Imagine the possibilities.
There I was, sitting in my apartment trying to decide what to do with my afternoon. A thought came to mind, instead of watching another movie or sci-fi series episode, why not just take a shot at making my own? It wasn’t the worst idea I’ve ever had but it was this idea that brought spark to the kindling of creativity within me.
What started as a short story became an entire universe as well as a blank canvas for expression beyond my wildest belief. You see, in this universe anything was possible, much unlike the one I found myself living in at the time. For many, science fiction in particular can offer quite a bit of comfort and it can be a means to escape the dull monotonous routine of life that so many of us find ourselves in from time to time.
Every good story needs relatable characters, a believable plot, humor and a new take on things. A refreshing perspective can go a long way in relieving the suffering of everyday life. Dystopity could be interpreted many ways. Albeit a universe of a dystopian nature isn’t the most original idea one must ask, what is a dystopia anyways and how would it be best defined. I find that the word in general holds a sort of dark context.
It’s that darkness that brings excitement and mystery. What’s even more interesting is that a dystopian future can provide something extremely valuable. I’m talking about opportunity. Where do we draw the line between a dystopia and a utopia? What’s to keep us from changing our own world from one to the other?
These are the ideas that form the foundation of a sandbox that I’ve enjoyed creatively working in for over a year now. A good story or a story in general will always need to explore concepts of good and evil, right and wrong and other polarized concepts that lead to conflict and resolution. But must everything be resolved?
Why not leave a few strings for readers to pull on in their minds? Let them unravel some plot elements on their own and leave some openings for a new and exciting exploration of a particular concept or situation.
Going back to my thoughts on relatability, I think this is key when it comes to an engaging story. There has to be a real connection made with the characters. They have to be real. They need to be allowed to live and breathe even if they are no more than figments of an author’s imagination, there is room and potential for them to be so much more. Who said because they had never been born in the physical world that they are any less real than you or I?
Perhaps some would say I was mad for exploring this line of thought but I truly believe that if you really try to relate to the characters in your story and really let them live and breathe in your imagination, there’s a real potential for creative expression and the possibility of them becoming so much more than you could ever imagine at the beginning of this process.
I don’t know about you but in regard to my own life, the last word I would use to describe it would be ‘perfect.’ In fact, I would say it has been anything but. On the other hand, I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a lot of advantages. I grew up with a mother and father that loved me. I came from a middle class family and was born as a Caucasian in the United States, a country with preferential treatment to whites in regard to employment and educational opportunities.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been privileged in many ways. But in no way would I say I’ve had an ‘easy’ life either. I’ve had my fair share of hard knocks and setbacks. I’ve been overwhelmed at times in despair. I’ve been disappointed by friends, family and even with myself, appalled when I look back at some of the things I’ve done in my life and who I was as a person at times.
You see, at least from my own perspective, the world doesn’t operate in blacks and whites. It operates in every color of the rainbow and every single possible variation that lies within. It rewards positive thinking and action and punishes the opposite. In no way could life be described as fair from my limited experience.
In fact it could be much better described as chaotic and random. Why am I here? Why was I so fortunate to be gifted in so many ways? There’s the positive side of me talking. So much depends on our perspective. Our mentality. And especially, how we look at the world and define ourselves within it. Everything is relative. What do you value above all else? Family? Friends? Wealth? Freedom? Free will?
These are questions I often find myself asking the subconscious driver within. The answers provide motivation and dictate my actions in many ways. When I first began my journey writing and publishing titles, I limited myself to non-fiction.
It is a much more well defined platform to write from. In this field we can eliminate many of the shades of grey that are oh so common in works of fiction. Non-fiction deals in facts. Cold, hard, undeniable ones. There is still room for creativity in this field of course but the philosophical questions that so easily find there way into works of fiction almost never do in non-fiction.
I would urge a non-fiction author to take a chance, put their neck out there and write a short story. The sensation of being unleashed to create anything your mind can conceive is a strong one! But now I find myself so far off the point of this article in the first place that I can hardly see the forest for the trees.
Dystopity is a universe with many well defined characteristics but even so, for the most part it is still an open canvas. I’ve looked for help in building this universe and the stories within it and have found a lot of support in this regard. That being said, just like the Native Americans believed of the land, why would I want the burden of owning a universe. Dystopity is as much yours as it is mine. The concepts and elements within its stories should give heed to those in the present. There’s no doubt that much will not come to pass but you’d be surprised how much just might.
It is a warning to those living in the present of the dangers ahead. A dystopian reality easily manifested if we allow things to continue the way they have been going. But at any point we can stop the merry-go-round and get off. Through our collective powers and actions we can prevent a future dystopian reality and move the bar back towards what we would consider a utopian one. The choice is ours. It always has been and it always will be. Lets not forget that our destiny is not to live in Dystopity but to live in the world we create for ourselves each wonderful day that we are blessed to walk this earth. Thank you.