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Protocol
March 18th, 2013, 03:43 AM
With the buzz that's going on now because of The Walking Dead, I decided to give it a shot. Let me know what you think.






The bright red mini-van sat in the middle of the road, no one in the seats, but the key was in the ignition. Slowly, a patrol car pulled up behind the van. A lone officer stepped out of his car preparing himself to encounter another drunk teen in the fetal position throwing up on the ground in front of him. The cop walked around to the driver's side of the van, but only saw what looked like bile all over the seat and steering wheel. He immediately pulled out his flashlight and started searching the van for anything or anyone. As the officer reached the other side of the van, he noticed that the sliding door was wide open with some blood on the floor of the vehicle as well as on the road. He suddenly reached for his radio. “This is Officer Lang, I need backup on South Avenue right now. We have an emergency situation. As of right now, there are no bodies. However there is blood and other bodily fluids in the vehicle as well as on the ground surrounding it.”


“I'm not saying that the car was stolen, but who else would leave a car in the middle of the road.” stated a boy a few seats up from Pete Harper. The boy kept going on and on about how it was probably some kids who stole their parents car and jumped out before it was too late. “I drove past the car with my mom last night. I saw the whole thing happen.” continued the boy. Pete was tired of hearing the wild stories and would have spoke up if the teacher had not walked in. The boy took notice and stopped talking. Unfortunately for Pete, the teacher couldn't wait to talk about the strange van. The boy's hand shot up before the teacher could finish her sentence. “Listen, I was just telling them about it. Some kids stole it and jumped out before they could get caught.” smirked the boy.
“Explain the blood and vomit, Mr. Spencer.” replied the teacher. She walked over to her desk and sat down. “Does anyone else have any theories?” Pete considered voicing his opinion, but knew that it would be shot down as quick as Spencer's was. “What about you, Pete?” asked Ms. Griggs.
Pete looked around the room nervously. “Well,” he scratched his head. “Maybe someone was having some car trouble.”
“At two in the morning?” retorted Ms. Griggs. She crossed her arms as if she had successfully foiled another student's attempt to figure out the curious case of the mini-van.
“Well, they could have been sick. Especially with the weather we've been having lately. So, yeah. There's the vomit. As far as the blood goes, I have no idea. Maybe the passenger was injured.” Pete thought he had contributed enough and leaned his head back.
“Thank you. The most logical explanation comes from our very own Pete Harper.” said the teacher as she stood back up. Ms. Griggs started to dig around in her massive brown tote bag for a few seconds before revealing a rather large stack of papers that she then presented to the class. “Let's see if the rest of you can be a bit like Mr. Harper here and logically explain The Odyssey.” added Ms. Griggs.


Pete stared down at the paper that was heavily burdened with short answer questions. Having never gotten around to actually reading The Odyssey, Pete thought he was going to fail for sure. After a few minutes of staring around the room, he had given up and laid his head down on his desk.


Five seconds. Five seconds was all it took to send the school into a frenzy.


Fire alarm goes off. Principle says one word over the intercom “Run”:
Hallways were packed with confused and terrified students. Pete was frantically running towards the exit at the end of the hall.
Someone was screaming relentlessly “We're trapped” another scream “Daniel, where are you?”
Everyone was being pushed into the lockers. Some students had fallen and were being trampled.
Pete saw the door. He ran faster. Breathing heavily, he felt his heart beating even harder now.
He reached the door. Locked
They all rammed the door. The sun flooded the hallway.
Pete dropped to the ground.


