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what would you call... (1 Viewer)

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
In a dystopian world similar to Stalin's Russia, what would the citizens call the woman that ran the secret police (similar to the NKVD)? Her department has cameras all over the place, watching and listening to conversations, they monitor internet traffic, and when they find someone speaking against the government, she has them picked up and sent off to a reeducation camp.

I was calling her the 'Witch' but it makes my sciFi story sound more like a fantasy.

If there's a one syllable word for her I would use it in my book title - which currently is: Afterworld: The Reaper and the Witch

Any ideas?
 

CyberWar

Senior Member
I understand that the "Witch" is an informal nickname, the official title of the character presumably being something more formal (Director, Commissar, or whatnot).

An alternative nickname could have something to do with the role of her office, like "the Eye", seeing how she's in charge of public surveillance. Or it could have something to do with her role in smashing/cutting down enemies of the regime. "The Scythe" would go nicely with "the Reaper" in the title.
 

Joker

Senior Member
How old is she? If she's elderly, I can imagine something tongue-in-cheek like 'old lady'.

"Sorry mate, can't go out tonight, the old lady might get mad at me."
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
I would suggest avoiding any trite label, or possibly any gender specific label. Be inventive.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I'm still undecided on the title.

It's in a dystopian world - and the central conflict is between an assassin called the Reaper, and the woman that runs the (NKVD like) secret police. The main setting is in the desert north of Las Vegas - which is a walled city in this world, surrounded by an army called the Tribes. The female character is behind the walls in Las Vegas, and the Reaper under contract working for the Tribes.
 

ehbowen

Senior Member
I'm still undecided on the title.

It's in a dystopian world - and the central conflict is between an assassin called the Reaper, and the woman that runs the (NKVD like) secret police. The main setting is in the desert north of Las Vegas - which is a walled city in this world, surrounded by an army called the Tribes. The female character is behind the walls in Las Vegas, and the Reaper under contract working for the Tribes.

Then how about a Vegas-related title: The Pit Boss? The Dealer? The Cigarette Girl (especially if she's known for smoking in a time when few others do)?
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
Current top contenders for the title are:

Afterworld: The Reaper and the Shrew
Afterworld: The Reaper and the Snitch
Afterworld: Vegas siege
Afterworld: Desert siege
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I'd go with either the first or last.

Now I'm considering:
Afterworld: The Reaper and the Rat
The epithet (Rat) for the female character is intended to be derogatory. She runs the secret police that spies on the people in her city, and if they speak or act against the government she has them arrested and sent to a re-education camp.

Weird that I've never encountered such difficulty with a title before. I still have a lot (6 months at least) of writing ahead of me before publishing, so something will likely come up.
 

Joker

Senior Member
Now I'm considering:
Afterworld: The Reaper and the Rat
The epithet (Rat) for the female character is intended to be derogatory. She runs the secret police that spies on the people in her city, and if they speak or act against the government she has them arrested and sent to a re-education camp.

Weird that I've never encountered such difficulty with a title before. I still have a lot (6 months at least) of writing ahead of me before publishing, so something will likely come up.

That's probably best.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Thinking of George Orwel's "Big Brother". Big Sister?

The Matriarch or Matriarcha

I like either of these options for the title.

Afterworld: Vegas siege
Afterworld: Desert siege
 

Llyralen

Senior Member
Baba Yaga is the best known archetypal witch figure. Baba means old woman or granny in most Slavic languages. I’d make sure to go over the “related figures in the Wikipedia article for more ideas, but no figure is going to be as universal as Baba Yaga.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baba_Yaga. This is a figure as well known and understood by them as Santa Claus might be to Americans. When children are small and unable to be well reasoned with then how you raise your child is to say “Don’t do that or Baba Yaga will get you!” The same way we might say “Santa will put you on the naughty list.” You could look too into the Russian equivalent of a Rusalka or something is you want the being drowned or a slightly more sexual connotation.

There are also specific names that are “witch names”. As an example in English/American culture naming a girl “Malecifent” to label her as a witch would not even be as strong a label as some of the names in some Eastern European cultures. There are several names like this in most cultures but an example in Polish might be Jadviga or Jeda which is also a common girls’ name, but also considered a witch name (maybe like how American culture might think of the name Ursula maybe after the Disney The Little Mermaid was made— but much stronger. Lots more years behind these stories of certain names. )

I think Baba Yaga might be what you’re after.
 
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