This week, Alida and Robert welcome best-selling author J Thorn to the Round Table to discuss post apocalyptic and dystopian fiction as part of our genre series.
How do you define Horror, Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian fiction? What are the differences in genre conventions? How does it prey on the fears of our society? What are the differences between a good and a great book in these genres? And how and where should you innovate?
What we talked about:
Why did J shift from Horror to Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic fiction? (1:56)
What are the differences in genre conventions between Horror, Dystopian, and Post-Apocalyptic fiction? (6:10)
What is the difference between Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic? (9:25)
Why are readers drawn to Post-Apocalyptic versus Horror? (11:15)
Does Post-Apocalyptic fiction reflect current fears in society? (14:00)
Does the threat have to come from within? (16:58)
What is the difference between a good and a great book in Post-Apocalyptic fiction? Where do you innovate? (19:05)
How should you craft your “event”? And does it have to be on the page? (21:25)
What are the Dystopian themes? (23:08)
When should you innovate? And when should you stick close to the genre conventions? (24:35)
Inject what you know in order to create genre innovation! (27:55)
Where is the genre heading? (31:35)
Things we mentioned:
On Writing by Steven King
The Stand by Steven King
War of the Worlds
Monsters in America by W Scott Poole
Story Grid by Shawn Coyne
Save the Cat! By Blake Snyder
The Post-Apocalyptic Reader’s Guide by J Thorn (with the essay about the difference between Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian fiction)
Have thoughts, questions, other examples? Join the conversation at the Story Works Writers Facebook group.
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