Why I write dystopian.


Dystopian genre

Most of my adult life my bookish leanings were for historical romance, bonnet novels (Amish), or non-fiction how-to-be-the-best-at being a mom, being a wife, cooking, etc…

You get the picture.

So how in the world did I start writing speculative fiction, namely, YA (young adult) dystopian?

Let’s back up a little here. In sixth grade, I promised my teacher that I’d write a book someday. I knew I had some natural, raw talent and I wasn’t planning on wasting it. Fast forward ___ years, marriage and four kids later, and I still hadn’t lost that dream.

I knew I wanted to write a book. I just needed to decide what type of book. I had always been interested in writing nonfiction and was tempted. But I also knew that my healing wasn’t complete, and my knowledge wasn’t yet whole. My story still unfinished. I needed to wait until that story was completed before I could write it. I knew it was not yet time. Maybe someday I’ll still write that story. But today is not that day.

I wanted to make an impact with my writing. Entertain, but more than that. I wanted to help heal the world. This is something we writers can do with our words. I knew somehow if I could weave healing and hope into my story that maybe it would impact others for good.

Maybe I had something to offer the world. Maybe God had given me talents for a reason and didn’t want me smothering them anymore.

I saw the movie The Hunger Games. Instantly I knew. I could do that. I could write a dystopia. Something rang true about it all for me. Something about that genre called my name. It was the perfect fit. I could weave in important themes and messages, and do it under the guise of fiction. It was perfect. I immediately gobbled up The Hunger Games books after viewing the first movie on Redbox. Now I was hooked, and I was excited because the next movie was coming out in theaters in a couple of short months.

Next, I went through the Divergent series and became just as equally obsessed. Dystopia was powerful. It told a story which held morals and hidden messages. This was exciting for me. I knew this was the writing path I needed to pursue.

I knew it was in the realm of possibilities for me to achieve, and one day I just sat down…and did. A couple of months later I had my first draft written at 72k words. It was a mess. But a beautiful mess. I had done it. And I kind of thought it was pretty good.

I self-taught myself over the course of the next couple of years things I needed to know about editing and the publishing world.

And I edited. And edited. And edited some more. I was learning, growing, and expanding my mind and my talents. It was really happening. And it felt so right. I knew I was where God wanted me.

Naturally, I wrote YA dystopia because let’s face it, most dystopias are written for YA, not adults (although that certainly does exist). I knew I wanted a coming-of-age story, and I knew I wanted to write about a female teen. Why? Because I was one, and I knew how they think and act.

It was easy. I didn’t need to write about something I didn’t know about yet, I was just starting off, and wanted to make it simple for myself. I knew I could write about a teen girl. Didn’t know if I could write about a 45-year-old man in the Navy. Ya know? That old saying, “write what you know,” isn’t such a bad saying.

Not that I don’t think people can’t jump out of their comfort zones and write beyond themselves because they can and they should. But I was just starting off, so I digress.

Speaking to teens hearts is something I hope to accomplish by writing YA dystopia. Somehow make a positive impact in their lives. Even if just a small one. Any amount of positive input I can add to someone’s journey is well worth it.

I think I will always write YA. It’s part of me. And let’s face it. I’m just not good at adultish stuff. I am young at heart, and no matter how many wrinkles or smile-lines I get on my face, I think I always will be. Writing for teens is in my blood. I may not always write dystopias, but I’m pretty sure I’ll always write YA.


8 thoughts on “Why I write dystopian.

  1. I was surprised to find out how much I enjoy distopian! Something in Hunger Games really resonated inside me too. Kudos to you for being able to write it–definitely need more YA that’s a good clean read. Now that my younger kids are entering that age, I can really appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Georgiana! That’s really how I felt about the Hunger Games too. And yes, I agree, more YA clean reads are important. Just a heads up, my book, Ending Fear, is clean, but because it talks about sexual purity issues you might wanna only let your older teens read it. Or read it before them to see if your kids can handle it.

      Liked by 1 person

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