I’m writing a book!: Planning


Yeah. I have decided, just for the sheer fun of it, to try and write a full book. I have practised writing a book before, but that was merely a short story. What I am going to do is, instead of create a dedicated blog for this, I’d rather chart the progress on this blog. I’m gonna take you on my magical adventure!


I am lucky in the respect that I can have an idea, and I can remember it for a while, giving me chance to write it down and develop it, at least for a short time anyway, then I forget it. The original idea came to me the day before I started writing this post: the 14/1/14. My initial idea was, after reading young adult novels like John Green’s The Fault in our stars, to write a Young adult book.

My rule for writing a book is to write a book that I want to read. So I wanted to write a love story. If you know me, I’m not a sucker for love stories, they never really appealed to me, but I think that a romance story would be easy to write. I feel as well it’s easy to put your own spin on it. As much as I dislike Twilight, it was a simple adaption to the pretty standard plot, just add vampires. 50 Shades of grey again is a romance novel, and while it essentially is Twilight fanfiction (look it up, it is) it is a love story, but with weird saucy bits which I dare not look up for fear of permanent insanity.

So my initial spin for the story was to theme it around trains. I’ve been travelling on trains all my life, and I have regularly commuted on the trains since I started secondary school. So I know a thing about how trains work. When I am on a train, I first see just individuals, but then I look a second time, I recognise people, that guy in the suit, the lady and her computer, and you almost get to know them, their mannerisms, their routines, and yes I do sound like a stalker, it’s interesting to observe people, try it some time. I feel a love story based around trains would be a concept worth looking at, you’re trapped in a moving can, you cannot escape, it’s a place where two people can get together and develop a romance.

But, as a naturally quirky person, I wanted to add that little extra detail, the one which would shape the plot into something that would catch people by surprise. Zombies. But hark, Zombies are overused plot devices in many forms of media, including blockbuster films, comics, and books, why zombies, Benjamin? Well, to be honest, it just came to me. I felt it added to that idea of isolation. If you’re in the middle of a zombie jamboree, no humans to speak to, just a small group of those who aren’t undead cannibals. If i’m honest, the way I am writing this book, the zombies only really play a part in the setting and the world these character live in, I would rather not redo the boy and girl survivor run from hungry zombies on the hunt for refuge with a dozen quirky characters. That WOULD be boring. I don’t want a rehash. I want a fresh story, which is what I aim to write.


So what I did the next day is I went for it. I had the idea cooking in my head, and I felt it was time to take it out of the oven and properly work on creating the skeleton, who are the characters, what is this world like, what is the plot, and the title.

The title caused me a bit of an issue. It’s current working title is Book Z, but I went and turned to my friends and the internet to find inspiration, My friends were no help (well most of them) but Yahoo answers, had the answers. Here’s some of the titles I had suggested, including my suggestion:

  • 8:27 to Hades: Niall Wright
  • Love on the Dead Express: Ben Johnson
  • Love, Trains and ZOMBIES!!!: Me
  • Love on the 10:40 to Zombieville: Yahoo user P
  • The Epidemic of Love: Yahoo User Emma

Now, of course, I am not going to pick a title as of yet, but I wanted to have one to help further the development of the idea. My friends seem to like the last one. On this day, I decided on writing the laws of this post apocalyptic land as a base for the story. I wanted it to be realistic, I don’t want another rehash, so I thought writing these ‘laws’ of the land would help get an understanding of how a real government would deal with it. So I opened a word document, and just went for it. It’s not quite finished, so I am going to complete that, before I work on the characters.

About the author


Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

1 comment


  • Well, I think the fifth title is brilliant, but I came up with my own title because I had nothing else on my mind. When all else fails, choose something that is straightforward.

By Ben




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