My current novel is post-apocalyptic, and I was going to market it as dystopian. One of my critiquers said it’s not depressing and dark enough to be dystopian. Is that a necessary criteria for this genre?
This is a great question. The short answer is, absolutely not. The slightly longer answer is that I think we’re at the beginning of the second wave of this dystopian trend and that’s a great time to start playing with the form and having fun with it. I personally would love to see a writer who figures out how to do a very funny dystopian book. A tough trick maybe, but if someone could pull it off I think it would feel very fresh and could be a lot of fun.
Above all, write your dystopian book, not anyone else’s.
Guest Editor Jeff Hirsch
Jeff Hirsch is the author of the best-selling post-apocalyptic YA novel The Eleventh Plague. His second novel will be Magisterium. Read the grabber opening chapter of The Eleventh Plague on his website, then click this link by mid-Thursday for a chance to win a free Advance Reading Copy of it—complete with fab cover blurb by Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games.