How I Rebranded: My Pen Name Story

Katharine Marie:

This is a great story of how one writer changed her pen name. I found it very interesting and she gives some great tips as well if you are considering changing your pen name/online name!

Originally posted on The Sprint Shack:

If you’ve seen me sprinting on the Sprint Shack Twitter account lately, you may have noticed something. My name is different. Skye Fairwin is no more.

Why? Let me start with a confession. Skye is not my real name. It’s a pen name I’ve gone by for the last six years… but not anymore. Last month I made the decision to come out from behind my pen name and start going by my real name online. So allow me to introduce myself again.

I’m Faye Kirwin and it’s lovely to meet you.

Leaving behind my pen name wasn’t an easy choice for me. I swayed back and forth between sticking with my alias and switching to my real name for months, and not just for the reasons you might expect. Here’s my story—the why and the how I changed such a big part of my online presence and how you…

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Rebellion: Meet Jonathon

Rebellion - Zach's version

Hopefully you’ve already bought and read my debut novel entitled Rebellion Under the Stars, so you already know who Jonathon is.  However, whether or not you have is beside the point… I’m here to give you an author’s inside view on his character.

Jonathon is actually Prince Charles Jonathon and he is the only son of the king of Zaracor, which is the home country of the Rebellion story.  In Rebellion Under the Stars, he is one of the main characters who travels with Selena on an important mission to save Zaracor from the rebellion.

He is a tall young man – 20 years old, with thick and curly brown hair and pleasant gray eyes. In fact, he’s just pleasant all around!  He is good at horseback riding and swordfighting and cares about almost everyone. Basically, he’s the perfect candidate for becoming king at some point. Right?

But the crazy thing is, that when I first created his character and actually got into the story and all of that… I really didn’t care for Jonathon. And then, a while later, he started getting on my nerves and then I definitely didn’t like him. Yet, all the while, he still remained one of my main characters.

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Probably because certain friends of mine would have been super upset with me if I had cut him out of the story. Why? For some reason, they loved his character and enjoyed reading about him. Maybe he was “ideal” in some way?  I don’t know.

My go-to reason for not liking Jonathon is that he was “too perfect” and always did the right thing. Was it a silly reason? Yeah, probably, but I stuck to it. I absolutely loved Selena’s story and Jolan’s story and even the villain’s story, but Jonathon?  Who cares…

Finally during a read-through of what I think was my third draft, I just came to the conclusion that I either had to get rid of him or… somehow figure him out so that I would enjoy reading my book with a Jonathon in it.

In the end, I didn’t change his character too much. I gave him a few times to mess up so that he would appear at least partially human (picture author’s eyes rolling) and I gave him some quirks and insecurities – most importantly being his love for philosophy and his constant worry/anxiety over ruining his life as a future king.

After making a few changes, I warmed up to his character a bit more and now, even though he isn’t my favorite character of the book, I enjoy reading or writing about him almost as much as other characters!

 Buy Rebellion on Amazon!

 

Have you read Rebellion?  Do you, or would you, like Jonathon, and why?  

The Start to a New Story

One of my 2015 goals is to write another novel. Don’t mistake this for an attempt to publish a second book – I simply want to have a pretty good draft finished by the end of the year. I’ve never written out a plan for writing a book, but I did this year. We’ll see if it works out!  Here is it for your wonderful enjoyment!

January:  Complete 10 pages of notes about the plot, plot twists, characters, settings, and scene ideas.

February/March:  I will be abroad, so I’m letting this goal rest for a while.

April:  Write backstory for the characters, plot, and setting. Make a timeline and set up the plot (use Camp NanoWrimo as motivation for this?).

May: Don’t even dare to look at what’s been done so far. A rest month.

June:  Read through everything written and make any changes desired. Rearrange as necessary.

July:  Write the important/favorite scenes and make changes to plot notes based on how that writing goes (use Camp NanoWrimo as motivation for this?).

August:  Start writing!  Begin developing characters and setting up the plot.

September:  Continue writing!  Intensify the plot and add a twist. Reach 30,000 words.

October:  Continue writing!  Hopefully finish!

November:  Again – leave the story alone!  A rest month.

December:  Finish as needed. Read over and make notes. Prepare the manuscript for someone else to read.


 

So far I’ve done quite a bit of thinking about what this story is going to be like. I’ve worked very hard on the prequel/sequel to Rebellion over the past two years, but so far it just hadn’t been panning out the way I thought it needed to. So I decided to start fresh with new characters and a new setting.

Because I love the fantasy genre, I’m 99% sure that there will be certain elements of that in there, but I think the main setting is going to be in the real world (maybe, my notes since first drafting this post have changed some!). I’m not certain exactly yet, but it will probably be a bit lighter and more fun than Rebellion was to write.

Bring on the New Year!

I didn’t post last year about my resolutions for 2014, but I did make some.

The major ones…

  • Maintain a blog post schedule.  I didn’t really follow a schedule, but I did average 4 posts per month. Definitely a huge improvement.
  • Read more books.  Check! I didn’t keep track of how many I read, but I know that I was definitely reading a lot.
  • Publish my novel.  I think we all know that this happened.
  • Win Camp Nanowrimo.  I did this in both April and July.

The only goal that I didn’t finish was moving this blog to its own domain name – but that is a work in progress. I’m still figuring out how to do that and don’t want it to become a massive disaster (which I tend to do with technology).

Some of my goals for this year are…

  • Spend 6 weeks in Europe.
  • Write my second novel.
  • Go back to school.
  • Become healthier and more balanced in my lifestyle.
  • Improve on both of my blogs.

If you don’t follow my equestrian-themed blog, you can go there to find more thorough and complete versions of my goals.

Have you made goals for the New Year?  Why or why not?

I did some web-surfing and found a few good articles on planning, organizing, especially for 2015. I will definitely be putting some of these strategies into play.

 

Setting up your 2015 Planner – Creative Home Keeper

 7 Ways to Plan your New Years Resolutions – Premeditated Leftovers

50 Simple New Years Resolution Ideas – Premeditated Leftovers

30 Day Happiness Challenge (seriously, do this one!)