After being unconscious for a few minutes, Pete picked himself up and started towards the stairs that led outside. He looked back only to see that the door was hanging off of the hinges and a classmate was laying on the ground with a pool of blood expanding from the head. Pete covered his mouth and turned toward the steps. Just as he reached the middle of the steps, his vision started to blur. “Stood up to quick” Pete thought to himself. He leaned against the railing and closed his eyes. Not soon after his eyelids shut, did he hear a scream coming from the football field. Pete's eyes shot open and he continued making his way down the steps. It took him a considerably long amount of time to reach the bottom of the five steps, but seeing how his vision was blurred and his legs weak, Pete thought it was best to take it slow. In the distance were sounds of a helicopter flying low and it sounded as if it were getting closer.
The helicopter's shadow was crawling across the ground and towards the football field. Pete took notice and tried to run but immediately fell to the ground. “Bum leg.” He trembled as he gripped his other leg to use as support to stand back up. Searching around for something to use as a crutch, Pete saw his science teacher lurching a few feet away from him. “Mr. Dows. Can you help me up?” He plead to his teacher. The man turned his attention to Pete, letting out a slight groan. He walked as if both of his legs had fallen asleep. Now, just a few steps away from Pete's face, he noticed the blood. “What happened to you?” The teacher just stared hungrily at Pete. Another groan came from the teacher. With the man casting a shadow over Pete, a voice called out.
“Get the hell out of there kid!”

Gasher
March 18th, 2013, 02:09 PM
I got confused by the transition from the cop inspecting the car to the kids talking about it in the classroom. How did the car manage to become the gossip of the class? Did all the kids have to drive that way to get to school? I felt like the meat of the story happened in the second to last paragraph. While the clipped sentences lend to the frenzy that is going on, a little more detail would have made sentences like "some students had fallen and were being trampled" have more emotional weight. When Pete encounters the zombie teacher at the end it felt a bit hammy. Kids tend to be quite adroit when it comes to identifying weird, so I don't think it makes since for him to ask "What happened to you?" so matter-of-factly. I would more imagine "Zombie! Ahhhh!!!" :D

Protocol
March 18th, 2013, 11:25 PM
I don't want them throwing around the word "zombie" just yet. No one has any idea of what they are. I do appreciate the feedback. And you're right, I will try to edit the transition between the cop and the students. I don't want to focus too much on the cop because he isn't a character I intend to focus on ever again. It was more of a jumping off point.

Bloggsworth
March 18th, 2013, 11:32 PM
Most zombies are untitled, not much call for them in The House of Lords...

Protocol
March 18th, 2013, 11:35 PM
I have no idea what I plan on calling them. I hate using the word zombie. I'd rather use something like walkers or biters or even the undead. All feedback is greatly appreciated

Saiknohx
March 19th, 2013, 12:21 AM
"Undead" is definitely the best option. As is not using the Z-word, since the definition of a true zombie is more widely known in pop culture. "Creature" would also be good to start with, since they obviously don't know they're dealing with dead folks yet. Is this a world where the people haven't been introduced to the undead phenomenon yet?

Protocol
March 19th, 2013, 12:29 AM
Yes. They have no idea what the creatures are. This town is what I hope to be the purest town you can find. Which is why a stray car is such an odd find. I plan on making this story about more than just zombies attacking, but also about family and moral breaking points.

Bandage
March 19th, 2013, 07:06 PM
I agree with Gasher about the transition. I would love to read a great zombie story. I hope you continue

Dominic1989
April 11th, 2013, 04:03 PM
hi i am part way through writing a tv series based in the uk on the same concept of the walking dead. maybe we can work together on it and we can use elements of youres and mine to make a script for a 6 part tv series. Thanks Dominc


With the buzz that's going on now because of The Walking Dead, I decided to give it a shot. Let me know what you think.






The bright red mini-van sat in the middle of the road, no one in the seats, but the key was in the ignition. Slowly, a patrol car pulled up behind the van. A lone officer stepped out of his car preparing himself to encounter another drunk teen in the fetal position throwing up on the ground in front of him. The cop walked around to the driver's side of the van, but only saw what looked like bile all over the seat and steering wheel. He immediately pulled out his flashlight and started searching the van for anything or anyone. As the officer reached the other side of the van, he noticed that the sliding door was wide open with some blood on the floor of the vehicle as well as on the road. He suddenly reached for his radio. “This is Officer Lang, I need backup on South Avenue right now. We have an emergency situation. As of right now, there are no bodies. However there is blood and other bodily fluids in the vehicle as well as on the ground surrounding it.”


