Writing Tips Round Up: Post-apocalyptic fiction4 min read
A weekly round up of writing advice and inspiration
“The crisis of food shortage is a common trope, not to mention a primary plot engine, in a number of post-apocalyptic narratives. In some cases, all it takes is a single can to illustrate how dire things have gotten.”
Electric Lit explore one of the most fun aspects of post-apocalyptic fiction: the supermarket stockpile. From The Road to Station Eleven, they raid the shelves of all our favourite genre stories and even touch upon the phenomenon of doomsday preppers.
“Here is the thing: in a post-apocalyptic novel, the worldbuilding comes before the plot and the story. That doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to experiment. But if your intention is to write a serious genre novel, then you must work on the world. The world will be drastically changed due to the apocalyptic event. Once you have your apocalypse, the world can be easily built around it.”
This epic guide on writing post-apocalyptic fiction from Writing Tips Oasis is a must-read for anyone delving into the genre, taking you all the way from the initial world-build, through cliffhangers and character development, to the final polish.
“Reproduction and marriage are especially urgent themes in the female rendered post-apocalypse, a tangle of control and desire, distaste and longing. The state of children, of pregnancy and birth, is a recurring theme—it can simultaneously be the source of social collapse and the coercive reconstruction of those societies.”
Jezebel investigates some of the most prevalent and interesting gender themes of post-apocalyptic fiction, taking its cues from favourites such as The Handmaid’s Tale, Mad Max, The Dispossessed and others.
“The authors of these books know that they’re writing something that’s a cross between a novel, a shopping list, a survival manual, and a field guide; this is a wholly experimental form. Apocalyptic stories make slow meals of discord and disillusionment. Prepper fiction starts with the cynicism instead of landing there.”
This Slate article introduces a fascinating new genre: prepper fiction, and unearths some of the major traits that differentiate it form its more popular sister-genre.
“Depending on whether they’re tragedies or not, post-apocalyptic stories can end with the hope of new beginnings for mankind. Tales of purifying the earth through destruction abound in the bible, one important reference source for writers in this sub-genre.”
As part of a series on speculative fiction sub-genres, Liminal Pages digs into the fundamentals post the post-apocalyptic genre, and lists the different disasters which can lead your fictional world into its apocalypse.
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