misskokamon's picture
misskokamon from San Francisco is reading The Moonlit Mind November 12, 2011 - 1:13pm

It's been said that Joanne Rowling was asked to use her first two initials when publishing the first Harry Potter novel. Her publishers doubted she'd make many sales if she used her full name. At least, this is the rumor I've heard.

There are other reasons to choose pen names. Maybe you have a really lame name, like me: Courtney Parks. That just... ugh. That sounds so painfully boring. Like I'm a writer of some old lady romance fiction, or some sort of travel journalist who only visits city landmarks in the USA, or something.

Using my first two initials doesn't help, either. I become C.M Parks. There's nothing fantastic about that name. Nothing that screams adventure and danger and mystery. The name doesn't roll off the tongue, doesn't taste of faraway planets or spooky houses or cyberpunk frontiers. 

I have a thing for well styled sentences. Sounds need to complement one another, word length and syllable count need to vary. This preference translates into a well-balanced name. I like names with a varied amount of syllables, names with contrasting sounds. My name, Courtney Parks, reminds me of a mismatched outfit from the 90s. You have the hard sound of the C, (C is such a useless letter, by the way) and the iffy, hollow sound of OR. Following that is the screechy EE. Then comes that passive aggressive P, the growling Ar which fits so awkwardly near the earlier OR, and the hiss of the KS--the most exciting sound in the name, so like a lighter's click as your thumb rolls across it's switch.
Dropping in my middle name only makes it worse. It's a mismatched outfit from the 90s with poofy hair and big glasses. 

I know it sounds crazy. I like my name for everything else--my artwork, my paychecks, my life. But I dislike it as a writer's name. 

Yet my struggle with a pen name is just as rough. I feel like a pen name is something you hide behind. A pen name is your secret identity when you write romance or erotica and don't want the young folk who read your YA to stumble across it. 

So, what is your take on pen names? Let's discuss. Do you use one? Are you against using one? How do you go about creating your writing persona? 

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin November 12, 2011 - 1:29pm

Nicholas Karl Wilczynski has a pretty epic feel to it, if you ask me. But the nature of it also had me considering a pen name for the novel. I mean, there is a possibility that having a name no one can pronounce can hurt your word of mouth.

When I make music I do so under the pen name NK Dub. I considered using it for the book, but I mean, on a rap album it looks OK, but on a book it looks ridiculous. I have a mockup cover to prove it.

But when I was faced with that, NK Dub is silly looking, am I going to go further from my actual name, I mean, even that is just an abbreviated form of my initials.

It was funny, my ego wouldn't stand for it. I've spent a lot of time thinking about who Nick Wilczynski is, I put a lot of effort into developing that character. I wasn't going to change his name at this point.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest November 12, 2011 - 1:42pm

My ex always told me to use my real, full name: Ryan Shawn Mooney. She said it sounded important and pretentious like Bret Easton Ellis. I was against this, nothing against Bret (he is my favorite author), I just hate my full name. I was going to go with Rian Moon. I thought it was more memorable, short and easy to remember. But, now I'm thinking it may be too Sci-fi. Irregardless of what I choose, Rian will stay. I like the I versus the Y in this case. 

In the end though, I might just go with Chuck Ellis? Whaddya think?

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like November 12, 2011 - 4:22pm

I was hoping to use one until an online magazine pubished a story of mine under my real name (I guess they got it off the email,) which didn't really bother me. The fantastic Mr. Heilmann got a lot of rejections, the ol' "Dear Kody."

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like November 12, 2011 - 4:24pm

J.K. + J.D. + me -- I'll be the third corner on that triangle any day.

iBronco's picture
iBronco from New Jersey is reading White Noise November 13, 2011 - 9:35am

I love Courtney Parks! It's simple and to the point. 

Nick, how about Nick Karlinski?

Ryan, you have an awesome name, too. Are you related to Kyle Mooney? (ha)

 

I'm trying to find a pen name, too. I don't like Michael Anthony DePasquale, too Italian, and iBronco is my internet identity. I was thinking something exotic like Teiry Cribbs, Rod Burmois, Lexton Hues. Do these sound totally imaginary?

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin November 13, 2011 - 9:49am

Karlinski isn't bad... it has that east Prussia feel to it that really speaks to the German swirl in my polish heritage.

