Genre tips

Today’s #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Zombie Apocalypse

The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post every day except Sundays during the month of April on a thematic topic. This year, my second year with A to Z, I’ll cover writing genres.

Today’s genre:

Zombie Apocalypse


Zombie Apocalypse: in which the widespread rise of zombies hostile to human life engages in a general assault on civilization

Tipsa to z

  1. The literary subtext of a zombie apocalypse is usually that civilization is inherently fragile in the face of truly unprecedented threats and that most individuals cannot be relied upon to support the greater good if the personal cost becomes too high.
  2. For a zombie event to be apocalyptic, it needs to involve a large number of undead, shambling around, or, if you’re into the more modern zombies, running.
  3. Being undead must be spreading throughout the population or it’s not apocalyptic.
  4. Initial contacts with zombies must be extremely traumatic, causing shock, panic, disbelief and possibly denial, and hampering survivors’ ability to deal with hostile encounters.
  5. The response of authorities to the threat must be slower than its rate of growth, giving the zombie plague time to expand beyond containment.
  6. The society must collapse as zombies take full control while small groups of the living must fight for their survival.
  7. Zombiism must not only spread throughout a population but throughout the geography. It can’t be contained in a single area.
  8. The stories usually follow a single group of survivors, caught up in the sudden rush of the crisis.
  9. The narrative generally progresses from the onset of the zombie plague, then initial attempts to seek the aid of authorities, the failure of those authorities, through to the sudden catastrophic collapse of all large-scale organization and the characters’ subsequent attempts to survive on their own.
  10. Such stories are often squarely focused on the way their characters react to such an extreme catastrophe, and how their personalities are changed by the stress, often acting on more primal motivations (fear, self-preservation) than they would display in normal life.

Popular Books

  1. Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne
  2. Dawn of the Dead by by George A. Romero
  3. Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
  4. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
  5. The Mammoth Book of Zombie Apocalypse by Stephen Jones
  6. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
  7. The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
  8. World War Z by Max Brooks
  9. The Z Word (Apocalypse Babes) by Bella Street
  10. Zone One by Colson Whitehead

Click for complete list of  2018 A to Z genres

More Z Genres:

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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the upcoming Born in a Treacherous Time. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

85 thoughts on “Today’s #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Zombie Apocalypse

  1. Pingback: #AtoZChallenge: Genres–X, Y, and Z | WordDreams...

  2. Pingback: Today’s #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Zombie Apocalypse | First Edition Design Publishing – a hybrid publisher

  3. Pingback: Celebrating 14 Women Who Used to Be Strangers - Profound Journey

  4. Congratulations on making it all the way through A-Z, although you’ve finished with a genre I havne’t read and won’t be reading because I don’t do anything scary =)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As much as I like stories about vampires, zombies give menthe creeps! I would never read a book from that genre although I have to admit to have watched the odd movie or two – and always regretted it afterwards when the nightmares hit! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for an enlightening month of introducing us to many such genres we weren’t aware of. You have done a wonderful job Jacqui…I can understand how much hard work must have gone into A to Z challenge! Hope you enjoy a good night sleep today and let your fingers relax! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m blown away by the number of genres that exist. And to be blatantly honest, I could have done without this last one! Snorting empty hulls of creeping flesh that live to feed and feed to live. Zombies have no character! This was a fascinating series, Jacqui. I learned so much ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Jacqui – well you’ve covered just about every walk of life, and now one of the dead – not for me!! These have been fascinating … so many genres – and I’m sure there are others … but Zombies – I’m out of here!! Congratulations – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Have you watched IZombie (on the CW). Just a big ball of fun show. It was also a comic, through DC/Vertigo. Just a totally different experience than Walking Dead (which is still going strong in comic book form). iZombie kind of breaks the norm in that they only go into “Zombie Mold” if they’ve been starved or lose control through their anger.

    Overall, a fun show.

    Also, thank you so very much for your comments and support for my AtoZ stories. Glad you enjoyed them. I’ve learned a lot from your blog.

    Tale Spinning

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love a good zombie apocalypse! I’m find that humour adds a little something extra too (or maybe I’m just a scaredy-cat!) I love the comic/tv show iZombie and of course Shaun of the Dead. Great ending to the challenge. You totally rock, Jacqui, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your posts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve read a few of these, and, of course, they scared the bejeebers out of me. I also read Cell and that almost made me give up my phone even though it’s not one of King’s best. Congratulations on making it from A to Z!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is my son’s fav genre in books and movies and I cant stand it. LOL 😀
    Congratulations for acing this challenge, Jacqui and thanks for sharing so many interesting and informative genres all through April. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Yeah, I’m not much of a zombie person, although I did see Night of the Living Dead when it came out. It was a date and the boyfriend picked the movie. We went out for steak dinner after. I thought that was amusing. Thanks again, Jacqui, for giving me the idea of my A to Z this year. I’ve had fun with it. Congrats on finishing the A to Z yourself and I’ve definitely added some books to my list because of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jacqui,

    I never got the big craze over Zombie movies or the TV series TWD until we started watching the show and now we’re hooked. Well, my friend we crossed the A2Z finish line again for another successful challenge. Hopefully, we’ll stay connected a little better throughout the year instead of waiting until next April. LOL Have a great week. I’m busy, busy, busy playing catch up. Gotta zoom, but thanks for hanging with me for the past 30 days!

    ~Curious as a Cathy
    A2Z iPad Art Sketch ‘Z’ for Zinnias

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Well done on the challenge, Jacqui, you rock!
    I’ve never read any zombie books, but boy oh boy, did I ever see a good zombie movie on Netflix last night: Train to Busan, a South Korean flick with subtitles. I highly recommend it to fans of the genre.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. That was a nice finish to a fun, and informative month, Jacqui. Doing A to Z was no small accomplishment and I enjoyed the ride. Now I have nothing to look forward to every day!

    On this topic, I keep thinking of Richard Matheson’s “I Am Legend.” It made it to the screen three times, with Vincent Price (“The Last Man On Earth in 1964), Charlton Heston (“The Omega Man,” 1971) and the 2007 adaptation with Will Smith. Matheson was a superb writer and this was one of his best.

    Thanks for a good month!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Congratulations, Jacqui!! 🎉 You did it – a whole month of the challenge and you’ve presented a variety of well-researched and interesting posts! How does it feel?! Any time for a break? 😀

    I was about to write that this is one genre I’ve never read and then realised I actually finished and sort of liked ‘The Girl with All the Gifts’ – a book I read at a holiday cottage and I accidentally started it before I knew what it was about, but hooked by then!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the research. There were a few on this list that changed my thinking about writing. Thanks for visiting so often. I didn’t expect most of my ‘crowd’ to keep up. Definitely more than I’d ask of anyone!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve already read The Girl With All the Gifts and now I want o read more zombie literature, though probably not a whole lot. For the last two years in September and October, I’ve been participating in the R.I.P. (Readers Imbibing Peril) Reading Challenge, a good time to read zombie lit.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. An excellent list of tips, Jacqui. Now I understand what zombie apocalyptic (?) fiction is all about and why I will continue to choose to avoid it until the day I die or become a zombie, whichever comes first.
    Awesome work on the challenge, Jacqui. I am so happy to have met you and look forward to staying in touch.

    Liked by 3 people

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