Episode 440: A Light!
Zombie Cliche Lookout: A Spark of Hope in the Distance
One of the big messages in the 90’s goth-action classic The Crow was that, “It can’t rain all the time.” Things might be bad; they might be awful, but there’s always little bits of light and levity if you know where to look. There’s always hope somewhere, maybe right around the corner. Depending on the writer, this can be used in one of two ways. First, it can go the obvious route and be used as a way to give characters the hope they need to triumph through the outrageous adversity besetting them. The other way is to use it as a big tease. Give the character a reason to be happy and hopeful in the midst of awful circumstances, and then pull the rug out from under them.
Getting more specific to zombie stories, hope is an important thing. It’s an essential part of the positive attitude that experts cite as the number one factor in surviving dangerous situations. Giving characters hope – actual or false – plays on this concept.
About this Episode:
Sam sees a light ahead, but I wanted to make it a faint thing in the distance. He gets just close to see salvation, but not close enough to ensure that it’s the real thing. Why would he do that? Priorities, my friend. He’s focusing all his attention on his wife, and making assumptions about everything.
Discussion Question: Most Irritating Things in Zombie Stories?
Here’s a classic question: what’s the thing that characters do in zombie stories that bugs you the most? It can be specific (getting blood pressure checked in the middle of a fight between zombies and other survivors), or more general (not checking the whole house before settling in and getting comfortable).