An Empty Gun Is Still Terrifying

Guns will be hard to find, but bullets will be rarer and more valuable after the bombs fall. The problem is you can’t tell if an enemy’s gun is empty or fully loaded. You’re first thought should always be “that gun might be loaded,”

If someone is hesitant to pull the trigger, that doesn’t mean the gun is empty. Since bullets are rare, most people wouldn’t want to waste them if they don’t have to. Intimidation is the most aspect when using a gun, especially if it is empty. You must make your target believe that you have a fully loaded gun with ammo to spare.

Most would just rob you for some water or food. The best way to handle an attacker with a gun is to defuse the situation. Give your attacker what they want, if it’s not too outrageous, then kill your attacker when they feel like they have won.

Joe Reyes

 

Eric Character Info

Eric is another character who I totally redid his personality. Just like Sara, Eric is part of the Savages. He was supposed to be a bad guy, but now he is still bad, but with good intentions. Eric’s motive is that he is there because he has to be. The Savages are a prospering group and Eric knows he would likely die on his own.

I dive a little bit into Eric’s history in the flashback. He is a former convict who hasn’t given up his crime ridden ways, but now his motivation is survival and not money. In the early stages I had Eric headshotting civilians just because he felt like doing it. Then I did an overhaul and turned him into a more likable character.

He has a lot of qualities that could make him the lead of the sequel. He works with the Savages, meaning he knows how to handle himself so there isn’t a learning curve for surviving. I thought Eric has some of the most memorable quotes of the story and contains that sarcastic charm that could propel him into becoming a fan favorite.

Joe Reyes

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Sara Character Info

Sara might be my favorite character of Aftermath. She also had the biggest change from planning her out to actually writing her character. Originally, Sara was going to be the leader of a cannibal gang. She was ruthless and led this band of horrible human being to just total destruction.

I don’t know exactly what made me change her to the innocent little girl, but I loved how it turned out. She was such a depressing character to write that I almost felt bad at times putting her in such terrible situations.

I needed to make her a “feel bad” character and watch her overcome and fight on through all the obstacles that are put in front of her. That might’ve been the reason for altering her personality. So I surrounded her with the cannibal gang called the Savages, led by a man named Marcus, who used Sara as a sex slave.

She had an ongoing secret relationship with a woman in the camp, Penny, who is one of the head chefs there. Her specialty, you ask? How to cook people. They keep their relationship private because Marcus would have them both killed.

Joe Reyes

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Sleep Is A Luxury You Can’t Afford

Unless you live in a heavily fortified homestead surrounded by an army of well-trained soldiers, then you are never safe in the world of Aftermath. Count your blessings every day you survive in the new world. The last thing you want to do is be killed in your sleep. The key is where to find a few hours of well-deserved rest?

The first thing you must do is scout the area you are planning on sleeping in. Is it near a water source? How close is it to a settlement? Is there any wildlife in the area? Can you use nature as cover? Do you have people with you who can stay awake while you sleep? Can you create a makeshift alarm system? All these questions must be answered before you shut your eyes for a moment.

Water sources attract people and animals. Unless you have a group of survivors or a settlement nearby, water isn’t the most ideal place to rest your head by. Everything needs water to survive, so it’s not the smartest idea to take a nap near water.

Smart settlements send out scouting parties to make sure the surrounding area is safe. Depending on the size of the settlement, the range of the scout parties change. More importantly, you don’t want to be caught sleeping in the path that the people might walk down every morning down.

Animals kill for food just like people do. They’re predators that will attack you when they get hungry. Sometimes marking the territory will deter them. Fire is another big thing to scare most animals from coming over to you. But be careful where you set your fires, especially at night, you may attract people’s curiosity with a beacon of fire.

The best place to take a nap in the woods is in a tree, but it is dangerous if not done correctly. You have to be able to fasten yourself so you won’t fall off in the middle of a deep sleep. A simple belt or rope should be enough to keep you in place. Hopefully, you aren’t the kind of person who tosses and turns in their sleep.

Staying in a group is the best way to ensure a good night’s sleep. This ensures you are able to take a well-deserved rest and not wake up to the sound of your feet being gnawed off by a pack of dogs.

