Wednesday, January 9, 2013

You Name-Caller! 30 Dystopian Character Name Ideas {WriterlyWednesday}

{1st post in the new WriterlyWednesday mini-series You Name-Caller!}
Picking names for your characters can be one of the most fun parts of building your story. For me? It's something I have spent hours on for some particular characters. That may sound a bit obsessive, but a name can say a lot about a character, and even describe a bit of their personality. So why not obsess over names? You want your MC to have an awesome name which fits his character to a T, don't you?
Name-choosing can be an art in itself, if you let it. Or, it can be something totally random and serendipitous.

Today, I thought we could look at some neat examples of different dystopian names since so many people I know are writing novels set in that time era.

  1. Eyva - A twist on the traditional Eva, pronounced phonetically, instead of the traditional pronunciation Ee-va.
  2. Flair/Flare - A twist on Blair, and making use of words which aren't traditionally used as names.
  3. Gliese  - This is an interesting one, and I believe it to be pronounced glees.
  4. Bryony - I personally think that this one sounds a bit Irish. It is a twist on the traditional Brianna. Pronounced bree-ahn-ee, to my knowledge.
  5. Indigo - Once again, making use of commonplace words. I like this one a lot. It could be used as a boy's name as well.
  6. Kae - Basically just a funky way of spelling Kay. Pronounced the same way.
  7. Wren - A number of bird names can be used as names, and this is one of them. I picture this as particularly effeminate sounding, personally.
  8. Meav - This is actually more traditional than the others, but I think it could easily be a post-apocalypse era name easily.
  9.  Laine - Pronounced layn. A pretty variation of the male name Lane.
  10. Willow  - A lovely use of the tree name.
  11. Raine - A twist on the commonplace word rain. Pronounced in the same fashion.
  12. River - The first thing I thought when I heard this, was of the character from Firefly which bears the same name. But if you can get past that connection, it's really a lovely dystopian-sounding name.
  13. Cherisis - To my knowledge this has not been used before, thus I created it maybe? *grins sheepishly* Well, whether or not that is valid, it is a variation of the name Cheris. Can be pronounced a variety of ways, but I prefer shair-eh-siss.
  14. Carolina - Dakota has been used as a name, why not some of the other states, too? I like Carolina in particular because it could also be a twist on the traditional Caroline.
  15. Rynn - This could be a fantasy genre name too, in my opinion. A simple name fit for the strong heroine who has been through all to save her country. Pronounced rin.

  1. Archer - This is one of my absolute favorites for boys' names, in general. Making use of commonplace words/occupations/sport titles.
  2. Eames - If you've seen the film Inception, you're probably recalling the gangster-like character therein with this name. Setting aside that connection, I think this is a very dystopian-sounding name which traditionally has probably been used as a last name. Pronounced eems.
  3. Damascus - Making use of location names.
  4. Forest - Ignore the mental connection you might be making with the film Forest Gump for a moment, and picture how this might sound as a nice guy's name. Very earthy and raw, rich and full.
  5. Griffin - Another personal all-time favorite. Making use of mythological creature names. I think this sounds very masculine.
  6. Tiyev - I think this sounds rather Russian. Pronounced tee-yev.
  7. Zander - A name with a very strong dystopian aura. I am not sure what origins it descends from.
  8. Reed - A variation of the traditional Reid.
  9. Yancey -  I saw this in a novel, used as a last name, but I can picture it easily being a first name, pared with a single-syllable last name.
  10. Shiloh - Making use of location names, once again. I really like this one. Another earthy-toned, full sounding name. Pronounced shy-low.
  11. Tavis - A play off of traditional Travis.
  12. Mungo - A Latin-sounding name which reminds me of the character Thresh from THG.
  13. Ash - Another use of a commonplace word. I like this one, too.
  14. Lance - This may be a contemporary name in use commonly today, but I still think it sounds rather dystopian.
  15. Ronan - Similar in sound to Nolan.

Hope this short list was helpful to you! I could list a dozen more names but I'll save that for another time.
Next WriterlyWednesday, we'll continue the You Name-Caller! mini-series with a post containing 30 Civil War names.

Blessings, y'all!


  1. I LOVE names. I actually know people named River and Carolina (River is actually a boy, though...). And even a lady named Rainy!

  2. That is so neat that you wrote this! I have been looking up Jewish names lately and my favorite boys name was Shiloh! Also, I met someone named Zander but that was his nick-name, his full name was Alexander and he was from Russia.

    1. Neat! I didn't know Zander was used as a nickname. Hope you guys are doing well!! <3

  3. I love these! Thanks for sharing. I like the names Rynn and Indigo, and I am using the name Reed in my book I am writing, but it is actually historical fiction. Interesting!

  4. I know a boy whose name is pronounced Zander but is spelled Xander, and I absolutely love that spelling. And thank you! I'm writing a book and the name Damascus is PERFECT for the main character.

  5. My name is Briony and its ofter misspelt Bryony. Its pronounced 'Bri oh knee' haha :)

  6. Just to say, the name Dakota it native american for friend, the name is not based on the state. Other than that I love these names!!!

  7. I have a female dystonpian name: Saturn.