A while back, I referenced the show Naked and Afraid, and discussed how it tied into how humans would act when ripped away from the tools they would come to rely on – in other words, what would happen when people stopped having every modern convenience at their fingertips.
When I started writing Shattered Colossus for NaNoWriMo, I didn't really take the world-building into account, since it was more about getting words on paper than anything. But as I kept writing, it became pretty clear that the world of Kareshiel was pretty damn apocalyptic: an invasion from overseas that completely wrecked one of the seven countries of the confederation, followed by a plague that lasted for years and killed a third of the population, followed by a power-mad demi-god who laid waste to half the lands and plunged the rest into chaos. The survivors were left with little food or shelter as governments fell and populations turned on each other.
And I have not even finished the first book.
Having said all that, I did some poking around, looking for resources on writing for "after the fall." Here's what I came up with in a few moments of browsing:
– This video, which History Channel aired a few years ago, about what would happen to all of mankind's wonders and civilization if we all suddenly vanished. Sure, much of it is theoretical. But it's a good basis for figuring out how far around the bend your world to be ten/thirty/ninety years after everything goes to pot.
– This set of photos on the website Distractify. Pripyat (the town near Chernobyl) is shown in the second entry. Pripyat is a real laboratory for seeing a city decay. Since the meltdown, the entire town has been off-limits to the public, and is only accessed by scientists, journalists, and government officials. Since the town was basically left in mid-stride, as people picked up whatever they were doing and fled for their lives, it is fairly preserved – and slowly being reclaimed by nature. Peer around Google, see what turns up.
– This blog entry from the blog Writing is Hard Work. It lists a handful of links to various calculators and such, detailing the impact of a meteor, the time it would take a plague to spread, etc. I checked the links, they all seem to be good.
I'll try to post some more as I think of and/or find them. In any event, y'all keep fighting the good fight, writing the good write.