Grrr Arghh! Check out these 10 character writing prompts about zombies. After many years as a very defined character type, the zombie is making a comeback. When zombies first took over the cinema they were primarily mindless hordes that would stop at nothing to infect humans with their teeth and fingernails. Zombies made a brief turn in the 1993 movie My Boyfriend's Back as a comedic figure that maintained their minds and souls and were simply decaying and falling to pieces. A recent change in movies like 28 Days Later and video games like Dead Island have changed zombies to blisteringly fast animals that tear apart humans, spilling blood with enhanced speed. If we are to create a zombie film or story, let's have fun with the way these zombies are portrayed and how they came to be the undead way they are today.
Free Character Writing Prompts #16: Zombies
1. When he heard about the nationwide zombie attack, he knew that he would be attacked and infected. He was short, slow and he had little in the way of quick thinking. Long-term thinking, however, was his specialty as a neurological researcher. In a deep, underground lab, he submitted to be the guinea pig in a process that would literally block the virus from infecting parts of the brain with a microscopic protective coating. The process worked and when the facility was taken over, he was one of five people who had the hunger for blood but the ability to control it. How will he survive as a cognizant zombie in a world of brainless assailants?
2. He was a lover, not an eater. When he pushed his way out of the grave, he was afraid that he would attack and kill the ones he loved like he'd seen in the movies. He was surprised to find that all his mental facilities were still intact. Sure, he had to hunt down a deer or bear every so often to keep himself semi-alive, but that was more than worth it to be with his wife and children. His wife was hesitant at first and considering running away, but her husband was just as sweet as the day they'd met. He worked hard at a new job that was willing to hire the undead and they were able to keep the family together. How long will he be able to maintain this undead lifestyle before people begin to notice his eccentricities?
3. She had been the top of her class during her junior year of high school and she was gunning for valedictorian when a zombie attack began. She knew that it was inevitable that most people in the world would be infected, so she planned to go out on her own terms. She created a looping video tape for herself to try to make her remember her humanity and she hid deep within the school basement. After securing herself and starting the tape, she infected herself with zombie blood. For the first few months, she was a zombie like the rest of them, undead and craving blood. She had left herself some food close by and while it wasn't what her infected mind craved, it sustained her. Eventually, the video began to reach the zombie her and she started to remember who she was and regain her power to speak. Using her newfound reasoning, she used a cryptic message in the video to free herself. What ends up happening to this enlightened zombie?
4. Life was always a wild adventure for her and she was one of the most carefree girls you'd ever meet. She and her friends had gone well beyond a fenced in boundary of a U.S. Army facility when they heard the shockwave. A blast of green mist rushed past them and turned her into patient zero. She had a strong goal now, to attack anybody who did not resemble her and the zombie brigade drove off into town. They had a bit of their wits about them but knew that the only way they could survive was by infecting others. They started with small towns and slowly gathered up a convoy of zombies, driving across the country infecting everybody possible. She was the leader and though she couldn't speak, her howl got the troops in line when they were unfocused. Does her convoy succeed at taking over the country or will the humans prevail?
5. During his living days, he had a mental disability that confined him to a wheelchair and made it impossible for him to truly express his thoughts. When he was attacked and turned into a zombie, it didn't have the same effect on him as the others. He still had a hunger for blood, but while the others could no longer speak or reason, he was able to express himself and control his impulses. He determined correctly that if he could create his brain condition in others, the world might be salvageable. He found a friend who had the same situation and the two of them embarked on a scientific journey to change the chromosomes of the world. Though he couldn't talk when he was alive, he always appreciated the help that was given to him. He felt that it was time to give back. Is he successful with his plan to save the world or are they doomed?
6. When the living contained all of the undead in a single fenced-in area, they at first tried to cure the zombies, especially the biggest of them all who had endured quite a mutation. He was over seven-feet tall with muscles that could lift up a bus if needed. After cures were unsuccessful, the living tried to napalm the zombies to death, but it only turned them into angry, running fireballs and the largest one of all was the first to break through the fence. He picked up humans, tore into them and then tossed them over 20 feet away. He destroyed secondary barricades and angrily screamed to strike fear into the heart of the living. The other zombies soon rallied behind him and the path that he cleared. Will the humans be able to stop this huge, mutated zombie or will he alone begin the extinction process?
7. She was a complete pushover secretary when she was living, but when she was infected with a corrupting zombie virus, she gained a confidence she'd never felt before. She looked the same on the outside, but on the inside she craved the blood of all who'd wronged her in life, which took the form of everybody in her company. She locked down all the security systems and prepared for the hunt. She remembered who wronged her the most and she wanted to save them for last. When she was still breathing, she was a great observer of people and this allowed her to thwart most of their counterattacks. The first few kills were easy, but those higher up in the company knew that working together was their only hope. She destroyed the light system and the backup generator and now there was only silent waiting and hoping. What will happen during this frightening night in the building?
8. Her and her sorority sisters were the best of friends before the zombie attack. Now that she was infected during a routine day of sunbathing, she was both one of the most beautiful and hideous zombies on campus. She ran around terrorizing those who would have previously checked her out and turned away. Now, they ran as fast and as far as they could. A part of her didn't understand why this attention had changed so much and she felt slightly ashamed. This made her zombie self even angrier and she began to find weapons along the way and coat them with her blood. She didn't realize that this would make infecting her victims all the easier. Now some of her sisters are the only ones who can stop her. Will their best friend end up being the end of them all?
9. He was a zombie alright. He looked in the mirror and saw the slightly pale skin and the bloody mark from where he had been attacked. He washed it off and put a bandage on it. While most of the other zombies appeared to be ready to kill at sight, he felt no different at all. Maybe his mother was right when she said that he was special. He looked out the window and saw the streets overrun with zombie attacks. He wondered if there was something he could do as a sort of spy. He called the Federal Bureau of Investigation and told them his story. An average ticket taker at the local multiplex would now head up an operation to destroy all zombies. He snuck around undetected and though the other zombies thought it was strange that he was constantly on a cell phone, they could see he was infected and left him alone. How successful will his mission be and will he encounter any more like him?
10. When nearly all of humanity was overrun by zombies, she was their final hope. As one of the first zombies, she was one of the most pure samples of the virus, which was most able to be manipulated. Her mind was altered with a computer that changed her primary target. She would infect zombies with a new virus, one that restored their humanity. They experimented and found that most zombies were no match for her and they returned to human form within a few hours. She was the true anti-zombie and since the facility was overrun before more could be made, it was her versus a world worth of zombies. She smiled after infected each fortunate victim like a feral cavewoman and deep down she wondered what would happen if she was successful. Does the anti-zombie succeed? Describe some of her battles against the hordes she will encounter.
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.