1. grayshot77
    Offline

    grayshot77 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    Post Apocalyptic novel

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by grayshot77, Jun 30, 2009.

    I am currently working on a novle about a post apocalyptic america and a person traveling across to find the answers to what lead the world to its state. The novel is set in the year 2026, 14 years after a nuclear holocaust that occured between America, Russia, and China. The world has since somewhat recovered, nuclear winter theory is dismissed here. Several animal and plant live has recovered. But america is still hell. The story centers around a young man named Adam Sheperd, and his dog Benjamin (often refferd to as Benji). ther both, at the star of the story, living in the ruins of LA, trying to survive. But several adversaries, hostile survivors, wild mutant animals, hostile enviroments ect, threaten there lives every day. the current title is The fourth horsemen. i welcome suggestions.
     
  2. Kirvee
    Offline

    Kirvee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Michigan
    That sounds like something I would TOTALLY read *loves apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic stories*!

    I dunno what suggestions to offer you, except that it might be a good idea to think out the reasons why the hostile survivors would be attacking the stars as well as Benji's role. Does Benji help alert Adam when a mutant animal is nearby? Is there someway to kill the mutant animals? What are their natures and in what way are they mutated? Are any humans mutated in a similar way? Ya know, things like that. Sounds really good though, I'd love to read it if you post it up here.
     
  3. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    This sounds like I am Legend. I know that doesn't really help you, but that's what comes to mind.
    I guess what I'm saying is that this idea has been done almost to death and attacked from a lot of different angles. It will take an innovative approach to the idea of a post-apocalyptic story to make it really worth reading.
    I don't mean to discourage you - if you want to write this story, go ahead. But if you're looking to write a marketable book, you may want to think about new ways you could approach the scenario...
     
  4. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    So my suggestion is to write the story! As you write it, ideas will come to you, and they will be your ideas.
     
  5. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    ditto cog's exhortation...

    that said, this sounds like 'a boy and his dog' meets 'i am legend' and too many other apocalypse survivor tales to list... being so cliche means that you'll have to add a lot of 'new and fresh' twists to the old hat plot, if you hope to sell it...
     
  6. grayshot77
    Offline

    grayshot77 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    alright, i will try to keep I am legendish themes at a limit. As a starting project, i still have a long way to go. and the dog is not that major of a character. and to answer Kiryee's questions, the animals die normaly, yes there are crazy mutant people ( crap, i am legend comes to mind) yes the dog does alert adam to several threats. people, i barely begun to even get the world down yet, much less the story. i will keep you informed though.
     
  7. grayshot77
    Offline

    grayshot77 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    by the way, new twists, plot ect that could be fresh are helpful.
     
  8. Kirvee
    Offline

    Kirvee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ah, then you basically are asking us to make a plot for you. Sorry, but I have to agree with Cog on this one. I suggest you go let your current ideas incubate and roll around in your head for a little while (weeks, months, whatever time you need) THEN come back to us if you want help fleshing it out.

    Trust me, it's what I did for my current novel and I made a pretty awesome plot from it.
     
  9. starseed
    Offline

    starseed Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Messages:
    293
    Likes Received:
    2
    I agree, this is very, I Am Legend.

    That said, I love this type of stuff. If this story has a love/sexual attraction story interwoven with the main plot, you've hooked me. :)
     
  10. grayshot77
    Offline

    grayshot77 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    alright i take your points. and yes, there is a romance plot.
     
  11. SA Mitchell
    Offline

    SA Mitchell Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    1
    In concept 'I Am Legend' is just 'The Last Man' + Vampires. Nothing is original, not even the classics.
     
  12. joemister1221
    Offline

    joemister1221 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Massachuesetts, USA
    Actually The Last Man would be I Am Legend - Vampires. I Am Legend is base on a novel written in 1954.
    Anyways, it's your story, and only your story. If you want to write it, write it. What matters more than the plot is how you write it. Leave the story alone for a week or so and think over your plot. You will get a lot of ideas and make it original.
    Good luck!
     
  13. seta
    Offline

    seta Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    2
    Remember - characters make a story great, not the setting. Most settings are bland, mundane, boring, and very normal. The Great Gatsby was based in regular, typical 1920's America. Nothing special. Why is it considered such a great story? The characters - and their journey.

    Honestly, I was thinking Fallout when I read the original description. ;)

    That game was great... for an hour or two. But if you've played one hour, then you've played forty hours. It's the same. Thing. Over. And over. And over. And over. ----
     
  14. Beaumont Hardy
    Offline

    Beaumont Hardy New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    I suppose you've read The Road and The Pesthouse. Those books come to mind when I think of your plot. But Cogito is right. There are only so many plots in the world. Your fresh perspective will differentiate your book from others.
     
