Pen Names: What Are They and How To Use Them


This blog was written by me, but inspired by my fans’ comments on my YouTube video, NaNoWriMo Publishing Edition: Day 24.

So what is a pen name? If you’re curious what a pen name is, or sometimes referred to as a pseudonym, they’re names on works that hide identities, organize works into groups, used as a marketing strategy – they’re used for all sorts of things!

Maybe your genre doesn’t match with what name you’re writing under. Rainbow Rowell wouldn’t be found on a horror novel. Maybe R. Rowell would be preferred. This is a marketing strategy. The author still wants to put their books under the same name, but they switch around how they spell out or initial their name on the cover to better fit the genre.

Some people want privacy. Maybe Rainbow Rowell isn’t her name at all. Maybe she’s writing horrors and romances under this fake name so her family doesn’t know her secret fascination with fictional characters. This is still a nice strategy, even when matching names with genres – because you can still change from using initials to full names. It’s just not your real name.

There’s something about being unable to sign your real name on the book cover that is so heartbreaking for some. But deciding on your name is something I would consider at the beginning of your career, before you release anything. Once you start on a path, like using your real name, it’s hard to use anything else. You can, but it’s like starting over, because you’re basically being labeled as a new author.

One of my published fans told me he wrote in pen names. He used totally different names for different genres and got less revenue from that because fans didn’t know the books were written by the same person, so there was a marketing rift.

One fan said she could never use her real name, afraid her family might find out. But from what I can gather, she is still publishing under that name and has made a decent amount of success from it. She was consistent in using the same name, even if it wasn’t her real one.

A few other reasons you might want to use a pen name is because your name is too long, or your name is hard to pronounce, or it reads wrong in translation. I met a waiter once who called himself Erin, because people couldn’t pronounce his real name, Eran with a squiggle over the “a.”

So consider your situation, what you’re writing, and what you’re comfortable with. You never have to use your real name. You don’t have to use your real name or always use your fake name. But you can if that is what you’d rather do. You can use abbreviations or initials.

What I can gather from the comments is that “your name is your brand,” and to build your brand, you should try to keep your name(s) as consistent as possible. The route I’m going to take with my books is to use my real name and mess around with initials when I write a completely different genre. Mainly, I’m going to look at the cover and ask, “Will they take my book seriously with that name on there?” If I think it’s fine, I’ll leave it. It all comes down to the cover for me.

Thanks for reading guys!

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writingmime/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

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How To Plot Out A Thriller/Mystery

A year ago, I plotted out my own little mystery thriller and hope to make it into a book one day. I enjoyed the scheming and implanting surprises. So here’s how I did it.

I knew I could complete a story in as many chapters as I needed. However, I didn’t have a story yet. So I thought I’d see what I could come up with in 27 chapters (3x3x3). I didn’t end up using all of them, but it did get the ball rolling

I came up with my ending first. What did I want to accomplish? What emotional state was each character going to be in?

I worked backward. I felt like my beginning should be the exact opposite. I wanted a story where my characters were heroic and loving at the end and lame and hateful at the beginning. I wanted there to be two main characters who grow closer throughout the book.

I had a beginning, a middle, and an end: boring and strangers, action and comrades, heroes and friends.

Then I decided what kind of action: do I want it to be a crime? A jungle adventure? A spy undercover operation? The list goes on. I thought a crime would be interesting. Multiple crimes, in fact.

So, I split my beginning into three parts, my middle into three parts, and my ending into three parts. I already knew that I had to find out about the crime, investigate the crime, and then solve the crime, but how could I split finding out about a crime into three parts? Investigating a crime into three parts? Solving a crime into three parts? Well that’s where my creative side came in. Each third became it’s own beginning, middle, and end.

I added character development, conflicts, and plot twists to fill the gaps, otherwise it’d be a three-chapter book. Maybe it takes three problems and two solutions to fully discover that a crime was committed. Maybe it takes a leap of faith, three lucky tip-offs, and two steps backward to get through the investigation. Maybe because of a new friendship and two minds working on the case, with a few cafe scenes here and there, the crime was finally solved. But the case is not closed until the criminal is caught, so there’s a few more scenes for ya’.

There are so many options that I had to split the thirds of the three into three parts themselves, resulting in 27 or so chapters. It allowed me to explore the characters with back stories, have intimate as well as action scenes, and really build a secret over time, which I had planted at the beginning of my plotting process. It sprouted into a drawn out sequence of events that became my book outline.

I hope that helped some with plotting your next mystery thriller!

Keep writing,

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writingmime/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Writing Readers Will Enjoy

 

When you first start writing a novel, you’re writing a story that follows a character or multiple characters; generally, you’re writing from your own head in expressing immediate ideas and observations that you see your characters experiencing. You try to be detailed as possible. Even though it’s told behind the eyes of characters in your book, it’s still considered your diary, because only you understand it’s depth.

Because this isn’t “The Diary of Anne Frank,” a nonfiction written by a girl for herself, you should consider your reader’s perspective on the story. To do this, you take your raw “diary” format of your story and revise it and take it to an editor. The goal is to avoid “Why did this happen?” Or “why did they do that?” Or even “this relationship is fake.”

You can add and change things for the readers so they can understand what you mean. Writers take many years to perfect their novels, gearing them toward their audience. However, when authors go under contract and are asked to kick out a book every year, this sometimes takes away from the process. The “diary” format within the year-old story is more raw than it should be, and it irritates the reader when not clarified.

Actions speak louder than words. Everything your character says in dialogue will be trumped by your character’s actions. The only thing that can trump actions is a character’s thoughts:

Be brutally honest. If you can’t think of what your characters are thinking at that moment, try to relate to them on an emotional level. If they’re feeling confused, write something like, “I have no clue why that happened,” after the character has happy dialogue with someone else. Maybe the character is feeling nervous, but their actions are jumpy and vibrant. Directly after you say, “They raced to the pole to see who could get there quicker,” write a thought like,” I should be at home taking care of Jesse.” Even if your actions, dialogue, and thoughts all have the same feeling, your readers will still appreciate your character, relating to them more then that they’re confident in what they’d suspected was true. Even if your readers can’t relate to the actions or dialogue your characters make, there will still be some sympathy toward their thoughts.

Tip: If you want an even more realistic story, think about how your other characters are feeling as your main character is off observing and feeling by themselves. If one character is away being stressed, how will they react to your character that is happy when they come together in the next chapter?

 

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writingmime/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

I’m So Excited, I Just Can’t Hide It!

Hello, my name is WritingMime and welcome to my blog!

I’m new to WordPress, or was when I first wrote this, so enjoy my first attempt at posting on the job.

This blog will be useful to those seeking advise on writing or the process of publishing. My experiences range from far to many, being an aspiring writer myself. I’ve critiqued other authors’ work, and have spent a lot of time researching the marketing business. I’ve written quite a few rough drafts of stories in my day and love to draw. Hopefully, I can put some of my own illustrations inside my books and on their covers one day!

In each of my posts, I’ll either be writing about what I’m working on, tips on drafting and revising, supplementary advice for a YouTube video I recently uploaded, or big news in the publishing community.

I hope to keep my readers enticed, with a bit of tomfoolery here and there, working to make better writers out of all of us! Always remember to have fun with it! And never stop writing, ’cause those words won’t write themselves!

Woot! We have a bright future ahead of us,

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writingmime/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime