Zombie Cliché Lookout: Unfinished Business
When it comes to getting away from the ravenous hordes of the living dead, you need a pretty damn compelling reason to stick around any longer than absolutely necessary. But zombie stories love to force characters to stay in dangerous situations way longer than any of us would be willing. Because of, you know, unfinished business.
The unfinished business is generally one of two things: a character needs to find someone (the first half of The Walking Dead season two) who was left behind/lost/made a valiant heroic stand, or a character needs to complete some secret – usually sinister – goal they’re hiding from the rest of the survivors (Resident Evil is a good example of this).
Of course, sometimes writers have to come up with a reason to keep characters stuck in one place for a while because of various issues behind the scenes, often budgetary (I suspect season two of The Walking Dead had these issues). Sometimes this works out well, and allows you to explore the characters in more depth, and sometimes it’s just a punishing slog.
Discussion Question: Getting Around
It seems like the majority of zombie stories involve a group of characters sticking around a single location, although there are a few pretty notable exceptions. In those exceptions, characters travel from place to place, generally either on foot or in cars. One thing that has always bothered me is that, after a few months, how likely would it be that cars sitting unattended for that long would start or run reliably? How long does gas stay good? It seems to me that motor vehicles wouldn’t be the most reliable way of getting around in the post apocalyptic world, at least after some time has passed.
So what’s your transit plan? Hoofing it? Bikes? Horses?