So you've decided to write a CyberPunk story. You love to read about man's fight against injustice, invasive technology and corruption, so you've decided to give your interpretation of it.

First, be sure to check out SoYouWantTo/WriteAStory for basic advice that holds across ''all'' genres. Then, come back here for some extra advice.

All examples here are, well, examples. Do ''not'' try to wrap your head around a story using all of the examples.
!'''Necessary Tropes'''

The very nature of the genre dictates that your material ''will'' fall under any of these tropes. Learn to use them well. See also CyberpunkTropes for additional tropes.

* BittersweetEnding: Usually, a cyberpunk story, with its dark and depressing themes, usually doesn't have an ending where the hero wins. Or maybe he does but something is left awry. In ''Film/BladeRunner'', [[spoiler:Deckard gets the girl and defeats the "villain" but has to run for his life]]. There are a few exceptions to this, but not many.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Use with moderation and realism in mind. Oversaturating this can make a story look cheesy or filled with more drama or [[DarknessInducedAudienceApathy worse]] than the audience can handle.
* {{Dystopia}}: A cyberpunk setting is usually a gritty, depressing world with crime and despair running rampant. [[CaptainObvious It's not a nice place to live.]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding: A cyberpunk world is usually so messed up that it's almost impossible to change it for the better. However, if changing things for the better IS possible, then it will usually either be achieved [[BittersweetEnding at a]] [[PyrrhicVictory high cost]] or require a lot of time, hard work and determination to get there.
* GrayAndGrayMorality: Not surprising, considering that cyberpunk was quite influenced by the [[FilmNoir film noir]] style. Most cyberpunk stories tend to have anti-heroes as their protagonists or anti-villains as their antagonists. Of course, there are a few exceptions to this, like ''WesternAnimation/SonicSATAM'', for example.
* RuleOfCool: Style is everything. If the hero can't do it with panache, it's not worth doing ([[SubvertedTrope Unless]] [[BoringButPractical it is]]). [[MundaneMadeAwesome Use in extreme moderation.]]
* ScienceIsBad: To a certain degree. The negative effects of technology feature heavily in cyberpunk fiction, but it is often not technology itself that is explored, but rather the possibilities for abuse. Of course, if you also want to explore technology's benefits, then go ahead, but like we said, don't forget to explore it's negative side-effects as well. It's necessary.
* SlidingScaleOfCynicismVersusIdealism: Mostly cynical or at least Main/EarnYourHappyEnding. Cyberpunk stories tend to be set in [[CrapSackWorld a dark horrible world filled with injustice and crime.]] Bullets are usually the best way to solve problems, and people, good and bad, if those terms are applicable, tend to die painfully.
!'''Choices, Choices'''

These tropes cover a wide spectrum of choices regarding a certain element of your story, and you're going to have to pick a spot somewhere on that spectrum. Unless we've forgotten to include something, and you can spot it, because in that case you might actually surprise us after all.

* PoliceState vs. Anarchy: Is the government an all-powerful organization that enforces the law through SWAT teams, Main/SecretPolice and SinisterSurveillance, or is the ''lack'' of government and control that leads to [[CrapsackWorld the state of the world?]]
* TheGunslinger vs. PlayfulHacker: Your protagonist is going to have to solve their problems one way or another, [[AllLovingHero it's]] [[TalkingYourWayOut not]] [[ThePowerOfLove going]] [[ThePowerOfFriendship to]] be easy. Does he or she solve her problems through the careful ([[MoreDakka or not so careful]]) application of projectiles, or are they solved through the use of viruses, trojans, denial-of-service attacks and forced intrusion?
* CyberneticsEatYourSoul: How do people who have cybernetic implants act? Do they run around and kill everyone because their implants makes them go crazy, or are they perfectly well adjusted beings?
* DoAndroidsDream: If your story centers around the existence of [[ArtificialHuman Artificial Humans]], how are they treated? Are they on par with humans, or are they treated as slaves? What makes it possible to discern an android or an AI from a human? Do android have emotions, desires, feelings?
* TheSingularity: Want a big finale and/or an over-arching theme to tie together the actions of the characters? It's also a natural extension of the CyberPunk theme of disorienting rapid cultural and technological change. A technological singularity has featured in the works of the greats. Of course this last point might be a reason to avoid it, too.
* CyberPunk vs PostCyberPunk: Is technology a tool of dystopian oppression or something that allows the people to fix problems?


