dystopian building for writing prompt

Welcome to the next article in our adult writing prompt series. To keep with our mission of offering 500+ genre-specific writing prompts and story ideas potential authors can use to write their next bestseller, today, we offer up 51 amazing dystopian writing prompts.

Let’s quickly define dystopian fiction.  Dystopian fiction is a genre of fictional writing that often refers to a setting and/or society marred by depression, poverty, and general unhappiness. These works of speculative fiction often explore the social and political aspects of these dark and inhabitable conditions.

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So if your someone like me who has always enjoyed reading and writing these happy-go-lucky themed books, then you will definitely like some of these inspirational writing prompts.

  1. In a post-apocalyptic world, where a person’s five senses are taken away and earned back through monetary credits earned through indentured servitude to the privileged class.
  2. A society in which a family’s wealth dictates how many of its own children that they can keep.
  3. A futuristic world where everyone’s thoughts and dreams are constantly monitored so they can be taken and used by the wealthy privileged class to remain in power.
  4. A world so dependent on technology, that the human race has stopped being a social mammal, and this unbreakable solitude now puts them at risk for extinction.
  5. When Earth is ravished by a series of climate-related catastrophes, the survivors have no choice but to fight over the small plot of land that is still fit for human survival.
  6. Artificial intelligence and augmented reality have become a staple in day-to-day with life, so much so that the average person spends 24 hours a day in a virtual state. What happens when they find out the AI discovered a way more useful use of this technology and entertaining the people in it.
  7. In a future world that prides itself on optimal efficiency, each person is given the exact path they are to live down to the very day starting with the day they’re born.
  8. A world with limited resources after an intergalactic war destroys most of the planet, forces, and citizens to self-police population growth. The law says for every person born into a family one must die.
  9. Earth loses an intergalactic war to a hostile invading species within the enslaved the survivors to help them extract every last resource out of the planet.
  10. In this world, thoughts are crimes. Artificial intelligence is judge, jury, and executioner.

