Episode 708: One Side

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Taking the Lead Once again, we’re not sticking too closely to zombie stories but reaching a little wider. In this case, we’re not even looking at tropes in fiction, but things we see in real life. Often, when someone makes a big point about how someone needs to make a decision, they… Read more »

Episode 707: Vaporlock

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Exclusion In the last episode we discussed how certain characters in zombie stories just don’t have what it takes to cope with the tremendous stresses of survival. I’d like to note that I don’t make this observation to judge anyone. I’d hate to think how I’d react to the situations I’ve put… Read more »

Episode 706: Sidebar

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Private Discussion In zombie stories, there are characters who are capable of handling the stress (to some extent, anyway), and those who cannot. Writers can take these two different kinds of characters in a variety of different directions. Sometimes, the people who can’t cope are used to show the gravity of the… Read more »

Episode 705: Choice Roulette

Zombie Cliche Lookout: The Burden of Responsibility Generally speaking, people generally want to be in charge. There are exceptions to this, of course, but I would say on the whole, most people think that they have pretty good ideas on how to do things and consider themselves capable of leadership. I know I do. Part… Read more »

Episode 704: Gotta Do Something

Zombie Cliche Lookout: The Danger of Hesitating Under normal circumstances, taking some time to make a decision is often smart. It forces you to take a step back from the stress and emotion of the moments and look at things from a more logical, strategic perspective. Making a knee-jerk decision without considering all the variables… Read more »

Episode 703: Questions

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Risk Aversion Zombie survival, and really any kind of survival, is largely about managing risks. Note that I did not say completely avoiding or mitigating risks, because such a thing is not possible, and attempts to do so can end up getting you killed. Let’s use today’s episode to break this down…. Read more »

Episode 702: Stay or Go?

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Binary Choices This one isn’t specific to zombie stories by any means, but it’ll certainly show up there. I’m speaking, of course, of when the leader character will boil down the options available to the group into two broad, mutually exclusive options. This is generally just a bit of narrative streamlining. Sure,… Read more »

Episode 701: Options

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Time to Panic? There comes a time in every good zombie story (and most bad ones too, to be honest) where someone just needs to freak out. It’s all perfectly understandable, of course. They’re under a tremendous amount of stress, have probably lost loved ones, and are likely suffering from lack of… Read more »