Monday, December 19, 2011

Your WIP = Zombies. For reals.

So. There's this show I'm obsessed with. Actually, I'm obsessed with a lot of shows. But this post only works with this one:

AMC's The Walking Dead

Many people (writers included) suggest aspiring authors not to watch TV. The quality's terrible. It's filled with cliches/stereotypes/bad dialogue and plotting. As an avid TV watcher, I can safely say that yes, some shows are like that. But guess what? The opposite is also true. It's important to soak in as many stories as you can, especially if you're a writer. Even author Janice Hardy backs me up on this. And since she's a lot wiser and awesome-er than me, you should totally believe her.

Which leads me to The Walking Dead.

Sure, it's got zombies and blood and all that jazz. But the show, and the graphic novels it's based on, are about a group of people who're struggling to find hope in a dying world. They're also struggling to survive. Part of that survival is learning how to leave things behind. More importantly, leaving those we love behind. 

What the heck does that have to do with your WIP?

If you won NaNoWriMo, or if you didn't participate but are currently revising a manuscript, you have to think like the characters from The Walking Dead

Here's a timeline:

Stage One

Before loved one gets infected = Reaching THE END on your first draft = You are so happy it hurts and life is awesomesauce.

Stage Two

Loved one gets infected = You reread your first draft = O_O HOW DO I FIX THIS NOW????????

Stage Three

Loved one turns into a zombie + You don't want to kill them = Edits are going to be daunting + You don't want to start them = *does nothing*

Stage Four 

Loved one wants to eat you for dinner + Loved one is no longer the same person after infection, and is lost forever = First draft can't be queried/sent to editors because it will eat your career for dinner + First draft won't be the same after edits, but it will be so much better = Survival instincts kick in.

Stage Five

You off your loved one = You revise your first draft.

My point? In order to go from aspiring to the real deal, you have to know when to follow your heart, and when to follow your head. Revisions are a bit of both. It's up to you to figure out how to proceed from there. 

And remember, this is what your first draft looks like to you:

And this is what it really looks like:

Nuff said.

Now tell me: what's the infection/post-drafting experience like for you? Good? Bad? A bit of both?


  1. Oh gosh! This made me laugh out loud at work. Good advice! I'm trying to think with my heart as I draft then with my head as I revise.

  2. My rough draft is like the ugly zombie. My second draft is like the ugly zombie with makeup and a cute new outfit. My next draft should be a little more like the sunrise.

  3. I LOVE this show. Can't wait for it to start again in Feb.

  4. Amparo is the queen of pop culture analogy! As always, spot on.

  5. HAHAHA this was a great comparison! I love the Walking Dead :)

  6. GREAT visualization! I need to remember this.

  7. I'm like stage 6 and stage 1 and stage 5 all together. the idea of this hurts my brain a WHOLE LOT.

  8. Pure brilliance! Plus, I loves me some Walking Dead!

  9. Walking Dead rocks....


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