Watch out for these tropes! They're bad news - or, well, at least they're tropes you generally want to avoid - and they're particularly common in your chosen genre.

* ClusterFBomb: People swear, it happens. However, having a character constantly swear will not make them look cool or gritty.
* RecycledScript: ''Literature/DoAndroidsDreamOfElectricSheep''-type plots have been done millions of times before (''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'', ''Anime/ArmitageIII'', ''Film/BladeRunner''...). This is not to say it can't be done again, but you should make sure you story is not a cliché ''Film/BladeRunner'' knockoff. If your trenchcoat-clad hero fights runaway robots and doubts his own humanity... you'd better be a damn fine writer, son!
* SummerBlockbuster: Consider this: In the entirety of ''Film/BladeRunner'', only about a dozen shots were fired. ActionAdventure tales these ain't.
* TomatoInTheMirror: People who are interested in cyberpunk are [[ViewersAreGeniuses usually not the least]] GenreSavvy [[ViewersAreGeniuses in the world,]] and will usually spot this from miles away. That is not to say it can be done, but you readers will expect your main character to be an ArtificialHuman, or at least a [[CloningBlues clone]] even before they've read the first paragraph. [[SubvertedTrope Surprise them.]]

!'''Potential Subversions'''

These tropes are in common use throughout the genre, so we'll forgive you if you use them - but if you can think of a good way to subvert, invert, or just plain ''a''vert them, then you just might be able to start a new [[FollowTheLeader trend]]....

* BadCopIncompetentCop: Remember that not all cyberpunk stories has authority as the enemy. Sometimes the police, or even the SecretPolice, are the heroes tasked with cleaning up the mess of the anarchists and hackers and criminals make. ''Film/BladeRunner'', ''VisualNovel/{{Snatcher}}'', ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' and ''Anime/GhostInTheShell'' were all about government-employed heroes fighting off the DesignatedVillain.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: These are usually {{Big Bad}}s, because of their access [[MoneyDearBoy to money]], [[MadScientistLaboratory secret research labs]] and the like, but do they have to be? Maybe [[PunchClockVillain they're perfectly ordinary people]], or even [[HonestCorporateExecutive heroes?]]
* CyberneticsEatYourSoul: This was less of a problem before people had cybernetics [[note]]Yes, we do have these. ArtificialLimbs, pacemakers, bionic ear implants, bionic hearts, etc[[/note]]. Nowadays, we know that any implants short of rewiring your brains doesn't cause personality damage.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: You can try setting [[ cyberpunk in the present day]] or maybe the distant future with humanity having long since abandoned a ruined Earth. Steampunk is partially a result of setting the concepts before cyber was a word.

!'''Writers' Lounge'''


''[[ What is Cyberpunk]]'' by the author of the Blog/TheUnitedFederationOfCharles is a good explanation as to what the "mood" and major tropes of the genre are.

!!'''Suggested Themes and Aesops'''

* [[DoAndroidsDream What makes us human?]] Feeling, understanding, comprehension, self-awareness, etc.
* [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman How do people treat non-Homo Sapiens Sapiens?]] FantasticRacism, treatment of robots, androids, clones, etc.
* What is reality?
* RomanticismVersusEnlightenment: Is human individuality superior to advanced tech, or is it the opposite?
* Individualism vs. Collectivism: Should the rights of the individual be compromised for the better of the group?
* Authoritarianism vs. Liberalism: Should people be [[SinisterSurveillance seen by CCTV cameras at all times]], [[BigBrotherIsWatching have their phone lines tapped and their daily lives monitored for safety]], or should they have privacy, even if that interferes with police work?
* Transhumanism vs. Human Conservatism: [[NoTranshumanismAllowed Should people be allowed to augment themselves]], or will that bring about social downfall?
* BreadAndCircuses: The potential for human apathy and hedonism as key to the success of evil.

