative writer.

All my life, I’ve spent my time staring out windows, dreaming, and fantasising about what could be. I watch films and TV shows, wondering what other stories could be told, and what stories I could tell if I was a character within them. What super powers would I have if I was in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? How would I handle myself if a Jurassic Park released dinosaurs into the world? How would I survive a Zombie Apocalypse? I want to tell my stories, I want others to get others dreaming and writing their own stories.

While dreaming and fantasising are all well and good. Getting it down on paper is what really matters for my dream. I first started writing five years ago. It was my first attempt at writing anything, and being a young teenager at the time, I had no real clue what I was doing, It had no structure, no planning. Just a fan story from the game franchise “Left 4 Dead” and I’m glad to say, no one is ever going to read it since it is a horrible piece of work. However, it’s a good start.

Using the same characters, I built up more books, exploring Zombie Apocalypses to fantasy worlds. The narrative of the story was incoherent. However, I have learnt a lot from my early books. I call them “Books” but in reality, they could be called short stories. they were 15,000 to 20,000 words maximum. And I’m proud of my younger self for being able to write so much. I do hold the characters close to my heart still, and I know I want to rewrite their stories one day and show off the characters to the world.

After two years of writing the four short stories following my Apocalypse survivors, I moved onto something new. Laying those characters to rest once their stories were over. Much like the last series, this new book had no real planning. Inspired by the Anime “Angel Beats” The story followed a group of children trying to escape from an evil leisure resort. The concept of the book wasn’t made on solid foundations, but the characters were much more refined. At 26,000 words, I was happy with the length across the seven chapters, one for every day of the week. The story had conflict, strong main characters, and an interesting concept. Within the last couple of months, I have even thought about writing it anew.

Using these characters, I did build a small series out of it. consisting of three books. Following the main four characters. I’ll spare you the horrors of the sub-par plot of the second and third books, But one scene in the third book still motivates me to this day. A fight scene between two of the main characters. Over the course of the books, the two characters had been sparing partners, one adopted a more Assassin type of fighting method, one hit for a kill. The other a much more head on fighter. During this fight scene, I am proud that I managed to write over 1,000 words just for the fight. Describing strategies that the two used in their fight. The Assassin character adopting a much more distract and then sneak attack, and the other holding her ground.

After I finished this book, I stopped writing again. I became busy with exams and coursework that I didn’t really look back. I didn’t think about writing any stories for years. That changed in summer of 2016. During a summer holiday from school, I visited the Leisure Resort that I had based the location of my first book on, as well as the start of the second series. I started to remember the stories I had written, and how much I enjoyed creating the Zombie Apocalypse story. Once I returned home from the Resort and was back at my computer, I set myself a project. over the course of the rest of the summer, I would write a new zombie book!

Four months later, three months longer than I had originally planned for the book, I had finished it. almost 70,000 words, 16 chapters, and just over 100 pages. This book was the biggest I had ever written. and it’s working title was Killing Days. But I still wasn’t as proud of it. I could do so much more. So after a few months break. I started to rewrite it.

I only was able to write it for about three months, working on it once or twice a week. Due to personal issues in my life, I put down the pen and stopped writing again. it took half a year before I picked up my pen again in January 2018, but this time Art was my goal. I started drawing fairly regularly. I did have a fair bit of talent at it too. I still didn’t know who I was, so most of art revolved around self portraits or friends. I did get two unpaid commissions, and thought I was destined for art.

By June 2018, I was fairly established in my large community of friends as one of the best artists of us. although, the majority of them were a few years younger than me. But I hit a wall and creative blocks with my drawing. It was at that time, I thought again about Killing Days. I skimmed through the original draft, picking out plot points that I loved and noting them down. I then dived in with actual planning for the first time. I planned my story, re-envisioned plot points, redefined the characters, wrote a paragraph or two explaining each chapter. and by the end of June, I was able to start writing. At this point, it was more of a side project. One of my friends proof red the chapters as I wrote them. A lot of the time, I would hit blocks or lose motivation to write. not filling out chapters as I liked.

Almost one year later, Killing Days still isn’t finished. I have however learnt a lot more about writing. As I reach the end of the story, I’ve got roughly three chapters left and I recently hit 100,000 words, I realise that there’s so much more I can change to the story already to make it even better. I still want to try and get Killing Days published. but I might have to re-write it one more time before I think it’s perfect. My debut novel has to be my best work.

Looking back at all I’ve written, each book has inspired me to write more. My early books taught me how to explore a world and you own ideas. for the sake that they were mostly fan stories of existing media, such as games, with my own characters added in. It helped me start to set the ground works. The next series of books taught me more about character progression throughout the course of a story. and Killing Days has taught me the importance of planning, the joy of building my own world and characters to explore that world. I’m sure that I will re-write Killing Days, or at least continue to explore the world I’ve created with different characters.

From here on out, I’m going to be posting my thoughts about stories. How different media tells stories. What I think makes a character great. How I think a story is told in a good way. As well as posting updates on my own work. This is my starting line.