60 Dystopian Story Ideas & Writing Prompts

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Dystopian fiction talks about or showcases an imagined future world where a dehumanizing, frightening & anarchist society prevails after going through an environmental disaster or a world war and humans struggle with anarchy, oppression, brutality, and survival.

Related: What is Dystopian Fiction in Literature?

Dystopian Fiction Books Examples-

Reading some of the popular dystopian fiction books can also help you to get a great story idea but, if you are in a hurry, you can just read the plot, book description, or summary of the dystopian fiction books which can also help brainstorm a great dystopian fiction story idea.

Explore these popular dystopian genre books

  • Feed by M.T Anderson
  • We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Dystopian Story Ideas & Writing Prompts-


-Oxygen is the new currency in the dystopian world after the apocalypse.


-A character is on a journey to find another living human after the apocalypse.


-During an apocalypse a woman is trying to find her two kids with the help of her ex-husband and his wife.


-During a zombie apocalypse, a family was hiding in their house’s basement for years until they ran out of food and water stock.


-After the deadly virus outbreaks, no one dared to enter the underground facility where everything had started, but a character has to risk his life to save others.


-Children are not allowed to stay with their parents as they are now the sole property of the government.


-To survive in a post-apocalyptic world, a character has to kill or get killed.


-After the collapse of the government and modern society, you were on your own to save yourself and your family.


-In a world where no law and order prevails, the leader of an anarchist group is your innocent friend turned evil.


-In the world of anarchy, you should not trust anyone, not even your nice neighbor now asking for your help.


-In the underground city, space and food are limited, and so to let your family of six inside, you have to kill six people in the city.


-In a post-apocalyptic world, a lone character is roaming from place to place in search of someone who knows the way to the secret city.


-It’s not easy to survive in a world where killing an adult older than twenty-one isn’t a crime. A character turns twenty-one today.


-An international secret society has overthrown the world governments through its propaganda and now controls the world. A character’s brother is its leader.


-One sentient A.I took control of the world’s internet and somehow control of the world’s nuclear weapons. Now the AI is threatening humanity to do what it wants or face the consequences.


-In a dystopian world, the supreme leader is the lawmaker of his city. He’s a corrupt and hypocritical man who sells his own city people to other leaders as slaves. A lone character enters the city.


-In a dystopian world, no common man has ever seen the supreme leader of the land, but everyone fears him as to live is to obey his rules and orders.


-After the apocalypse, the corrupt government banned the private storage of food and water and kills selected people every year to keep its stock and population in balance.


-To survive the wasteland, you have to keep moving even when anyone in your group can’t.


-For years, no zombie has ever crossed the city’s big boundary wall, and now they all are inside the city.


monochrome photo of an old man

-In the post-apocalyptic world, people older than 60 are not allowed to live in the safe city and are sent outside the city to survive on their own. A character grandpa turns 60. He secretly follows him.


-In a dystopian city everyone lives in a group where the stronger the group the better chances to survive, a character is in the weakest group of the town.


white and black round ceiling

-In a dystopian world, the people of the upper class live happily and peacefully in their protected dome city and the people of the lower class live outside the city struggling every day to survive and looking for ways to break into the city.


man wearing black and blue mask costume

-The festival of death is celebrated every year in the city to control its increasing population due to the large number of refugees entering the safe city for shelter.


fog police seaside

-In a post-apocalyptic world, a character wants to join the special police department that controls crimes in the dystopian world but he has to go through an extreme test of endurance to prove himself.


abstract barbed wire black white black and white

-A cruel government has full control over its people’s lives and those who object or rebel disappear overnight.


-In a brutal future, the government’s emotionless robot army oppresses the people and forces them to obey ridiculous rules.


silhouette photography of boat on water during sunset

-In a dystopian world, the people of the lower class work in harsh conditions on the ground facing acid rain while the rich live in the underground city.


man in tunnel

In a scary future, humanity is on the brink of extinction after the A.I robots took over the planet and started killing every human for their mechanical race.


two persons walking on grassy field

-After the death of their parents, a character has to take care of his younger siblings who survived the sudden apocalypse.


pensive black guy in golden anonymous mask standing on street in daytime

-In a future world where the government has restricted every right of citizens, people wear a number badge and hide their faces under a common mask given by the government. Telling your name and showing your face is a punishable crime.


woman in green jacket covering face with black mask

-Trusting nobody and staying away from the locals are the only two rules to survive in the dystopian world.


