In today’s post, I’m going to talk about some of the ways we approached this season (Z 2135) to make it better. Don’t worry, there’s no spoilers for either Z 2134 or Z 2135 in here.
One of the first things we wanted to do was actually get into the zombie element of the story.
If the series is billed as The Walking Dead meets The Hunger Games, then it ought to fucking have a lot of zombies! (Though to be fair, The Walking Dead is more about the survivors than the zombies.)
In Z 2134, the zombies were monsters, but they could’ve been anything, really. There was nothing uniquely zombie about them, other than they were an obstacle to get by.
This season we delve a bit deeper into the zombies, and even reveal their origins.
The zombies are also a very real threat in several parts of the story.
THE GAMES ARE OVER
The Darwin Games were merely a way to get the story rolling, but Z 2135 isn’t another edition of The Games. In fact, they’re very much in the background. Instead, we follow our characters to find out what happens next.
The Darwins are still being televised, of course, and there’s a couple of references and reminders, as The Games are an ever present thing in this society.
DEEPER CHARACTERIZATION & WORLD BUILDING
This season we delve a bit more into all of our main characters, and through them, we see more of the world, including a much richer Barrens than hinted at in Z 2134.
We delve more into Jonah’s past, and into the relationships of our main characters.
And one of the cool things about this story is that there is no good and bad, but rather shades of gray, just like real life, with different people wanting similar things, but going about them in different ways.
I think this season shines more of a light on both sides of the conflict between The State and The Underground.
One of the negatives of editing a serial on the fly as we were last year is that it was difficult to know what would matter in the story later as it had not been fully written as the first episodes went to publication.
This resulted in things that should’ve been edited, I feel.
The first part of Z 2134 reads a bit clunky, and that’s on Sean and I — we should’ve been more merciless in what stayed and what got cut.
However, I think the editing improved towards the middle and end. So if you can get past the early parts, I do believe the story finds its flow and improves.
This time we finished the entire season before anything is published, so we have a better idea of what serves the story and what gets in the way. Our editors have been great in helping us trim the fat, too.
That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek behind the scenes of writing Z 2135. I’ll be posting again on Monday before the Tuesday launch. If you have any questions or want me to shed light on any other behind the scenes stuff, shoot me an email or leave a comment below and I’ll address your comments on Monday.
As always, thank you for reading,