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.
– 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.