Killing Days Side Story: Plot

This is the second part of my Killing Days Side Story: Finn and Zoey planning. The first part is here: https://rinspect.home.blog/2019/06/16/killing-days-side-story-finn-and-zoey/ This post will go over the key plot points.

Launching straight into the plot, I want to break it down into several sections. Normal life, Start of the apocalypse, Refusal, Meeting the mentor, Trials, Return to a changed normal life. Those who have studied any kind of story writing will recognise most of these points as the Hero’s Journey. For those who don’t recognise these points, I’ll get into the Hero’s Journey in another post.

Normal life, Before the start of the apocalypse. The story will be following Finn’s perspective for this part. This is our introduction to Finn, our first impressions of the character. We need to establish who he is by what he is doing.

I did take a break between the last paragraph and this one since I was caught up on what he would be doing. After a lot of thinking, I feel like he could be doing something creative around writing. As a writer, I do a lot of research into my books. and writing a lot of Zombie based books, my internet history looks slightly incriminating. I feel as if Finn, being a smart individual, would like taking on a form of world building. If he was staying up planning, then it would give him more than enough reason to be awake at 3AM when the apocalypse originally broke out.

From here, I want Finn to encounter Zoey on his way to the safe zone. This will be Finn’s introduction to the infected. In this meeting, the two characters will help each other escape from the infected and to the safe zone.

From here, it’s more settling down and learning the environment of the safe zone. I want the plot points to challenge Finn and Zoey to really establish why they are able to survive this apocalypse. I’m not sure what order they’ll be in yet, But getting the ideas down on paper is what is important at this stage. The situations and skills I want to be tested are: Teamwork, Stealth, Raiding, Shooting, First aid, Crafting.

A good idea for Crafting is if the pair get separated from the safe zone. i.e. Lost in a forest, having to get out of a dangerous situation. A true “Survival” aspect that people think of when it comes to the apocalypse. I feel like this would come more towards the end of the story.

First aid is a skill that will be shown throughout the story, not at just one specific event. but I do want the characters to show a progression of this knowledge over the course of the book. In addition, teamwork will be the same. As the story goes on, the teamwork between Finn and Zoey will grow.

Stealth and Raiding I want to go hand in hand too. As supplies start to run out, characters will start to raid other safe zones for supplies. it’s a world of survival of the fittest. During one trial, I want Finn and Zoey to infiltrate an enemy safe zone. This trial will be to help their own safe zone.

Another trial, towards the beginning of the book, is going to be a fight with an “Ape” infected. in Killing Days, Dani and Ruby are the first ones to kill an Ape infected. They achieve this by crushing it under a pile of rubble. While Finn and Zoey won’t be able to achieve it the same way, they will be able to kill it.

To Summarise and put these trials and events into some order. The event of the books will be: Normal life and initial breakout, settling into the safe zone, learning tools and starting to raid. Climax 1: Attack of Ape. which then goes into the dynamics of the safe zone, and an attack on the safe zone as the Second Climax of the story. From here, the story will focus on the survival aspect, to be followed by the raid on the opposing safe zone.

From here, the last thing is the final climax of the story, then a bit of time for the story to settle back down. But honestly, I’m stuck with this final confrontation. So I want to reach out to you, the Reader of this post, to help me. if you could suggest any ideas, feel free to leave them in the comments. Thank you for your support throughout my journey!

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! https://twitter.com/RinCrowe 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: https://rinspect.home.blog/2019/06/07/rins-start-line/ ) 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.