Like the title says: I want uplifting dystopias.
I want the hero(s) of the story to rise up above the injustices, repression and darkness and shine. I want them to be the best we all can be in a world were no one even tries. I want them to beat the bad guy, fight the man or destroy the evil machines. I want them to change their lives or world for the better.
That’s why I want to read dystopias.
Not to get depressed right along side the characters.
Not to realize the world is just the way it is and nothing can be done.
Not to read the whole story and in the end have the character admit defeat and join the anti-magic movement or give up their powers.
Now you might wonder why the heck am I going on about dystopias and changing the world. It actually has to do with something from Disney Channel. Now all your eyebrows are shooting up, but yes. Disney Channel.
You see I by accident stumbled upon the Wizard’s of Waverly Place series. A family of wizards living in New York, where the kids keep messing with magic and getting in trouble. It’s mostly kind of light and totally hilarious(and Selena Gomez is as cute as a button in it). I guess maybe I’m a little older than the intended audience but the jokes crack me up all the same.
Back to the dystopian thing. Like with all shows I obsessively watch I tend to read fan fiction on them. Since this was a h
umor series and there was no real couple to ship I wasn’t expecting anything good to read at all. Only people seem to love to write Dark Fics for this series and apparently there is a couple to ship.
Alex and Justin.
The older brother and sister.
Which when I got over the sort of ick factor I could sort of dig. Beside the fact that I would never ever want to see it on the show (which I sort of do with most couples I ship) I sort of find the fics about it kind of interesting. It’s not like that many people write about incest. And the characters have great chemistry – I mean they fight with each other 98% of the time and then save each other and hug it out the 2% of the time. And they’re both cute and the same age. I get why there would be people getting behind that.
So what does this have to do with dystopians? Well, one of the the fan-fic I read (called In Fire, In Ice) is set in a world were magic suddenly becomes known and the Wizards of the world become hunted. Lots of other things happen but in the end Alex is without her powers and Justin decides to give his up forever. They just sort of roll over and let the humans win. That’s not what I’m looking for when I start reading something depressing. I want things to get better and the world to change. So even though it was a fairly good (and totally well written) fic, it still left me pissed off.
I guess that might be why The Hunger Games worked for me – in the end both characters get to live. They sort of beat the system and all the Career Tributes die. That’s good enough for me. Sure there is the revolution in the other books but that was sort of too much(at least for me and I stopped reading after chapter two of book three). I was fine with someone sticking it to the man, on a scale that was believable
and sort of changing things a bit.
Okay so I might be saying I think “too much happy/changed ending is just as bad as too little.” Urg, now I’m getting a bit off topic and this is turning into a book not a blog post. Even if dystopians are a little bit yesterdays news I kind of think it’s important to think about what you want to do and make sure to keep the tone right.
That was maybe why I was disappointed by the fan-fic. I was expecting a heartwarming reunion Disney Channel style. Or at least some sort of happy ending, even if in some sense the ending in the fic might have been happy…no it wasn’t. That ending was just…empty.
The lesson might be one that can be applied to all sorts of writing; fan-fiction and otherwise. Don’t change the tone of your story! That makes people pissed off. Also makes them write rambling blog post (which might be good for promotional purposes!) that no one will bother to read to the end!
Okay! I’m done with my rambling! Only 20 days until Christmas! Whoo-ho!
- Finding hope in the darkness (justinegraykin.wordpress.com)
- Are utopian and dystopian worlds even possible? (heidicvlach.wordpress.com)
- Why do literary novelists love dystopias? (salon.com)
- Bad (mommasmoneymatters.com)
- Some Thoughts About Gender in YA Dystopias (crunchingsandmunchings.wordpress.com)
- Dystopia (nikotheorb.wordpress.com)
- Just Finished…The First by Sara Zaske (melcj.wordpress.com)
- Time travel, Bruce Willis and my dystopian preferences (weescoops.wordpress.com)
- Review & Contest: AFTER, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (underwordspress.com)
- Fiction Night: Utopia-Dystopia with Atwood & Others (fora.tv)