How to Create an Effective, Original Dystopia
by Ken Brosky
Dystopian novels are all the rage now, aren’t they? Heck, they’ve been the rage ever since science fiction really took off in the middle of the 20th Century. Why at that particular moment in our history, though? That’s a good question, and the answer is a sure way to ensure your futuristic stories stand out from the Dystopian slush currently dominating our bookshelves.
There are two parts to creating an effective (and original!) Dystopian world. The first part is science. Some of the most interesting futuristic stories of the 1960s and 1970s were written by authors who relied on modern technology as their starting point. It was a crazy, creative time. It seemed like just when we had the microwave oven all figured out, along came a new one … and this new one had a “defrost” setting! What would come next? What?!
In all seriousness, though, not a lot of writers at the time were concerned about microwave ovens (although taking a look at how futuristic stories deal with “food” is pretty interesting …). They were more concerned with space travel. Bombs. Computers. These inventions were being innovated on a daily basis, providing excitement and anxiety.
So let’s start there and take a look at the science currently dominating our news:
- Drones. Unmanned aircraft that fly through the sky dropping bombs on “bad guys.” Hmmmm.
- Computers. Smaller, faster, and more complex than they’ve ever been before. Even nanobots are important!
- Medicine. A cure for Alzheimer’s? Maybe. A jellyfish that resists aging? Interesting.
- Fracking. A new way to get natural gas out of the earth. But what are the consequences?
- Global Climate Change. It’s happening. So now what?
The trick to finding good science is to read about science. Subscribe to NYtimes.com. Find the Science section in your local newspaper. Make sure you get science-related stories sent to your email. Once you have this step down, you can start amassing a treasure trove of information that could be used in your stories.
Now for the second part: creativity. Once you’ve started exploring the scientific goings-on of our world, you need to project that information into your world. What will the consequences of these developments be fifty years from now? What innovations will take place in that time? In a new story I’m writing, I’m envisioning a Dystopia ravaged by Global Climate Change. I’m relying on the most recent studies, and one of those studies mentions the changes in animal migration. So how about a story about a change in migration of a particularly dangerous animal? Or a chain of migration changes that devastate a local community?
The options are endless. All it takes is a good imagination and a lot of knowledge of modern science. How you answer the questions your mind poses will determine just how great your Dystopian story will be.
The Grimm Chronicles
200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm unleashed their stories upon the world. Literally. Now the characters of the Grimms' stories walk among us. With every day that passes, they grow more evil. They are the Corrupted, and only a hero can stop them.
For 18-year-old Alice Goodenough, that means taking precious time off from her summer vacation. In addition to volunteering at the local library, Alice must stop the Corrupted who are now actively hunting her down. With the help of her magic pen and her trusty rabbit friend, the world has suddenly gotten a lot more complex. The Corrupted are everywhere, and only Alice can see them for what they truly are.
This book contains the first 3 episodes of the critically acclaimed series
Episode 1: Prince Charming Must Die!
Episode 2: Happily Never After
Episode 3: Revenge of the Castle Cats
Additional features for this special edition:
- An introduction
- Two special "Lost Diaries"
- A behind-the-scenes interview
- A collection of original Grimms' Fairy Tales
The Grimm Chronicles is intended for Young Adults aged 13 and up. The goal is to provide Young Adult readers with a strong, charismatic young woman in the role of the hero and provide readers with a positive protagonist who uses her brain to overcome obstacles life throws in her way.
Also Available Volume 2 of the Grimm Chronicles
Book 4: The Orphanage of Doom
Book 5: Blood and Thunder
Book 6: The Order of the Golden Dragon
“5 stars!” ~ Bookies Book Blog
"Highly recommended for all who love fairy tales and the YA genre." ~ My Cozie Corner
"All in all the books were excellent." ~ LilyElement
"If you love fairy tales and them being turned into modern day stories you will love these short stories." ~ Mom With a Kindle
5 stars (out of 5) ~ I Am, Indeed
“Isabella Fontaine and Ken Brosky’s incredible talent for storytelling takes the reader on an amazing action-packed ride fueled by endless creativity and limitless imagination. TGC is like a high-stakes version of Harold and the Purple Crayon meets a contemporary, above ground Alice in Wonderland. “ ~ Bookfetish
“I absolutely loved this book! No, let me rephrase that, I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK! Nope, that doesn't even do it justice. Vol. 1 has the first three stories from the 12 that will ultimately make up the chronicles.” ~ Jesse Kimmel-Freeman
About the Authors
Ken Brosky received his MFA in fiction writing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He also teaches English at Madison College. This is his first Young Adult series.
Isabella Fontaine owns a farm in Wisconsin and enjoys reading weird books like House of Leaves. This is her first Young Adult series.
5 Kindle ebook copies of The Grimm Chronicles Volume 1
a Rafflecopter giveaway