On the relationship origins of the “Inertia” vignette, and the upcoming origin vignettes.
In my previous blog post on the development of the “Inertia” vignette, I discussed how the story was conceived around the sudden relationship between two students on the night of the zombie apocalypse. In the early development stages, I tried many different variations: the age difference between the two characters, which character started with a better weapon, what kind of prejudices or respect each character held for the other.
True to the butterfly effect, changing just one aspect of the initial conditions started divergent paths that spiraled out into entirely different storylines. Some of the storylines I rejected because they shared too many similarities with stories we’ve already told, while others I rejected because they went in dark and unsettling directions.
Ultimately, I chose two relatively simple relationships to tell simultaneously, but in a diverse and populated city like Seattle, I like to think that even those versions which didn’t become this vignette still happened, somewhere, to someone. Everybody has a “night zero” story, every survivor is one because of what they did (or didn’t do)… which is something we’ll be exploring more fully next week, when “Inertia” finishes its run.
Each vignette we’ve produced, whether a stand-alone character piece story or backstory for a serial character, has one fundamental aspect in common: a defining moment. In the world of the post-apocalypse, every survivor is defined by a moment when their old life is gone for good and their new life is all they have. It might be the death of a loved one, making an unthinkable decision, or coming to terms with the collapse of civilization… whatever it is, this moment is what makes each person’s survival story unique, and that in turn is what makes post-apocalyptic fiction so engaging. Zombies are fun and all, but it’s the people who keep the adventure going.
So before we premiere the grand finale, before we roll in to Episode Six and reveal our biggest set pieces and greatest struggles, we will be taking a tour of post-apocalyptic Seattle from the eyes of the everyday citizens. Some stops will be brief, some stops will be deep, every stop will be a glimpse into the struggles and decisions that define a new life.