Pocket Prompt Expansion: Something Explodes #6 – The Aftermath

In our discourse about explosions – a sentence I never thought I’d write – we’ve looked at the sort of explosion, the cause of the explosion, and began to look at the aftermath. Today, we’re solely focusing on how the world looks after the explosion.

Literal explosions are maybe easier to imagine for this, so we’ll ease into the discussion today that way, and expand as we go. Some simple questions to get you started:

  • Is there a death toll?
  • Was a key piece of infrastructure damaged?
  • Is the location of the story shut down as a result of the explosion?
  • Are there police out to contain crowds?
  • Are there riots?
  • If it was localised, how is the neighbourhood effected?
  • If it is distant, how many people witnessed it?

Other things you might want to consider:

  • What sort of scale was this explosion?
  • Was it nuclear? How does the fallout affect the plot?
  • Does your story include magic? How does a magical explosion change the plot?
  • Does your story include elements of sci-fi? Are there aliens? Are there robots? What does a sci-fi explosion do your world?
  • If the explosion is a natural disaster, are you character caught in the middle of it? What is there role? Civilian or rescue worker?

There are many other ways to interpret this, and I’d love to hear some ideas in the comments. In the meantime, we’ll move onto the aftermath of an emotional explosion.

Emotions can run high for a number of reasons, as we explored in the second post for this card. A story can greatly shift as a result of either good or bad news. Use the following questions to prompt a further exploration of the aftermath of an emotional explosion, and see what other questions you might be able to ask and answer.

  • Is there an argument? Does it cause characters to stop talking?
  • If yes, will you write both points of view?
  • Will the characters make up? What is necessary to bring them back together?
  • How does your protagonist losing a close friend or loved one affect their story?
  • How does your protagonist cope after an argument?
  • Who is responsible?

Shifting away from anger and towards happiness:

  • If your protagonist received good news, how will this change their life?
  • Will their emotional state shift from happiness into something else?
  • Will others understand and be supportive?
  • What can go wrong to disrupt the happiness your protagonist feels?
  • How can your protagonist use their optimism to keep going?

The same sorts of questions can be asked about any sort of emotional explosion. The key points to focus on are the parties involved, how their relationship is affected, who is responsible, whether people are supportive, and what can or has to change for things to either move forward or go back to the way they were before.

In future posts, we’ll look at long-term consequences of the explosion, and explore how the story might be different if things could be prevented, covering both literal and emotional explosions.

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