The Zombie StoryWhen it comes to writing a gory scene for one of my zombie stories, I think about where I am in the story and how the scene propels the story forward. There is a method that I use and I find that it really helps:

  • First I have to decide on which characters are necessary.
  • Will any of them become hurt, killed or so badly injured that it will lead to a later conflict?
  • Determine the best method or methods to describe the action sequence(s).
  • What style of combat will be used?

When it comes to each scene I like to keep my protagonist, Orlando, in every part of the story. The zombie world that I created is just as new to him as it is to my readers; it is what they share on the journey. As for the other characters, they may not be as lucky as Orlando. None of them have a guarantee and I think that’s what keeps things exciting when writing these scenes because any one of them might fall and by fall I mean die.

After I decide on who will be in the scene I move onto the next phase: who will be hurt, killed or maimed? This is really important as it will push the story forward and could have a huge impact on the characters that remain. This could create conflict, guilt, a sense of betrayal and so much more.

Will one of them die to save the other? And if so, how will it occur? With a zombie story/tale there is so much room to create and be imaginative. There are a few characters in The Zombie Story that have magical capabilities and they use these abilities to defend themselves. Others are not so lucky and have to rely on brains and brawn. This gives me plenty of room when I am describing the action sequences as it leaves enough scope for the unexpected.

The style of combat is really important; I do not like to be repetitive. Let’s face it, we read zombie tales because they are a form of escapism and they are just plain fun. Tone and setting are a factor. The series that I write is based in Los Angeles and because L.A. is a mix of different cultures, which in turn have all been fused right along each other, meaning that the setting is a constant state of change. I take full advantage of this richness of diversity. One of the scenes I wrote was in China Town where an illicit ring of underground zombie fighting took place.

Even with my own training as a martial artist, I consulted an expert – my instructor, Grandmaster Jim Furtado – about his own experiences in the ring. He talked about the different things that would run through his mind before he stepped into the ring and what his thought processes were. He developed a different mentality as a trained fighter.

While I worked on the scene for the underground fight ring sequence I focused in on copying this mentality. This was done so my protagonist, Orlando’s first step into this world would show that, in spite of his being completely terrified, he had to present a façade showing that he was in complete control. Was he in control? Not at all.

Did I mention his opponent was a zombie? The fights were actually cruel to the zombies, as they were used for sport. After all, zombies were people too! (But that’s another post.) As this was Orlando’s first actual fight with a zombie, I couldn’t make it easy for him. It had to be a challenge. He did manage to wound his zombie opponent in the eye, which only made the zombie pull the eyeball out in a rage and fling it at Orlando. This fight was not going as Orlando had planned; he was a poor match for the zombie which gave the spectators exactly what they wanted. Blood. They didn’t attend to see Orlando or anyone else beat up the zombies, they wanted to see a zombie in action. They wanted this done in a controlled setting, yet close enough to see the blood and sweat.

The style of fighting I chose for this was boxing. Boxing is an up close contact sport that focuses on strategy and Orlando needed strategy if he was going to survive. But how could Orlando use this method with a zombie who had no method or motivation other than one, which was to eat? The zombie didn’t care how that was accomplished as long as it got the job done.

When writing a gory scene I know it has to consist of challenges. If I made it easy, my readers might feel cheated and I knew I would be cheating my characters as well as their story. So I love to switch things up, such as creating carnivorous zombie bulls and monkeys.

It’s not an easy task to impress a zombie fan; in fact it’s extremely difficult because they have read it all, but, they are an amazing audience.

I’d like to thank Carolyn, here at Book Chick City, for inviting me to participate with 30 Shades of Zombie!


M.M. Shelley is a storyteller, word smith and dreamer. She has traveled the world extensively in search of the magic which is often overlooked in every day life.

M.M. Shelley is a native of southern California, and a student of mythology from which she gets much inspiration.


