Choose Your Own Dystopia!

We've been reading a number of dystopians in YA lately, and thus talking a lot about what they do and don't have in common. While we may have a more serious discussion of dystopians with you in the future, we thought it'd be more fun to present you with our findings...in a sort-of quiz form.

It's not really a quiz though. It's more of a framework for helping you build your own dystopian!

Proceed to our Dystopian World-Builder:

1) You live in a dark dangerous ______ world.

a. post-apocalyptic far future
b. post-apocalyptic near future
c. post-apocalyptic fantasy
d. post-apocalyptic fantasy far future
e. post-apocalyptic fantasy near future

2) It's a terrible place ruled by a ______ government.

a. utopian
b. militaristic
c. tyrannical
d. religious
e. all of the above

3) ______ is forbidden!

a. love
b. mutation
c. technology
d. the manatee
e. free thought

4) You are a naive young ______--

a. girl
b. girl
c. girl
d. boy
e. girl

5) --who believes in ______--

a. the obviously evil government
b. truth, beauty, freedom and love
c. destiny
d. Star Trek
e. the inferiority of "other" people

6) --until ______ changes your mind about everything.

a. the death of your parent(s)
b. the disappearance of your annoyingly boy-crazy bff
c. the appearance of a mysterious hot young man
d. the appearance of two mysterious hot young men
e. all of the above (which means three mysterious hot young men)

7) After the aforementioned life-changing event, you discover that you have ______ powers!

a. mutant
b. magical
c. divine
d. genetically engineered
e. pineapple-flavored 

8) With these newly discovered abilities, you will help ______ overthrow the government.

a. the Resistance
b. the Rebellion
c. the Revolution
d. the Reconaissance
e. the Resistabellvolutionaissance

9) Tragically, your ______ dies in the process--

a. tofu love interest
b. bff
c. mentor-figure
d. sibling
e. forbidden manatee

10) --in what is surely the most ______ of all.

a. noble sacrifice
b. senseless death
c. deserving death
d. consummate metaphor for this dystopian world
e. badass scene

11) After all, s/he was ______.

a. too precious for this world
b. a traitor
c. annoying
d. too badass to continue living without threatening to overshadow you/the protagonist.
e. all of the above

12) You are filled with _______.

a. rage
b. hope
c. regret
d. determination
e. hunger

And now your story truly begins...

We hope this worldbuilder has helped you create a truly terrifying future for your imaginary victims friends. Tell us what your future dystopia is like in the comments!

On Friday, we will share our bleak vision of the future with you. Until then, do tell us, did we forget any pertinent dystopian concepts/events/tropes?


Connie Keller said...

Love it!

BTW, I think you should write one with a manatee mentor who survives the apocalypse and holds the key to the utopic future. Except it's not really a utopia because genetically modified manatees become oppressors and a new rebellion of...seahorses arises to fight the g-m manatees. And so on.

Lori M. Lee said...

haha! That's fantastic XD INSTANT YA DYSTOPIAN GOLD.

Emy Shin said...


Golden recipe for a YA Dystopian!

Anonymous said...

YES--THIS is dystopia!

Tofu love interest, LOL!

Anonymous said...

eerr... I think my answer will need a full blown post. This is fantastic. Maybe I should start writing dystopian stories instead. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh and I second the manatee mentor suggestion :)

Nicole Zoltack said...

So much fun!

Tere Kirkland said...

Too precious for this world!! ROFL!

But the best part was question #4. You really need to self-pub this, Alz, you'll make a mint!

Barbara Ann Wright said...

My novel is now full of manatees and pineapples. Thank you. ^_^

Angela Brown said...

LOL!! I couldn't help laughing at the fomula unfolding for dystopias, recognizing so much of it in the YA dystopia I'm working on, especially given the very last thing is that the end is when her real story begins. Priceless.


ali cross said...

You guys never fail to crack me up! It's terrible how dang predictable we writers are!

Sophia Chang said...


Mine is all about manatees

Golden Eagle said...

LOL. I laughed especially hard at the list of "resistance" terms; so many books have them, it's interesting to see what variation/word the author decided to use. :P

I wrote a Dystopian-style book that followed this set of questions rather closely. Though there were no pineapple-flavored powers, unfortunately. *heads off to add fruit flavors to novel*

Lydia Kang said...

No manatees? That's not a dystopia, that's HELL.

This was too funny and too true!

Julie Dao said...

HAHHAHAHA!!!! Please, please, PLEASE write a book about a future dystopia run by a militaristic government that has outlawed manatees.

Unknown said...

Very nice!

Yahong Chi said...

O MON DIEU WHY ARE SOME PEOPLE SO SMART this is pure amazingness. Thanks for making my day, Alz, Krispy. :D