1. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Dystopian Short Story...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JJ_Maxx, Nov 12, 2012.

    In a dystopian story, usually you have to give background on what's going on in your world, how the hierarchy works, etc. I'd like some thoughts on creating this world, the characters AND the plot in less than 3000 words. I have good ideas, but they come out seeming rushed.
     
  2. steve119
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    steve119 Senior Member

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    i'm not sure you always have to say why the society in a story is dystopian i just finished reading Jana Oliver's Demon Trapper series of books. They are set in an almost dystopian near future but she never really says what happened to make it the way it is it just is. the story is good enough that you don't really ask why it is. I think if your story is good enough and your world feels dystopian readers will come to their own conclusions as to how it became that way. I know what you mean it is hard to think of a dystopian story in 3000 words or less I have been pondering it my self since lemmex posted the comp this morning.
     
  3. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    I know! I will probably cut out the how, and just go with 'this is the way it is'. I also went with a simplistic society so it should be pretty easy to fill in the blanks.

    Also, deciding the 'epicness' of the plot is interesting. Obviously I can't overthrow a government in 3000 words, but I don't just wanna run down to the corner store for hand grenades either. Hmmm...

    This will stretch my skillset...
     
  4. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    It all depends on what kind of dystopian fiction you're going for -
    way into the future where the characters haven't experienced
    the past but know of it only from paraphernalia - ala Waterworld
    or if some of the characters have crossed over from the
    past to the now decayed society - ala the Road or Book of Eli.

    Both can be shady though - most people live in the present.
    What their problems, conflicts, and interests are now. They don't
    spend a lot of time thinking about how things got to be, the
    politics of it. And if they do it's pretty succinct - if it wasn't
    for that damn plague or that damn bomb...

    I wouldn't focus too much on explanation - give the readers
    a society already in motion with a hero plagued with a problem.
    Z.P.G. ( a book/ a movie ) cuts to the chase. The world is over
    populated and nobody's allowed to have children but the government
    hands out mechanical doll babies. One woman decides to forgo that
    option and has her own baby and the rest of the book is her and
    her husbands attempts to hide the baby. It's never really explained
    how the world became so overcrowed and there is vague references to
    this new society - but nothing much outside the action of the characters. Nothing
    to slow down the story.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No, you don't. How the world got that way is not important, and can be a separate story on its own. All that matters is the rules people need to follow to survive, and that can be seen through the way the story unfolds.

    For example, you don't have to describe the commerce system. Guy needs fuel for a vehicle, he has to know who has it, and what they want in trade. After he gets it, he has to keep it from being stolen by raiders.
     
  6. steve119
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    steve119 Senior Member

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    You been watching Mad Max again ain't ya Cog or just describing next tuesday with the fuel prices the way they are. lol
     
  7. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Sounds like a non-fiction story from Long Island... :D
     

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