The Zombie Story   

PUBLISHER: Self-published | RELEASE DATE: May 2011
BUY IT: Amazon UK / Amazon US

The Zombie Story (The Chronicles of Orlando #1) – Unfolding on the streets of Los Angeles is a new breed of monster… Orlando, fresh from the mid west, arrives at hisnew high school on his Harley Davidson. All he wants is to make it through the day, and begin his training as a Zombie Hunter. But someone has different plans for him. The Zombie Story is the first novella in a young adult series.

Dead Relatives (The Chronicles of Orlando #2) – After discovering what was hidden in Mexico and having to sneak back across the border Orlando returns to Los Angeles, but is unable to return to his home. Instead of hunting Zombies he is now hunted. Betrayed by those he thought he could trust, Orlando must keep the truth of what he knows to himself. That is until dead relatives return with dire warnings.


Website || Facebook || Twitter || Goodreads


MM is kindly giving away TWO set of e-books of The Zombie Story and Dead Relatives & ONE paperback set of both books.

To enter please leave a comment for MM then fill out the form below.

This giveaway is International and ends 12:00am GMT 30th November 2012



Carolyn created Book Chick City in July 2009 due to her love of books. A Brit chick obsessed with zombies, kick-arse chicks and sexy heroes. She's also seriously addicted to chocolate, shopping, and coffee. Her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy, Romance and Zombie Lit... Brrraaaaiiinnnnsss!


sherry fundin November 15, 2012 at 8:35 pm

I loved your post. Thanks for sharing.


Victoria Zumbrum November 15, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me. I would love to read this book.


Carol November 15, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Thanks for sharing M! Wow it sounds really exhausting writing/planning fighting/gory scenes!!! O.O but I have to say its always fun to read how creative authors have to be in order to deliver a good story. BTW, it seems you don’t make things easy for poor Orlando 😛


laura thomas November 16, 2012 at 3:33 am

What can I say. I love gory scenes! I usually add an excerpt for one in my reviews. Can’t resist.
I appreciate the hard work and enjoy reading them. I can’t wait to meet Orlando.


Penni November 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Thanks for the giveaway!


Brian November 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Great article. Thanks for the giveaway.


Lynsey Buchanan November 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Fingers crossed


tamalyn roberts November 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm

i am just loving the zombie genre at the moment, since i bought my kindle i have bought so many zombie books, the flag of the dead is my currently fave at the mo, but this is definately on my wishlist to try.


Stuart Hargreaves November 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm

looks interesting if lucky hard copy please


Jennifer H. November 16, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Looks like an interesting version of the zombie apocalypse!


Cristine Natkin November 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm

looks great!


Devon Mason November 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Thanks for the great giveaway!


Barbara Butler November 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm

love to read


Sharon Kaminski November 17, 2012 at 7:22 pm

thanks, love to read


Simon Moulding November 17, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I would really love to win this……


Kelly Nicholson November 17, 2012 at 9:52 pm



betty raymer November 18, 2012 at 3:25 am

Zombies are my favorite critters!


Penni November 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Sounds like a great set of books! Thanks for the interview loved the read :-)


hannah oneill November 18, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Love the zombie genre


Robert Banning November 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm

One can never get enough of the undead’s literary adventures!!


Solange November 18, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Great giveaway thanks, sounds like a great read.


samhain November 19, 2012 at 3:47 am

great giveaway


Mickie Bull November 21, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Looks like a very interesting read!


Peter Hopkins November 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Look forward to reading this.


Annabelle H November 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm

This sounds awsome!


shell November 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Looks like an exciting read


Peter Gilby November 26, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Cant wait to read this :)


Ileana A. November 27, 2012 at 1:32 am

Nice covers! Really looking forward to read this one!
Thanks for the giveaway! 😀


Karen Colquhoun November 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm

please enter me :)


Denise Welch November 29, 2012 at 12:27 am

Sounds like a book i like to read


bn100 November 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm

The books sound good.


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