D is for Darkness/Dystopia #atozchallenge

I can’t talk about my brand without talking about Darkness, which is the main city from my main series of books (starting with Glass Block, which will be back online soon). But I also wanted to talk about dystopia, which is why I’m doing another long post. And one ties to the other, promise 😉

Darkness PD

So, the first place to start is to centre on Elliot’s department (who will be appearing in a post tomorrow!), Darkness PD. Darkness PD and the wider city are the setting for my sci-fi noir series set – and there are actually three series’ in the overall arc (210 mapped story points – not all with be novels, some are short stories, or novellas, but there are a fair few novels mixed in there). It’s a near future, highly technological city, overseen by an AI called CORETEX. But there are werewolves and vampires, religious indoctrination, prisoners on the loose, and a lot more.

One of the most important things about the writing of the series is that the city maintains it’s dystopian feel. Darkness is near future, of course, but it’s also much darker and far deeper into some of the ‘themes’ we deal with in politics and the wider world already – some of it is projected, while some of it is terrifying and taken to extremes. And I think that’s what I think of wider dystopia.

So, why dystopia?

I guess the biggest thing for me, especially when talking about genre choice is that I’ve always read, and always wrote some form of dystopia…till recently. Two political schisms in 2016 stopped that dead for me, because, as I said when one then the other happened, that I couldn’t write dystopia, living in the world that we currently do. But it’s not been entirely true. I’ve written more since 2016, but my writing, in general, has stopped, so maybe it’s not just (it’s not, I talked about some of the other reasons yesterday) that.

But the why of dystopian writing is that human nature is amazing, and putting people up against the odds and seeing what shakes out is something that is beguiling and gives me a rich backdrop to write against. It also lets me explore some of the more important themes in the world, because when you strip out everything that people hide behind, and that gives people something interesting to think about. And I do overthink things – I think anxiety about things that could go wrong in the world feeds into my writing. It’s very telling that my therapist once said I process nightmares by writing horror and apocalyptic books.

What do you think? Is dystopia a big part of your life?

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