I always think of Howard Moon when I see ryan's name, and so I imagine him having the beadiest eyes ever.

misskokamon's picture
misskokamon from San Francisco is reading The Moonlit Mind November 13, 2011 - 12:16pm

Aw, thanks iBronco. I guess it comes down to me wanting to use initials (I'm writing middle grade adventure right now and I think anyone who sees a lady name on those sorts of books will assume there is ooey gooey romance in it) and two initials plus a one syllable last name doesn't sound fun. 

I can always get married to a guy who has two or more syllables in his last name, but I think that might be a little unrealistic.

I think Ryan should stick to Rian Mooney. It sounds great. Mysterious! 

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz November 13, 2011 - 4:16pm

 

What's in a name?

François-Marie Arouet or Voltaire?

Guillaume Albert Vladimir Apollinaire de Kostrowitzky or Guillaume Apollinaire?

John Wilson or Anthony Burgess?

Mary Ann Evans or George Eliot


And this discussion wouldn't be complete without mentioning Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Shit, as if his given name hadn't been intriguing enough he had to ameliorate it thereby galvanizing a name that has become epically identifiable. It's this element of 'identity' that lies at the core of the matter. How authors come to be identified by the world and more particularly, by their audience. And even by themselves.

Twain wrote in Life on the Mississippi that as a young journalist he sought a "nom de guerre" (War Name) to pursue journalism. Out west, Clemens received news that Horace Bixby, the Steamboat captain he had apprenticed under at the age of 22, had died. Clemens commenced thereafter to sign all of his work Mark Twain in part as a homage to the man but no doubt also recognized the nautical term as a suitable eponym for the literary career he was embarking on.

In other words the term Mark Twain 'meant' something to Clemens. It was much more than just a term pulled randomely from the air (although this can be quite effective as well as evidenced by the title of Coldplay's new album Mylo Xyloto). Mark Twain labeled Clemens' ambition--branded it. It came to describe him and his work in an acute way. The fact that his brother died in a steamboat explosion that he spent the rest of his life feeling somehow responsible for further impregnates the war name with meaning making it deeply personal. 

In another use of pen name, Stephen King (Richard Bachman) wanted to see if his books were still popular when published under an unknown name. Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket--sounds like Jiminy Cricket) and his editor designed a name aimed to permeate and enchant the minds of his tween audience--which it accomplished indeed. And historically many female authors, particularly in earlier, less accommodating times, adopted pen names to compete or even participate in a male-driven, male-dominated society and publishing world: Currer Bell, Ellis Bell and Acton Bell being some of the more famous examples as well as the aforementioned George Eliot.  

And of course there's the reasons Courtney brought up: originality, recognition, auditory esthetic, alliteration...or more simply: what a name sounds like. Does it have a nice ring to it? Will a name like John Wilson lure more readers or does Anthony Burgess cream your literary caliculus gustatorius?  I can hear everyone Burgessing their panties and briefs as they read Burgess, so I will assume that Burgess is more provocative than Wilson. And who wants to own an Andrew Warhola painting or go to see a Norma Jeane Mortenson movie when there are Warhols and Monroes to be had?

Courtney Parks has a nice ring to it, even if Courtney Parks herself doesn't think so. Maybe it's just because I share her initials (along with another well-known author). I think sometimes we've heard our own names so many times that they become generic even when they aren't to everyone else. 

Courtney Parks sounds real (unlike Lemony Snicket) but is unique enough (unlike John Wilson) that if 'Googled' it will bring up only a handful of 'significant' links...and in this information day and age, that's very important if a person is aiming to get their writing read. No wonder there's an entire multi-Billion dollar industry dedicated to the rigmarole of public relations and marketing.  

And this brings me to my next point. In the current technological climate, the value of a name as assessed in electronic terms should not be underestimated. Just look at the domain name market. Before you get too attached to a name you might want to see if that domain is still available. There's now more and more chatter about internet real estate. In other words, if you were to google, say, Courtney Parks, who appears first in the queue? If not first then how many links that lead to Courtney Parks are links to you as opposed to the Porn Star or Multi-level marketeer? And if you don't have the dough to snatch a domain name from someone who already owns it, then you might want to tailor your existing name or create a new one so you'll be able to register it yourself through Go Daddy at the going rate.

 Nick Wilczynski. Rian Mooney? Great names. I can see those on spines.

