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I have finished writing my first book and am currently doing the re-edit my question is one of my characters after he escapes his confinement must change his name as there is another impersonating him and he must hide his identity when he reaches the safety of the rebel camp what I am wondering is since no one in the camp is meant to know who he really he is, when I am writing him after he's changed his name to I refer to him by his original true name or do by his name for explain when he's speaking or thinking about something.


Hi, Naomi!

I think it depends on whose point of view you're in at the time. If it's a "new" friend (who only knows the character by his new name) then use that name. If it's an "old" friend, same thing. But for the character himself, when you're in his POV, he'll refer to himself as he always has. Heck, he might not even consider himself to be "Bob" even though everyone calls him that. He might think of HIMSELF as "Robert."

Keep in mind that it can be confusing to the reader, so it's best to occasionally have the character mentally comment on the difference in names. Whether it's that hearing the name over and over makes him wish he'd picked a different name, or really starting to like being called that. Just something to keep the reader tied to the name change. We had this issue in one of our books, TIMELESS MOON. The main character was Josette, but most everybody knew her as Aspen because she'd had to drop out of sight years before. But she still thinks of HERSELF as Josette, so when typing in her point of view, we kept her name and it's only when people are addressing her that the name changes. That helps a little. But it's still a bit confusing. :)  All you can do is try and see if beta readers of the manuscript get confused. If so, then you'll have to experiment a bit to see what the best fit is.

Good luck!


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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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