Is dystopian dead?

I decided to write a book because it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. I love to read and I love to write, so taking on the adventure of creating a story, a whole world, and putting it on paper sounded like a great idea! I brainstormed for a while until I latched onto a storyline that set my heart aflutter and got my creative juices flowing. I researched how to approach writing your first novel and things like that, but I didn’t spend much time looking into the types of stories agents/publishers want to see. I didn’t do this because getting my story published wasn’t something that was really on my radar. Finishing my story was my goal. It’s still my goal. I’ll be perfectly content to complete my book and let that be the end. The process is quite the personal journey and I’ll be proud to finish this huge undertaking. That said, I still want to leave my options open.

So, out of curiosity, I started Googling a bit about the types of work YA agents/publishers are looking for and uh… it seems dystopian is not it. In fact, it seems that many push away anything with a hint of dystopia to it. It’s overdone, they’ve seen it all, they say. Most of the articles I found were from 2013,  but it was still pretty discouraging. I was surprised because I’m surrounded by teens everyday that are still very interested in that genre/sub-genre. I’m obviously interested in it, or I wouldn’t be writing the book I’m writing. But looking over my WIP again, it really isn’t the most original storyline… on the surface (overpopulated world, disease outbreak, yadda yadda).

Anyway, I moped around for a while, feeling like a door that I might want to pass through in the future was maybe, possibly closing or closed (ha) but then I remembered seeing this on pinterest:

I gets alls the inspo from the pinterest

After getting completely melodramatic about whether not everything I’ve done has been a waste of time, I came back to Earth and remembered why I decided to do this in the first place. I want to do it for me. Anything else beyond that is just a plus. It just so happens that by doing it for me, I am pretty much guaranteed to produce a better product than if I wrote something solely because I thought it was what someone else wanted to read.

Side note: while I’m kind of on the subject of keeping doors open, I was supposed to be part of a “Meet My Character Blog Tour” this week but I think I’m chickening out. I’ve been wondering how much of my story I should/is wise to share online for a while and I’m pretty fearful about sharing too much.  I read few articles that made me worry that over-sharing could interfere with traditional publishing since, technically, posting on a blog is “publishing” your work. Again, I don’t know if getting a book published is anything I’ll ever try to tackle and if I did, I don’t know if I’ll try to go traditional or self (–in which case it doesn’t matter how much I share online), but until I know for sure, I think I’m going to hold off…. maybe… I don’t know…

I’d still like to give a shout out to the person who tagged me to participate in the tour though! Go check out JDHoward  and read about her current WIP. You can read her awesome interview with her main character, Malcom Ledeaux … or “just Malcom,” as he prefers.




  1. When I first became serious about writing, I did that very thing, looked to see whether my notion for a story was “in”.. I realized the same as you did. It was a little discouraging at times. But I was (and am) determined to write the story I want to write. I’d be darned if I’m going to use what’s in, or what agents think is marketable to determine the value of my story. IF anything, write the thing you desire, and if you have to shelf it until you feel the time is right – do so, would be my suggestion. Successful writers do it all the time.
    Hey, I understand fully about the Meet My Character Tour. Your work is valuable, and not to be taken lightly. It’s almost like a child, really. You want to nurture it and not release it out to the world until it’s ready. 🙂
    Thanks for the kind words.

  2. Thanks! Comforting to know others have experienced similar things and made similar choices. You know, I didn’t post my character questionnaire, but I did complete it. That was an enlightening activity and I think I’ll do it for more of my characters.

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