1. Life705
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    Life705 Member

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    What is your opinion on post-apocalyptical stories?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Life705, May 22, 2009.

    I have a very good idea for a post-apocalyptic story, but I'm not sure how the genre is looked upon these days, what is your opinion on them?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    They are still popular in cinema, if that is any indication. Like any story, the subgenre is less important than how well the story is written.
     
  3. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Most of them are too grim and depressing for my liking. If you can pull it off with some optimism, I might be interested. Otherwise, no thanks.
     
  4. Life705
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    Life705 Member

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    I was thinking of using the post-apocalyptical theme more as a base for the story. The main thing I would be trying to express in it is how mankind would have to revert to it's basic instincts in such a crisis.
     
  5. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    Throw some zombies in there and it sounds like a good ol' time. :) hehehehe.

    Seriously, I think a side from some classics, like Mad Max series, or WaterWorld (though I know it sucked) and other types in the overall concept, do relatively well in the market that goes for that type of stuff. Look how popular the Christian based Left Behind series was.

    I am Legend was a successful graphic novel before it became a movie.

    Zombie stories are always enjoyed.

    And all the ideas of how humanity was almost annihilated leaves plenty of options for you to choose from for background settings. Then all you need is some interesting characters with a set of problems and voila, you have a story.

    Do whatever floats your boat, the writing always ends up better if we feel like we have to tell this story or we'll burst.

    Jenn
     
  6. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd love to write a PO story, but I honestly don't know what can be said that hasn't already been said a zillion times before.
     
  7. TheNewGuy
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    TheNewGuy Senior Member

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    Okay, no matter what kind of disaster or situation, Post Apocolyptic novels will always have an audience. One of my favorite is S.M. Stirling's Dies the Fire. If you haven't read it you should. It's a series but I can't get through the second one--it just isn't as interesting as the first one, which was PHENOMENAL.

    Anyway, all post apocolyptic novels have the same idea--it's the theme and plot that make it unique. So you better make sure that yours is.

    Like Cogito said, it's very popular in movies. Every other movie today is about the end of the world coming, or it has already happened. Take Terminator:Salvation for instance.

    Anyway, write it!
     
  8. Life705
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    Life705 Member

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    I think i'm touching on the right idea with this concept. If anyone would like to discuss it with me and put forward a few ideas, drop me a message - there are definately some holes in the storyline that need to be fixed!
     
  9. WashingtonIrving
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    WashingtonIrving Member

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    Cormac McCarthy's The Road manages to be post apocalyptic yet doesn't feel like something that has been done many times before. But that's more down to the writing than the plot.

    What are you thinking anyway? I like these things to focus more on the reaction of the survivors, and the inter-relations between them, than on grand disaster scenarios. Because the grand disasters have been done to death, so you'd need something novel there.
     
  10. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why don't you just do that here? I thought that's why you'd started the thread? You'll get more help and ideas if you discuss it openly. Where's the incentive to pm you about it?
     
  11. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I'm sorry, I couldn't let that go.... XD
    I Am Legend was written in 1954...it has been adapted in various ways 3 timesfor film and turned into a graphic novel...It is notable for being among the first great books to blend thi dystopic future idea with fantasy staples and scifi elements...so yeah....


    As to the original post, post-apocalyptic movies cover a pretty huge spectrum...take I Am Legend, Children of Men, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Doomsday/Mad Max 2....a post-apocalyptic/dystopic setting is common to all of these, yet the styles, themes and meanings of each ae vastly different. Will people read a book about life post-apocalypse? Yes. Will they read yours? Up to you :D
     
  12. Life705
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    Life705 Member

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    I was thinking of setting the story after a massive nuclear/biological war which has wiped out 90% of humanity. Among the survivors, there is a group living in a 'safe zone' from the fallout. The main character is a part of these survivors, but they are seen to be held back by a large portion of the group still incorporating human morals into their way of living. During the first part of the story, they are frequently infiltrated and attacked by a group of soldiers who share the safe zone with them. Through a chain of events, the main character ends up joining this group of soldiers because he disagrees with the way his group is living. By doing this, he discovers that the soldiers do not have malicious intentions but are actually superior because of the way they have abandoned the human morals that were adopted before the war.

