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Dystopian vs post-apocalyptic worlds

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Mystical Enchantress, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. Greetings, magical ones!

    I have been dabbling in the idea of one or the other (above subject line).

    I wanted to know: could one combine the two or would it be better to focus on one and make that super strong?

    I ask because there are elements of both themes that I would like to incorporate.

    Also, if this has been answered already please let me know where I may find the thread.

    Blessings to you.
  2. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    One of my favorite books is a post-apocalyptic dystopia which appears to be a utopia on the surface until the characters start learning the world's secrets. So yeah I'd say you can absolutely combine the ideas.
    Mystical Enchantress likes this.
  3. Thanks for reaching out. What is the book called if I may ask? I may have to give it a read.
  4. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    Mystical Enchantress likes this.
  5. Thank you!!
  6. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Auror

    Post Apocalyptia and dystopia do seem to go together like PB & J. From the old worlds of Cyberpunk and the Mad Maxian worlds they usually seem to come paired. Not always the case, but they do seem to meld together fairly well. After all, someone (or entity) has to try to hold the place together. And they may do so incredibly brutally.
  7. Many books are both.

    Though I must admit i've been wanting to read about a post apocalyptic (genuine) utopia/okayish to good society for some time.
    Mystical Enchantress likes this.
  9. Hmmm... now I guess where my problem lies is that I have an idea for a combo fantasy novel but it was aimed at young adults. And what I have in store will be quite brutal. I think I may have to aim for a slightly older age group because I don’t want to alienate my readers but I also don’t want to make it a novel that doesn’t show the darkest of dark and the fight towards a life of light if that makes sense.
  10. Well hopefully that will happen for you one day. And with the way the world is at the moment... someone out there may have loads of resources to tap into for inspiration!
  11. psychotick

    psychotick Auror


    I think it's more about perspective and plot. The two themes do often go together, but there's no reason you can't have a post apocalyptic utopia. Ie the world ended and everything's great. Have you ever seen the series Logan's Run? While running he encounters any number of above ground societies born in the wake of the end. Some - probably most - are horrid, dystopic. But there's a few he encounters which are genuinely places you would want to live. Likewise Shanarra. It's a strange post apocalyptic world, and a lot of bad stuff happens. But look at the societies. They aren't paradises but they aren't (for the most part) hells either. Even something like Planet of the Apes, can be viewed from different perspectives. Yes it sucks to be human. Very dystopian. But if you're an ape, it's not actually a bad world.

    Cheers, Greg.
    FifthView likes this.
  12. Can you give more details on what you mean because a lot of young adult novels are pretty dark/violent.
    Mystical Enchantress likes this.
  13. Complete mind and body control. Control of the air and water and food ingested or lived in. Totalitarian and controlled on all levels. Possible blood sacrifices and more.

    Scaring myself right now!

  14. Doesn't sound too much for a young adult novel to me...
  15. Yeah well that’s exactly my thinking...not sure how to take it down a notch or twenty to be YA.
  16. I don’t WANT it to be so dark. Perhaps I can take elements from some rather than focus on all the deep dark stuff... anyway. I am just thinking about how to create this if at all.
  17. Oh, i meant that you didn't have to change anything for it to be YA. But if you don't WANT it to be super dark, that's different.
    Mystical Enchantress likes this.
  18. Well I certainly don’t want to alienate or scare the readers. I will have to just see what comes of it. Thank you for being a sound board!
  19. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    My first thought was the great anime Now and Then, Here and There. It's very brutal; but that helps in the payoff at the end.

    Sometimes the split between what's just fine for YA and what should be adult fiction is not in what happens or what is depicted, but in how it is depicted. I'm no expert on YA fiction, for sure, but some examples I've experienced have had rather dark elements, events and themes. They're just drawn with a broader brush, without going in depth to all the messy details, with language more suited to a YA audience. I think a little more focus might be given to the YA characters' reactions to those things, also, rather than focusing on all the gory details.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018

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