Pen Names

What is a Pen Name?

A pen name is often described as a pseudonym (pron. soo-doh-Nim), adopted by an author to mask his or her identity.

A pseudonym is another word for alias, which simply means a false identity.

Why Do Author’s Use Pen Names?

There are several reasons why an author may choose to use a fake name. Many female authors, use pen names to hide their gender in hopes that they will be accepted not only by publishers but by the public. It was once believed that no one would read books written by women.

Some authors are also shy about the things they write, and prefer not to be known by their readers. Using a pen name can also take off the pressure that these authors may feel when a book doesn’t turn out the way that they planned.

Another reason why authors may choose to use a pen name, is that their real name is too difficult to remember and or pronounce. It is better to have something that rolls easily off the tongue, so that others will remember not only the name of the book, but the name of the person who wrote it.

Would You Say it is better to Use a Pen Name?

I wouldn’t say that it is better. Personally, I think that pen names are great for people who want to live a private life, and not be hassled by others who don’t agree with the things that they write. For example, if you were a doctor it would be pretty risky to write a sci-fi romance novel about a nurse, who gets turned into a half-robot by a doctor she is secretly having an affair with. If you wrote something like that under your real name, it might damage your career. Yet, if you can take constructive, and sometimes harsh criticism, and if you are able to handle being popular with book lovers everywhere, then by all means go ahead and use your own name.

What are Some Things to Think about When Choosing a Pen Name?

There are several things that you should take into consideration, when coming up with your pen name. One of the first things to think about is, the genre in which you are writing for. If you are say, writing a horror novel, you probably want to choose a more mysterious and alluring name. This is because it will add to the overall atmosphere of the book.

Another thing you want to think about is how the name flows. When authors create characters, they usually give their main character a name that is easy to pronounce. This is so that their readers don’t need to spend too much of their time trying to figure out how to say the character’s name. Creating characters is similar to coming up with a pen name, so it is very important to give yourself a name that isn’t difficult to say. If the name you choose is long or hard to remember, use initials rather than your full name on your books. This way it is much easier for readers to find the work that you have done. Remember the name you use is extremely important when it comes to marketing your books. Choose something that will best suit the identity you are trying to create.

Are There Any Famous Authors That Use Pen Names?

Of course there are! Why, there has to be over a dozen, well-known authors that have used a pen name. I’m sure many people are familiar with Benjamin Franklin. He once used a female pen name, to disguise himself as a middle-aged woman back when he was a teenager. He was also quite successful with it too, and got himself published in the newspaper. Another author you may recognize is S.E Hinton, the author of The Outsiders. She used a pen name because at the time, it was strange having a female author write from a male’s perspective. Just after publishing her first book, she became known as, “The Voice of the Youth.”



My First Limerick

Tonight, I decided that before I went to bed I’d try and write a limerick. I’ve never written one before…actually I’m not sure how but I thought, “Eh, why not?” And so began my re-education, on what in fact a limerick was, and how it worked. Before I began, all I remembered about limericks, from Ninth Grade English, was that they were a form of poetry that followed a specific rhythm. However, I didn’t remember what the rhythm was, or how it worked, and everything else I knew about limericks…was basically nothing at all. “This is going to be…um fun?” Was what popped into my head as I looked at the webpage holding the information I required. The title fit perfectly, “How to Write a Limerick.” From what I had learned thus far, a limerick consists of five lines, and those five lines followed the pattern AABBA. For a brief moment I said the pattern to myself, naming each line on my finger. Basically, the A lines, which are lines one, two and five, all rhyme, and the B lines, lines three and four, rhyme. Once this was drilled into my brain, I read on. What I learned next was that the A lines, and B lines had specific rhythms that they followed. “So many patterns.” I thought while again drilling them into my head. “Da Dum Da Da Dum Da Da Dum,” was the rhythm for the A lines, and the rhythm for the B lines were, “Da Dum Da Da Dum.” It seemed pretty basic, once I started clapping it as I said it, as I am a very right brained person. As instructed by the webpage, I was to pick a one syllable name. I decided to use the name Jane, then followed the example they were giving me.

There once was a girl named Jane.

Next I was instructed to come up with words that rhymed with the name I had chosen. “Lane, bane, insane, main, cane, rain, slain, Ukraine, humane, obtain, terrain…” I decided to rhyme Jane with Lane.

That lived on Rosemary Lane.

After that, I was on the B lines, where the story would take place. I decided that I would have Jane sing.

Miss Jane loved to sing,

Such sweet little things.

And her voice was far from plain.

Once I was finished, I looked at my work with a sense of joy. I had written a limerick. It felt good to know, that I had tried something new. In the end, I was glad that I had found that webpage that had originally given me the idea. If you’d like to write a limerick yourself, here’s the link

Now, here is the finished product of my first limerick:

There once was a girl named Jane,

That lived on Rosemary Lane.

Miss Jane loved to sing,

Such sweet little things.

And her voice was far from plain.

 Special thanks to