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How much effort do you put into names? Have you chosen a name for yourself through your experience in writing?

BearBear

Troubadour
I use baby names websites for the name and there was one where you could search by region, religion, ethnicity etc.

I usually start writing a character without a name and then find the name that suits them, and I'd say I put a lot of effort into it. I pay attention to hidden meanings, name history and who used it before, mythology, morphology, basically etymology.

The name I picked for myself is not my real name, and I barely identify with that original name anymore other than historic and legal fact. I'm not BearBear though I am a Bear named Bear, "Bear" was already taken. BearBear is cuter anyway.
 

Finchbearer

Minstrel
For my characters I’ve chosen a mix of ‘real world’ recognisable names and fantasy ones I’ve essentially made up. Why not right? It is fantasy after all. I try and choose names that feel like they’d suit the personality of the character, and would also be culturally appropriate to them etc.

Do you mean using your name as an author? If so I guess I’d just use my actual name.
 

pmmg

Vala
Yeah, not sure if this is a question about pen names or not...

I am disappointed though, I thought your name was BearBear.


Character names:

I avoid any real world name if I can, but if someone was to say 'hey, that one is common in Indonesia', well...stuff happens. I like names to have a cultural sound to them, and seem likely compared to the names around them. I have looked at baby names and name generators in the past, but rarely use these. Sometimes I look and alter them.

I did have a website I used for nobility titles, which has sadly for me, disappeared. It was the only one I have found that uses the titles I have used, so I am not enjoying that. I have a substitute, but its not a real match.


Pen Name:

I dont know why I was named pmmg, maybe my parents thought it was funny.... but it wont do on a book cover.

Actually, I am wondering if I can use it as my author name, but I think not. And pmmg = Patrick M M Green, which has no flow to it no matter how I work it out. Its all hard sounds. A have a pen name picked out, but I am still wrestling with it. Maybe....
 

Ben Scotton

Scribe
It is interesting how lazy we are in the real world when it comes to naming places and people. We seem to often use the most obvious name and then this name gets corrupted a little over time. For instance New York, Fletcher (surname) or the name Avon for a river (literally just means river).
 

BearBear

Troubadour
Do you mean using your name as an author? If so I guess I’d just use my actual name.

Something like, if you could name yourself as the character that is you irl. Some name you might use in online anonymous interactions but keep true to yourself. That degree of separation keeps the lazy crazies at bay at least. Heaven forbid you should say something controversial on an official account and suddenly find yourself canceled. Like a burnable identity, a degree of separation, but also something that speaks of you more than your real name does.
 

Mad Swede

Maester
In my writing I use character names based on real world naming principles. I speak several languages, so I can generally find suitable names for the various parts of my setting.

I write under a pen name, not my real name, and that is because I like to keep my work as an author separate from my personal life. Here in Sweden the publisher will refuse to reveal the real name behind a pen name unless the author has given their permission or unless the publishers are legally compelled to do so. It does make book signings difficult, but most readers accept that they'll never meet the person behind the pen name.
 

pmmg

Vala
I'm pretty much ruined already ;) Pmmg has been my handle for many many years. I will stick with it. But, I dont think I can publish under it, I would just like to. I fear, however, that my online brand of pmmg may be more recognizable than my actual name.

pmmg has recently been expanded to pmmmcpg, which is staring to look like some really strange roman date.
 

Finchbearer

Minstrel
Something like, if you could name yourself as the character that is you irl. Some name you might use in online anonymous interactions but keep true to yourself. That degree of separation keeps the lazy crazies at bay at least. Heaven forbid you should say something controversial on an official account and suddenly find yourself canceled. Like a burnable identity, a degree of separation, but also something that speaks of you more than your real name does.
I understand your point of view, but mine is totally different in that I feel immense value in putting my name to something, because I’ll quite happily steadfastly stand by my principles and opinions, perhaps equally going down with my own ship - though you’d have to be controversial in the first place to be ‘cancelled’. Cancel culture will also have its day.
 

pmmg

Vala
I dont fear being 'cancelled'. That is just attention of a different sort. But I am not immune from reacting to many things I have seen online. There is certainly a segment of the online community that is way out in crazy land.

I would just prefer the option to remain behind a firewall for personal stuff, and not for public stuff.

Its not come up, but I dont really use facebook for this reason. My writer friends and my family relationships dont mix. I have a few writer friends on facebook, and to say a little, I find their political stuff is fervent, mostly vapid, and certainly not polite. My family sees that as well, and I dont like it. I'd prefer they did not mix. (And if any of them are reading, I would say, its funny, you post this vile stuff thinking I will think something bad about someone else, but really I just think something about you...food for thought).
 

Finchbearer

Minstrel
It’s a bit of choosing how much of yourself you put out onto the internet (or the metaverse…) and I like to limit it, making a point of not being rude or overly political.

I mean for forums like this I’m obviously not using my real name, and that’s fine, but elsewhere I have my name and it’s a public profile, I just limit my exposure. If anyone found my profile, they wouldn’t find much anyway, certainly nothing controversial.

I make a point of not posting my child online, I draw a line at that personally.
 

pmmg

Vala
Well, I am pretty politic in my posted opinions, I doubt I would get cancelled for them. But...the mob is real. I see no point in engaging with it. I will let that be someone elses insanity.

But I also wont invite it. I'll most likely have a pen name for a lot of reasons. It does make me sad, though in some ways. But its really just a tool to help with marketing. I wont really hide though. Just gonna market through it.
 
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BearBear

Troubadour
It does make me sad, though in some ways.

Your art is meant to be shared, to enrich others or change their opinions for the better, but not at the expense of your safety and security. For some there is no hope for separation, for writers there is to some degree.

I have published a couple dozen non-fiction, highly technical works with zero room for personality, there's no reason to separate my real name from those and it makes it easier at the bank.
 

Nighty_Knight

Troubadour
I just look at names on different websites and generators. I try to still with name that would be close to the inspired culture of the region. So a french inspired area or region, will have more Frenchy name. As for a pen name. I thought about using an Alias just so my wife doesn't find out if I ever publish something, she is the harshest critic I know and is an english teacher, I once showed her something I wrote in like a half hour that I thought was fun and clever and some notes of something I started working on. After she was done picking it apart I didn't write anything again for well over a year.

As for Nighty_Knight. It was inspired directly from this,
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