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I have an ambitious idea of writing fantasy/erotica and turning it into a web comic (and get crazily rich, of course), for that I need a username/pen-name.

I need it to be catchy and memorable first and foremost, but my problem is that it can be anything and everything and so I'm stuck.. I want it to be simple, but it also has to be unique enough to be able to use it on multiple sites without having to add numbers or other additions when it's already taken.

Both suggestions, questions, ideas and 'this is how I got mine' methods are welcome!

  • The issue is that as soon as you become even marginally famous there will be someone who will use your pen name for their account name, e.g. as a homage towards you, and then you'll need to extend it with numbers et similia to create your presence on the same platform. – NofP Jun 23 at 7:57
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    @NofP Not if they create an account on all relevant platforms when they've decide on a name. – Llewellyn Jun 23 at 16:02
  • @Llewellyn that's preposterous. It is unlikely that they would know in advance the relevant platforms yet to come, and the chance of someone else registering first on upcoming ones (but too niche and small now) increases with their notoriety. – NofP Jun 23 at 18:31
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    I'm not too worried about fake accounts (yet), and I am indeed going to create accounts on a couple of platforms that feel relevant for me. – Graphite Jun 26 at 12:24
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There are a few different things you might want to consider with a pen-name/pseudonym.

You don't have to, but the opportunity to "make one up" allows you to experiment more, so why not give it a shot? It will certainly help you narrow things down.

1) Marketing

A pseudonym will often be tailored for its purpose in a way that our regular names usually aren't. Some artists were already given great names, so they use it for their thing.

In the music industry, an example would be Billie Eilish, which is her real name and easily sounds like it could be the name of a music star. An example of someone who created a pseudonym would be Lady Gaga - Her real name is Stephanie Germanotta, arguably more specific and exotic, and might not lend itself well to the goals she had in mind.

Now, I don't know if most popular writers who made up a pseudonym had it in consideration, but it would make sense. Think Dr. Seuss - sounds pretty wacky, right? Well, The Cat In The Hat is pretty wacky, so who better to write it than someone called "Dr. Seuss"?

For Fantasy/Erotica Comics, you might want to go for something a bit over the top (that still sounds like a name) and try to brainstorm sexy, otherworldly names. You do this using common associations. In fantasy, you often have connections to forests, lakes, and nature in general naming.

Similarly, in Erotica, you have a lot of associations when it comes to water, smoothness & hardness, and these are the kind of associations you might want your name to give the reader. Exactly what the assoications should be I can't tell you, it depends on the specifics of your comic and what you want to invoke in their minds.

2) Uniqueness

Another thing to do is Google the name and see what comes up. You've found a good name, generally, if there are very few similar hits, and no identical hits. You'll also want to consider if it "sounds" unique, regardless of if it is or not. A name that sounds cliché won't inspire readers to gravitate toward your work, which is always the challenge with tropes of any kind. A name that sounds special and works as a symbol of the brand will be a great focal point for people who would potentially consume or even obsess over your comics.

3) Authenticity

Now this is the third point, but it might as well be the first, because this is important! Make sure that the name "feels" personal to you in some way. It should reflect the aspects of you that your work expresses. All creative work we do come from a piece/a perspective of ourselves that we harness, and if it doesn't feel right in your gut then it's not the one. Reading your pseudonym should help put you back in the perspective you need to do your work.

Finding a new creative name for yourself is exciting, and as much about self-discovery as it is about showing yourself off to others.

Use online dictionaries, synonym sites, antonym sites, and even random generators, or steal a piece from this-name or that-name if you like them. Get creative. When it comes to art, you can steal from anything as long as the end result seems uniquely you.

Best of luck on your new name!

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As I mentioned in a comment, the chances that your name will be taken on future platforms, on which you have not yet registered, increase with your notoriety.

As you mention, this often leads to the necessity of adding numbers after the cool username of yours. A simple workaround would be to have a user-name that is already predisposed for that.

https://oeis.org/

This website lists several known sequences of integers. Some famous ones are listed here (https://oeis.org/wiki/Welcome#Some_Famous_Sequences). The idea is to use

NameOfSequence + [numbers from the sequence]

For instance

Fibonacci_1123

or

BusyBeaver_1621

If someone happens to have the guts to take such a username, then you can just add the next number and keep your gig going.

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Do you have a favorite character in your web comic? Perhaps you can use her name as your pen name. Make it a name that can't be real, and Google it and make sure you get no hits.

  • I don't think this would give off the right impression to the audience. They'll either think the character is the “writer” of the story, making it so you can't branch off and write anything outside of the story involving this character or else possibly imagine the author being prideful and naming a character after themselves. The latter depending on how real the name is, of course. – Trin Jul 30 at 20:43

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