With a zombie apocalypse of course 🤷🏻‍♂️😂 A character volunteers in the local thriftshop, they receive a mysterious but beautiful antique item (jewelry? chandelier? other trinket), volunteer cuts their hand while cleaning it, boom, mysterious illness days later and everyone and everything they touched before getting truly ill is infected too 🤷🏻‍♂️


Well, your traditional sources are Ancient virus/bacteria/fungus that came from melting permafrost Mutated virus/bacteria/fungus that evolved in a lab or on some animal in the jungle somewhere. Magic/sorcery/ancient curse As to how it starts, idk. Someone has a nice dinner and gets the worst case of the runs, three days later they're clawing at the walls. Some scientist testing a new vaccine injecting themselves? Accidental spillage of samples from the lab? Some kids are digging up graves to steal the jewelery in order to pawn it and buy an Xbox? A massive solar flare sizzles through the Earth's magnetosphere and cosmic particles shower Europe for a few hours, turning the entire populace mindless and flesh eating. Also, how do your undead work? Are they physically the same as humans? Weaker? Stronger? Do they want brains, or flesh, or do they just hunger? Are they intelligent? As you can see, there's a lot of decisions to make. But none of them are wrong.


You missed: 1) guy wakes up from a coma and finds everybody dead and society in ruins (been done a couple times), 2) guy drives his car down abandoned L.A. streets to his amazing apartment home that that turns out to be a compound reinforced against the roving undead that come out at night, 3) man wakes up with a hangover and staggers around his neighborhood, not realizing everybody else is shambling oddly, too, and 4) a man is having a frustrating day at the office and arguing with his estranged wife about the kids on his cell phone only to realize traffic has come to a standstill and people are abandoning their cars and running towards him screaming.


Could help a lot more with details and context lol. But generally I like Zombie stories that start mid apocalypse. We've seen the starting swarm and panic enough that it is just inherent. Unless you're a bit of a gore hound you can basically skip the start of the outbreak. Let it be more of a mystery of the story of what caused it or even where.


Well... What triggered the apocalypse and what is the situation like for humanity? In most media it just happened suddenly, so everyone suffered a lot. I'm asking this because a trope in CN novels is that the MC died in the apocalypse and then woke up before it started so they have an advantage and there was some event like a meteor or severe natural disasters. Then think about what you want to happen to the characters and lay the foundation. Would they find a way to purge most if not all the zombies? Will they focus on building a safe base like the three walls in Attack on Titan? Will they find happiness and a reason to remain hopeful for a better future for them and their friends? Their journey nor reason to keep living doesn't have to big and grand and action packed.


I usually hand-wave "something that got out of a lab somewhere" - I don't think people will request the chemical compound in the comments to you. And if they do, then you worry.


Are you asking how the apocalypse started or how the story itself should start? If it's the latter, it really depends on what sort of story it is and how far into the apocalypse it is. For a story about specific characters who aren't part of the cause, I like them either hearing about it on the news or going through their everyday lives, when suddenly—zombies!