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Authors have relied on pseudonyms for centuries. Some stay anonymous to avoid fame, others to avoid criticism. Some write exclusively under their pen names, others rotate among a few alternates. Whatever the reason or method, pseudonyms are a popular choice among writers such as George Orwell, Dr. Seuss and Mark Twain. And somehow, each of their names captures their style and creates a bit of mystery while sounding familiar. (That probably has something to do with their fame, but still, choosing a pen name is serious business.)
I scoured the Internet to find a few ways you can create your perfect pen name and came up with a few suggestions myself. Try these on for size:
1. Your name spelled backwards. (We’re starting small.)
2. An anagram created from the letters in your first and last name.
3. The last names of two random kids who went to your elementary school.
4. The first names of two distant relatives. Go back at least two generations. (It helps to use one from each side of your family.)
5. The slightly misspelled name of an everyday object and your childhood doctor’s last name.
6. A combination of the names of minor characters in a favorite TV show, movie or book.
7. Your stripper name, which is apparently the name of your first pet and the name of the street you grew up on. (Hey, it might work.)
Here is my list of possibilities. I’m not sure which is my favorite. Perhaps I’ll choose based on the genre I’m writing. No. 3 for a crime novel, No. 4 for a book of poems, and No. 5 for social criticism.
(All I have to say about that last one is maybe skip the third link.)
So what would your pen name be? Do you have any suggestions for coming up with a pseudonym of your own?
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