Pseudonym – definition: a fictitious name used by a writer to conceal his or her identity : a pen name
What do you think? Is this a good idea or not? My own pen name is actually a combination of my given names so not really a pseudonym in the true sense of the word. Many ‘famous’ authors have used pen names, some to experiment with another genre or to avoid a misconception by their readers. Using initials can ‘hide’ the true gender of a writer – well for a time anyway. But is it really a practice required in this day and age?
Let’s look at Stephen King (yes I know – but he’s my hero!) King used the pen name Richard Bachman for seven short novels in the late 1970’s, early 1980’s. There are two trains of thought about why he did this. 1) He wanted to find out if he could replicate his success to ensure it was not an accident or 2) the publishing standards only allowed a single book per year. As a prolific writer the restriction must have been very frustrating. (If only we could be so lucky)
A pseudonym was also used to hide gender when society dictated a woman’s role, such as Charlotte Bronte, writing under Currer Bell while Emily Bronte used Ellis Bell. Another surprise pen name is George Orwell, whose Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm caused such a sensation in the 1940’s. He was actually named Eric Arthur Blair. More recently Joanne Rowling used J.K. Rowling in an attempt to attract boy readers. It was thought if they perceived the author to be male they would be more likely to read the books about the young wizard.Is this really the case? Do you have a pen name? What were your reasons for using one?
- Pseudonyms, Aliases & Pen Names (sandrawritestoday.wordpress.com)
P.S. No Sunday Snippets today from me but please pop over to: