Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Adventures in Ghostwriting

Ever been a ghostwriter? I recently took on a job as a ghostwriter as part of my plan to start making money through writing as I write my second novel.

I always laughed at supermodels, actors and other celebrities who could hardly string a sentence together but had written a book! How could that be? That's when I discovered ghostwriting.
ghostwriter ~ 3
So now I find myself being just one of those phantom writers, lurking in the background, never to be seen or credited, all my rights signed away even if the book I am writing becomes a best seller. But that's just something I would have to take on the chin.

Let me say straight off, though, that I am not writing for a celebrity biography. The truth is I don't know who I am writing for and what this person will do with the story. What I really wanted to talk about was what a strange experience this is proving to be.

First of all I have an outline for the story. So I'm not using my own inspiration but I do have to use a lot of imagination because that is what is required. Secondly, it isn't really my style. So now I have to develop the skill of writing out of character for me. As writers, we sometimes use certain words, phrases that are particular to your voice. Now I have to create a new voice because I'm writing for an audience I don't see as mine (well not entirely). Yes I told you it was weird.

The up side is, as writers, we are told that the more we write the better we get at honing our craft. Can that still be said of ghost writing if you have to change voice, style, tone? Will this experience actually help me become a better writer?

So far the jury is out. But - and here is an upside - I get paid. Granted, not very much, this is my first ghost writing job and I need to build a reputation. And that got me thinking. What if I start a ghostwriting agency? I could get a team of writers on board and we could take the ghostwriting world by storm. But I quickly changed my mind when I realised I'd much rather be just a flesh and blood writer of my own stories and be present if and when I write a best seller.

I even came up with ghostwriting agency titles: Sixth Sense, I See Dead People, The Funky Phantom and Between the Lines (the latter being the title of one of my short stories).

Anyway, spooky stuff over - now back to the writing, the thought of ghosts is slightly creeping me out.

Are you there...?

Seriously...where are you...

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  1. That's so interesting. I never even considering being a ghostwriter, though I agree with you in that I would prefer to be recognised for my work, mainly because its so hard to keep my writing and my personal philosophies separate. My stories often have a moral even if I can't immediately see them, so passing my philosophy onto someone else seems weird and nonsensical (love that word).

    Sorry I haven't been around as much to support! As always life issues getting in the way... I hope to get them OUT of the way as soon as possible!

  2. Ghostwriting sounds like fun!
    I also have another 'ghostly' job (the one that pays the bills), I ghostwalk through my day thinking of the moment I'll be able to get on with my 'real' life, my writer's life...

  3. Nice to have you back. Let's hope those issues disappear soon but I hope you've been able to do some writing!

  4. And it will happen one day - the day job will be just a ghost from the past. Just keep going!