How to Write an Apocalypse Scene


Part One

  1. How does it begin? What warnings are there? 

»A. Who is the first to know? What country or content is targeted first? Is it a massive, all at once thing or does is it progressive? Are there explosions or only diseases, etc?

I. Ways an apocalypse could happen:

1. War- this is a bit cliche, but you can pull it off if you make it believable.
2. Viral Disease
3. Mythology- there are many prophesied dooms for the world if you look back in Ancient Civilizations or create your own.
4. Space stuff- black holes, sun going out, etc. Just make sure to research the science part.
5. How about an asteroid or comet impact or mega-volcano explosion
6.Parallel world collapses
7. Robot Uprising
8. Air pollution increased to a toxic level
9. Nature evolves to kill humans

II. Maybe have it be something that spreads very quickly and kills the host, and dies with the host. Maybe it’s a loose germ warfare bug. That way the heavily populated areas could be killed off, leaving the farmlands and more sparsely populated areas. Since the centers of government tend to be in the heavily populated areas, the politicians and lawyers would go too. 

Suggest YOUR Scene Idea

Example 1: When the days of yesterday, the day before and Tuesday seemed all too peaceful and far away, that is when I began to lose my grip of reality. It didn’t seem like anything would happen, as if another day would come and pass with the sun rising and falling. Although, when I really think about it there wasn’t anything I could have missed. The signs were right in my face. No one, not even I decided to investigate the cause.

Imagine the stars not shining as bright during the night before, or the moon being a yellowish color as oppose to looking white. How about the sounds of several house and car alarms going off in a wealthy neighborhood all at once. Everything seemed so quiet, more quiet than my ears of 32 years of living on this earth has ever heard. But these signs were so small to me…. I didn’t think anything out of the norm. Maybe those weren’t even the actual signs.

»B. What warnings are there, such as prophecies, stories, premonitions, dreams, visions, etc? Global warming? Has the earth changed? Have people changed??

I. A possible EMP wiping out the power grid throughout most of the world could happen if the sun puts out a massive coronal mass ejection, (called The Solar Kill Shot by scientists). This would cause a major disruption in food delivery, water, and transportation. Most modern jobs would cease to exist overnight. No phones, no computers, no cars no power.  
Example 2:The power was the first to go. Like a snap of the fingers, it disappeared. 90 percent of people in first world countries didn’t have job or a leg to stand on. I did. I was the only intelligent being prepared in my home town, many people recognized this. Word spread quickly. I had build a doomsday home underground, several actually. I expected people to want in when shit hit the fan. Being laughed at and ridiculed for thinking the world would end one day, has paid off. By charging an arm and leg to enter my protection barrier from the tormented universal that we used to call home, I earned these people respect simply because I could protect them and their dying families.

The living environment had everything needed to survive for at least ten years. Underneath the lowest level there lie more surviving packs and food but I wasn’t going to tell a soul about that. 5,000 people fit nicely inside my underground machines. I saw to that.

II. How about signs of the deadly virus. Once a person has been infected, symptoms may appear as soon as 10 days or as long as 90 days after exposure. These symptoms typically happen in stages. You decide the stages.

III. Does more than one person notice or predict the end of times? How do people take it? As a joke? And when it begin (at the very beginning) how do they respond to the people who warned them? Do they ask them for help in desperation??

Example 3: And to think, this all start from a virus. Luckily a cure has been found and no one else is affected, at least from what we were too. But I was prepared for the worse. If one of these 5,000 people decided to become ill, they’re out. No crying, no “but please let me stay”, it would be irrelevant. My life is the most important, especially since I need to find the treasure. Prophecy stated when the world ends, a treasure begins. Having no idea where the hell it is, I made sure to make some kind of map and build a team. Wish us luck.

“This isn’t even the end of the world,” someone shouted. “It just a power outage and people getting sick. That’s all.”
I turned my head real quick while pulling out my weapon, pointed to his head and said with focused eye contact, “Fool, 1/3 of the world’s population is either dead or about to die because of this disease. And no one can get their power on. All the satellites are out and have been destroyed by some unknown source. You must be out of your mind!!” Spit hit his face and the idiot wiped it off with his middle finger.
“Whatever,” he said before sitting down next to his wife and daughter. If it wasn’t for his family I would have kicked him out.

Part Two

    1. Where is everyone headed to? Where is the protection?

»A. Has the government ordered people to remain calm or to go in a certain directions? Has the military or National Guard gotten involved asap?

I. Do they have freedom to go as they pleased or are they forced to go in a direction the authorities tell them to? What are they told to leave behind? What are they told to bring? Describe the image of multitudes of people walking toward somewhere. What is it like?  

Example 4
The authorities already collect the bodies of the dead and burned them in fear of zombies. I could have told them it is a fantasy concept. I may believe in dragons and treasure and the end of the world, but zombies is laughable. Hahaha. (I looked over my shoulder as habit)…. okay maybe I believe a little.

