Writing the apocalypse is a hard thing to do. Let’s assume you are a writer, storyteller, movie maker, or just someone who enjoys thinking about how YOU would tell a story instead of the way some other person has done it.
Now, let’s assume you want to write about the end of the world. Assuming your story is more complex than BOOM the world exploded (George Lucas pulled that one off) it is a hard thing to start. How do you want to destroy the world? Chemical? Biological? Aliens? Zombies…again?
Do you start with the world already destroyed and just live through the aftermath as one of those lucky survivors? What to do? There are endless choices.
I am in the middle of writing a series that will, ultimately, become one in that genre. It took me an entire book to open up that apocalyptic story line. It didn’t destroy just a ton of stuff, but I wanted to tell that story from the beginning. How would it begin?
In my case I chose political chaos. World leaders not getting along, someone taking advantage of a leadership shakeup in one nation, in this case one of the few remaining superpowers. That might do it?
That story thread turned into how would I do it? Well, in this case nuclear has to be the start. What has enough bang to get the U.S. to respond with the heat of 1,000 suns. Well, I’m not sure we can do more than we did in the Global War on Terror UNLESS we were responding to a nuclear attack.
I took some criticism for that first book. People thought (and told me loudly) YOU ARE SO WRONG. If someone nukes the US we would turn them to glass. I’m not so sure. First, I’ve met a lot of DC based politicians. I’m not sure we would take that retaliatory nuclear strike so lightly, especially if the nation that nuked us used up their entire arsenal in the attack (limited to five) and we could still crush them conventionally.
Then, I thought about it. And I think I am right. The US if attacked with a very small number of nuclear weapons (two in my story) would not respond nuclear. We would handle it conventionally. I’m almost certain of it.
But what happens on round two of a nuclear strike? Or a nuclear strike with a follow on invasion? What do we do then?
Can the world be turned into something where humans really do struggle for survival? Well, yes we can. In the series The Last World War, that is exactly what happens. Book 2 is almost complete, I thank you for your patience, and that series will live up to the phrase…Go big or go home!
Thanks to everyone who has enjoyed my writing! I will keep putting it on the page, if you keep turning those pages.