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    Profile photo of WhiteKnight

    Hey everyone,

    Just thought I’d share that I am writing a SHTF novel! It takes place in Syracuse, NY. I don’t want to give away any details (yet!) but I would absolutely love to hear any ideas you had that I could include in it. I hope that this can become a thread so that i can use not only my imagination (and limited expertise and knowledge), but borrow yours as well.

    I discovered in college that I am very blessed with writing talents, and everyone that has read what I have so far begged me to keep going and publish it. Hopefully I will!

    I’m dead serious about this novel and am 65 typed pages in so far. The main character is a young man, a college student, in the city. My collapse is based upon a sudden dollar crash/economic collapse. I’m pretty wary about releasing details this early, however, I have looked around and haven’t seen anything quite like my characters/circumstances.

    I’m right at that stage where the collapse is about to occur. My characters are unawares and get all their information from the almighty TV. How quick do you think people would flip out? I’m trying to create a day by day 3rd person rendition, following my character, as the collapse unfolds. What would be first? The stocks? I want this to be realistic and have been looking around at economist blogs for ideas. Any thoughts?

    Profile photo of MountainBiker

    WhiteKnight, first, congratulations on taking on such an endeavor. I like doomer fiction (as well as other genres) as I am sure others here do too, but something that I find myself wishing for with the characters is that they not always be so perfect in their ability to handle whatever comes their way. I’d rather a combination of ability and luck so as to be a tad more realistic. None of us can do it all or are perfect human beings and we’ll all need some luck come a SHTF scenario. I’m guessing that you are already doing this by virtue that your characters are unawares of what is going on early on as the collapse unfolds. A feature in the storyline that could be interesting are characters having to make tough decisions.

    As for what would be first, I’m no expert but am guessing that bank collapses or freeze-ups might come before stock collapses. That’s sort of what we saw in 2008.

    Profile photo of freedom

    My view is that the economical collapse will happen with the financial system first, the way it may happen is that one day before it is in the news your debt cards stop working, the same goes for your credit cards and the banks will not let you take money out. They will say that there is a system problem, then after two or three days the stock market goes down and the government stops all trading, the government may turn off the internet and TV so the people really do not know what has happened. Everyone after 7 to 10 days will know the economy collapsed.

    Then the SHTF on the streets everywhere in the cities and even in some rural areas since even there their are people that do not prepare.At first electricity will be on but after the first 10 days it will go down too, water will be turned off too.

    After that the U. S. will go though a long civil unrest that may last years, some may call it a civil war. Many will die. Even preppers will die. Some preppers buy everything needed but have never used them and when the time comes they end up in trouble. The first 30 days we will have many die from just not having the meds they need to live. Others will die from not having food or water and then there will be many that will die from crimes and killers that will go after the ones that have food or water.

    Since it is a Financial Collapse this means there cars and trucks still work so you will see many heading to the rural areas which will be another type of war since the people that live in the rural areas do not want this to happen.

    But there will be so many city people going to the rural areas it will be very hard to stop. People will be shooting at others that have gas for there cars to make it to the rural areas. Trucks with big tanks of gas will be hit hard in the cities.

    Well that give you some ideas of what I think will happen.

    Profile photo of 74

    I’m in agreement with Mtbiker. Banking collapse, frozen assets, seizure of bank accounts & hyperinflation. Food riots, police state, civil unrest.

    Profile photo of warpedrazorback


    Tons of useful info on Ferfal’s blog on the Argentine collapse. Here are some articles I thought would be particularly applicable to your book:







    As far as your question about how the cascade effect would occur, it really depends on the catalyst. Did the BRAC dump all their US securities? Did the stock market bubble burst? Drought cause commodities to tank? Did the Fed raise rates too suddenly, or too slowly? As you can see, there are a lot of factors that would dictate the after effects. My suggestion is to not get too caught up in the weeds. Let the ultimate cause of the collapse remain a mystery and stick to the things affecting the main protaganist (bank closures, debit/credit freezes, empty shelves, etc). If you try to get too technical, people will pick your plotline apart and take it too technically. The Road is a good example; we have no clue what the disaster actually was, just that the world became hell on earth afterwards, and what the father had to go through to protect his son. The intrigue adds to the story, in my opinion.

    Mr. Red
    Mr. Red

    If you need someone to proof read it, let me know. I’m one of those grammar nazi types haha. Best of luck!

    Canadian Patriot. Becoming self-sufficient.

    Profile photo of campandpreppioneers

    Hi there good on you and go for it! If I may add a tip for ideas. There is a website called Wealth Daily, I’d say it’s american as it deals with the stock market, banking industries etc. I recently signed up with them through an email link to keep track of the stock market news, countries involved in buying, selling, there is talk that Russia and china wants to leave the dollar etc. Obviously I have no shares in the stocks, that’s what the site is for trying to get you to grab the next deal in stock shares and win big, don’t mind that, I just read between the lines, it will keep you informed at how long until the market crash, which countries are opting out, new technology that is out and oil free energy etc. Latest news is banks are shutting down accounts of some Americans.? Maybe check the site out, it could give you few ideas and warnings of what’s to come before the economical crash.

    Profile photo of tweva

    Mr. Red – we need more of you! What have they been teaching our young. Obviously, so obviously, not the English language upon which I was raised and educated.