What's in a name? It functions a lot like a 'hook' in a story, doesn't it? If it's intriguing or catchy enough, it might compel a potential group of readers to take that crucial next step to actually read that writer's work. If the work backing the name is up to snuff (and oftentimes even if it isn't) and the name is memorable enough, it can develop into a sort of lubricous brand that slips easily from tongue to tongue because people just like to say it. 

On the other hand look at what a name like Justin Beaver can accomplish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts November 13, 2011 - 5:19pm

I need a more manly name too.

 

Courtney Parks sounds like a paperback mystery writer. I imagine she would write books about Ben Vengeance, ex-Denver PD who quit the force because the law got in the way of his moral justice. Now he works as a private investigator for the D.A.'s office, who grants him a "see no evil, hear no evil" license to dispense his roughneck tactics to his liking.

 

missesdash's picture
missesdash from Paris is reading The Informers November 13, 2011 - 5:32pm

I used a pen name just because my actual name has too many syllables. I write under "Elle Jean-Charles" instead. It's my first initial and last name but...I don't know, cuter? I like the way "Elle" looks on paper as opposed to just "L."

The whole first and middle intial and last name just screams "I'm a female writer but it's a secret shhhhh" to me. Obviously some are male. But most are women.

 

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz November 13, 2011 - 5:51pm

I like that name, Elle.

David Welsh's picture
David Welsh from New Hampshire is reading The Shining November 13, 2011 - 6:10pm

There is an author of historical non-fiction named David Welsh, as well as several doctors. I think there was a really old artist or something to. Also an anime blogger, which caused some confusion when I was a board game blogger. Anyways, Googling my name gets a lot of hits that are not me.

I think when I start publishing, I might use D.E. Welsh, D. Edward Welsh, or maybe just Edward or Ed Welsh (which is how my grandfather goes, even though his first name is James).

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. November 13, 2011 - 7:33pm

I agree that Courtney Parks is an great name.  Having a noun/verb as a last name is pretty rad.  It can mean plural conservatories, or national lands.  You sound like a group of lands designated for Courtney-ing, or on which the Courtnies were once found.

 

Or as a verb, to place a vehicle in a designated spot, or to make out ( to 'park' sometimes means 'to make out in a car').  So, your name kind of means that "Courtney will totaly make out with you if you have a cool car with a spacious backseat and a bottle of peach schnapps".  

 

missesdash's picture
missesdash from Paris is reading The Informers November 13, 2011 - 7:36pm

Courtney Parks sounds very Chick Lit to me. I don't mean that as an insult, obviously. But it is hyper feminine and...cheery? haha

 

@chester thanks. It comes in handy when I want to be cute in Franglais. My new website is probably going to be ElleWrites

misskokamon's picture
misskokamon from San Francisco is reading The Moonlit Mind November 13, 2011 - 7:51pm

@Bryan I laughed. Thank you, sir.

Jay.SJ's picture
Jay.SJ from London is reading Warmed and Bound November 13, 2011 - 7:57pm

I like my name of Jay Slayton-Joslin. Something about a monosylabic first name and a double barrel seccond.

A few of my favourite female writers have abbreviated their first name into initials. I think it has much more chance of affecting a readers view of a character than if a male wrote it. Perhaps thats why people like Amy Hempel write stories with nameless characters.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters November 14, 2011 - 6:45am

i use a pen name for virtually everything.  Short story publications, twitter, blogs, websites...most everything.

If I ever get a novel published, it's going under my real name.  So people will believe me. 

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz November 14, 2011 - 7:35am

Courtney Parks sounds chick lit? Courtney is a pretty androgynous name.  Courtney Taylor-Taylor is a guy and I doubt most women think he sounds feminine or chick litty. Maybe dick litty. That's why it strikes a nice balance. It can go either way.

@averydoll: I am not sure as a novelist that you'd ever have to worry about people believing you or not. Now if you're interested in writing non-fiction or memoir, then I 'might' agree. Pulling a James Frey or Stephen Glass isn't the best career move. However, if were talking fiction, then it's a moot point. People believe the stories written by pseudonymical authors. One need to look no further than the Bible for a fitting example.

Jay Slayton-Joslin is an epic name. Really. Very catchy, I remember taking notice the first time I read it. The slay-n-jostle. Slay Jayton-Joslin. No matter how you turn it, it works. And when I google it, I get to read a great interview you did with the amazing Lidia Yuknavitch.

