Should you write under a pseudonym? Pros, cons and practicalities in a digital world

Nail Your Novel

use a pen nameShould you use a pen name? Why might you? What problems might it cause? I rounded up a quiver of authors with noms-de-plume and asked them to answer some practical questions.

First of all, why?

An author name is a brand, of course, and traditional publishing has a long history of strategic pseudonymery. Names or initials might make a writer sound more exciting, more serious, more like an already famous author (JRR Tolkien and George RR Martin, anyone?). Androgynous names might do you favours if your readership is gender sensitive. A new surname might put you at a more visible part of the bookshelves or next to giants of your genre (George RR Martin again).

Even a change of nationality might send interesting signals to the reader. Earlier this year I was at an event with Sophie Schmidt, head of author relations and marketing at Epubli, and she told me…

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3 Tips To Getting Over Your Holiday Writing Hurdles (The Emotional Rollercoaster, part 1)

Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

00 santa hat writer A visual representation of me if I were a lady in a Santa hat. Even I don’t get this one.

I expected to get a ton of writing done at Christmas last year. NOTHING got done!

NOTHING!!!

Writer’s slump? Maybe.

Don’t you HATE it when the words aren’t flowing, or you can’t get motivated to write? Or other writing related hurdles?

The thing is, it passes.

Think about how difficult it was to share your work with another person the first time. Hopefully they were nice no matter how good or bad it was. Whether it was shared on Facebook, with friends, a spouse, a critique group, SHARING was a mountain BEFORE you did it – and now we look back and see it wasn’t such a big deal.

businesswoman-pointing-gun-to-computer-laptop-sitting-office-desk-desperate-stressed-young-attractive-having-problems-47931112 Write, damn you!

Somehow, we got through it.

Lots of hurdles are that way. You just knew about some of…

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Using The 12 Stages of Physical Intimacy To Build Tension In Your Novel

Jenny Hansen's Blog

Several days back, I did a post on Sexting and questioned whether all this “virtual intimacy” between couples would change the “Levels of Intimacy” chart I use in my writing. I had several writers ask me about it in the comments section so I’m bringing it to you on this fine Techie Tuesday.

I first learned about the 12 Stages of Physical Intimacy from Linda Howard, who used to give a very popular talk on the subject based on the work of Desmond Morris, Intimate Behavior: A Zoologist’s Classic Study of Human Intimacy.

On the downside, Linda gave her last edition of this talk to our RWA chapter in 2010. On the upside, Linda has spoken to enough writers that I was able to Google and find a great post on the topic by one of my online pals, Terry O’Dell.

I’ll give the stages and my thoughts here but…

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Injuring Characters: How much is too much?

Red Lettering

Injuring Characters

When we talked about realistic injuries, I mentioned briefly how some people over-injure their characters. Instead of going into it on that post, I said that it was a topic for another time. That time is today.

Before starting writing this, I did a Google search with the words “How often should I injure my characters?” When that failed to bring up any satisfactory results, I switched around the words, used only certain words without any proper sentence structure, tried more specific questions and came up with—

Oh, you guessed.

—absolutely nothing.

I found several pages worth of why you should hurt your characters, how to write realistic injuries, how to describe hurt characters, how to deepen characters through injuries, and many other things, but I didn’t come across how often you should injure your characters. Maybe Google just doesn’t like me today, or maybe I picked the wrong words…

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