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  1. After the last great world war, all religion was banned. This included all religious works and artifacts. But what happens if one Bible still remains?
  2. In this society, the only currency anyone has his life expectancy. The ruling class oppresses the masses of poor citizens by forcing them to trade days of life for the basic goods and services needed for survival.
  3. In a society that is focused on gene manipulation and the furthering of the human species, any people with less than desired DNA is either made infertile and sent into slavery or eradicated at birth.
  4. The human race is overtaken by alien hostiles, they are forced to live in a quasi-vegetative state offset by augmented reality while their bodies slowly decay as they are used as human carbon batteries.
  5. All learning is banned from society. The Internet is totally rewritten and all books are destroyed. The only thing society has is the propaganda given to it by its oppressive ruling class.
  6. In a world, where it is been determined, that the optimal age for existence is 28, humans are perpetually cloned at that age and granted existence until they turn 29.
  7. Society has gotten over the automated, and the richest class has gotten richer and richer while everyone else has fallen into squalor. To deal with the boredom and help entertain the ruling class,  poor citizens turned in use as pets.
  8. In a society 100% under state control, humans are selected at random to face off against each other in a 24 hour broadcasted deathmatch.
  9. A weaponized biologic is used to control everyone’s actions as it empowers its creators to instantly activate it inside of any one person killing them within 24 hours.
  10. In a world where disease is left unchecked, the only ones privileged enough for Medicare and the cures are the controlling class of Aristocrats.
  11. A world where all money is done away with, instead, people must pay their way with an intellectual or physical contribution to society. What happens when a system of deciding the value of contributions is rigged?
  12. Women have come to power over 3000 years ago, slowly the value of men has declined. To the point where their only value and reason for existence is procreation of more women.
  13. In a twisted futuristic world, society’s darkest minds are connected to an Augmented Reality machine to have their machinations come to life as entertainment for the rest of society. When these virtual reality horror shows come to life the world will never be the same.
  14. A world that no longer believes in prisons, instead these prisoners are used as human prey in a dark and twisted hunting game.
  15. Sports, as we know them, are long gone, they have been replaced by darker, deadlier versions of their past games. The new death games are meant to be a social release for the masses to avoid unleashing true demons on themselves.  But what if the games were really a way to desensitize and train people to act the very way the games were said to prevent.
  16. Every city in the world is reduced to rubble in the blink of an eye, all except one building that is left standing in each. Now the survivors need to figure out what caused the tragedy and what is the significance of these remaining structures.
  17. A zombie plague has slowly overtaken the planet. A cure was found and now 80 percent of the population are functioning zombies, which can still participate in society and keep the world going, but each day is potentially a dark day, as these zombies are still liable to kill their human counterparts at every turn.
  18. After an unknown cyber attack takes out the world’s power grid, the world is thrown into shambles. Anarchy rules the streets, and long-term survival is unlikely as the chaotic war zone is unleashed on the public.
  19. A global food shortage occurs with severe climate change. Leading to severe famine for the last several decades. In this world, food is more valuable than money or gold every was. The most abundant food source is human flesh, and the evil ruling class has no problem with that. In this world, you are either wealthy or eventually turned into dinner.  
  20. Society has long become dependent on pharmaceutical drug Zenvia. A highly addictive CNS drug that creates a feeling of euphoria. The government uses is to hook the population and bend them to their will by manipulating them through their Zenvia addiction.
  21. A society that uses its citizens as subjects in medical and psychological experiments decides the current generation of people will partake in the breaking point study, which is designed to have these people subjected to non-stop mental stress, and depression-inducing stimuli to see how long it takes to break them for good.
  22. A society where gender identity has been completely wiped away, anyone that demonstrates any masculine or feminine traits is imprisoned to be cleansed.
  23. In this society, dreams are controlled my mind mimics. But these dreams are far more real as is the danger they pose.
  24. Society had been wiped out by a huge nuclear war.  Now they live in the safety dome, forced to relive the same mundane life simulation every single day.
  25. Earth was under attack when defeat became clear they started to evacuate to a space station that was still under construction. Unfortunately only 5000 people made it out, now they are stuck on the bleak space station that is barely functioning.
  26. Nanobots were once touted as a great technological breakthrough, but now they dictate everything about your life. You know longer have free will, only an ability to follow the path that the nanobots set out for you.
  27. In this alternate universe, Hitler won World War II and his persecution expanded to anyone that didn’t have blond hair blue eyes. They are now slaves in concentration camps until they can’t work anymore.
  28. After a full economic collapse, the world boils over unleashing the worst part of humanity onto itself.
  29. An alien box lands on the planet that promises to hold unleash knowledge and power the world has never seen before. But in order to unlock it, humanity must commit certain atrocities on itself. What choice will they make?
  30. In a horrible society where women are treated like second-class citizens, once a year, The reaping goes on for 24hrs, where men are allowed to hunt and treat women any way they choose with no repercussions.
  31. The air quality on earth is so bad that it can no longer sustain most human life, without assisted breathing apparatus. But as the sun gets more and more hidden from society and breathing becomes more and more dangerous, will the human psyche crack before the body.
  32. In a world where all disease can be cured, that is if you have enough money, through a process called human transfer, society’s richest people are allowed to select random members of the poorer class to transfer their health issues onto and get a clean bill of health for themselves.
  33. In a future where everyone communicates telepathically, the language disappears, then human interaction, then procreation leaving humanity on the brink of extinction.
  34. Severe environmental changes cause certain animal species to go into a type of accelerated evolution for survival. Now the planet is overrun with beasts that hunt humans and as they reclaim their place at the top of the food chain.
  35. Children are born and given a test to make sure they don’t carry a certain gene that may be susceptible to the zombie plague as part of the government’s prevention strategy since getting the zombie crisis under control. But what happens when every child born has the gene?
  36. A zombie pandemic has taken down 40 percent of the population. Promises of a cure have led to zombies being caught and retained until a cure can be found to bring loved ones back. But what if the cure is only made available to the richest people in the world?
  37. A huge electromagnetic pulse destroys all technology on the planet sending back to the stone age overnight.
  38. In a world where children are born with a lust for blood, they begin to hunt and kill their parents. Now people need to decide, stop having children and guarantee extinction or continue to have them and fight the demons until normal children are found again.
  39. In a future where personal property rights are revoked and no one truly owns anything, as it can all be taken away by the government at any moment.best seller training banner

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I hope you have enjoyed this 49 Dystopian story ideas. Feel free to take any of these 500 writing prompts and use them as inspiration to craft your next best-selling dystopian novel.

Remember that we have a full series of free adult writing prompts that you can check out in other genres. If you like these then make sure to check out the rest.

Sometimes writers hesitate to use a publicly shared writing prompt as their inspiration for their next novel.  But, I will tell you, you shouldn’t be, because alone none of these writing prompts are worth the paper they are printed on, and that’s really bad since this is digital.

But it’s true, this dystopian writing prompts need to fleshed out, to create a full plot and satisfying novel.

That is where you come in, As a dystopian writer, it’s up to you to create a believable world that engages readers by putting them in a deprived setting that is barely worth living.

So good luck with your writing, I hope you can use one of these dystopian story ideas as inspiration that will lead to your next great published book.

As always, Thanks for Reading and more Importantly Writing!