 

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break November 14, 2011 - 7:40am

Barnaby J. Whiskerbiscuit is mine.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. November 14, 2011 - 9:21am

Hey, that's my dog's name.  You named yourself after my dog?

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break November 14, 2011 - 9:49am

Exactly!

missesdash's picture
missesdash from Paris is reading The Informers November 14, 2011 - 6:24pm

I think it may be a generational difference. Courtney hasn't been a popular name for males (in the US) for at least ten years. I've never met a male Courtney. 

That's another interesting issue. How different a name can sound for people from different countries and generations. 

Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff November 15, 2011 - 1:28am

Great name, Courtney Parks.

Shall Misskoka not use it for her writing self, we all could share it as a collective identity for our more controversial works..  some sort of LitReactor apprentices' Luther Blissett.

It's even plural already.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. November 15, 2011 - 5:40am

I've been told I should change my name when writing because Daniel Gonzales is too ordinary which I guess it is.

.'s picture
. November 15, 2011 - 7:03am

I only put my real name on my African-American Erotica novels. Only because I have an oil painting author photo.

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts November 15, 2011 - 7:16am

I'd love a black velvet author painting. That would be the best shit ever.

.'s picture
. November 15, 2011 - 7:19am

I don't need a pen name. The writers over at The Velvet don't use one.

David Welsh's picture
David Welsh from New Hampshire is reading The Shining November 15, 2011 - 8:01am

Here's an interesting pen name dillema that I have.

I've never published anything before, but I want to submit something by the end of the year. There is a new literary journal in my area that seems like a good fit, but I found out that on of the editors is an old friend for high school. We're not exactly on speaking terms.

I'm afraid he'll see my name and just not bother reading my submission. I'm petrified that he'd read it and reject it. I've sort of been rejected by him as a friend, so being rejected officially as a writer would sting a little more than if a random editor rejected me. I want rejections, just not from him.

I was thinking that if I used a pen name it would remove some of the barriers there. I'm not sure how you go about getting paid under a pen name though. It's a non-paying lit journal, but I'd want to stick with one name for my career.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break November 15, 2011 - 8:43am

@David

If it doesn't pay, why bother going to the trouble?

I guess you could always submit under a pen name for your own satisfaction, but you're pretty much saying that this is all about sliding one past the goalie.  There are plenty of other lit journals you could go to.

 

David Welsh's picture
David Welsh from New Hampshire is reading The Shining November 15, 2011 - 8:54am

@Brandon

Yeah, I guess that is a good point. It's really more of a pride thing, isn't it? There are plenty of other magazines, and plenty that would pay.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break November 15, 2011 - 9:00am

Believe me, this won't be the last time it happens.  There are a couple places that I wouldn't mind submitting to but since I don't care for the people running it, why bother?  I'm not going to create content for people I don't like, especially if they're not paying.

misskokamon's picture
misskokamon from San Francisco is reading The Moonlit Mind November 15, 2011 - 10:00am

@Chester I don't know how I missed your epic post, but I read it just now. It was a great read. While it hasn't helped me decide what my writing persona ought to be called, it certainly has given me a LOT more to consider.

@Renfield Words cannot express how much I agree with you, so I'll just say it: I agree with you. If I knew more about law enforcement and I had any talent for writing a good mystery, I get the feeling I'd rise to wordy stardom in no time with a name like mine!

Funny story: I thought about what Missesdash did, turning her first initial from L to Elle. I thought, "Gee, that sounds creative." I took the C in my name and switched it to "Sea." Cute, I thought. Then I tacked on my last name... and sighed. Sea Parks. Really? Really

At least my first name isn't Disney. 

But this isn't about my name, per se, it's about our names, our personas. The reason I don't want to use a pen name is the same as Averydoll's--I want people to believe that I published something. Specifically my enemies. 

Back on the subject of my name, I think for now I'll stick with Courtney Parks. You guys will have to pick a different collective identity. Maybe... Barbara Fences? 

As a side note, when I tire of writing YA and decide a good rompy erotica is in order, I'll probably switch to a pen name. Maybe Sea Megans. Megan, by the way, is my middle name. 

Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff November 15, 2011 - 10:25am

Barbara Fences is also badass.