“I'm not saying that the car was stolen, but who else would leave a car in the middle of the road.” stated a boy a few seats up from Pete Harper. The boy kept going on and on about how it was probably some kids who stole their parents car and jumped out before it was too late. “I drove past the car with my mom last night. I saw the whole thing happen.” continued the boy. Pete was tired of hearing the wild stories and would have spoke up if the teacher had not walked in. The boy took notice and stopped talking. Unfortunately for Pete, the teacher couldn't wait to talk about the strange van. The boy's hand shot up before the teacher could finish her sentence. “Listen, I was just telling them about it. Some kids stole it and jumped out before they could get caught.” smirked the boy.
“Explain the blood and vomit, Mr. Spencer.” replied the teacher. She walked over to her desk and sat down. “Does anyone else have any theories?” Pete considered voicing his opinion, but knew that it would be shot down as quick as Spencer's was. “What about you, Pete?” asked Ms. Griggs.
Pete looked around the room nervously. “Well,” he scratched his head. “Maybe someone was having some car trouble.”
“At two in the morning?” retorted Ms. Griggs. She crossed her arms as if she had successfully foiled another student's attempt to figure out the curious case of the mini-van.
“Well, they could have been sick. Especially with the weather we've been having lately. So, yeah. There's the vomit. As far as the blood goes, I have no idea. Maybe the passenger was injured.” Pete thought he had contributed enough and leaned his head back.
“Thank you. The most logical explanation comes from our very own Pete Harper.” said the teacher as she stood back up. Ms. Griggs started to dig around in her massive brown tote bag for a few seconds before revealing a rather large stack of papers that she then presented to the class. “Let's see if the rest of you can be a bit like Mr. Harper here and logically explain The Odyssey.” added Ms. Griggs.


Pete stared down at the paper that was heavily burdened with short answer questions. Having never gotten around to actually reading The Odyssey, Pete thought he was going to fail for sure. After a few minutes of staring around the room, he had given up and laid his head down on his desk.


Five seconds. Five seconds was all it took to send the school into a frenzy.


Fire alarm goes off. Principle says one word over the intercom “Run”:
Hallways were packed with confused and terrified students. Pete was frantically running towards the exit at the end of the hall.
Someone was screaming relentlessly “We're trapped” another scream “Daniel, where are you?”
Everyone was being pushed into the lockers. Some students had fallen and were being trampled.
Pete saw the door. He ran faster. Breathing heavily, he felt his heart beating even harder now.
He reached the door. Locked
They all rammed the door. The sun flooded the hallway.
Pete dropped to the ground.


After being unconscious for a few minutes, Pete picked himself up and started towards the stairs that led outside. He looked back only to see that the door was hanging off of the hinges and a classmate was laying on the ground with a pool of blood expanding from the head. Pete covered his mouth and turned toward the steps. Just as he reached the middle of the steps, his vision started to blur. “Stood up to quick” Pete thought to himself. He leaned against the railing and closed his eyes. Not soon after his eyelids shut, did he hear a scream coming from the football field. Pete's eyes shot open and he continued making his way down the steps. It took him a considerably long amount of time to reach the bottom of the five steps, but seeing how his vision was blurred and his legs weak, Pete thought it was best to take it slow. In the distance were sounds of a helicopter flying low and it sounded as if it were getting closer.
The helicopter's shadow was crawling across the ground and towards the football field. Pete took notice and tried to run but immediately fell to the ground. “Bum leg.” He trembled as he gripped his other leg to use as support to stand back up. Searching around for something to use as a crutch, Pete saw his science teacher lurching a few feet away from him. “Mr. Dows. Can you help me up?” He plead to his teacher. The man turned his attention to Pete, letting out a slight groan. He walked as if both of his legs had fallen asleep. Now, just a few steps away from Pete's face, he noticed the blood. “What happened to you?” The teacher just stared hungrily at Pete. Another groan came from the teacher. With the man casting a shadow over Pete, a voice called out.
“Get the hell out of there kid!”

