1. edens garden
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    edens garden Senior Member

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    It's the end of the world as we know it...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by edens garden, May 28, 2008.

    I have been toying with the idea of an end of the world type story for some time, but i am slightly apprehensive as to how i should go about it. I am thinking a disease, because i honestly do not know enough to blame it on meteors or nuclear war, not to mention it would be a lot easier to explain why some people survived.

    What i want to know is this: What about this type for story do you like to see as a reader? What do you hate?

    Thanks for your advice in advance!
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    For all three of the scenarios you mentioned: pandemic, meteors, or nuclear war, there would likely be survivors. The same would also be true if the sun flared (rogue planetoid strikes the sun?), sudden climate shift (dust clouds from volcanic activity cause a couple years of cold temperature and devastates crops); there are so many possibilities.
     
  3. edens garden
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    edens garden Senior Member

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    That is my problem in a nut shell. There are so many different ways to do this, and sadly i know next to nothing about any of them. One of my biggest pet peeves is when an author bases their story on something they know nothing about. I am going to be doing some research on many of the scenarios in the next day or so. Thanks for your input Cognito.
     
  4. Al B
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    Al B Senior Member

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    In actual fact, I'd prefer to read the nuclear war version of such an apocalyptic tale. In recent years the killer disease and meteorite ones have been a bit done to death, but with the resugence of Russia as a world power and the spectre of other nations getting their fingers on nuclear triggers, I think a well-written tale starting out along those lines would be more interesting to read, certainly more relevant to readers as far as tapping into their fears goes. There've been plenty of thrillers where the threat of such a thing gets averted, but not many go all the way.

    The one thing I do hate in such post apocalyptic tales is the 'Mad Max' style punk bands roaming around in organised groups driving souped up cars and trucks. They've been ravaged by nuclear war, but apparently petrol and places to get mohican haircuts, hair extensions and multi-coloured hair dye are still in abundance.

    Al
     
  5. edens garden
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    edens garden Senior Member

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    No kidding! No, i plan to destroy the world beyond nearly anyones ability to function normally. There will be no mad max punk bands, but rather normal people who really don't know how to handle themselves. I have my main character fairly well thought through, and a few others. I just really need to bunker down and do the research.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    One excellent novel on the aftereffects of meteoric (actually comet fragments) impact is Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Many of the outcomes apply no matter what caused the initial devastation.
     
  7. edens garden
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    edens garden Senior Member

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    Thanks, i shall have to look into reading that as soon as i get my next paycheck.
     
  8. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    One thing I can't stand in apolyptic type books is the olden-day feel many of them have (unless, of course, you're setting it in past years). I recently read one set in 2004, and for some strange reason there was nothing modern about it. It read as if it was set in the 1920s, which made it rather unrealistic.
     
  9. illuminati
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    illuminati Member

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    Lucy, you should read Son of Perdition ;)
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Another thought might be to have a pandemic that spreads among several important plant species, rather than among humans. If it began mutating rapidly to wipe out a number of vital food crops, the collapse of the food chain would be devastating to the world population. Then of course, all the unburied dead from starvation and riots would begin spreading human-hosted disease as well.
     
  11. Neo
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    There's something moving in the darkness.

    Apocalyptic stories typically have a moral grounding - nuclear war stories revolve around how bad war is. I'd say a human-generated ecological, environmental disaster would do the trick. Al Gore porn, so to speak - incredibly high temperatures, overpopulation, Big Brothery governments, wars over resources, cartoonish levels of flooding, that kind of thing. Periodic (but conventient) storms which can level cities. A slow, painful shameful apocalypse.
     
  12. edens garden
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    edens garden Senior Member

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    Al Gore Porn? You just made my day, honestly. I am thinking of heading that way, the idea that all this could have been stopped is particularly tempting. You guys are giving me some great ideas!
     

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