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts November 15, 2011 - 10:25am

I'm not entirely sold on this having people I know believe I actually wrote a book, and then they would have an excuse to try to talk to me, shudder the thought. And, ugh, if they asked, "is this character based on me?" I don't know which one but at least one of us would not make it out of that room alive. Of course, I would still want them to buy it so I could get their money.

I'm torn on my position on pen names. I like the marketing aspect, the name is right on the front of the book, right along with that perfectly clever title you were enamored by, why not make it just as aesthetically appealing? Then again it feels like such a hassle to put "writing as Larry Gooman" and hoping nobody makes a mistake so you can get bylined and paid properly, or generally just feel phony. But then I have a wimpy, mildly androgynous, phonetically stupid name. If I had the prospect of a writing career, like a decent publisher thing with lots of paperbacks at all kinds of bookstores, I probably would use a pen name to suit my chosen genre. Frank Grimes, be an awesome western hack. Or Markus M.W. Mirkwood, crazed sci-fi auteur.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters November 15, 2011 - 10:40am

My real name is okay and all.  Although a bit ordinary. 

It's just...I work at a college.  And they do "readings".  And the idea of reading something I wrote to these people makes me want to vomit.  So I try and keep the writing gig under my hat.  Because if they asked me, I'd feel obligated to do it. 

Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff November 15, 2011 - 10:49am

Frank Grimes would be my favorite writer, just for the name.

Mine will be Angela Ghoulman, I'll be pissing zombie stories - what else? - laced with liquid stardust and PCP.

misskokamon's picture
misskokamon from San Francisco is reading The Moonlit Mind November 15, 2011 - 12:17pm

Renfield, you have a good point. The one thing I hated while growing up is my grandma would go through my computer files and read whatever it was I was writing. They assume you're messed up, a pervert, and that you've based a character on them even though you've only held two conversations with them.
My family was notorious for assuming I had no imagination and that I based my writing on actual feelings I might have had. If I killed off a parental figure in my story, they'd think I wanted them dead. If I made my character a gay orphan, they'd think I wished I wasn't part of the family--and that I liked the ladies.
I wrote a story with a sex scene at 15. My grandma found it on the computer--she often combed through my files. She took me out to dinner and revealed she had printed the chapter with the naughty bits. "Young women don't write stuff like this," she scolded. It wasn't even that dirty of a scene, but I was mortified and a little betrayed. I didn't write for months after that.
I think my harshest memory of being misunderstood was I wrote a story when I was 7 (7, you guys!) about a couple of kids who wreaked havoc with a magical item after their father went to buy something at the grocery store and left them unsupervised. I was so proud of this story--all four pages of it--and shared it with my parents. My dad proceeded to tear the thing to shreds, yell at me about insinuating he was a bad father, then sent me to bed. 
Maybe that's why I want a pen name. While I'm writing YA now and it is considerably less dark than some of the stuff I wrote as a kid, the thought of attaching my name to anything I write makes me a little uneasy. Not that it matters, as all my close friends and family would still assume I was weird, a pervert, and probably based characters off of them.
 

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin November 15, 2011 - 1:02pm

koka, that is horrific, I'm sorry to hear that.

There are characters in Citizens who were based off of real people, but it was more a factor of taking personality characteristics and putting them in totally different people until they were unrecognizable, there are no straight up carbon copies. None of them were family members. If someone did ask me if a character was based off of them I would just say, "You're so fucking vain, are you serious?"

The city though, it's totally Greensboro. It's not Greensboro, but it is modelled on Greensboro pretty heavily.

I on the other hand asked my dad what his thoughts were on a pen name (he didn't care one way or the other, but reccomended that if I did use one I should write as "Hugh Jackman"), he was always really supportive of my writing when I was a kid, but since high school he's thought I went too hard on realism and morbidity (a totally unfair assesment, he just has crappy taste).

Nav Persona's picture
Nav Persona from Purgatory is reading The Babayaga November 15, 2011 - 12:32pm

Everything is subbed and pubbed with my nom de plume... I get paid to my "real" name. There are sub guidelines for that... "Title is a Title" by Pen Name, Jr... then contact info is all my real stuff.

