File under 'Random'.
In my quest for world domination of writing contests, I recently entered a competition whose theme was the end of the world. It was run by some online dystopian website.
I'll try my hand at anything - even a genre populated by adolescent boys and nerdy men (my people, my people!). All writing ultimately is good writing as the mere process improves your technique and destroys the blank page. So I entered. Having knocked out 4000 words, here is my guide on how to write Dystopian fiction:
1) Dystopian is basically a long word that tries to hide its sci-fi origins. Think Star Wars where the evil Empire wins. And it's cold and bleak and everyone dies a rat infested and lonely death.
2) Chuck in some cod philosophy. It may be gobbledegook and intellectually incoherent but don't worry about that. For example, here's one I've been working on:
"Like all misanthropes, Tim was exceedingly good company."
3) Forget morality. In some dystopian future, all people are essentially amoral. Clearly genre convention dictates that as mankind heads towards its doom, morality will go the way of my C90 home mix tapes from the 90's. Yes, into the bin.
4) Shove in a bit of sex. Hey! Your target readership is adolescent boys and nerdy men after all.
5) Like every self-authored teenage story, all endings should be a variant of "And then I went to bed and the universe blew up." (*see below)
6) For extra credibility, write a blog post slagging off the genre. Man, that's just like so subversive. Yep - that's me, a rule bending, guitar wielding, couplet writing, ex financial services professional with a specialism in payment systems technology. Hi ladies!
7) There is no seven. (Christ, that joke never gets old).
8) Lists are lame; the refuge of a bad writer using an artificial structure to cohere random thoughts in place of a good writing style.
Well, I hope that helps. I'll let you know if I win. I probably get a free black T-Shirt with some heavy rock band's logo emblazoned on the front as my prize. I wonder if it will go with pressed chinos and shiny purple shoes? Hope so.
* @Tim Robson circa 1983.