    Its very sketchy at the moment, I'm still developing events and characters, but let me know what you think.
     
  13. PS Foster
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    PS Foster Member

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    My favorite in this line is "The Stand" by Stephen King. As weird as it is, it's believable. Well, maybe not the ending, to some people.
     
  14. Apples
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    The Road was absolutely amazing.
     
  15. TheNewGuy
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    TheNewGuy Senior Member

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    The Road is being made into a movie too...can't wait, I'm exited!

    Yeah Life, I'd PM you but I'll be gone for the next three days at the beach....

    If you want a one-on-one wall to bounce ideas off of, (as you may want, in fact) PMing is a good way to do it. Otherwise you'll get a much bigger input if you make a thread about your PA plot.

    I don't mind discussing it. I love Post Apocolyptica. PM me if ya want ;)
     
  16. bluebell80
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    I swear I knew that. I watched the behind the scenes of the Will Smith Movie, but I also watched the Vincent Price movie based on the same story. I think that one was The last man on earth, or something like that. One of those random old movies on Hulu.

    Eh, I blame the death of my brain cells on those cocktails I had... It's all fun and games till the zombies attack.
     
  17. JGraham
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    JGraham Senior Member

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    Agreed.


    I absolutely loved the road and post apocalyptic stories. One of my favorites is Lucifers Hammer though. It was written by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, and covers before the apocalypse if you will and goes on after. Overall i love post-apocalyptic stories and would love to read more of them.
     
  18. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    Ewww..I didn't like The Stand. I only read about fifty pages of it before I put it down and never went back. The Shining was the same way for me. Good story on film, the most boring writing... I really don't like Stephen King's style. It bores me until I put the book down. John Grisham is the same way. I started with A Painted House, I still haven't finished it, and I borrowed Pelican Brief from a friend of mine and never got past the first chapter, before I gave it back to her.

    The more I read the pickier I get.
     
  19. TheNewGuy
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    TheNewGuy Senior Member

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    My father LOVES the Stand. He's read the book like 3 times, and the extended edition...

    Bluebell, there is a TV movie that actually had a budget on The Stand. I reccomend watching it; I've never read the book but the show is pretty cool. I tried reading it after the movie...it's hard lol.
     
  20. Forde
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    Forde Member

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    The great thing about PA settings is that you can keep all the well-known rules about Earth (names, places, languages, life-forms, physics etcetera) and yet still have a relatively blank canvas upon which to paint your survivor scenario.

    I like imagining the 'what would you do?' question. Personally, I'd raid a gun shop, a supermarket and an Alienware stockist ;)
     
  21. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    Much agreed on but you still have to make it feel and seem real to the reader at the time of reading, that is the hard part.:redface:
     
  22. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    I think CM did an exceptionally fine job of creating the disturbing sensation of living with neither past to rely on nor future to hope for. I think that was his "novel" contribution. He didn't concern himself, in THE ROAD, with the drama of the debacle itself. I don't think that will or even can be accomplished as well in the movie version, do you?
     
  23. Igu Soni
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    Good stuff, I should say. JUst make sure there's some logic to the abandonment(many morals actually exist for a reason, so you should make sure that the morals kept and abandoned are perfect for the context). PLease keep me posted on how this novel goes.
     
  24. david.r
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    david.r New Member

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    I love post-apocalyptic stuff, personally. The Road, The Stand, and I Am Legend, are some of the best examples of the genre. I've written a PA novel myself, and I've received a real mixed-bag of comments concerning the genre (though fortunately, comments on the writing itself have been quite kind and complimentary). Some people wont read past the blurb, once they find out it's "another apocalypse story". It's the kind of genre where the conventions are so obvious, that readers are either immediately wary, or already excitable fans, and you really need to try hard to not get sucked into the convention abyss.

    The Road is a perfect example of avoiding this, where Cormac McCarthy uses established conventions and pulls them off with amazing language and fascinating characters. The scene where they find the crowd of people locked in the cellar was one of the most shocking and memorable passages I've ever read.
     
  25. AngeloBraxton
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    ^WIN^ Yeah, the writing in the story is waaaaaaaay more important than any genre. The genre really doesn't make a difference as long as the writing is excellent. However, post apocalyptic stories are always interesting to say the least.
     

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