    Profile photo of ronym

    before any bank close ( bank holiday )
    or any banking computer problem news ( hacker from distant countries attack )
    there will be news about saudi arabia and or south asia country decide to officially join BRICS
    exporting their product / resource bypassing US dollar
    or even dumping US bond
    basically global currency reset take place
    when bank close take place
    people just rush to ATM to cash out their bank deposit
    ( some people can get their money out, but many will “stuck” because of computer problem… and empty cash in ATM machine )
    many people will rush to buy food, stuff they can buy
    including buying gas, so lining in gas station are the “norm” view in every city
    ( you can describe the detail )
    gas “shortage” become worse because of
    war in ukraine and middle east are escalating
    ( oil supply are disrupting by war )
    america decide to join NATO to “liberate” the black sea
    australia will join america and forming naval and air base if any strike will take place in south east asia sea
    war will be over in short period
    by nuclear stike in every city in america, europe, russia, china,etc

    Profile photo of WhiteKnight

    Mountain Biker, yes, you are correct. I will go ahead and reveal that my main characters are most certainly not preppers. I, too, was looking for that kind of novel, with ‘every day’ characters: but couldn’t find it. So I finally decided to just go ahead and do it myself!

    Warped Razor, very good point. I think you are right on the money with that advice about not getting lost in the weeds. Thanks!

    Thank you all for your responses, they are all appreciated and all of them useful, especially the links! I hadn’t seen those sites yet.

    I *might* take you up on that offer eventually, Red!

    More to come soon. Time to do a little research and planning.

    Profile photo of Brulen

    Lets see WhiteKnight, I’m a little familiar with the area. one thing about the area is its a regional medical center. The Nys thruway goes east west and 81 N into winter storm wonderland. Its a med high crime area and the area around SU is none to good. It has a VA hospital. Your BO pack should be packed and you should be armed. Masses of college students in a collapse would be a lot of craziness. There wouldn’t be a single 7/11 that hadn’t been robbed at least twice by blacks within a week. If the EBT cards go down (like the did this past weekend) the food stores will be surrounded. Carousel Mall will be overrun. It depends on the temps. The coming winter looks like it will be brutal. If i know anything about Ny the whole area will just come to a dead stop. It’ll be like new year’s day with the worst hangover ever. Outside Syracuse in the rural areas it will be more peaceful for a while at least. Syracuse does have resources but they will be under the control of the state government. Fort Drum isn’t that far away so you can also expect 10th mountain division military convoys choppers and drones 24/7 at griffith.

    I hope this isn’t too bleak for your story. Good place for a story. lol

    Profile photo of ronym

    i think you can pretend not to be a prepper
    i mean the main character can be “ordinary people” which have mental ability of “prepper” without he ever realizing it and not look a like real prepper
    ( prepper always associated with tons of gear, BOB, BOV, evacuating plan, defense tool etc )
    one of example are the author of “Sherlock Holmes”
    ordinary writer cannot just replacing the author of sherlock holmes
    ( that having analytical and logical deductive thinking )
    although some people can write that seems to be like sherlock holmes
    but people can recognize it’s not the real sherlock holmes… just by reading the story
    ( mental ability, way of thinking sometimes cannot be just replicate… it must be deeper )
    to make it more real
    the main character can be ordinary people that have grandpa/grandma of “refugee”
    ( maybe like Nikola Tesla )
    who ever listen to his grandpa/grandma talking about why he become refugee, how he doing it, and what preparation he have to deal with
    ( such as selling house and every “unmovable” asset he have before war take place, buy gold and silver jewelery or coin … and just carry them easily )
    or cast gold and silver to become hand tool ( hammer, saw, etc ) to avoid suspicious inspector
    so his grandpa can just speak “i am a carpenter, so it’s my nature to carry my tool”
    to make story more attractive and unique
    we must add “every day” life into the story
    if the main character are young man… so mentioning about his girlfriend are making the story more real
    or if the main character are man who have family… with two or three kid ( one daughter, two son ) also make it more real
    neighborhood which we call bob, auntie suzie with his fancy car, hendrick with his big motorcycle, etc

    Profile photo of lovelynightbird

    Shalom WhiteKnight,
    You might want to include sickness and alternatives used to combat them. Kind of thinking leeches :-)
    Scavenging that will take place
    Dealing with weather elements, insects, animals etc.
    Different levels of breakdowns of social norms as well as moral norms and mental health.
    Alternative weapons if (when) weapons are confiscated by the government. (happened with Katrina)

    Here is an interesting read




    Take a long look at the decline of Rhodesia, the economic collapse of Zimbabwe and Argentina, and the continuing situation in South Africa for a good look at what is possible.

    All were first world countries, now, not so much.
    The day to day grind, the rampant crime, the lack of daily necessities, and how people have adapted.

    We have sources here for South Africa, FerFAL’s website for Argentina, the New Rhodesian Forum and Cathy Buckle’s website (liberal but full of daily insight) for Rhodesia and Zim.

    How people will react in upstate NY, have a good look at the ’68 blackout and people’s reactions, not the same area exactly but many of the same people.

    Frankly, I wouldn’t bet a nickle on anyone’s chances in that area, too many people, too little resources.

    Good luck on the book.

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