Looking for unique zombie story ideas? You’ve come to the right place! Here’s a list of bone-chilling zombie writing prompts that will tickle the minds of any middle-schoolers, high school students, NaNoWriMo warriors or any seasoned writers alike!
Read on for prompts like zombies that build human farms for ease of feeding, to a zombie survivor looking for his kin!
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- The Definition of Zombie
- Zombie Story Ideas
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The Definition of Zombie
Zombies are mythical, undead creatures created through corpse reanimation. The term derives from Haitian legend, in which zombies are reanimated via voodoo.
In modern media representations, magic is not the cause but fictional scientific methods: infections, parasites, scientific mishaps, etc.
In the late 1990s, the video games Resident Evil and The House of the Dead introduced more scientific and action-oriented approaches to the genre with fast-running zombies, and it reinvigorated the zombie stereotype, leading to a revival of zombies-themed entertainment in popular culture.
Why Do Zombie Stories Fascinate Us?
Zombie stories fascinates us because, as explained here, they’re giving us hope, inspiring us to reconnect with humanity, and intriguing us with its themes of violence, fear and survival.
It’s no wonder that from Resident Evil to The Walking Dead, a variety of zombie-themed entertainments keep making appearances in our mainstream culture. In order to stand out from the rest, involve subversion or inversion of common tropes/clichés in your story because when a story merely complies to known “formula” then it offers nothing new to the audience.
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Zombie Story Ideas
Here are some unique zombie ideas to incorporate in your next writing project. (Please note that the genders in these writing prompts are just placeholders.)
Unique Triggers or Carriers
Instead of the usual virus/disease/experiment gone wrong, consider these unique causes as the carriers or triggers of a zombie outbreak:
1. When a rising high school band finds an ancient partiture containing a song from the Underworld and plays it, dead people are suddenly resurrected, and they all have a strange penchant for human flesh.
2. In the way that it was a spider that turned Peter Parker into Spiderman, it’s an insect species with a penchant for human flesh that gives humans that inclination for a taste of their neighbor’s body.
3. Or perhaps, the virus that gives humans zombie strain does not infect everyone. Rather, they only infect specific people. Females only? Males only? People within a certain IQ range?
4. A society where the elders automatically develop a craving for human flesh once they reach a certain age.
5. Or alternatively, a society where all the babies have to be fed human flesh or else they won’t survive. However, once they reach a certain age they can be weaned out of it.
Humorous Zombie Ideas
Because zombie stories don’t have to be all dark and gloomy, there are also places for humorous zombie stories!
1. The cure for the zombie strain is found. The story follows a rehabilitated zombie who’s traumatized from all the things they did when they were still a zombie.
2. Humans successfully exterminated all zombies and came out victorious in the human-zombie war. The story follows one zombie survivor as they go looking for other zombie survivors.
3. Inspired by a certain game, a kooky scientist attempts to develop genetically–enhanced plants to defend mankind from zombies attack.
Here are some picture-based zombie prompts, because, a picture speaks a thousand words! Below are some image prompts as well as some prompt ideas to accompany each.
(Please click on the image for more information.)
1. Write about a zombie strain that is only activated during full moons, and then during any other time, the people affected resume their normal lives as though nothing happens.
2. Or what about someone who’s affected by the zombie strain, but the urges only surface whenever they sleepwalk?
(Please click on the image for more information.)
1. Write about a zombie slayer who keeps preserved pieces of the zombie they slayed as “souvenirs“, only for a freak mutation to occur one day, causing those souvenirs to come to life.
2. Or what about zombies who, after sniffing a certain aroma, are cured of their tendencies to consume human flesh, but it’s only temporary? As soon as the aroma is gone, the cravings are back.
Twisted Zombie Story Ideas
While we’re at it, here are some twisted zombie story prompts that tap into the deepest, darkest recesses of human psyche.
1. Zombies whose appearance do not deteriorate or even improve. So, in a glance, there’s almost no way to tell whether someone is a zombie or a healthy person… until it’s too late.
2. The cure for the zombie strain is found, but all the rehabilitated zombies retain their grisly appearance. How do they fit into the world now?
3. Zombies that transmit the virus every time they sneeze.
4. Zombies that retain their intelligence but not their morality. Thus, they have no qualms about tricking the healthy people they see so they can feed on them.
5. Zombies that infect animals not to feed on them but to control them.
6. Zombies that infect healthy people not to feed on them but to control them.
7. Zombies that have the ability to regrow their limbs.
8. Zombie outbreak in space.
9. Zombies that have a collective knowledge. For example, if one zombie learns that a gunshot to the head will kill them for good, then all zombies will have this knowledge, too. If one zombie sees you, all the zombie see you.
10. Zombies that are purposefully resurrected and trained as soldiers.
11. A remote island full of zombies. What happens when a cruise ship is stranded there?
12. Zombies that only nibble on humans and keep them alive to be fed on again on their next few meals.
13. Zombies that build human farms for ease of feeding.
14. A wealthy millionaire with a penchant for gore keeps a display “zoo” full of zombies.
There they are, some zombie story ideas that hopefully will spark your inspiration!
Furthermore, here are some other posts that you might find interesting:
Or browse our Story Ideas & Writing Prompts category for more ideas!
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