Wasteland Wednesday #7

*Language and Content Warning*

skull and crossbones.jpgskull and crossbonesUnlike QE’s normal informational blog, Wasteland Wednesday is potentially full of foul language and post-apocalyptic nonsense.

Wasteland Wednesday


It’s time for another edition of Wasteland Wednesday. Come and cuddle up next to the bonfire. Ah, don’t mind those inbreeder heads. I collected those to pay off some heavy writing debts I owe to the muse.

Anyways, I wanted to talk a little about the novella, The Wastelander Survival Guide, today. A very rough discovery draft has been hacked away and while I am working on the rewrites for the main book, the novella will marinate.

army combat manual.jpg

The novella features images similar to what a U.S. Army combat manual would have inside. It is also formatted much the same way. 

The concept for the novella stems from the world I have created. In the main book, Drake carries around a journal (you can see it in his back pocket in the final cover art for the book) and writes tips to survive the wasteland. This, he compiled at the behest of Lex. While he’ll never admit it, he enjoys keeping this journal and it has allowed him to elaborate on his wasteland “virtues.” To Drake, these virtues are what he believes will keep a person alive (it’s worked for him).

Each chapter of the main book is opened with a tiny excerpt from Drake’s journal highlighting a virtue. The book is written in a way that these “Drakisms” help drive the story. One of Lex’s secret hopes, is that there is life outside of Middle America. In her eyes, a book of how to survive the wasteland would be essential to anyone who delves into unsettled areas.

While she wouldn’t say this to Drake, her plan it to eventually inherit the book and find a way to reproduce it. Drake’s name has become legend in Middle America and she sees the potential to monetize/trade it in some shape or form. She also believes there is life outside of the wasteland. If this is true, such a guide would be valuable to an outsider.

She also wants Drake to compile this journal because she notices a drastic down-tic in his reckless tendencies when he takes time to organize and expel his thoughts. Lex knows that there is merit in Drake’s rantings. Despite the vulgarity and rough exterior, not many people make it to old age in the wasteland; Drake has almost made it to his sixties.

hourglass[Break in Timeline] 

Eventually, Drake’s journal does end up in the hands of someone in a “civilized” part of the world. They rewrite his journal and cast Drake as a romanticized folk hero. The rewritten version of the journal is reproduced as a survival guide for the expansionist movement into the isolated areas of the post-fall United States.

His “Drakisms” are recast as real-world virtues a potential settler should embody to combat the unknown dangers awaiting them. The chapters are very short, illustrated, and offer a very romantic look at how to survive the wasteland. Some portions are rewritten completely and deviate from Drake’s original writings.

I guess plagiarism and intellectual property rights aren’t a big thing in the post-fall United States…

The first book, Legacy of Drake, hints about aircraft flying overhead and unknown technologies making it over The Red (the area of seemingly impassable radiation) into Middle America. Perhaps there are other isolated pockets of people and inbreeders struggling out there? The wasteland might just be a bigger place than we realize, or it might be much smaller.

question-markThat’s it for today’s wasteland news!  I hope you all enjoyed this sneak-peak into Wastelander: The Drake Legacy and the Wastelander Survival Guide.  I’d love to know what you think and answer your questions (as long as the answer won’t be a spoiler-sandwich). Until we cross quills again, keep hiding, keep hoarding, and as always—stay alive.

Copyright Info (final)

16 responses

    • Good question, Andrew. The chapter opening in the first book are from the Drake’s unaltered journal. As the main book is the actual story of what happened and the survival guide is the flowery interpretation that was turned into a survival guide.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fair enough. I thought you might have been going for an obvious dichotomy between the openings and the events. Say a fluffy version that’s been changed I.e. ‘in confrontation, try to appease your attacker’ then open the chapter with Drake kicking someone in the nads. But where you’re doing the novella too, I can understand not doing it.
        Either way, I’m gonna need it soon. Rewrites going well?

        Liked by 2 people

      • I honestly had considered exactly what you are talking about. My worry was consistency throughout the series. I’d love to write a whole mess of Wastelander books, but if I set a precedent of pulling from a single source (the novella) for chapter openings, I wouldn’t have the freedom of pulling quotes from outside of this. Eventually, the novella would become irrelevant because I would take every useful bit of it and put it into the main books.

        That was my thinking, so take that for what’s worth (often, it is thinking with the influence of sleep deprivation).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for taking the time. I’m hoping all of your projects (writing and life) are going well. I’ve been avoiding Facebook messenger to ensure the time void doesn’t suck me in. Plus, Facebook is super annoying right now with the election being a festering wound.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping in and reading today. I hope your writing goals are coming along splendidly.

      If there is one thing Drake has taught Lex, it’s that survival at any cost is always the right decision. The older, weaker, and crazier Drake gets, the more Lex begins to question his value. While there is a deeper bond, a lifetime of living by Drake’s virtues creates a twisted way of thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love epigraphs. They lower the affective filter by furnishing the empty room. What a great idea to make Drake’s journal the source of the quotes! Fiction within fiction is like a composite function (“The Drowsy Chaperone”, “Dune”, “Foundation.”) Excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dune and the Dark Elf series, by R.A. Salvatore both motivated me to try using this technique. While I don’t assume my writing will come close to matching Herbert and Salvatore, we often start our writing lives by mimicking those authors who we enjoy and admire.

      Thanks for stopping in and reading. Here’s hoping your projects are going well.


    • If I can just make it through the next few months, I should have it out there sometime in the first quarter of 2017. It’ll be nice to have my first done and circulating 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement and for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

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