To Reboot or Not to Reboot

Posted: May 22, 2018 in Uncategorized

So, in my last post, I laid out three things in store for this year.

1. That A New Daybreak will be out this fall.

2. There will be at least two short films set in the world of The Savannah Zombie Novel series.

And

3. There may, or may not be, a soft reboot in store for the series.

Now, what’s the difference between a “soft reboot” and a “hard reboot”?

A hard reboot is like when Sony made the Amazing Spider-Man movies, rebooting the universe that Sam Raimi built. The first Amazing was well received, but the second one, not so much. This caused ol Spidey to be rebooted again, this time into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Each time, although the basic premise was the same, the story was changed drastically. Especially for poor old Uncle Ben. At least they didn’t actually show his death in Homecoming, cause c’mon. Three times is too much.

Then look at the reboot of The Fantastic Four. (Don’t watch it though, just look at it from a safe distance. It’s a stinker.) They almost completely redid the concept of the Fantastic Four, where it really could have been it’s own movie and just took the Fantastic Four title off the project.

Hard reboots can be hard to swallow, especially when there is a dedicated fan base already attached to the franchise.

This is where the soft reboot comes into play.

Think the Star Wars sequels.

The new episodes, starting with The Force Awakens, were essentially a soft reboot in the series. They still continued the main story line set up by George Lucas, but were designed to make Star Wars accessible to new fans, by tweaking old characters, adding new characters, and rehashing old themes.

Now, maybe Star Wars isn’t the best example, because like I said before, reboots can be hard for dedicated fanbases. And Star Wars has a little bit of a dedicated fanbase. And some of them didn’t appreciate the changes made. The Force Awakens was too much like A New Hope. The Last Jedi went the complete other way and has become extremely divisive amongst fans.

Ok, maybe Star Wars wasn’t that great of an example…

Anyways, the changes I have in store for the Savannah Zombie Novel series are not quite as drastic as Disney’s vision for the Galaxy Far, Far Away.

Enough of me explaining reboots (and probably poorly) and more explaining why I feel the need to reboot.

1. When I started this whole thing, I had no idea what I was doing.

If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard me harp on this a few times. But if this is you’re first time here, this is it in a nutshell:

The Savannah Zombie series started off as a low budget zombie movie idea a friend and I had in high school. I wrote up an outline and a few pages of script on some notebook paper. And that’s about as far as we got. We had no money, we had no equipment, and this was before you could just shoot decent video on your phone.

The story lay dormant for years, until one day I dusted off the outline and turned the first few scenes into chapters. I shared them with a new friend and he enjoyed them and told me to write more. So I did. And suddenly, there was this book beginning to take shape.

Around this same time, my wife gave me a Kindle for Christmas. And I began downloading a bunch of zombie novels. Some were good, some not so much. But I realized that some were self-published, and that was something I didn’t even realize was possible.

Don’t even get me started on print paperbacks.

So I set out self publish this little zombie novel I had been writing, and the snowball kept getting bigger and bigger until finally I had this book out there and no idea what to do next.

Well, I knew there was more story. So I wrote a short story. And then a second book. And then another short story. And I’ve been working on book three for about a 1000 years now. (Slight exaggeration.)

But along the way, I learned more about writing, about publishing, and just more in general. Stuff that would have been great to know when I start d getting his whole author journey.

But now, I find myself at this crossroads of do I keep pushing ahead with what I have; or do I stop and try to adjust some of this shaky foundation I made five years ago?

Which brings me to point number two:

2. I’ve grown as a writer.

If you’ve been with me since A New Death, then you may have noticed this. Those first few chapters of book one are okay, but even I can see the difference in my writing style between the beginning and the ending of that book. CJ’s Story and A New Darkness are the same way. With each new work, I see a tremendous growth in my writing and becoming comfortable with my voice.

And that brings me back to the reboot idea. I’d really like to go back and reset some of those “fractures” in the beginning of the series. I would go back and change a few things story wise, things I wasn’t sure I wanted to do when I started.

Now if I had an editor when I published A New Death, I probably could have avoided some of these issues. But I didn’t, and there’s not much I can do about that now.

3. Honestly, there’s just a few things I would like to change.

For starters, the story just starts. When I originally wrote it, I was coming from a movie script background and thought of the story as the zombie movie I wanted to see.

Which is great and I always recommend thinking of writing that way, but novels are different and I think I did the characters and the readers a disservice by not letting you get to know the cast a little bit more before we dove right in.

I’d like to change a few relationships and just clarify some plot lines a little better.

So, that’s it. That’s what I’m thinking. Now the question is do I do all this before finishing and publishing A New Daybreak?

I don’t know. Another post for another time.

Let me know your thoughts on reboots!

Josh Vasquez

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