Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Makes Great Fiction
Really, if you consider it carefully, this genre is one of the purest of all the fiction genres. Carefully the author plans out a world that has changed, but not completely. Humanity that has changed, but not beyond recognition. Landscapes that are similar to now, but different in so many ways.
When I watch Games of Thrones I marvel at George R.R. Martin's creation. I know it's been further fictionalized and exaggerated than in the books, but oh my...what a wonderful (and awful) world he made for our enjoyment.
Many things are the same: People communicate, they move about on foot or by horse, they have weapons (albeit primitive), and there is the constant struggle of good versus evil. Everything you could want in a dystopian tale.
That's the beauty of this genre; Everything is there for the taking, or - in some cases - creating.
Fiction vs Reality
How many times have you watched a movie and said, "it's okay, never happen, but kind of believable"? That's the point of fiction, right? To take us away from our predictable everyday world, and transport us elsewhere - a place where anything is possible.
That's the beauty I find in Dystopia. Remember, dystopia is simply the opposite of utopia. Utopia is where the world, or at least our immediate world, is perfect, wonderful...dreamy. Dystopia is anything but perfect and wonderful. Dystopian lands, and times, are full of mystery and fraught with danger. Danger from a lack of something in most cases. A lack of food; a lack of water; a lack of humanity.
If you want to know how bad the world can be, pick up a book on war. Whether it's about WWI or WWII you will find stories that seem almost impossible to believe. Some, because of their sheer brutality are truly beyond the scope of human comprehension.
War Is Hell
A few weeks ago I finished the book Unbroken. It's the story of American Olympian Louis Zamperini and his ordeal as a pilot in WWII. I don't want to spoil it for you; so all I'll say is that some of the Japanese were not nice to their captives during these terrible times. When examined closely, I found his POW ordeal more brutal than anything I've written thus far in my WWIV series.
Reality can be harsher than fiction at times.
I know a lot of authors like to use shock and awe in their creations. I have some, I must admit, but I use it sparingly. You see my novels aren't so much about the world gone bad, and all the awful things that will happen to people during dark times. I focus more on individual bits of humanity, bringing out the best I can find in people - even though the times are the worst.
I'll leave you today with one final thought on my dystopian creation. This statement summarizes how I view the genre; a genre I love to write about.
The WWIV series isn't so much about the end of the world, it's about how our humanity struggles at the end of the world.
Thanks for following. Take some time to give a child a great book during these upcoming holidays.
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