A Discussion on Dystopian Novel Writing

Dystopian novels have grown in popularity the last couple of years, and this has allowed authors and readers alike to experience the possibilities of what our reality may become in the near future.  Writing dystopian fiction is one of the most unique writing experiences, because it allows the author to portray their idea of what an alternative reality might entail.  In my dystopian novel, Beautiful Nightmare, I explore a world where technology takes over to influence humanity; but I also add in the ancient practices of astrology and reading astral signs to find guidance.  When writing dystopian fiction, it is important to add elements from the past and the future to portray how these elements can collide and affect the present.  The trick with writing dystopian novels is that even though it derives from the science fiction and fantasy genres, it is heavily influenced by history.  All of today’s novels are derived from history in one way or another, and dystopian novels focus on the human experience in terms of humanity’s shortcomings and misery.  The biggest drive to the dystopian genre is misery, and a dystopian writer’s duty is to focus on the misery that derives from oppression or totalitarian communities.  By focusing on oppression to drive a dystopian community, the writer has the unique opportunity to portray how their characters rise, or fall, in the face of oppression.

As can be seen in many different dystopian novels – such as Divergent and The Hunger Games – dystopian characters are some of the most resilient characters in literature.  Dystopian characters teach us to stay strong despite external circumstances, and they teach us to speak up for what we believe in.  Therefore, dystopian novels and the authors of such are extremely important.  A dystopian writer’s duty is to create characters that are outside of reality,but represent the universal human characteristics that we all share: a hope for life, and the betterment thereof.  No matter how dark or dreary the dystopian world, if a writer creates characters that are vibrant and strong enough to shine against that setting, the reader will be changed for the better.



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