People were to remain in their homes until further notice; no one listened. Mayhem had been present in the streets for hours upon end. Little to no stopping has been shown and the citizens are out there getting away with injustice. Unfortunately I cannot be everywhere so I had my team go out and be vigilantes. Doesn’t seem to be going so well. Good God! Do I have to do everything myself?

II.  While people may live in tents, there are too many houses available. However, since there is no electricity the odds of burning down a home goes up. They tend to use fire to cook and heat the place. Without a government there is no readily available water supply so a burning house could set off an entire neighborhood before reaching a point where it won’t spread any more.

Example 5
I walked through my underground mansion with a heavy heart. I should be content, we have everything we need. From electricity, food, stove, these people will be eating like kings and queens. Look at what I have done for them. Hmmm, but something wasn’t quite right for me. What was missing?

III.Imagine the military being on every corner. What questions fill the character’s head? Jot them down. What is burdening them and who do they wish they were with if they aren’t with that person? 

Example 6
Boom!! And the thought quickly went away. The sound of bombs going off had caused panic in my peaceful underground hideout.
“Don’t worry folks, it’s just another military plane falling down because it has no gas,” I said as if it was no big deal. It happened several times today with each time seemingly greater than the last.

Suggest YOUR Scene Idea


»B.How is the protections holding up and is there enough for everyone? Who is sacrificed?

I. Prepare, stock up on canned and nonperishable foods, and make sure my house or wherever I’m staying is secure. And also find weapons and medicine. . 
II.  Keep it realistic. For example, the character is not always going to have food even in the protection. They’re most likely to be really dirty and not clean. Everyone is going to be agitated. Everyone’s different,and they’re going to be stuck with some people they don’t get along with. And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, killing someone or someone dying tragically by circumstance affects them. They won’t just walk away and be okay like nothing happened. They will look at their hands like they’re a murderer or hold someone responsible…. whether they had to or not.


Part Three

    1. What is being released onto the earth? Who or what seems to be the culprit?

»A. Famine? Creatures? Insects that causes death? Radiation? Meteors? Aliens? What unnatural incidents are taking place?

I. Are these things unstoppable or can they find away how to stop the madness? At least decrease the magnitude? Who is working behind the scenes to help save humanity? Are are these dangerous changing how the world is turning or the people move?
Example: A meteor crashing into a desert where people were supposed to walk in order to get to a safe haven, has caused so much damage the ground is cracking. Now they must take another route in hopes a meteor won’t destroy it. Furthermore, this new route will take ages potentially making people die of starvation or dehydration.

II. When people understand who (if it is a being) is doing this, they would be willing to do anything to get back to the way life was. Even work together. With that said, do they do rain dances, pray, sing, sacrifice animals to please the deity? Do they give gold, silver, all their belongings if it’s a ruler or person with either earthly power or unnatural power? Would they become slaves for Aliens? How about lab rats? If it means earth and civilization would be restore.  
III. Can they fight back against the culprit? Do they have the means? How risky is it? What is more important: saving the earth or saving lives?  

Suggest YOUR Scene Idea


»B. The people need someone to blame, so who is it? Who’s in charge? Is it a deity, a government, a group of people? What type of power do they hold over the world and how do they plan to unleash it? Is it at full force? Or has the worse yet to come?

I. What does the deity or person/culprit threaten to do next? Can nothing satisfy them? Are the people unwilling to give in to demands? How much worse can the destruction get?
II. Where dos the people’s hope lie in? Are they trying to take their own lives to avoid seeing what may come? Who is giving directions? WHo is chosen to speak to the culprit? How will this be settled, if at all?


Part Four

    1. Take a moment to describe the chaos.

»A. What does the character see happening around them (hometown or city) initially and what is predicted to happen next??

I. Bodies, belongings, and whatnot lying around on the ground. Scattered in random places. People fighting over food and shelter while the deity or leader laughs. Mayhem is everywhere you look. No one is procreating. Sickness? People preaching to what’s left of the masses. People losing their minds, going nuts, seeing things that aren’t even there.

II. Insert some internal dialogue, screaming, moaning, conversations, panicking, hurling what’s left in their stomach, delusion….  

»B. What is happening around the world and how do they plan on surviving it?

I. How do they know what is going on? Can they watch a news station still? Is gossip being spread? Can everyone somehow see things in there mind? Can they learn from others mistakes and survive just a bit longer. What do they leave behind? What morals do they plan on holding onto?


Part Five

    1. Who can and will survive? When does it end?

»A. Who is promised another day and who isn’t? How long must they endure this Apocalypse? Will they come out unscathed?

I. Will only people who believe in the deity or leader be safe? Will only those who served the person in power promised to enter the new world? Who are these people and did they lose anything in the process? Are they harmed at all? Can they bring family with them? 

II. Does the destruction have an end? How much longer and what will they be doing in the meantime? Can they “save” other people too before it’s too late?
III. What is left of the world so far? Is there anything that can be saved or rebuilt? Was it all worth it or all a waste to the culprit (if it has a mind)? Is it capable of feeling remorse?



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