isaiah
April 17th, 2013, 07:07 AM
As others have said, the transition was confusing. I think if you dont intend to ever include the cop ever again, why mention him at all? Just start the story where things happen and who they happen to. The important people I mean. Also, try to eliminate as many 'ly' words as possible. I didnt really buy the school frenzy, or the principal only managing to utter the word, "run." Perhaps you should begin the story after the initial mayhem and then have your character retell through flashbacks what happened. Just a suggestion, take from it what you like. I wish you good luck in your writing.

Silthian
April 22nd, 2013, 11:35 PM
My thoughts,
I liked the story, you write well. The transition might work better if you included a bit more exposition in the "cop discovering the van" scene before switching to the classroom scene. Also, a cop never gets out of his vehicle without calling in where he is, what he's found and why he's stopped. He'd call in the license plate and wait for any outstanding warrants, tickets etc etc prior to exiting his own vehicle. Perhaps use his perspective for finding everything within the van rather than before he gets to it ( as in the key was in the ignition )
J

Mister X
April 30th, 2013, 06:02 PM
The story sounds good and made sense to me.
I noticed many replies concerning the transition from first to second paragraph.
I would leave the first paragraph in the story.
To avoid reader confusion, use the first paragraph as a short introduction or a prologue.

lowprofile300
May 1st, 2013, 02:37 AM
With the buzz that's going on now because of The Walking Dead, I decided to give it a shot. Let me know what you think.

The bright red mini-van sat in the middle of the road, no one in the seats, but the key was in the ignition. Slowly, a patrol car pulled up behind the van. A lone officer stepped out of his car preparing himself to encounter another drunk teen in the fetal position throwing up on the ground in front of him. The cop walked around to the driver's side of the van, but only saw what looked like bile all over the seat and steering wheel. He immediately pulled out his flashlight and started searching the van for anything or anyone. As the officer reached the other side of the van, he noticed that the sliding door was wide open with some blood on the floor of the vehicle as well as on the road. He suddenly reached for his radio. “This is Officer Lang, I need backup on South Avenue right now. We have an emergency situation. As of right now, there are no bodies. However there is blood and other bodily fluids in the vehicle as well as on the ground surrounding it.”


“I'm not saying that the car was stolen, but who else would leave a car in the middle of the road.” stated a boy a few seats up from Pete Harper. The boy kept going on and on about how it was probably some kids who stole their parents car and jumped out before it was too late. “I drove past the car with my mom last night. I saw the whole thing happen.” continued the boy. Pete was tired of hearing the wild stories and would have spoke up if the teacher had not walked in. The boy took notice and stopped talking. Unfortunately for Pete, the teacher couldn't wait to talk about the strange van. The boy's hand shot up before the teacher could finish her sentence. “Listen, I was just telling them about it. Some kids stole it and jumped out before they could get caught.” smirked the boy.


@Protocol, I think that if you start the first paragraph in the First Person point of view, it will flow better. As others have pointed out, it's confusing when you start off in a Third Person point of view, then jump into dialogue at paragraph two. Try that and repost and see what happens. Cheers

Folcro
May 3rd, 2013, 11:42 PM
Things seem a little rushed in your narrative (though I'm guessing this is more of a synopsis rather than a draft). Most writers don't find themselves in the position where they are lacking detail, yet I find it is definitely the more comfortable position to be in rather than too much detail (both for the reader and the writer). Give me more visuals, especially in your forwarding paragraph (which, in a fleshed-out draft, will probably add up to several paragraphs to a page). Describe to me this bile. Give me a feature to be deeply disturbed by this scene: the nature of the bile, the position of the car, other assorted items that show someone was in great distress here.

