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Pen Names???

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by phoenixwings, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. phoenixwings

    phoenixwings Scribe

    I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place to ask this, if it's not please tell me. Are you using your proper name or are you creating a more tantalising, interesting one?

    I have had many perspectives on the pros and cons and am still undecided on the subject.
  2. sashamerideth

    sashamerideth Maester

    I am using a pen name. I know some people use a different pen name for each genre that they write to keep their mystery people from being disappointed by a romance title.

    Sent from my Blade using Forum Runner
  3. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

    There was already some discussion on this here.
  4. Kaellpae

    Kaellpae Inkling

    I call Awesome McAwesomeness.
    My real name is too boring.
    But on the other hand if I use my real name then there's the possibility of being recognized if only by name only.

    Edit: My pen name will be, Larry Porter.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  5. phoenixwings

    phoenixwings Scribe

    My real name is far, far too boring for fantasy.

    I'm thinking of using Blaze Mckenna as it has been stuck in my mind for quite a while but i'm not sure.
  6. hppavmx704

    hppavmx704 Dreamer

    If I decide to use a pen name I would use Shric Norhe, which has all of the letters of my name just rearranged. Don't really know if I'm going to use one or not.
  7. Taytortots

    Taytortots Minstrel

    It seems I'm one of the few who would use my real name. My name is boring, but I just wouldn't be able to use a pen name.
  8. Androxine Vortex

    Androxine Vortex Archmage

    I don't understand the purpose of using a pen name. I have read articles saying that it helps authors write in different genres and all this stuff but I don't really understand why. Why not write a book and be able to say "I wrote this" and not "I wrote this but under a false name of a person that doesn't exist."

    I know in movie and music bussiness, people change their names because their name is "boring." But are you really going to pick up a book, look at the author's name, and put it back because of a name? I think using pen names is kind of catchy (like saying J.R. Tolkein is fun to say) but at the same time I think it is really silly.
  9. Some people don't want their writing persona to be involved with their real persona, for privacy reasons. Some people write in multiple genres and don't want to be pigeonholed. Some people's names really are boring, and they believe that a name that sounds more appropriate to the genre will help them sell more books.

    I think maybe the fact that there's thousands of successful authors who use pen names might indicate that there are good reasons for doing it, even if you don't understand them.

    Also, I'm not sure what you mean about Tolkien, but that wasn't a pen name.
  10. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

    @: Androxine Vortex: that's not just a good thing, that's a very good thing. A catchy name might help you remember an author when you're next in a book store.
  11. Jess A

    Jess A Archmage

    My true name, regardless of whether I marry (and change my surname) or not.
  12. Androxine Vortex

    Androxine Vortex Archmage

    Oh ok I see. And I thought that the format mattered too, that's why I said J.R. Tolkein. I thought that as long as your official full name wasn't posted there it was a pen name.
  13. I don't know if there's any official rules about what makes something a pen name. Abbreviating part of your name isn't generally considered as such, though. Especially middle names. "John Ronald Reuel Tolkien" is pretty long to put on the front cover of a novel, and back then people were more likely to use their entire real names, which is why he ended using "J. R. R. Tolkien". If he had inserted initials he didn't have, or used a different surname, that would be a pen name.
  14. Androxine Vortex

    Androxine Vortex Archmage

    Ah, so it's only a pen name if you use letters that don't belong to your real name. Ok.
  15. Well, it's a pen name if it has parts in it that aren't part of your real name. If your name is Robert James Smith, then all of the following would NOT be pen names:

    Robert James Smith
    Robert J. Smith
    R. James Smith
    R. J. Smith
    Robert Smith
    R. Smith
    James Smith
    J. Smith

    or substitute "Bob" or "Bobby" for any of the "Robert" above since those are standard nicknames. (I think if you changed "James" to "Jim" it'd count as a pen name, since middle names are not normally abbreviated... except I had a friend in high school named "Scott Edward [Surname]" and he went by Ted most of the time.)

    Pretty much anything else would be a pen name, including the following:

    J. R. Smith
    Robert L. Smith
    David Smith
    Mike Hunt
  16. Xanados

    Xanados Maester

    I would use my real name. I hate my real name, but I'd use it.
  17. mrmister

    mrmister Dreamer

    My pen name is going to be J.R.R. Tolkien.
  18. Ämting is not my real surname - it's my mother's maiden name, and while she and two of my siblings have made it their official surname, I have no plans on doing so. However, I was thinking about using it as a pseodonym since it's very unusual (IIRC, my great grandfather basically made it up) so it stands out more then my real name.
  19. Mike Carmel

    Mike Carmel Acolyte

    I love the idea of using a pen name for different genres, but that means you are starting from ground zero with credibility an fan base each time.
  20. True, but sometimes established authors will use a new pen name and then make sure that the connection between the two is public and advertised. E.g. Nora Roberts writes as J.D. Robb for some of her work, and this is intentionally (as far as I know) not a secret.

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