I’ve been working on some post-apocalyptic story ideas lately and I’ve come up with a lot of good ways to destroy the world. The first big problem is deciding on one. Do you want zombies, super plague, expanding sun, asteroid strike, super-volcano, climate change inevitability, nuclear war, famine, sped up climate change, animals going crazy, aliens, WWIII, the list is huge and there’s always more ideas that can come crashing in. Don’t forget, there’s always the chance of a two-fer. The Yellowstone Super-Volcano blows, unleashing a dormant plague that turns out to be the real reason the Dinosaurs went extinct. (Actually, I might use that.)
Anyway, once you’ve got your end of the world scenario figured out, the next thing you have to do is stick with it. Most of the time you’d think this was pretty easy to do, but there are so many little details to be considered when you ruin the world.
Like Why aren’t zombies constantly surrounded by a cloud of insects? It’s all dead meat, right? So what’s happened to all the bugs? Do carrion birds go after zombies? If the sun starts pulsing out massive EMP’s and all electricity goes out forever, do you as an author know enough about non-electrical technology to do it justice? (Great Intro to a Steam-Punk setting, btw.)
If the nukes have fallen, as they do in many post apocolyptic settings, the characters should have problems finding clean water, nuclear winter may set in, no crops, no food, wandering nomads year later may still suffer from Radiation sickness just by passing too close to a bomb crater.
It’s a big job, destroying the world. It takes a lot of thought.