Why would a class room make such a big deal out of a car found with gunk in the middle of the road? Why would a teacher shoot down the idea that someone may break down at 2 in the morning?

You have the framework of a good action scene when bedlam comes over the kid's school. Again, give detail. This is an establishment filled with children. There should be no difficulty producing a scene that draws the reader's heart into their throat.

Finally (and I think this had to do with the fact that this is more of a synopsis right now), I found the style, especially during your action scene, to be a little too poetic and flowery for the picture it was trying to make. Use shorter sentences and shorter words. Action scenes are no place to show a reader how good of a writer you are. It's the time to make your reader forget you're even there.

msherman94
May 6th, 2013, 04:09 PM
A good rule to go with, I've discovered, is that if something doesn't help build the scene, or bears little use in further sections of the story, you probably want to cut it. With this in mind, I'd probably edit out your entire first paragraph. It would be a good introduction in a movie or television show, but does little for you when working in prose. Also, the staccato: "Fire alarm goes off. Principle says one word over the intercom “Run”:
Hallways were packed with confused and terrified students. Pete was frantically running towards the exit at the end of the hall.
Someone was screaming relentlessly “We're trapped” another scream “Daniel, where are you?”
Everyone was being pushed into the lockers. Some students had fallen and were being trampled.
Pete saw the door. He ran faster. Breathing heavily, he felt his heart beating even harder now.
He reached the door. Locked
They all rammed the door. The sun flooded the hallway.
Pete dropped to the ground."

does little to help build tension and wastes huge opportunity for character development and fleshed out emotions. Remember, the whole point of writing is to make someone feel something, whether that's terror, triumph, or joy.

Whisper
May 6th, 2013, 07:00 PM
I have no idea what I plan on calling them. I hate using the word zombie. I'd rather use something like walkers or biters or even the undead. All feedback is greatly appreciated


Well, you can't use Walkers cause I think that it TM. Infected?

Folcro
May 6th, 2013, 07:25 PM
does little to help build tension and wastes huge opportunity for character development and fleshed out emotions. Remember, the whole point of writing is to make someone feel something, whether that's terror, triumph, or joy.

I tend to agree with this. I would, however, emphasize that the format of the action writing was still good. If you could weave emotion into that same form of writing (which I'm sure you easily can), you can make for a truly spectacular opening.

Also in agreement about the opening paragraph (reforming what I said earlier). Instead of laboring to change it, it may not be needed after all.

kitsunescholar
May 8th, 2013, 10:18 PM
I would leave out the cop part all together and start with the students talking, maybe describe the students' personality a little bit before you get to the action part. I will read more if you post it.

Whisper
May 9th, 2013, 12:54 PM
Would suggest you start by reading this:

http://www.writingforums.com/content/336-dialogue.html

Next, open a similar book you're already read and study the formating. Look at how description and dialogue are formatted. The fact is, I want to help you here, but there is so much wrong with format and dialogue it would take me all day. If you clean it up and fix it, I'm betting more people will help.

BobtailCon
June 21st, 2013, 10:00 AM
I like the rush that the story gave, though the part "After being unconscious for a few minutes..." seemed to pull me away from the rush.

NukeWithG
July 20th, 2013, 02:13 PM
The story in itself is very good so far as far as an initial draft goes, but in addition to some other stuff that other people on this thread have already talked about, I'd like to focus on the characters themselves. For example the teacher at the beginning does not act like I would imagine a teacher acting in a situation like this. Rather than have her joining in on the gossiping, it would make more sense to have her try to stop the kids from talking about it and concentrate on what they're doing in class. Or maybe she would hold a small speech on how there's nothing to be afraid of, or come up with a way to make the situation into an exercise. Also, the principal doesn't sound very realistic, maybe have a little part where he's fumbling with the controls and how the students are listening to sounds from the pa. You should as well give a little more character to the other kids in class, like the boy who is talking about the car in the start. At least give him a name. Otherwise good work, I enjoyed the panic sequence!

