Whew, that was a hard one. Well, a hard two, I suppose. I kept having to stop writing, take a break, and try to remember how it happened. I wanted to get it just right, get things in the right order. Causes, effects, surprises, and zombies, all in the right sequence. I had to re-jigger my outline a tiny bit. I even shifted one of the chapter-opening vignettes from chapter 6 to chapter 7, and wrote a fresh one for chapter 6, because of how the story was unfolding & lining up.
The major event of chapter 7 is still the same; the book still has the same chewy emotional center, right in the middle of the book. The next 6 chapters, they’re all downhill. And if you’ve been reading what’s in the first 7, that’s pretty bad news. I mean…. Well, what do I mean? let me excerpt a couple paragraphs for you (Yes, this contains spoilers, but it’s a zombie book; you knew everyone was going to die, right?), from chapter 7:
Even in the dark, he could see it was too late. In the low light, the scene was like something out of an old black and white movie, Madeline’s blood dark like chocolate syrup or motor oil as it gushed from her neck. Whether she hadn’t heard it approaching or had been too afraid to get out of the cart and run, Madeline had still been sitting there hugging the number ten can of peaches to her chest when the undead monster had torn her throat out with its teeth. As the zombie languorously munched away at Madeline’s soft flesh, her blood gushed out in an unbelievable torrent of darkness that consumed her clothes, the peaches, and which seemed to be opening a dark portal in the floor under the cart.
Melvin took in all this in an instant, and in another instant he was shoving the zombie one way and pulling the cart another. Without a thought, Melvin discovered that he was perched over the laid-out body of the monster, repeatedly bringing the heavy can of cling peaches in heavy syrup down onto the remains of its long-since ruptured skull, smashing it again and again into smaller and smaller chunks. Frances didn’t stop him, she simply stood by the blood-soaked body of her last living child, too shocked to shed tears and too grief-stricken not to weep. After what seemed like a long time, Melvin’s arms stopped moving, and Frances caught her breath. Then Madeline’s mutilated form began moving, and Frances’ breath caught in her throat.
Yeah. Fun. It’s all downhill from here. Things falling apart, as it were. I think I’ve got the sample % right so that the first 4 chapters are still free.