1. Nicoel

    Nicoel Senior Member

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    What's your favorite way for the world to end?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Nicoel, Jun 8, 2018.

    Help!

    I am working on my senior thesis for my degree in Creative Writing and I am lost. I love writing (obviously) but my story is just lacking some pizzaz. I want to write something to do with the society as we know it falling down. My initial idea was an EMP knocking out the electrical grid, and then maybe throwing a few nukes in there. I know, not subtle. However, that was like the viral "thing" a couple of years ago. So, I'm looking for fresh new ideas.

    My favorite part about stories like this is the idea of the world not working by the same rules anymore. No one cares about debts or credit scores or whether or not you have a license or aged 21. It's fascinating and freeing. I want to capitalize on that.

    What's your favorite way for the world as we know it to end? Any ideas for story brainstorming?
     
  2. Nariac

    Nariac Active Member

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    Not with a bang, but a whimper.

    Basically, avoid the nukes. :p

    Rules of society breaking down is always fun to explore.
     
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  3. Moon

    Moon Halloween lord Contributor

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  4. katina

    katina Active Member

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    It all depends on how you want it to be.
    are you looking for gore or simply an end that is swift and no one is truly harmed in the making?
    also intrigued about why you want the world to end.
    would you mind clarifying a bit on this. thanks.:)
     
  5. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    For me. It isn't about the world ending but the world changing. Even I must admit, I have had the debate with friends over "best way to survive the zombie apocopsy" but its not really my genre.

    The thing is. I think a story like this is about the characters in the situation and less about the actual situation.

    Like, talking about nukes and how prepared they should be if they are dropped. Avoiding areas they are more likely to be dropped or debating on moving to areas where they are less likely to be dropped is a great dynamic with the characters. Show me their fear!

    In that sense its less about actually dropping them. Of course you can drop them but me personally? I think thats a great sequal idea more than a great original idea.

    I think the EMP premise is a great start. It reminds me of this book. Hatchet. Simple a boy lost in the woods and I loved it. How the boy became lost in the woods is a plot point but its more about his reaction to that.

    I think simple is the best and probably the best way to avoid the more cliche aspects of the world ending. Which often I think, dive into things like how and why. At the end of the day, the more you talk about how the world ends, the more political and sci fi you become. The less you talk about that. The more character driven you are And I think thats the best way to go here.

    Also the credit card thing reminded me of the movie fight club. Which I think is another good example of focusing on who over why.
     
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  6. Some Guy

    Some Guy dilettante assassin! Supporter

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    My end of the world is such that we could do anything but put it back the way it was. Very 'action-movie' stuff though.
     
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  7. Malisky

    Malisky Fuzz Overdriver Contributor

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    Genetic evolution of our specy. The generation gap expanding even faster than we are able to grasp but genetically. The new evolved human is volkan like. Highly logical and intellectual. I know it sounds strange but that would terrify me. I find it kind of sad. All of today's problems would be solved and although this is a good thing for everybody, the down side (which only the nearly extinct, not evolved specy would be able to grasp) would be that any kind of artistic or emotional expression would vanish, since the new volcan-like human would find that art is no longer needed in order to move towards a solution to anything. They would work like robots. Always and only interested in logical solutions and axiomatical conclusions. In the end they would find the elixir for eternal life and they would be able to explore space and terraform new planets, etc, only to conclude that there is no practicality and logical reason to keep on living so they would all commit suicide out of boredom, or maybe to find out if there is anything else to explore after they're dead.
     
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  8. Some Guy

    Some Guy dilettante assassin! Supporter

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    I've given thought to divergence in evolution - but, WOW
     
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  9. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    I like an eldritch horror ending. The old gods rising up and all that. My apoc project deals with The Unknowable Other assaulting our dimension, including wrecking some basic laws of physics -- they're unknowable for a reason! It's more explicitly a horror project, so I want to play up the terrifying aspects, but they could also just be monsters. I do like zombies and there are swarming horde type monsters in my projects, but the scope is a little broader.

    I think the nature of the end of the world should say something about the state of the post-apocalypse. In other words, the tone of the post-apocalypse should be determined by how the world ended in the first place. Is everyone horrified and traumatized by seeing the dead rise, being confronted with their internal monsters? Are we rallying together against a natural disaster? Are the common working folk railing against the government who got them into an apocalyptic war? Has a disease reduced us to class warfare between those who can afford treatment and those who can't? Do we shun science because that's what got us into this mess and revere nature now?

    In my case, the end of the world turns out to be completely inexplicable. No one understands what happened, or what's currently happening, or has any idea of what's going to happen. It's kind of a great leveler. It portrays humanity as a very small fish in an enormous ocean who has only just realized the scope of its situation, and everyone is sort of cowed and constantly on-edge, and I wanted to show the various ways people could react to the utterly, horrifyingly unexpected worst case scenario.

    So in looking for some pizzazz, I'd say: what tone do you want your entire new world to have? If you're into the freedom aspect, maybe there was some sort of revolution -- social upheaval reaches a breaking point, the current society is torn bloodily apart, and we remaining stalwart few must decide what can be salvaged of the old world and what must be created anew. Etc.

    (I have a killer tension headache at the moment so hopefully this post is as coherent as I think it is.)
     
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  10. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 Galaxy Girl Contributor

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    I think disease. I don't know why, because I wouldn't want to get whatever disease it is that's ending the world.
     
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  11. Linz

    Linz Active Member

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    I think either nuclear war, or a pandemic disease would be most likely.

    I haven't taken it as far as you have, but I have explored the consequences of high intellect/logical reasoning skills devoid of compassion and/or empathy, and it is, indeed a terrifying thought.
     
  12. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke Contest Administrator Supporter

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    I had a strange idea a few weeks back, spurred by a random ADHD thought, of a world plunged into total darkness. Literally. Some sort of inter-dimensional entity phases into our reality and blocks out all natural sources of light. Any time that people try to use artificial light such as flashlights, they lure minions of this entity to themselves, as they can sense light.

    There are a lot of "smaller" issues that I have with (like how the hell plant life could survive in such a world), but it was just a bit of a unique, strange apocalypse that flashed through my mind.
     
  13. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The most intriguing one from stories - for me - is the one employed by Greg Bear in Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children. He employs a concept that taps locusts as a kind of biological metaphor. Long story short: Locusts are just solitary little grasshoppers under typical conditions. They become swarming, migratory locusts under particular conditions, which not only causes changes in their behavior, but it alters their physical form as well.

    [​IMG]

    The fossil record thus far shows us that humans may (may is not will, it's just may) also undergo punctuated periods of evolution, some of which may be behavioral in nature, of which we have evidence as of about 40-50 thousand years ago when we see abrupt changes in human social behavior, though it appears that we're still using the same "hardware" as of about 150-200 thousand years ago. The change in question seems to be a firmware upgrade, not a hardware upgrade. Anyway, in Bear's books, humans, now at a critical population point that is acknowledged in their genome, if not in their brains, begin to undergo a sweeping change - a locust phase, if you will - which takes us out of this dead end of technological progress. We become something else and abandon this silly way of life.

    That's the one I like best. It allows both my deep-rooted cynicism and some hope for the future to coexist. :whistle:
     
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  14. Some Guy

    Some Guy dilettante assassin! Supporter

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    Yes. Mine is symbiosis and transcendance.
     

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