Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Watching for Backstory

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I have gotten hooked on The Walking Dead, which is a series on AMC about the zombie apocalypse. 

And okay, yeah, a big draw are those two guys standing in the foreground, Shane and friends and coworkers at the beginning of the series.  But then Rick gets shot, and while he's in a coma (or something) there is a zombie apocalypse, and he wakes up to a whole new world, with all new rules. 

Here's the thing:  I started watching  the last four episodes of the first season, and then have watched all of the second season episodes.  I thought:  WOW, I have to go back and get the back story on all these people, because they are just all so awesomely flawed and appealing...There is so much going on here, surely I've missed something.

So I went back and got caught up with Netflix, and realized that I wasn't really missing all that much background information--only two episodes worth.  How do these writers do this without even a speck of  "As you know, Bob" going on? 

The first time I saw Lori and Shane together, I knew that they had been doing the nasty (even though Rick was still alive, much to everyone's surprise!), even though I hadn't seen that episode.  It was in a look that Lori had on her face when she realized Rick was still alive. 

And then there is Darrel...backwoods white boy with of the Meth head who sawed off his own hand to avoid being eaten by zombies...with a sensitive side buried so far down he has to tear up barns to keep it from getting out. 

My goal for the next month is to see how much backstory I can make up for people on the street, based on their mannerisms...and then try to write it.


  1. Oh, good plan! I like it.

    Hubs and I watch The Walking Dead, too, though I have to shut my eyes for some of the scenes. Love the characters, though.

  2. Wow, I haven't heard of this show, but LOVE the guy on the left's forearms. Those are just impressive.
    That is a pretty cool idea to try to think of the back story for them. I would have never thought of that. Great writing exercise.