Pen Names R Us

Posted: December 3, 2012 in Beginning, Pen name, Uncategorized, Writing
Tags: , , , ,


So, you’ve decided to make a pen name? Good on ya– but now that means you have a crap ton of ideas whirring around your brain about what you want to use– so many names so little time to choose!!!!

Calm down, there is no need to have a heart attack. Just take a second to breath, I am going to give you some helpful tips and tricks to creating your own unique pen name.

Like I said in my last post- (if you haven’t read it you can back track hereWhat’s in a name?

To run the risk of sounding like a broken record: Lets have a quick rehash

“…why is it important? What can we learn from the names other authors choose to use– or what does your name say about you? In all honesty, the pen names speak a number of things about a person who uses it. It could be something as simple as Your first name, and a your mothers maiden name– or it could be something completely made up.

Does it really matter what your pen name is?

Well that depends on how you look at it. Are you just looking for a random name to publish your work– or are you looking for an identity all your own?”

You should have some idea on how you want your pen name to be centered, if you don’t that’s alright: it’s not a hopeless cause. The following list should be able to help (it’s how I found my names more or less.)

1) What is your Writing Niche? What Genre are you looking to be published for?

This is a simple question; if you enjoy writing fantasy, then chances are your going to write for a Fantasy Press Publisher of some kind. If you like Romance- then romance publishers will be the goal. While this is great to know for your own writing, it’s also great to know for your pen name creation. For some genre’s it’s totally okay to use weird names that wouldn’t be seen anywhere else. Now that doesn’t mean you should name yourself Flying-Saucer-Paper-Plane-Jr.  but names like Marion Zimmermann Bradley or Terry Goodkind come to mind–and are names you don’t see everyday; but are widely accepted in the Sci-fi/Fantasy Genre.

The key here, choose something human not from Galaxy-9914. If your readers don’t have to struggle with the linguistic tied-tongue-syndrome then your in the clear: more or less.

2) Do you want your name to have sentimental meaning?

This is good, it means you’re really thinking about what you want to define yourself for the rest of your writing history– don’t break out in a fine sweat, you’ll know when you find the name that is so totally you. But here’s a few ideas to get you started on your sentimental way;

  1. Where where you born? City, State, Country, Hospital, Street?
  2. Did you have a favorite person growing up? A Parent/guardian, sports star, singer, actor, author? Why not adopt one of their names, or at least part of it ?

If your still stuck, there is always the handy dandy internet- If you can think of the meaning you want— there’s a name out there– you can’t be too crazy after all people have named their kids Apple and the like.

3) So you want none of that? It doesn’t really matter so long as it has a flow to it? 

Awesome, your easy to please. There are a metric-crap-ton of ways to find name ideas:

  1. Do you have the phone book? Well flip through the pages and randomly drop your finger on a page and that’s your first name- rinse repeat!
  2. You could try some of the nifty Name Generators out in the cyber space (See: External Page Link @ Bottom)
  3. Game Time: Pick the last name of your 1st grade teacher- Now Pick the name of your youngest relitive; mix and match.

Still Don’t have an Idea of where to start?

Don’t worry about it so much, when you find that ever present muse puttering out to go on strike, start browsing the internet– or the links I will provide on the External Link Page. If you are still having trouble– ask someone else;

“If you have to choose a name for me that wasn’t what I have– what would it be?”

Make a list, pick your favorite– use your own last name, and be on your merry way to writing oblivion (no that’s not only in November).

Good luck to you!


Alright, I’ll answer that question in the next post- Because lets face it who wants to read something more then 800 words?– Unless i’m reading a novel– I sure don’t! Check back in soon!


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