Sorry I didn't get a post written last week. Real life got in the way.
Less real-life related, my brother recently introduced me to a TV show called Falling Skies. The setting is post-Apocalyptic (or rather, post alien invasion.) Normally I steer clear of post Apocalypses, but I really enjoy Falling Skies. The hero is likable. He's a history teacher whose main goal is to protect his three sons. Despite being surrounded by Hollywood style explosions he manages to stay optimistic. The basic storyline is how people react to disasters, how it makes them draw together (or not).
Now, I've just admitted that I don't read a lot of post-Apocalyptic fiction. Falling Skies has me wondering if that's something I should fix. I've always had this sort of mental picture of the genre as being very Orson Wells in mood. You know, `humanity is scum' and all that. Lets face it, there's plenty of evidence out there that humanity is scum. You just need to open a newspaper to get the idea. I prefer books and movies that are a bit more hopeful; the ones that say `hey, not everyone is scum.'
Even if most of the people in the story are scum, there should be at least one kind person to make a contrast. It's like tenebrism -those pictures with extreme contrasts of light and dark. If all you show is the dark, nobody can make out what the picture is of. A genuine good guy in a world of dark can go a long way toward illuminating your story.