These posts are a thought experiment to help us engage in thoughts that would help us expand our writing. It’s a perfect time to discuss writing as November is also National Novel Writing Month and a lot of authors are beginning or continuing their novel work during NANOWRIMO.
Imagine that the world you are living in has radically shifted. There is now no freedom of expression. Minority groups and LGTBQ+ groups are now under threat. Women’s rights are very limited if not completely non-existent. Extreme religious rules have been enforced. Laws are now extremely favorable toward the government instead of the people. Imagine this world and what rules it may or may not have on people. Using the prompts below, let us begin.
- What would the laws affecting LGTBQ+ be? Lean on resources such as The Handmaids Tale to explore what would happen in the dark future in which people’s sexuality or expressions of gender are no longer allowed.
- Which religious orders do you think would be still in existence. Draw from examples like The Fifth Element which explored the possibility of a number of mainstream and radical religions, or movies like The Book of Eli and Babylon A.D. What happens when this particular order takes hold?
- Corporate control: One or more large corporations control society through products, advertising, and/or the media. Examples include Minority Report and Running Man. What corporation would you pick to be in control? Is it more than one? What rules/order/control do you feel this corporation or corporations implement.
- Taking this thought experiment one step further, let’s imagine that we are writing from the point of view as a newscaster, using the prompts below, flush out the concepts above, asking the typical; what, where, why, how.
Pretend you are a news anchor reporting live from a dystopian society.
- Compose an informative newscast regarding what is happening in the current climate you are living in. Explain the who, what, why, where, and how of the painting. Remember to include characteristics of dystopian societies. This is a creative, dystopian write and you can rely entirely on your imagination to create this newscast.
- As a newscaster, what does this world feel like? Instead of using high levels of details like Lord of the Rings, build the world through the point of view of the observer, what does it ‘look like’ from a person who has to give us feedback about the world we are now existing in
- Write a propaganda piece that you imagine would be constantly given to us by the ‘news’. What type of things do you think the news would be telling us and what do you think the news would look like in terms of its format, is there mostly; print media, digital media, cable media?
- To wrap up this exercise think about how external factors like climate might affect the above. How would limited resources affect our dark world. See movies like Hunger Games or Running Man to see what possibilities there could be.