imaspectrum asked you:
Could you write about dystopian societies please?
What is a Dystopian Society?
- An oppressed society masqueraded as a utopia through authoritative or authoritarian control in an imagined universe that are sometimes meant to address current social, political, or otherwise societal trends and issues in subtle ways.
What is Not a Dystopian Society?
- An apocalyptic (ex: World War Z) or post-apocalyptic (ex: The Walking Dead) society or world that takes place during or after a massive disaster that caused the full collapse of a society or region, often resulting in “the end of the world”.
- Heavy control of the population through force, propaganda, fear, or other means set in place by the main power and its subordinates, often for the reason of keeping the society “perfect” and safe.
- Strictly defined and sometimes segregated social ranks or systems in which it is almost impossible to move up.
- Dehumanization for the sake of promoting humanity or society.
- Characters are fearful of each other, other societies, or the central power and may be afraid to talk about it in fear of persecution.
- Limited rights and strict laws that are said to be put in place “for the greater good” or to promote society.
- Often futuristic
- Massive conformity and ridicule against nonconformists by authority and/or by the general population.
- Other extremes of oppression based on a multitude of factors, often certain traits or characters people are born with or common human activities (ex: dating or reading).
- A central power that is praise, truthfully or out of fear, by the population.
- High surveillance.
In a dystopia, the protagonist is often the character who feels out of place, is ostracized for some reason, or who realizes the issues of their society and dares to speak up about it. However, a secondary character may also introduce these ideas to the protagonist. These characters are rarely in positions of power and often start out as ordinary citizens who can easily be replaced. The trick with these characters is not to make them preachy when they speak out about certain societal aspects.
The antagonist is most often a character or a central power of some kind. However, the antagonist can be both thus making more than one antagonist.
Other common characters and archetypes include:
- The Reluctant Citizen (often the protagonist) - a character who is a typical citzen, but who finds faults in the society.
- The Faithful Citizen - a character who is a typical citizen and who is faithful to the society
- The Law Enforcer - a faithful citizen(s) or authority character(s) who acts as a lesser antagonist by enforcing societal norms and laws
- The Catalyst - a character who helps the protagonist have an epiphany about the society and turn against it
- The Outcast - a character, sometimes the protagonist, who is a nonconformist whether by choice or not
- The Tyrant/Dictator/Leader - the central power
The majority of dystopian societies start from war, disease, or natural disaster. Within those reasons, there may be a history of an apocalypse and a post-apocalyptic society before organized societies took place after the disaster.