AgentZero
July 23rd, 2013, 12:51 AM
Undead, or Infected probably would work. In the Zombie Novel I'm currently writing, (Here if you want to read, it.http://www.writingforums.com/fantasy-sci-fi-horror/135765-my-first-real-work.html This is one of the earlier drafts.) I call them Zombies, Infected, AND Undead.

Elorenalory
July 31st, 2013, 09:41 PM
I love Z stories :eagerness: and this one looks very promising. I would love to read more as it progresses.

I have noticed that you slipped between past and present tense in this particular quote, was it deliberate? I think that those two sentences would sound better in past tense, like the rest of the narrative.


Five seconds. Five seconds was all it took to send the school into a frenzy.


Fire alarm goes off. Principle says one word over the intercom “Run”:
Hallways were packed with confused and terrified students. Pete was frantically running towards the exit at the end of the hall.

Lucifer
August 6th, 2013, 10:54 AM
read the story could have cut some things out at the start and I would try to build on the classmates a smidgen to make the chaos of the outbreak more "emotional". I don't care if nameless classmate #3 gets trampled but, if my mate Jerry that lived down the way with the gimp leg was trampled .. well I may have a wee bit more remorse for him, yeah? but, it was a enjoyable read, keep writing, I do even though I write crap I still write (PROTIP: I'm doing it right now!)

QuantumCat
August 6th, 2013, 12:16 PM
Well I thought the work was enjoyable, yet a tad bit underdeveloped. It's a bit rough in a few areas, but people have already posted about that. I think, however, that when referring to zombies that if you are against using the stereotypical term, that giving descriptions of them as they are mentioned might do you well.

CCRazorback22
August 8th, 2013, 05:36 AM
I thought the Police Officer part would work on its own even if it's a prologue or something like that. And I agree that the "What happened to you?" should be turned into something like a HOLY CRAP situation. I am very interested in the story and hope to read some more of it.

D.Hawkins
August 21st, 2013, 04:39 PM
Thank you for sharing this! My second ebook involves zombies, and I'm glad I'm not the only one looking for a different words to use. I really, really, really want to see what happens to Pete!!!

Funkyjunky
August 23rd, 2013, 04:14 AM
You should probably include some description of the surroundings, there's no clue whatsoever about how the classroom looks except for that which I can infer (they have desks, duh). I'm not saying go into full detail of everything or telling me unnecessary information (amount of desks, how many people there are in the class, etc) but a little bit so it helps people get a brighter mental picture.

This is very important in horror novels / stories since brighter mental pictures mean a more personal reading experience. A detached audience won't feel thrilled by what happens to your character. Just think about how horror films have many shots of the surrounding, they make it so that it feels as if you're there.

Sithsaber
August 23rd, 2013, 04:17 AM
How outlandish will the zombies get?

PS: 10

Funkyjunky
August 23rd, 2013, 12:42 PM
How outlandish will the zombies get?

I sincerely hope not too much, I find it much more appealing when the zombies have a tinge of realism to them. Nothing like World War Z.

Tbird0000
November 16th, 2013, 04:36 AM
2 cents here. When a class of kids are told to run all of a sudden on the intercom, there would initially be confusion and hesitation. They wouldnt just run out of class all of a sudden. Maybe they would sit and stare around for a minute before the teacher takes charge and tells them to sit tight as she investigates. and then when she walks out of the class, she would be eaten or come back in the room with a bite. The sight of blood is what would cause hysteria. Thats just what I think. There wasnt any build up and the reaction of the students wasnt beleivable. As the narrarater, I would say they couldnt know that a zedhead was staring at the character hungrily if he doesnt know that its going to try and eat him. Know what I mean? The only thing known at this point is that there is a confused, shambling, and bloody teacher that is non responsive. the terms "hungrily" and "insatiable" should be used later in the story when everything becomes evident.