Character Ideas for Dystopian Setting


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Thread: Character Ideas for Dystopian Setting

  1. #1

    Character Ideas for Dystopian Setting

    This setting's mostly like Earth, but with more advanced tech. The worst teenaged criminals are mindwiped and sent to a filmed 'arena' (a small town, or an isolated farmhouse) under the impression that they're on a road trip. A hired killer/family of killers stalks and murders them for television, as a blood sport used to keep people in check by the government. The last survivor is pardoned, as is all the survivors if they defeat the killer.

    What do you think?

    The Hill Clan/Slashers

    Josephus Hill
    ‘The Undertaker’
    The ultimate killer, known for the murders of over a hundred men and women during his career, before being caught and inducted into the Program. Actually quite nice and honorable, although he still displays a morbid interest in the art of murder. Known for his icy, pale blue eyes and weapon of choice: a machete. Used to be very inconspicuous physically, but had a very handsome face. He was scarred from the same acid he used to destroy his victims, and age has taken away any other good features. Hates his son for his sadistic tendencies, and would prefer to kill fast and clean. In his eighties.

    Wyatt Hill
    The uncle of the family, youngest son of Josephus, and a renowned mechanic. Bears the family eyes, and has a wry, muscular build. Skilled at tech stuff, and takes pride in his efforts to maintain the family home. Happily married to Diana Hill. His weapon of choice is a hammer, and he uses it often. As his son didn’t have the family eyes, he was kicked out of the Arena and placed in a foster service. Wyatt occasionally sends him letters. He’s also the family cook, along with his wife. Roughy thirty.

    Diana Hill
    Married into the family, and lacks the Hill eyes. Genial and an excellent cook, built like a brick wall and well-muscled. The better fighter and butcher between her and her husband, and eagerly demonstrates her skills with a knife. Roughly thirty. Considers herself a substitute mother for her nephews and nieces.

    Obadiah Hill
    The father of the younger generation. Blinded from an accident, and wears reflective sunglasses to cover his ruined face. Broad, bulky and tough-as-nails. Uses his blindness as an advantage in fights, turning off all the lights before he makes a move. Abusive and violent towards his kids, and generally a nasty person. His weapon of choice is a meat cleaver. He’s about forty five.

    Laurie and Leah Hill
    Obadiah’s daughters, twins. Laurie has to dress as a boy, due to the producers of the Program believing it would create better ratings to have a single daughter. Laurie is a computer expert, and learned much of her technical skills from Wyatt. Her preferred weapon is a makeshift spear. Leah is an amateur taxidermist, and enjoys ‘preserving’ the best kills for the family to remember. Leah’s less of an active force, and prefers to only fight when needed. They’re about twenty. Both have lean and athletic builds, and generally androngynous features. The only real difference is their hairstyles and outfits- Laurie wears her hair short to keep up the illusion she’s a man, as well as wearing overalls, while her sister prefers a more traditionally feminine style.

    Jebadiah Hill
    Older brother of Matthias, son of Obadiah. Jebadiah is a generally cruel and sadistic person, who eagerly torments his little brother in an attempt to make him a killer. He also plays with his victims, giving them the illusion of escape before finishing them off. Revels in the family business. His preferred weapon is a sledgehammer, although he breaks out a chainsaw when he wants to terrify people. Needs glasses, but refuses to wear them when the Hills have ‘guests’. Eighteen or nineteen, stocky and powerful. Wears a buzzcut.

    Matthias Hill
    A kind-hearted, nice boy who’d rather not kill people. Unfortunately, he’s not able to escape. He seldom willingly joins the family’s activities, but can’t avoid it for long. Has a close relationship with his grandfather, who’s the closest thing he has to a friend. Matthias is disgusted with his family’s murdering, and they are in turn disturbed by his “sick” avoidance of killing. His father and brother both love him, in a twisted way, but they also want to make sure he can actually continue the family business. Matthias is a major character, and eventually sides against his family to help the latest batch of victims out. His weapon of choice is a sword. 17 years old, very lean, and although he has the potential to be a large man Matthias has basically no muscle or fat to fill himself out. He has long, well-kept hair.

    Drogo
    The main dog, a white Dogo Argentino with a taste for human meat. Generally well-behaved, well-trained, and well-loved by the Hill family. Rules the dozen or so other dogs the Hills maintain.

    The Slashees/Points

    Michael Reyes
    The main character, a really nice guy all around. Kind to the Hills even after finding out their secret, although he still fights with incredible brutality when he needs to. Fond of philosophical questions and arguments, as well as scientific discoveries. Loves animals, and prefers them to people. Has a deep-seated need for privacy, and hates any sort of physical contact. Has large, creepy black eyes. Short and small, but quite strong for his size. Has curly dark hair and a cherubic face. Roughly seventeen, exact age unknown.

    Lilian Evanson
    A lazy, unmotivated girl who prefers to read books to actual activity. Complains about the heat a lot, and how her makeup is easily ruined. Generally ungrateful and selfish, as well as having no real skills or abilities. Despite all that, she thinks the rest of the group has a moral obligation to protect her, and tries to manipulate them into helping her. She’s also prone to setting fires. Eighteen years of age. Pretty, with glasses, and dresses nicely no matter the situation.

