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A young George Sand

Image via Wikipedia

Most writers use their own names, but some decide not to. If I spend a lot of time and effort on something then I like to claim it as my own so I prefer to use my real name.

Recently a webzine publisher gave me and other writers the choice of using pseudonyms or our own names, and occasionally somone in one of my classes decides to use a pseudonym – for example a writer of children’s stories.

There are times when a writer needs a pseudonym and some notable writers have used one, for example, to write in a different genre (Benjamin Black), or to change from one publisher to another or to preserve a sense of mystery or fantasy for marketing reasons. Lemony Snicket is one of my favourites.

Maybe you’re entering a competition and the judge is your best friend/worst enemy so you use a pseudonym as a disguise.

You could generate a few pseudonyms or even character names by using combinations of:

Last names of your favourite comedians/TV characters

Your name in French/Irish/etc

Last names of two characters from one of your favorite books

Names of your first doll/dog/cat

Your name spelled backwards

Or try this fake name generator. There’s even a superhero and fantasy name generator for a bit of fun.

So, you could be frivolous and make up a pseudonym or, you could be industrious and invent a fictional character.

Have you ever used a pseudonym?