I use a pseudo, or started using one because the nature of what I write isn't (mostly) fit for children, and I have two. So they wouldn't accidentally come across anything with my name on it. I also was in music and used my real name for that. The pseudo just makes things... more organized, lol

So yeah, my real name is **** ***** ****  Pretty boring eh? Now I'm gonna get shut down on G+... I better move my stuff from there now.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. November 15, 2011 - 5:56pm

I won't lie, I did write gay erotica for awhile because it paid well and I used a pen name. I also worked as a phone sex operator but that's a whole other story.

Dave Hanson's picture
Dave Hanson from Connecticut is reading Incredibly pulpy fantasy and sci-fi November 15, 2011 - 6:15pm

I always tell people my name is Jeremy Fox when it's an authority figure of some kind yelling at me for drinking in public. Usually this is at the point in the evening when I think I can talk them out of it, and right before I rely on my old cross country running skills. So I write under my real name because I use a nom de guerre in real life.

@aliensoul, wow. That's awesome. 

misskokamon's picture
misskokamon from San Francisco is reading The Moonlit Mind November 15, 2011 - 7:59pm

@Aliensoul  I believe that was my primary story material for a good portion of high school and college, but I did the unrealistic kind, where the men think like how women believe they think, and one of them is always a little on the girly side.
Somehow after writing m/m romance for all those years, I decided I wanted to write YA. True story.

 

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts November 15, 2011 - 10:01pm

What's some good venues to submit erotica? I have a feeling if I wrote erotic fiction it would probably be the most depressing shit ever.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. November 15, 2011 - 10:46pm

Yeah, the guy I wrote for wanted romantic erotica so I always made the guys fall in love first.  Then they did all the nasty stuff.  Is it sad that my hottest story was about a guy having sex with a male android? 

I think you have to be an optimist to write most erotica, Renfield.  Most women's erotica is all about bodice undressing and heaving chests and promises of a long term relationship and babies.  Women like vampires and time-travelling Scottsmen for some reason.  It must be the kilt.

Depressing erotica:  "He took off her clothes and began to sob.  "What's wrong?" the prostitute said.  "It's just, you remind me of my sister," he said and collapsed into her arms."

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin November 16, 2011 - 1:26pm

lmfao.

Looks like the worst literotica hook ever.

The funny thing about written erotica is how close to the surface all of the Derrida-style hidden meanings are, it is probably the most honest sort of fiction out there.

Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff November 16, 2011 - 2:21pm

"He took off her clothes and began to sob.  "What's wrong?" the prostitute said.  "It's just, you remind me of my sister," he said and collapsed into her arms."

So much significance condensed in two lines. It reminds me of a dialogue bit in an old movie, Sessomatto, 1973:

"..I was thinking: if you were a woman instead of a man; if you were a clerk instead of a whore; if you were single instead of married; if you were my cousin instead of my brother, we could have crowned our ecstasy, and be happy."

My erotica pen name will be Berry Lovecake.

Nighty Nite's picture
Nighty Nite from NJ is reading Grimscribe: His Lives and Works November 16, 2011 - 2:35pm

Francis Lockwood is a pseudonym I use on occasion. A little anachronistic-sounding and a lot pretentious. Just how I like it.

missesdash's picture
missesdash from Paris is reading The Informers November 16, 2011 - 4:41pm

All of this talk of erotica reminds me of when I ran an outcall escort agency in college. I went by "Daisy." Tell me that isn't the friendlist pimp name you've ever heard. 

I'll avoid posting the equally pleasant surname in case my agent is lurking my internet hide outs.

Dean Blake's picture
Dean Blake from Australia is reading generationend.com November 17, 2011 - 2:52am

Jacks_username: "I only put my real name on my African-American Erotica novels. Only because I have an oil painting author photo."

That's awesome.

Has anyone here ever written for literotica?

Anyway, my blog pen name is Dean.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz November 18, 2011 - 7:32pm

It was only a matter of time until one of the threads became lubricious. All threads go there eventually, don't they? Sex, Death and Taxes. Nipples in mouths on lips over shafts. Tongues in cheeks and finger-filled holes.

Shit, why don't I start a sex thread? The ones in the intensives generated all sorts of explosions, or so I've been told. 

I think one of them was called Let's Talk about Sex. 

Sex and the Litty.


I tried to get one of my friends to name his daughter Clitia (pronounced Klisha) but he declined.

Lickety Splits. Banana Flapjacks. 

I forgot what this thread is about.