This week, I blogged on YAHighway about creating a dystopian society. I wanted to expand a little, but I think you need a tiny bit of background in case you didn't read that post (gasp!).
Here's what I said about creating futures: Creating futures for young adults in a novel is a challenging task. I mean, no one knows what life will be like. And the future has to stem from something that does exist in this time, something that teens are familiar enough with that they can envision your future evolving from their present.
So with that in mind, how do we shape the characters that are living in that futuristic society? Will they feel the same things? Love? Abandonment? Will teens struggle with the same issues they do now?
That's what I'm going to explore a bit today.
I think the human need for love remains constant no matter what world you live in. Sure, the teens living in my brainwashed society may not have the same hopes and desires as the teens today (I mean, when someone else tells you want to wear and what to eat, your hopes are skewed a little), but they still crave acceptance. They still have to carve their own way in life. Those fundamentals don’t change too much. The road toward love, happiness and success might look different, but the desire to achieve those things is deeply rooted in humanness.
I believe that young adults like stories where they can see themselves. Their own struggles. Be that a coming-of-age story, or a battle with addictions, or a need to thrash their own path. In a dystopian society, these themes can still be explored. And, I believe, in a "safe" way, in a society that is clearly not real. I think those same things that we struggle with as humans now, should be present in humans then.
And that’s why all stories are born with believable, likeable, three-dimensional characters. Someone who could be us, living in a future we can imagine, fighting similar battles we've fought.
After all, humans are going to continue to be human.
Do you agree? Disagree? If so, what do you think humans will be like in the future?