How to Survive Writing an Apocalypse: The One Big Rule - Jo-Ann Carson

How to Survive Writing an Apocalypse: The One Big Rule

revolution-logo-500x301_1561“Dystopia. Apocalypse. Death and destruction… whatever the cause, the end result is going to be pretty much the same: mass starvation, anarchy …” (Andrew Horowitz)

 what The experts say:

To write a good, post-apocalyptic story, you need to twist the farenheittropes and avoid cozy-catastrophes and cliches. Plots must make sense and characters need to be fully developed. That’s what the experts say. <I scratch my head.> I agree, but isn’t this true for every genre? So what is different?

The One Big Rule

… is knowing the world.  Inside and out. To make the story believable and the plot hold together, the new world has to be consistent. The big additional rule to all the others rules of writing a good story is to immerse the reader in a rich and understandable setting.

Ebola K: A Terrorism Thriller: book 1 by Bobby Adair


click on cover for link

I read the first book in Adair’s popular Ebola series this weekend. It’s a quick-read and I enjoyed it. Adair twists, pulls and weaves his  plot threads with suspense from the very beginning to a cliff-hanger ending, leaving the reader wanting more.

As he explains, Ebola is described accurately in the story, but he takes literary license when he allows the virus to mutate and become air-born. A truly chilling thought.

What I liked best about the book, was his insights into how the politics of the world would be affected by such an epidemic, and how a disease could be weaponized for terror. If you like medical thrillers, you’ll love this one. (and it’s perma-free)

Here are some quotes:

“A disease that infects so many so fast does not have to do all the work of killing on its own.”

As soon as the news of an epidemic gets out:

“…the world will start to change. Slowly at first, but as the evidence builds over the coming days and weeks, the Western countries will close down every airport in the world Commerce will stop. They will do whatever they can to save their own people …”

Did Adair pass my One Big Rule?

In spades, or I guess I should say stethoscopes. The settings were believable.  I could smell the dying. I would have preferred more complex characters, but that’s me. The story works, because the world he depicts is believable.

Interesting blog sites:

7 Tips for Writing Post-Apocalyptic Fiction 

Guide: Post-Apocalyptic Cliches to Avoid

Things to Remember When Writing Post-Apocalyptic

Writing Apocalyptic Stories

Andrew Horowitz’s Top Ten Apocalypse Books


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