!!'''Potential Motifs'''

* Anything goes, but especially ancient literature and art. The Birth of Venus goes extremely well together with Main/PeopleJars, and images of gods and the divine fit extremely well with the creation of artificial lifeforms.
* [[FilmNoir Film noir]] themes usually go well with cyberpunk too, since cyberpunk was quite inspired by it.
!!'''Suggested Plots'''

* Your High School SitCom could include such plots as TwoTimerDate, InWithTheInCrowd, FeudEpisode, and even HorribleCampingTrip.
* A fantasy/horror piece that's heavy on Telepathy and MindManipulation? Try FakeMemories, GrandTheftMe, AmnesiaDanger, JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind, and OutOfCharacterAlert.


!!'''Set Designer''' / '''Location Scout'''

* Cities. [[CityNoir Big, dark cities.]] Loads of neon lights and dull surfaces. Glass, urbanism, downtrodden undergrounds and shady pubs. Small apartments. Everywhere looks like central Tokyo. Maybe a space station or an abandoned genetic factory.

!!'''Props Department'''

* Weapons. {{BFG}}s. [[KatanasAreJustBetter Katanas]]. Go for cool as much as practical.

!!'''Costume Designer'''

* [[BadassLongcoat Trenchcoats]], [[CoolShades sunglasses]], leather jackets, and the alike. Everything is in black or other dull colours, with small amounts of bright colours for emphasis, especially neon-green, neon-blue, neon-red, fluorescent orange and neon-purple.

!!'''Casting Director'''

* [[Main/FemmeFatale Femmes Fatales]], Main/PrivateInvestigator, Main/CorruptCorporateExecutive, and other Main/FilmNoir types.
* Androids, Transhumans, Super Soldiers, aliens and other Main/Sci-Fi types
!!'''Stunt Department'''

* Fight scenes, though you can get away without them.

!'''Extra Credit'''
!!'''Big Hits or Classics'''

* ''Film/BladeRunner'' (Also check out its progenitor: ''Literature/DoAndroidsDreamOfElectricSheep'' by Philip K. Dick.) Ironically lacks most of the features, but the TropeCodifier in terms of scenery and atmosphere.
* ''Literature/{{Neuromancer}}'': The ''other'' trope codifier.
* ''Anime/GhostInTheShell'': One of the classic examples and trope makers of the genre.
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx'': A ConspiracyKitchenSink in a cyberpunk setting.
* ''Literature/SnowCrash'': Both a send-up as well as a straight example of the genre.
* ''Film/AClockworkOrange'' for a Pre-Cyberpunk movie/book about society run amuck.
* ''ComicBook/{{Transmetropolitan}}'': Intrepid reporter exploring the in's and out's of a future world gone mad.
* ''Film/TheMatrix'': While straying from its cyberpunk roots, it brings up numerous interesting cyberpunk themes if you can spot them.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov's robot series, for additional reading on robot behavior.
* ''Film/AScannerDarkly'', a very dark book/movie on people and the negative effects of drug use and ubiquitous surveillance.
* ''Film/{{Inception}}'', a much more subtle take on cyberpunk. Compare to ''Literature/{{Neuromancer}}'', contrast with ''Film/TheMatrix''.
* ''Film/{{Videodrome}}'' and ''Film/EXistenZ'': Combining the CyberPunk with heavy doses of BioPunk, these films question the ScienceIsBad assumptions common to the genre, the fear of mass culture, and the very nature of ideology.
* ''Literature/TakeshiKovacs'' by Richard K. Morgan for a far future example of the genre.

!!'''Critical Flops'''

* ''Film/JohnnyMnemonic'': TheMovie has a lot of NarmCharm but plot holes large enough to drive a truck through.
* ''New Rose Hotel'': TheMovie is a subdued version of Gibson's story but with many good points.
* ''Film/IRobot'': TheMovie is notable for making ''[[WideEyedIdealist Isaac Asimov's]]'' work cyberpunk.