Write Appealing Dystopia: Build a Frighteningly Realistic World OnDemand Webinar

Write Appealing Dystopia: Build a Frighteningly Realistic World OnDemand Webinar

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1984 is a hit on Broadway, Gilead's Handmaids are stars in streaming, and in the theaters we can choose between Bladerunner's Los Angeles or the Planet of the Apes. Basically the world is turning into hell, and audiences are just as eager to visit as writers are to lead them there. We create dystopian societies to shine a light on real issues troubling us today and to turn social problems into mass entertainment. But for every harrowing depiction of a hideous future that demands our attention, there's always an Elysium or Battlefield Earth that draws nothing but snickers. What's the difference -- and how do we build worlds that seem real and terrifying?

This 90-minute webinar will examine the creation of the dystopian worlds that command our attention, from The Handmaid's Tale's Gilead to The Hunger Games' Panem to Children of Men's dying England and Mad Max's outback wasteland. And it will look at failed dystopias to find out why audiences rejected them. What are the elements that make even the craziest of these societies ring true? What makes audiences want to immerse themselves in their misery? And what are the mistakes that make a dystopian world look silly instead of scary?

I've been a fan of this kind of story all my life, but until I sat down to plot my own dystopian thriller I'd never tried to understand what makes them work. Now, after months of study, I'm looking forward to sharing what I've learned with you.


  • How to create a believable dystopia
  • How to draw your world from contemporary trends
  • What kinds of characters work in a dystopian story
  • Common mistakes made in failed dystopian worlds
  • How to go from abstract ideas to concrete worlds


  • Writers who want to keep on top of Hollywood trends
  • Writers who want a fresh approach to science fiction or fantasy stories
  • Writers who want to challenge themselves
  • Writers who want to address contemporary issues in a commercial way
  • Writers who love underdog heroes
  • Writers who want to learn about world-building
  • Anyone who loves these movies and TV series and wants a deeper understanding of what makes them work

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