Identity question. My murderer has an alias. How do I avoid confusion?

He's got good fake i.d.
And because he meets people he intends to manipulate for one reason or another, they know him by his alias only.
How can I avoid confusion?
If you can give me an example of what you do--or what you've read, I'd be grateful for any advice or comment about this.
Thanks in advance.

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no, agree. i don't ever want to fool the reader!
Can't introduce it early on, because it takes a while for the events to unfurl and for him to take off.
He changes names--when he leaves his town. so that might make it more clear.
he leaves New York--and is someone else when he arrives somewhere else.
The Detective on his tail knows him by his real name and so does a friend of his who's trying to warn him.
The only character who becomes important is a woman he's just met who knows him by his alias--
so it's not really going to bounce back and forth. meaning those three threads move along but don't interlock until much later and then only once.
But I think I'll use reminders here and there, Clair's suggestion.
Your method worked for you obviously. I have to get my method to work for me! yours makes a lot of sense, but I'll try it this way first.
thanks Paul for your reply though.
The way you've set it up sounds logical to me, Carole. One thing I always do when I notice a potential problem like this is to list it in a "research" file as soon as I think of it. That way I can ease my mind for the short term and deal with it as an item in the revision process. Especially if I think its going to be an issue that keeps surfacing from chapter to chapter. For this very reason, I always keep at least two Word files open: one for the Ms. and one for problems, research to be done later, revisions problems, etc.
Fabulous method.
I sort of fell into something similar with trial and error!
but the funny thing was, I wrote two drafts where I didn't have the killer with another name--that was because I had it go in a slightly different direction. but NOW--I realized as I'm trying to edit for the final draft (after this) that I wanted him to have an alias, it works better.
This happens in the middle--so it's going to be fairly straightforward to edit it in.
Paul you're method sounds very efficient.
I'll do that--clean up and slim down some separate files i have!
Thomas Perry, in Sleeping Dogs, has his hit man-protag change names every time he's confronted by the police or his enemies. A new identity every few chapters. I remember it working very well.
Wow. thank you very much for that.
I don't think it's easy so it takes good authors to accomplish it (like Perry and, are you listening, I.J.?!--like I.J. Parker too)!
Thank you. :)
Mind you, we all struggle with this sort of thing. That's what makes writing an ongoing challenge and interesting.
You're very welcome.
I think you're a special writer on here actually.
And I do look forward to reading your books. I mean the reviews were staggering! talk about a "wow" factor!
Yes, it is challenging and interesting. I suppose I learn new things constantly, too.
Thanks, I.J.
This clears it up for me.
What a good example.
The character/narrator knowledge of the alias.
Why didn't I think of that?
Thanks so much, Dan!!
Pass it on through, Dan!
Your fee is more than worth it!
So delighted with your suggestion!
I wrote it up that way and it WORKED! are you clever or what?!
again many thanks.
fee to follow!


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