    Cicero Bernard
    A fairly average, unimpressive guy, Cicero is a dull and unassuming young man. He sometimes seems hollowed out, unable to muster real emotion to anything as if exhausted. However, he’s one of the more sympathetic victims, and provides a lot of help with the group. He more than pulls his own weight. Has a visceral hatred of dogs. Nineteen years old, with a normal build and hairstyle.

    Jonathan Cortez
    A big, burly young man with a good heart and a soft head. Loves nature, and animals. Immensely strong, capable of going blow-to-blow with Wyatt Hill, one of the strongest members of the Hill family. He has some hand-to-hand skills, indicating a criminal past, but ultimately it’s revealed that he was arrested and convicted for drunk driving- which killed a child. He hates the smell of alcohol. Eighteen.

    Mirabell Lancaster
    A tall, stunning girl who’s fond of using martial arts moves. Hates men in general, and often gets handsy with other people- a trait that earns her a broken nose from a panicked Michael. Has little regard for personal space, and frequently uses her height and strength to lord over others. Quite sadistic- she enjoys causing pain and discomfort. Aged twenty.



  2. #2
    Nice spread of fairly original names. I do wonder if the general apparent decentness of most of the Hills might work against them in their (presumably) antagonistic roles.

    Are any of them foils (comedic or otherwise)? Also what other flaws might Michael Reyes have?


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  3. #3
    I agree with bdcharles on this one: it's hard to reconcile "killed hundreds of men and women before being part of the program" with "quite nice and honorable". It's also hard to imagine how Michael can be friends with these people; aren't they trying to kill him? When does he get the chance? There are a lot of things that might be better answered by listing these characters' motivations as opposed to their physical descriptions. What did they do to get here and why are they the way they are?

    It sounds like it could be a cool premise, though. I think it would be awesome if there was some comedy to it all (that might make it easier to see the friendship and the horror).
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    Nice spread of fairly original names. I do wonder if the general apparent decentness of most of the Hills might work against them in their (presumably) antagonistic roles.

    Are any of them foils (comedic or otherwise)? Also what other flaws might Michael Reyes have?
    I’d think their ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ theme helps avert the slashees suspicion. Once their victims are nice and happy, they begin to kill.

    Matthias and Michael are foils, I’d say. Matthias was raised in an unnatural environment, with a lot of pressure to kill. Despite that, he’s not a killer. Michael, on the other hand, was raised in a normal family, but ended up committing horrible crimes. Michael’s also a very vengeful person. If someone hurt him, he’d strike back and likely kill his attacker.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by thepancreas11 View Post
    I agree with bdcharles on this one: it's hard to reconcile "killed hundreds of men and women before being part of the program" with "quite nice and honorable". It's also hard to imagine how Michael can be friends with these people; aren't they trying to kill him? When does he get the chance? There are a lot of things that might be better answered by listing these characters' motivations as opposed to their physical descriptions. What did they do to get here and why are they the way they are?

    It sounds like it could be a cool premise, though. I think it would be awesome if there was some comedy to it all (that might make it easier to see the friendship and the horror).
    Think Hannibal Lector, or any other movie killer with a ‘code of honor’. He won’t kill children, and is quite polite. His only vice/villainy is murder.

    Michael doesn’t befriend all of them- just Matthias. And that’s because Michael was kind to him.

    Well, Michael got in by killing several people on his school’s football team, Lilian set several fires, Cicero had a whole host of issues and had killed several people who irritated him or got in his way, Jonathan was a drunk driver, and Mirabell tortured her sister.

  6. #6
    This setting's mostly like Earth, but with more advanced tech. The worst teenaged criminals are mindwiped and sent to a filmed 'arena' (a small town, or an isolated farmhouse) under the impression that they're on a road trip. A hired killer/family of killers stalks and murders them for television, as a blood sport used to keep people in check by the government. The last survivor is pardoned, as is all the survivors if they defeat the killer.
    First of all, I don't really see any problem with the overall idea. I wonder though, how are you going to differentiate it from The Hunger Games? I like the idea of the participants having their minds wiped. Reminds me of a Black Mirror episode. If we began the story in the shoes of a protagonist who had their mind swiped, the reader would be as baffled and horrified as the protagonist. What he/she had done, could also be kept under wraps for quite some time, and then fed out in little drips over time, making us doubt our feelings towards the protagonist. It would be good to have redemption in that case then. Perhaps, even though the crime is severe, the protagonist had no other choice. Something along those lines.

    The strength here though, is definitely for the reader and the protagonist to be completely unaware of the bigger picture.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyAz View Post
    First of all, I don't really see any problem with the overall idea. I wonder though, how are you going to differentiate it from The Hunger Games? I like the idea of the participants having their minds wiped. Reminds me of a Black Mirror episode. If we began the story in the shoes of a protagonist who had their mind swiped, the reader would be as baffled and horrified as the protagonist. What he/she had done, could also be kept under wraps for quite some time, and then fed out in little drips over time, making us doubt our feelings towards the protagonist. It would be good to have redemption in that case then. Perhaps, even though the crime is severe, the protagonist had no other choice. Something along those lines.

    The strength here though, is definitely for the reader and the protagonist to be completely unaware of the bigger picture.
    Well, this is more of a play on slasher films than battle royales. The only similarity to the Hunger Games is the combat being televised by the government.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Elenxes_II View Post
    Well, this is more of a play on slasher films than battle royales. The only similarity to the Hunger Games is the combat being televised by the government.
    Have you seen The Hunt? It might be worth you while to give that a watch.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

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