(Eureka! I've done it! I crafted a time machine. I transported you all to the future. While you write on the date and time you believe to be March 14, 2013, here I am back on present-day March 6. Shine on, you crazy futuristic time-travelling diamonds. To all of you who thought a poet would never invent a working time machine, put this in your pipes and smoke it.)
Destroying the world is hard, even fictitiously. The more my Cathartes Aura series grew from animals in a zoo to human experience in the larger world, the more difficult writing became. Conceiving of a disaster that removes 99% of the world's population and remains believable is nearly impossible. Most savvy readers will poke holes in your plot. "Why aren't they all dying of radiation sickness?" "How come the aliens destroyed every city on the planet but Moosebutt, Alaska?"
What I love about the post-apocalypse is the character study. What do you do when you realize the life you had is gone, the world you lived in has changed forever and the people you love are dead? That's why I write about those situations. Each one of us will react differently. Some will come together while others fall apart. Some will have their most noble traits shine through, while others use their most evil instincts.
An idea that's been brewing in my head and crawling through my notebooks is this: a disaster on a remote island that, for a while, changes life so dramatically it might as well be the end of the world. I'm building my own fictitious Caribbean island on the map next to the existing ones. Its history and culture will be a mixture of its neighbors'. Wickedly, I might put it in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle. If power and communications are down, if hurricane weather prevents travel by air or water, this island might as well be on Neptune. How will a few thousand residents react to that, especially if they are reduced to a hundred?
I have a lead character, some supporting cast and an idea of the disasters. I just need time. Currently, The Penalty Flag and Bright Hub are keeping me busy freelancing. Plus my job and the search for more freelance work.
Fortunately, I now have a time machine.