Alida and Robert welcome J Thorn back to the round table to discuss world building in the genres of dystopian and post apocalyptic fiction. We compare world building across genres and address the pressing question: How many ways can you end the world?

Don’t miss the companion episode in our Genre Series, #42, on dystopian & post apocalyptic fiction with J Thorn.




Wait! If you haven’t yet listened to our first episode with J Thorn, go back and check it out! SWRT 042 Dystopian & Post-Apocalyptic Fiction.
How should you approach world-building in dystopian or post-apocalyptic fiction? What do you do when your science doesn’t hold up? And what do your readers expect? How should you display your world-building on the page? And where are all those balance points?
Visit J Thorn at or check out his fiction at or his author services at
What we talked about: 
What does world-building entail in these genres? (2:50)
How do you treat world-building aspects that are fundamental to the plot? (5:37)
What about when the science doesn’t hold up? (8:08)
What do reader’s expect from a post-apocalyptic world? (11:48)
What is the difference between dystopian, apocalyptic, and post-apocalyptic world-building? (17:48)
How do you balance world-building and story in your story? (21:35)
How you should balance story telling efficiency. (26:48)
How can you show your world-building through dialogue, movement, and actions. (31:44)


Things we mentioned: 
Risen Gods by JF Penn and J Thorn
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
On Writing by Stephen King
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


Have thoughts, questions, other examples? Join the conversation at the Story Works Writers Facebook group

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