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.”

 

 

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Survey: Which P.O.V Do You Prefer as a Writer?

Which point of view do you prefer? Share with other writers at <a href=”http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3MW38GB”>Click here to take survey</a>

Which Point of View Do You Prefer?

<a href="Click here to take survey” title=”Which Point of View Do You Prefer?”>Which Point of View Do You Prefer?

I decided to create a survey in order to find out which point of view most authors prefer. The data collected will be followed up with a blog sometime next week.

Using Multiple First Person P.O.V’s

Books that have more than one first person P.O.V (point of view) are a bit uncommon, especially when it comes to Young Adult fiction genres. The reasoning for this is because a lot of authors find it difficult to write for more than one leading character using a first person narrator. If you have ever thought of writing a book that uses more than one first person P.O.V here are some tips that might help you to get started.

            BONUS: writing exercise at the bottom.

  1. Don’t use too many characters to tell the story:  Too many characters are too hard to follow, not only for the reader but for the writer. Sometimes it can make the story more complicated than it needs to be. The highest amount of characters when writing in first person P.O.V should be four. Going over four characters can make the reader either lose interest or make the story challenging to understand.
  2. Make sure each character has purpose: To do this try asking yourself questions like: what makes this character important? Are they helping the flow of the story?
  3. Don’t change characters within a chapter: This is something that really bothered me when I was younger…actually it still bugs me today. Changing characters within a chapter is extremely irritating for readers. This is because they aren’t able to automatically indicate which character is speaking. This causes a lot of confusion for the reader, and sometimes will cause them to lose interest in the story itself.
  4. Each character should have a distinct voice: To help tell characters apart in each chapter, give them their own specific characteristics, especially in their speech. Make sure that they appear different to the reader.

 

Writing Exercise: Everyone reacts differently, even in the same situation. For this exercise we will be using two characters: a young girl (friend or sister), and a middle aged man (father or teacher). The story should be at least two pages long (typed 2 pages, written one page front and back). Here is the situation: A seven year old boy, named Julian, is hospitalized after being hit by a car on his way home from school.

After you are done writing the reaction for both characters look and see that your stories have the following:

  1. The two character have a distinctly different voice.
  2. The characters reactions are different.
  3. The characters personality suits their age.
  4. The language used in the text fit the age of the character.
  5. The story is an appropriate length.
  6. There is an atmosphere and tone.

If you would like to share your pieces (one or both), feel free to leave a link in the comment section below. Also, don’t be afraid to share your own tips on writing for multiple first person P.O.V’s.

I hope that this blog was helpful, and got you doing a little bit of writing. Before I conclude, I’ve got a question for you. Which point of you do you prefer to write in: First person, second person, or third person? Why?

 

Till next time,

 

Orion.