What will life be like in the aftermath of a disaster? post-apocalyptic Will the United States of America become a dystopian failed state ruled by zombies, suffering from nuclear devastation? Will we be sickened by a worldwide epidemic, thirsty as a result of climate change, ruled by sci-fi robots, or engaged in a thousand-year conflict with an alien army?

These concerns are the subject of many popular Apocalyptic books and post-apocalyptic novels.

What Is post-Apocalyptic Fiction, and How Does It Differ From Science Fiction?

Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction are types of science fiction set in a world after the earth has ended. Post-apocalyptic novels almost always take place in the future, although some focus on the end of previous civilizations that no longer exist.

  • Alien Invasion: An attack from another world’s advanced beings destroys the planet. Life as we know it comes to an end.
  • Astronomical Catastrophe: Death from space! A huge asteroid or comet, a burst of gamma rays, or some other cosmic force destroys the majority of the planet’s inhabitants.
  • Disease / Pandemic / Outbreak: From within, death! A deadly and highly contagious pathogen is discovered, pushing the human race to the edge of extinction.
  • Environmental Catastrophe: Much of the planet is now uninhabitable as a result of climate change and rising sea levels. Our food system collapses when huge plant deaths occur. You have an idea of what I’m talking about.
  • Machine, Robot, or AI Uprising: In a future “Frankenstein’s monster” situation, in which our own technologies turn on us.
  • Natural Disaster: All of the world’s volcanoes erupt at once due to an unanticipated seismic event. A new type of “acid rain” blankets the planet, eradicating most plant life. The earth is scorched by inexplicable flames. Et cetera follows.
  • Nuclear Holocaust: There’s really no need to describe this one, is there?
  • Reproductive Failure: EGlobal infertility is caused by a combination of environmental change or a deadly virus, resulting in the extinction of humanity.
  • Zombies: The undead is by far the most popular sort of Apocalyptica, both among readers and writers. As evidenced by the long-running success of The Walking Dead on television, we adore them in theatres as well. There is a slew of other possible disasters, like nuclear war and an economic collapse. These aren’t the only ones; they’re just some of the most prevalent. I’d wager that at least 90 percent of all Apocalyptic books fiction falls into one of these nine categories.

But there’s still plenty of space for writers to experiment within the genre. You could create something that hasn’t been done before with a little imagination. Something unique and new.

Here’s an example. In his macabre novella Bird Box, Josh Meterman created a post-apocalyptic world in which seeing “anything” outside drives people insane. I don’t see how or why this story works. We have no idea what that something is, and part of the appeal of this narrative is that we don’t know what it’s about. It’s new territory for me. It adds a bit of intrigue to the post-apocalyptic fiction niche.

What is the most important thing for you to say in this situation? What can you picture? What sort of world-ending “phenomenon” may you come up with? Close your eyes and relax. Turn off your internal critic.

Let your imagination wander. Discover whatever you may find lurking in the shadows. Take advantage of it. With clarity and power, bring it to us.

The Future of World Building Is As Exciting As It Is Daunting

What will your world be like after the end of the world in your narrative? What kind of people will there be? How will they live their lives? Will any form of social order exist, such as clans or villages? Will there be a time when society is permanently shattered, and humanity is reduced to a sort of migratory existence, with robbers preying on the land?

When creating Apocalyptic books fiction, there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed. The good news is that there is no correct or wrong response to any of them. You, as the author, get to decide those things. You have the freedom to make your own vision. And that’s a large part of the excitement of writing Apocalyptic books.

Consider the difference between them:

The book writer has the ability to create characters and put them into unusual circumstances in literary fiction and non-genre works. But, for the most part, they occur in a world we are familiar with. In non-genre mainstream and literary fiction, there is barely any world-building potential.

In apocalyptic fiction, the book writer is free to build a brand new world order. She may reset the game with fresh rules, criteria, and circumstances.

Escapist fiction, on the other hand, allows you to be more creative. Hire the best writers who are up to this task. It is a difficult job creating a new-world scenario. However, for certain authors, apocalyptic fiction satisfies a creative need.

