Ghostwriting – The Haunting Why and How

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Feeling haunted by a story but you just can’t get it to take a corporeal shape? Have a technical or medical subject to explore and explain, but no time to do it? Have the spirit but not the skills to spell out a start-to-finish fictional story, memoir, biography, or case history?

These are some of the many reasons less experienced authors or subject matter experts choose a ghost writer to carry their tale into the world.

The expression two heads are better than one is never so true as with ghost writing. Whether you’re approaching the ghost writing experience as the ghost writer or originating author/expert, here’s some tips as to what to expect from a ghost writing relationship.

A ghost writer is a professional who writes what the author/expert would write if he or she had the time, skills, and energy. A ghostwriter is basically an extension of the author, someone who channels – if you’ll excuse the ghostly metaphor – experience into narrative.

Ghost writers don’t take over a topic, they pass through it, like, well, a ghost. They allow the authors personality and interests to show through their expertise, in the best possible light.

Ghostwriters zoom in on subject matter, organize it, and

write to reach whatever audience the author desires, whether the audience is a conference of medical professionals interested in learning about a new health issue or breakthrough, or romance readers eager for a fresh setting and vivid new characters.

Along with making an authors words as resonant as possible, ghost writers will often work with author/experts to be certain a book reaches its desired marketplace. He or she will make certain that subject matter and style conforms with accepted mores within a genre, whether it’s a sci fi novel to be sold at a local convention or a how-to manual on successful search engine use with a waiting publisher.

Choosing a particular ghost writer is usually based on that writer’s field of expertise. While my personal experience has ranged from fiction to technically-oriented non-fiction topics – a vestige from years in corporate communication and marketing – many ghost writers specialize in one genre or series of subjects.

Obviously some ghost writers maybe also be better at or more experienced in one type of writing that another, whether it’s fiction versus non-fiction, technical writing versus “soft” memoir or family autobiography. Choosing the right ghostwriter often depends upon past samples or experiences, ability to research, and subject matter expertise or interest.

Deciding to work with any ghostwriter in the first place is usually based upon an author/experts comfort level in confiding their subject to someone previous unfamiliar to them.

Author/experts also need to accept the fact that their story will be presented in words chosen by someone else other than themselves – albeit someone with every vested interest in the success of their project at the highest possible level.

Once a ghost writer is chosen, there are certain elements that are necessary for the ghost writing relationship to work.

The most important is information: ghost writers often need double the material an author/expert thinks they’ll need to create a fully dimensional work.

Ghostwriters most often pull source material together from many difference venues. Besides an author/experts own words, biography, or research, ghost writers will use the full resources of the ‘net, library, and appropriate interviews to complete a project.

Author/experts can help their ghostwriter by checking facts, and sharing ideas. Clear communication is vital in any creative relationship, but its especially important with ghostwriting. No need for seances here! Both ghostwriter and client need to establish a relationship of trust to bring their words to life.

Ghostwriting begins with an author/expert and the chosen writer formulating a plan or map of the book’s structure.

Resources and approach should be agreed upon – for example overall tone, narrator, and audience should be discussed.

Next, a written proposal should be drawn up for the

author/experts approval. A good proposal will include content and formalized approach, as well as practical information such as how long the writing experience will take, i.e. dates to complete research, first draft, and completed drafts. The proposal should also cover payment information, and a contract stipulating the author/experts rights to the material, as well as the ghost writers requirements – both in terms of financial payments and content information – to complete the project.

Once the proposal has been accepted, many ghostwriters start with an outline, and a sample chapter so that an author/expert has the chance to approve the tone and focus of the book before substantive work is completed.

The schedule varies greatly from there by each ghost writer and authors consent. Some authors and writers complete one chapter at a time. Others prefer to write an entire book based on the outline, or a combination thereof.

Ghost writers and authors will of course stay in close communication throughout the writing process, over the phone, in person, or over the Internet.

The end result? That story that’s haunting, the procedural that needs to be explained, the how-to that simply had to be told – all these the stories that just wouldn’t shape up without an outside driving force – are made into a cohesive, professional manuscript.

And two creators – one a shape shifting wordsmith, the other whose message just had to be shared – will experience the solid pleasure of writing well done.

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Source by Genie Davis

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