(This is just an idea for an ending to a post-apocalyptic novel that I'm writing. I've asked other questions about this story before.)

In a post-apocalyptic world, my MC Eris and others like her have been exposed for their whole lives to radiation that has given some of them strange powers, and Eris has the ability to manipulate life force. As a girl during a fit of rage, she accidentally killed her family by projecting her powers, and has very little control over them. As a possible ending, I want her to lose control again and kill all her friends, then move on to a paradise-like city named Eden (I know, it's cliche, I'm working on it). Perhaps I will have this novel be stand-alone and leave the reader to imagine the havoc she will wreak in Eden, or maybe it'll be a fresh start and the next book will be her dealing with the consequences of her actions and navigating Eden.

The thing is, though, there's already so much death already. First of all, very few humans are even left on Earth due to a nuclear-holocaust-type event (think Cold War mutually assured destruction) that happened around this year in the book (story occurs in 2212). Second of all, Eris murdered her family and other survivors who came to investigate, including the wife of the story's antagonist.

Is a gruesome ending simply not necessary? Should I ditch this idea entirely?

I'm not asking what to write, I'm just asking if what I have written and thought of is appropriate for a post-apocalyptic novel.

  • My opinion might be coloured by the dark work I am writing, but I leaven mine with humorous moments. – Rasdashan Jan 8 '19 at 2:48
  • 2
    “she accidentally murdered her family” — That is not possible. Murder by definition requires intent. You certainly can accidentally kill, but you cannot accidentally murder. – celtschk Jan 8 '19 at 6:53
  • Plot twist: she also dies of radiation poisoning. – kikirex Jan 9 '19 at 13:42

Post apocalyptic tales are by definition dark. Survivors struggle day to day without both the technology they learned to rely upon and the skills their ancestors had.

Eris is extremely dangerous and knows this. Somewhere, she understands that that day so long ago when she got mad and all her family went away are connected.

She is a time bomb and has not addressed the problem of self control, which is essential before she can hope to control these powers. If Caspian angers her and she explodes, killing everyone she loves - again - maybe this time she will realize she must learn self control. A young hot head who can destroy all around her will eventually either cease to be such a hot head or destroy all around her.

You alone know how this story will end. If Eris walks a blood soaked path, so be it, but let it show in how it finally teaches her control. She can even make the choice that the Creature in Frankenstein made - leave mankind to protect what he loves.

Make the death and destruction meaningful and you can have as bloody a tale as you please. The MC must learn something beyond “better not get so mad if my lover cheats on me - might end the world.”

Make it change her as she wrestles with the guilt and grief of having killed the only ones who seemed to give a damn about her.

She can flee to Eden (name is fine as in post apocalyptic tales people often revert to symbolic names) but stop herself, unable to enter. What if she does it again? So many people dead for no reason. Need to go and learn control. Maybe then....

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.