An alarm system will surround a space where you are sleeping and wake you up when someone passed into it. An effective idea is to boarder your sleeping area with twigs and kindling. These are easy to find if you’re planning on sleeping outside. The weight of the intruder will break the sticks and hopefully wake you up.

The quiet sound of nature is easily broken by even the lightest creatures. Use this to your advantage. Take short naps until you find an ideal spot to sleep. Follow these steps and you might survive to see the sun rise again.

Joe Reyes

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Carmen Character Info

Carmen was the last character I created for the story. She lives in the town of Riverfield just like Ian, and is captured early on in the story unlike Sara, Carmen isn’t the sex slave character who is constantly abused. I didn’t want to have the repetition of two characters with a similar story like that.

I was afraid Carmen’s plot wasn’t that intriguing in the planning stages. I had to pair her up with a few other characters. Carmen isn’t a lead character, but I felt she was a good “go along with” character. She isn’t a fighter, doesn’t have a major role in the war, isn’t a leader, Carmen was just an innocent girl thrust into a bad situation.

The sequel is where Carmen is thrown more into the action of the story. I’m hoping with the situations I put her in, she can blossom and start to become a ruthless survivor like everyone else. I wanted to give Carmen a good set of morals so I can create a total change in her personality based on what I put in front of her.

Even though I didn’t give Carmen world class fighting skills or a terribly sad backstory, I still enjoyed writing her. I would like to have her be a larger part of the overall storyline in the sequel, but don’t want to push her. I need to gradually mold her little by little into a more savage character for all I’m planning on throwing at her.

Joe Reyes

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Alice Character Info

Alice is that badass chick that would scare the crap out of most men. She is on a constant quest for revenge against the rebel leader, Cortez. Shortly after the bombs fell, Alice and her husband were attacked by Cortez and her husband was killed.

The military took Alice in and gave her the freedom to take down Cortez. Her journey has been long and bloody, but she still hasn’t found Cortez yet. Alice is a lone freelance sniper who learned her skills from her husband.

The only time Alice returns back to the military base is to get more supplies. Pental Base, is one of the biggest military bases in Aftermath. It was converted out of an airport and houses mostly soldiers for hire.

Alice doesn’t sleep or relax. She spends her days interrogating enemy soldiers looking for Cortez’s location. She knows there is a main base somewhere, but hasn’t found anyone who knows the location. Cortez has many sub-factions that work for him and Alice picks them apart one by one. What Alice does not know are the consequences of killing Cortez.

Joe Reyes

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Survival Guide Preview

Being able to survive in the world of Aftermath is difficult. Every day is an unpredictable battle with the man and nature. The characters in the story envelope these principles and have survived the first 5 years because of them. Hopefully you read these quick tips and you’ll be ready if what I wrote becomes a reality.

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Free Giveaway!

I am working on a free giveaway short story that will dive into the past of one of the major players in Aftermath. This story will be given to those who subscribe to my email listing so sign up now and receive this free addition.

The subscription will also grant you access to future writings, release dates and chances for free giveaways! Thank you all for your support!

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Joe Reyes

Ian Character Info

This whole story started with the creation of Ian, which, was supposed to be a single character story about his journey in this world. Ian is the prototypical “good guy” character. He is that brave, kind, and innocent character that could lead this story. As more and more characters came into the story, Ian became the absolute toughest character to plan for. Which again, sounds odd because he is the one who started this whole journey. Ian isn’t a thug, he doesn’t have any commitments to other characters, he isn’t a soldier, he is just a regular guy. Ian lives in a remade town called Riverfield. It’s a quiet and peaceful community in the middle of the woods. He has a crush on a young woman Carmen, who he has never been able to converse with. They exchange playful glances and have a few words, but are always interrupted by something. Every morning, Ian and a few others go hunting for the town. When they go out, the town gets attacked and the people of the town are taken. Ian makes his fellow hunters pursue the attackers and leads them on a long, every-changing journey. His pursuit for Carmen and the others in his town takes Ian through a gauntlet of several factions and characters. Joe Reyes

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Character Bios

Hey everyone! Wanted to give you all some insight into the main characters in Aftermath. I made a post for each of the 7 characters and will be putting them up one by one when I get the chance. I didn’t want to give away too much, just give you guys a little insight into who they are, what their motivations are and the process I went through creating them.

Thanks again for reading!

Joe Reyes

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