Pseudonyms vs. Real Names

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lemuel
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Re: Pseudonyms vs. Real Names

#46 Post by lemuel » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:58 pm

I have such distinctive interests and writing style that those who want to lean my identity could probably do so if they were willing to look into it (a situation not helped by my Buddhist refusal to lie). That having been said, I prefer pseudonyms, if only because I am aware that there are those who do not take my writings well (my emphasis on Buddhism = Hindu-defined Atheism and my praise of Marcionitism may strike people in an anger-provoking way).

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Re: Pseudonyms vs. Real Names

#47 Post by Sapphi » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:21 pm

So I googled "How to choose a good pseudonym" and came up with some interesting information I did not think about before (all on the first page of results, so not going to link for the sake of reducing redundancy's... sake):

- Some authors use surnames that are alphabetically closer to famous best-selling authors in hopes that their books will be noticed more from that part of the shelf.

- Authors choose pen-names based on how appropriate they sound for the genre they are writing in.

- Similarly, when an author wants to write in a different genre, he/she might use a different pen name so that their loyal fans aren't confused or disappointed.

- There is subconscious sexism in the world of books, so depending on the genre, a certain gender of author will sell more books. So a different-gender pen name, or an ambiguous pen-name, like one with initials (J.K. Rowling) is sometimes chosen.

- Perceived nationality, class, and age is also important.

- Do a search for your pen name BEFORE you adopt it to make sure it hasn't already been taken.

- The obvious: it can't be too cheesy or silly. (I thought E. Coli would be a fantastic pen name. Alas.)

I think some of these don't really apply to visual novels, but some of them could. I'm thinking particularly of how gender stereotypes could turn a person off before they even read the work. "Hey, this looks coo- Oh, wait, a [circle opposite gender] wrote this. It's probably not written with someone like me in mind. I'll skip it."

Now, I'm also wondering how to make sure I have have my butt covered in a legal sense if my stories have a name on them that isn't anywhere near my actual name.

This sure is turning out to be a real can of worms!
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Re: Pseudonyms vs. Real Names

#48 Post by Heisenberg » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:34 pm

I used to be a Chemistry teacher, so when I started cooking crystal meth I used the pseudonym Heisenberg to cover up my identity. Now I own the business so Heisenberg has become a famous name here in the ABQ.
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Re: Pseudonyms vs. Real Names

#49 Post by Taleweaver » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:52 am

LateWhiteRabbit wrote:Still seems slightly valid that Adolf Hitler's other legal name could be Schickelgruber, given that is the last name his father used for years and years, and his paternal parentage was never proven. But I'm not German, so maybe I'm missing some subtleties in translation or culture.

...

It would be like one of Mark Twain's daughters calling herself Ms. Twain instead of Ms. Clemmens. Technically correct - and she wouldn't have made it up - but still a bit of misdirection.
I find it necessary to point out that all of the Schicklgruber/Hiedler/Hitler things happened in Austria, not Germany. Just changing your name's writing isn't something that would have been particularly German.

Speaking of Mark Twain, if I remember correctly, he named himself after a Mississippi flood mark, so it's a bit of an obvious pseudonym, like Taleweaver. Lewis Carrol, however, changed his named supposedly because he couldn't pronounce his own name "Dodgson" without stuttering "Do-do-dodgson". Go figure.
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Re: Pseudonyms vs. Real Names

#50 Post by lemuel » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:16 am

Many things are legally complicated. Since I do not like my given name (too theistic), a Pseudonym works well for me.

I like the pseudonym Ba Person (巴人/Baren) because it has so many fascinating meanings relevant to me.

- serpent (and I cannot walk)
- clang of a bell (a warning, and a reference to my hearing aid)
- handle (I strive to seize myself utterly)
- the name of a former culture/civilization (I love history)

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Re: Pseudonyms vs. Real Names

#51 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:07 pm

Taleweaver wrote: I find it necessary to point out that all of the Schicklgruber/Hiedler/Hitler things happened in Austria, not Germany. Just changing your name's writing isn't something that would have been particularly German.
I meant there may have been a reason in the German language - I was pretty sure that culturally Germany and the United States handle paternal naming in the same way. I just didn't know if maybe certain syllables or spellings were interchangeable in German. Sadly, most of my German language experience and knowledge comes from dating a German girl who refused to converse with me in anything but English (because my German accent was apparently horrific), and whatever digital Nazis yell at me in video games. So I know lots of stock phrases and words, but have no deeper understanding of the language.
Taleweaver wrote:Lewis Carrol, however, changed his named supposedly because he couldn't pronounce his own name "Dodgson" without stuttering "Do-do-dodgson". Go figure.
Interesting. I've never heard that before. As far as I know he still went by Dodgson in his everyday life and face to face encounters, and only used Carroll when writing his (non-math) books. I knew he had a stammer though. It is quite possible he went by Carroll with children, but his prominent professional standing and the Victorian times forced he to go by his real name with adults. However, apparently by the time of his death, his family was referring to him as 'L.C.", so who knows?

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Re: Pseudonyms vs. Real Names

#52 Post by Tetiel » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:47 pm

Heisenberg wrote:I used to be a Chemistry teacher, so when I started cooking crystal meth I used the pseudonym Heisenberg to cover up my identity. Now I own the business so Heisenberg has become a famous name here in the ABQ.
But only when you wear a hat. :lol:

I use my pseudonym mainly because when you see it on the internet, it usually is me or about me. I'm not aware of too many Tetiels floating around. Applying for an art job, I prefer to sign as Stephanie King. It's more professional, plus in my old hometown alone there were at least three other people with my same name, so good luck tracking me down based on that alone.

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Re: Pseudonyms vs. Real Names

#53 Post by Miyuki » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:15 am

I have a hard time with trying to figure out how to separate things. I go by Miyuki because it's my middle name and it's what I prefer to go by when it comes to writing, but in general I would prefer if it was connected to my online persona instead of my real life identity. It gets kind of confusing though since I'm trying to work as a writer and obviously, working on something online like a Ren'py game is a good way to start adding variety to my resume.

That said, in general I usually go by yokainomiko or riceforbreakfast. I invented tangerinetriangle for writing purposes but then kind of messed it up by registering as Miyuki. *shrugs*

I think that when it comes to real names, it's better to have enough experience with the internet to know where you feel comfortable sharing your name and where it's safe too. Like with paypal, a lot of the times the artists don't use their real names either when you request a commission, but it's like a mutual respect not to share the real names outside of the paying environment. I didn't feel comfortable with it at first, and even now sometimes I feel a bit awkward sharing my real name when buying things on ebay and etc.

My mom would blow a gasket if she knew that I was okay with sharing my full name online, but actually, there are two people who are relatively famous with the same name as me who would show up first, and I'm an adult (even if I'm only 21) so I can accept responsibility for my actions too.

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