  15. grayshot77
    Offline

    grayshot77 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    actualy, i have never read the road or the pesthouse. havent even heard of the pesthouse.
     
  16. OrdinaryJoe
    Offline

    OrdinaryJoe Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    The blackhole of the United States
    Sorry to say but after only 14 years the radiation levels from a nuclear war would still be lethal in any area that had been hit. L.A. would no longer exist, as it is a major trading / government center of the United States. In fact any major city you can find on a map would be wiped out. Do research on the Chernobyl plant disaster to get a more realistic understanding of radiation and its effects on the environment. It's been over 20 years since that accident and they still cannot live there. That was only a power plant accident and had a much lower yield then even the weakest of nuclear weapons. Read The Road, A boy and his dog, Watch Mad Max and The Road Warrior. Then reread The Road.
     
  17. Beaumont Hardy
    Offline

    Beaumont Hardy New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, The Road would be a good background read. It's depressing, but it's an excellent example of the post-apocalyptic theme. The Pesthouse has an oddly similar plot and isn't as good, but it has a romantic element and might be good background reference, too. Good luck!
     
  18. Martin Lesnoy
    Offline

    Martin Lesnoy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Don't forget the climactic effects of nuclear war. The detonation of nuclear weapons over highly-flammible targets like urban areas, would inject high quantities of smoke, soot and other aerosol particles (perhaps tens of millions of metric tons in a particularly large event) into the Stratosphere, would block out sunlight and cause severe and prolonged, cold weather. In addition, the soot would absorb enough solar radiation to heat surrounding, thus setting in motion a series of chemical reaction that would eventually disintregrate the stratospheric ozone-layer, protecting Earth from ultraviolet radiation.

    Also, take into account social factors. How many survivors will there be? How would they live? What sort of heirarchical order would they assume? I would think it unlikely that they would seek refuge in the cities, because as OrdinaryJoe has already stated, cities are where nuclear fallout be concentrated. Survivors would not be able to venture into cities without adequate protection.

    You would need to take these factors into account when constructing your novel.

    --Martin Lesnoy
     
  19. seta
    Offline

    seta Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    2
    Don't forget the climactic effects of nuclear war. The detonation of nuclear weapons over highly-flammible targets like urban areas, would inject high quantities of smoke, soot and other aerosol particles (perhaps tens of millions of metric tons in a particularly large event) into the Stratosphere, would block out sunlight and cause severe and prolonged, cold weather.

    This is one of the largest fallacies still in science fiction. Volcanoes still annually outpace the human race in many forms of pollution. A single eruption can throw more debris, dust, and gasses into the atmosphere than the human race can in a year. And there are many active volcanoes.

    So-called "super-volcanoes" actually do have the capacity to lower the surface temperature, but they are rare.

    In order to effect a "nuclear winter" - an extremely large number of nukes would need to be detonated. If they were heavy metal (plutonium/uranium) bombs, then the radioactive fallout would probably sterilize the surface. If they were hydrogen devices, then there would just be dust and lots of burnt things.

    But then again, you're talking about fiction, not documentaries, so you can ignore me ;)
     
  20. Martin Lesnoy
    Offline

    Martin Lesnoy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    This is very true, however, in the average year, do you see many nuclear detonations on the scale we are talking about?

    Yes, approximately the combined arsenal of the United States and Russia. So you are not denying such an event could take place under the right circumstances?

    And what is released from "burnt things"?

    --Martin Lesnoy
     
  21. seta
    Offline

    seta Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    2
    My point with that one is that hydrogen devices might as well be big fire-crackers. The only byproduct is helium, which goes up and doesn't create radioactive fallout.

    Fission devices scatter elements such as cesium, thorium and radium, which are all highly toxic.
     
  22. Martin Lesnoy
    Offline

    Martin Lesnoy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Super-massive fire crackers releasing a tremendous payload of energy, yes.

    Correct, the second-stage (the fusion reaction) of the Teller-Ulam design would be relatively clean, producing minimal nuclear fallout. However, the fission reactions, especially the last fission reaction, release tremendous amounts of radioactive products and fallout. To avert this, one would have to ommit the final fission stage, by replacing the Uranium-238 tamper with one composed of lead. In choosing this option, the overall explosive force would be sacrificed (reduced by approximately half) for a low amount of fallout. Thus, the device's effectiveness would be curtailed.

    These are exactly the products that would be released from both fission reactions.

    --Martin Lesnoy
     
  23. Beaumont Hardy
    Offline

    Beaumont Hardy New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    And don't forget the cockroaches. They'll survive any apocalypse.
     
  24. Martin Lesnoy
    Offline

    Martin Lesnoy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    The b***ards! :p
     
  25. seta
    Offline

    seta Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    2
    Actually, without humans, roaches would be limited to tropical regions due to the cold. Furthermore, if there was a nuclear winter, most roaches would die out.
     

Share This Page