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Writing Dystopian Novels Feb 07, 2021

Writing a Dystopian Novel.

Five Reasons To Write A Dystopia.

(Warning: Spoilers for ‘We’ by Yevgeny Zamyatin, ‘1984’ by George Orwell, ‘A Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood and ‘The Children of Men’ by PD James.)

  1. Utopia and Dystopia are a hair's breadth apart

Utopia came first. Written in Latin and published in 1516, Thomas More first coined the phrase as the title for his work of fiction and socio-political satire – ‘a little, true book, not less beneficial than enjoyable, about how things should be in a state and about the new island Utopia’. More portrays a socialist idyll of hospitals and shared food. (Not all the details are so homogenously equal but considering the time it was written, there’s a lot that seems remarkable.) But utopia literally means ‘nowhere’, from Greek ou ‘not’ and topos ‘place’; this was somewhere that could not be found.

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