by Adam Wodyk

I once took part in a project in which I, as a recipient of art, was supposed to answer 

certain questions regarding the effect of art on the human psychological condition. I 

couldn’t help but wonder one thing. 

green plant on white ceramic pot
Books on display

– Has it ever happened that coming into contact with a certain artistic creation greatly 

influenced your mental health? Perhaps you remember a situation in which a particular 

piece – a poem, a novel or a movie – changed something in your life? Share your story. 

These are thoughts that I wrote down: “As for the influence of various kinds of artistic 

works on my mental condition, it mostly came down to eliciting [in me] a feeling of strong 

fascination. The epic film Mockingjay, a poignant love tale between two young tributes, 

is the best illustration. One of the protagonists, Peeta, was imprisoned in The Capitol 

and subjected to horrific torture and “brainwashing”, to such an extent that he could not 

distinguish between true reality and artificially created memories. However, the torturers 

managed to go much deeper – they distorted the memory of his beloved girlfriend, 

Katniss, in such a way that our hero instinctively began to consider her a real threat. 

Subsequent scenes of the film show the slow process of Peeta’s “healing”. This process 

involves gradually and slowly learning to distinguish between what is real and what is 

fabricated by The Capitol. Many times, our hero responds automatically, as instructed, 

putting Katniss and the other characters’ lives at risk. Ultimately, however, everything 

that is real remains because it is stronger than illusions (i.e., real memories and feelings 

– primarily love, which finds its expression in the final reunion of the “cursed lovers”). 

The anti-romantic treatment of the concept of love in the narrative, which depicts it as a 

genuine force that links people and can endure suffering while being suppressed and 

disguised, interested me. This subject captivated me so deeply that I made the decision 

to create my own fictional future in which two young people would finally come to believe 

in their own feelings and find fulfilment in spite of horrific experiences and betrayals. This 

is one of my dream epilogues. 

Of course, I’ve wanted to write a dystopian novel for many years, and watching The 

Hunger Games movies sped up the process – finally, I created my own work – The 

Dystopia Game. However, the plot of my novel took such an unexpected turn that I 

believe that while I was writing it, I was simultaneously reading and writing. I then 

noticed that the process of creating a story resembled life. No matter who we are – a 

reader or a writer – we always end up surprised by twists and turns. When we wake up 

in the morning, we usually begin with simple tasks, but occasionally, the order of these 

tasks is disturbed by an apparently haphazard event that we would not have anticipated 

in any way. We are unanticipatedly drawn into a vortex of circumstances that gives our 

lives a completely new direction, forever changing them, and taking us to places we 

would never have imagined. 

Let’s establish the plot first. You go to college in your hometown, but when you submit 

your documents, you find out that your major has been closed due to insufficient 

enrollment. You then have to select a different city because this is the only university in 

your hometown where you could apply for your ideal major. Summer is almost over; time 

is running out and you have to hurry…so you choose another city, move to a different 

environment and get a job. You don’t know who you will meet tomorrow and, two years 

after moving, one morning you spot the girl you’ve been dreaming about all your life. If it 

hadn’t been for “insufficient enrollment” in your hometown university, you would never 

have changed the course of your life and find yourself in this special moment two years 


The process of creating a story really resembles life. Out of one association comes a 

sequence of associations that leads you into the complete unknown, and you find 

yourself – along with the protagonist – in a situation you would never have predicted. 

Sometimes you have to work hard to get out of it and find a solution; however, if you let 

yourself be guided by intuition and have the courage to improvise, you are going where 

you always wanted to go, no matter who you are (a reader or a writer, or both of them). 

Your heart is a trustworthy compass that will always point you in the right direction 

because you are led by it. That’s how God created it.  

About the Author
Adam Wodyk is a huge fan of the fantasy genre. Also loves sci-fi, dystopian and post-apocalyptic survival stories. 


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