Tips for world-building in post-apocalyptic novels:

Take us somewhere we’ve never been before. Show us something new that we haven’t seen before. You’re the artist in this scenario, so use your imagination. Create something amazing on that blank canvas of yours.

  • Consider how your characters will interact in the new world. What kind of society (or lack thereof) will you create to support your storytelling objectives? What type of world would put your characters to the test, pushing them to their limits? The more challenges you put your characters through, the more drama you’ll generate. Readers turn pages straight through to the conclusion when there’s conflict and drama on the page.
  • Consider your conclusion before you start. You’re altering the world order with apocalyptic fiction. The issue is, where will you take the tale after the old regime falls and a new one emerges? What will you do after your tale is finished? What kind of conclusion will you provide for your story? How will the people in your narrative react to what has occurred thus far?
  • Create a universe where your characters must adapt to survive at every turn, with obstacles that they must overcome. The viewpoint character will help you by interacting with other characters and providing insight into how they saw the world. This will make your book easier to write since events and problems will develop naturally based on the world you’ve created. It will also entice readers to explore that world further.

Creating Believable Characters in a Playground Setting

In some ways, all fiction puts characters in a tight spot. Those are the foundation of any good narrative. The protagonist embarks on a journey but meets a succession of obstacles and challenges along the way. Your character’s development and growth are shown through these challenges (and the suffering they cause).

The major challenges in apocalyptic fiction are rather apparent:

  • Holy crap, the world has come to an end!
  •  Where can we obtain food and water?
  • What are we going to do about it?
  • Those nomads are not to my liking.

For post-apocalyptic

fiction writers, there are numerous dangers and difficulties. They are never far away. Then you have the more subtle challenges, such as interpersonal disputes, ethical dilemmas, anxiety, and so on. These challenges will draw your characters out of their comfort zones in new and interesting ways.

The goal is to show how characters can suffer in an apocalyptic scenario. And it’s crucial that they do so. That may appear sadistic, but it’s just good storytelling. That is what readers want. One of the reasons we read fiction is to see characters pushed to their limits, both emotionally and physically. We wanted to see them grow in the face of adversity and emerge even stronger at the end.

“When the characters are having a good time, the reader is not,” says Jerry Cleaver, book writer, and writing coach. “If it’s going well, it won’t get anywhere.” That’s sound advice to hire the best writers who wish to write post-apocalyptic or other types of fiction writers.

Consider a few of your favorite novels. Consider the plot’s events, particularly those involving the climax, and consider how they may be used in your own novel. I’m willing to bet that the main character experienced some type of sadness or pain during the course of the story.

They may have lost a loved one, been heartbroken, or going through tough times in their life. Maybe they’ve experienced the loss of a loved one or suffered from the failure of a career.

I’m also willing to bet that’s when you were most emotionally involved with the central characters in the tale and most worried about their fate.

It’s natural for humans to be compassionate. (I like to believe that most of us are, at the very least.) We feel something for another person when we see them in pain, even if it is someone we don’t know. We understand how they’re feeling. We want to help them out as much as possible. We are interested in it.

The same is also true of novels. We experience something when we see characters we care about endure difficult circumstances. It stirs our emotions. It draws us further into the narrative.

You can make your characters seem more real by using character diaries. Create a few diary or journal entries in the voice / POV of your lead character. Allow the words to flow, like a stream of consciousness. You’re likely to come across some information you didn’t previously know. Using them, breathe new life into your characters.

Other techniques for making compelling characters when writing post-apocalyptic fiction writers are available. Another is naturalistic conversation. When your characters speak, try to make them “sound” like genuine people.

This ability is acquired through practice, of course, but also from listening to the flow of normal conversations as they occur around you.

Finally, be sure to explain why your characters do the things they do. This will make them seem more genuine.

If we can comprehend your characters’ reasons, we’ll be able to predict their decisions throughout the narrative as well. What if we can identify with their choices? What if we can sympathize? You may reveal these reasons through interiority, but you may also do so via