-A war has turned the world into a wasteland where everything has been radioactively polluted including humans and to survive people take a special capsule but it comes with a price not paid by money and strictly regulated by a cruel leader.


person s hand reaching out to a light

-The creator of a super AI gets killed by his own creation and now the AI is destroying the world by manipulating the digital infrastructures, world economy, stock markets, and communication networks and no one knows how to shut it down.


antenna contact dawn dusk

-In a futuristic world people’s minds are connected with a mega server through a chip that transfers all their thoughts to the server and helps the government to stop any crime before it happens, while also using it for their corrupt deeds and to exploit people.


-In a technologically advanced future, a detective character is looking for an escaped highly intelligent bot responsible for inciting a war between machines and humans.


modern building exterior with geometric walls

-In a dystopian world societies live in huge pyramid structures cities while defending their pyramid society and fighting with other societies over resources necessary to survive and maintain their pyramid cities.


space shuttle launch during nighttime

-A father and his daughter trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world while looking for a way to join the group that is leaving the planet soon.


woman in white v neck t shirt smiling

-In a brutal future, the government injects fake memories into people’s minds according to their needs and once they achieve their goals they erase everything giving the person a new memory and a task and repeating it until a person dies of brain strokes.


-In a dystopian world, thousands of people are forcefully kept under heavy surveillance mines to extract fuel for the space city lived by the rich families of the world. Escaping the mine is nearly impossible but a newly joined miner, a middle-aged character who had escaped it earlier has a new plan.


two persons standing in hallway

-In a futuristic world, the earth has become completely inhabitable for human life, so people started living in a space city revolving around the planet.


silhouette of camera drone flew in mid air

-Drones of the government fly everywhere in the city and anyone found breaking the rules is punished on the spot.


grayscale photo of soil cracks

-Most of the earth’s water has evaporated due to an extreme heat wave and now the corrupt governments have control over every drop of water.


black laptop computer turned on showing computer codes

-Now robots hold the authority and have full control over everything on the planet. This happened when a computer virus made them corrupt and reprogrammed them all.


-The whole world has submerged under water after the apocalypse. The survivors are now living in water cities made on giant boats. 


male zombie in dirty dress shirt

-A virus turning humans into living-dead outbreaks from an ancient grave opened by a team of explorers. Now the uninfected people live inside cities guarded by huge walls.


view of city street

-After the government collapsed, everyone was on their own, and to survive the anarchy every family had to guard their houses day and night. The neighbors who didn’t like you are your first enemies.


female zombie sitting on the floor

-In a zombie apocalypse, a character’s family is the only uninfected family as they are immune to the virus and now helping others to reach safe places.


photography of person peeking

-Under the new totalitarian government made by the rich society, you can’t even trust your friends or relatives as now anyone can be their spy working for them to eliminate the rebellions.


man in black jacket and black pants standing on gray concrete road

-A man living in the city surrounded by huge walls finally made the escape after seven years to find his sister who couldn’t make it to the city.


red haired woman in dark room

-A little girl got left behind while boarding the last train to the enclosed city with his family. 15 years later the girl is now the leader of the survival group.


worms eyeview of well

-A character born and raised inside the underground city post-apocalypse is trying to see the land.


-A character was in her school when the sudden zombie apocalypse happened. Her whole school is now working as a team to survive.


In a post-apocalyptic world, the citizen of a state is environmentally engineered humans artificially born in government labs unaware that they are the last hope of human civilization to repopulate the planet.


In a dystopian world, the whole world is now a desert land where people struggle to survive the deadly and huge sandstorm coming every day destroying and killing everything on its way.


A character is the only survivor of the sudden apocalypse resulting from the climate change crisis. Living alone on a whole continent is mind-disturbing. He’s getting mad and hallucinating every time.


-In a futuristic world, rich people live in the space city while the poor lives on the land dying every day one-by-one in the toxic environment resulting from extreme extraction of natural resources and industrialization.


-Humans created genetically engineered humans with super intelligent brains but they turn against humankind and now started killing people.


-In a futuristic world ruled by robots, a robot is the mayor of a dystopian city where humans work under him in factories repairing robots, creating lithium batteries and robotic spare parts. A character works in one of these factories.


a woman doing an experiment

-In a state, the government injects its citizens with a special drug that limits their brain functions except only listening to the government and obeying their orders.

Neel Rana

About the Author- Neel Rana is a young adult fiction writer and children’s book author. He is a literary enthusiast and the founder of Pandora Post. Neel holds a degree in BA Honors in English Literature and has been writing since 2017. His magnum opus YA short storybook, “The Drunken Ghost” has been well received by the readers.