1. Florent150
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    Florent150 Member

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    Writing a good Dystopian

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Florent150, Jan 21, 2011.

    Have any of you written/attempted to write dystopian fiction, or read good examples of a dystopia world? What elements do you think are critical to a good dystopia?

    I've been trying to keep my story in line with a dystopian style, but I keeps drifting away into a normal world somewhere between dystopia and utopia. The difficulty is making the dystopian aspects attractive, with a location or society almost "beautifully" degraded, so that the world is actually interesting and has hidden strength and beauty rather than just making the reader feel miserable and negative towards the story. Eventually I just naturally seem to lift in more utopian features to stop the story feeling depressive and hollow.
     
  2. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    The most obvious example of a dystopian future would be the novel 1984. The movie version is good too. Very dark. Very bleak. Says a lot about society, even today.

    Have you ever read any of the Warhammer 40K novels or played any of their games? This sci-fi universe is very dark and gritty. The moto of the series is, "In the grim darkness of the future, there is only war." And war is the only thing that keeps the Imperium of Man from collapsing in on itself. Society is harshly oppressed because it is accepted that if man is left to his own devices and creativity, he will eventually become corrupt. One of the many teachings in this society is that an open mind is like a fortress with its bridge down and gates open. Humans are xenophobic (afraid/hate aliens), openly racist between social classes, and all sense of creativity is severely punished. Technology is viewed as a religion, and modifying it in any way whether improving it or not is punishable by death.
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Yes, I write dystopia.

    Good dystopia is fueled by situations in where the individuals lack sovereignty and control over themselves. Think nanny-state laws, Big Brother surveillance and secret spies.

    Also, it's good when there's a conspiracy of some kind. There are powerful, shady forces at the top who are working on plans to move the people toward some major end....but what? And at what costs? ;)

    There's also got to be the "Room 101." I'm not sure if you've read "1984;" if you write dystopia, you'll have to. Basically, though, you need some horrific and unknown fate that will meet anyone who defies the system. People disappear, or are altered, and no one knows what happened, but we all know it's something bad. (We can find out at the end, but keep in mind, the unknown is scarier than having it spelled out.)

    I love this type of thing. Please, please PM me for more help if you'd like. :D
     
  4. Terry D
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    Terry D Active Member

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    In the classic dystopian world, like "1984" the world is bleak and depressing -- at least when viewed by current day readers. In that style the down beat feel is perfectly OK. But, if you are not comfortable with writing that, then you might consider a world more like that found in Logan's Run where outwardly it was a utopian society, but in reality there were dark manipulative forces at work. The future world of the Eloi and Morluks from H.G. Wells' The Time Machine is a similar 'hidden dystopia'.
     
  5. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    It sounds more like a post-apocalyptic setting than a dystopia.
     
  6. vanarie
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    vanarie Senior Member

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    I think you need the impression of your world to be represented by the characters more so than the narrative.

    My favorite dystopian novel is Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

    A few of his characters are just beaming about this great world they live in but slowly, he starts unraveling the dystopian feelings of the world.
     
  7. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    That was sooooooooooooo cool..... :D
     
  8. kylesesh
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    kylesesh New Member

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    Normally a dystopian world is a dark and violent future with shady people and mutated dogs... Just think of your worst nightmare and put it in a future setting.
     

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