Being a ghost is a matter of suppressing your own ego completely, which is a good discipline for any writer. I listen to their story and then tell it for them, helping to get across their view of the world and the way things happen in it. She then exploited her position by selling her story to the media. She needed a ghost who would not challenge her about the morality of what she had done, but would simply listen to what she had to say and understand how she justified her position to herself.
Had she been able to write the book herself that is what she would have wanted to say. If the writer wishes to be critical of the subject then they must step back and create an objective biography, not an autobiography. If they have nothing to say that you want to hear the project will become unbearable.
Imagine spending that much time talking to someone who bores you, and then having to go away and write it out all over again. I always judge a project by whether I think it interests me at more than one level. Had Gillian Taylforth merely been a soap actress telling anecdotes about other Eastenders actors I doubt if I could have created a whole book for her.
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On top of that she had had the courage to take on the might of the News International organisation in court and, even more amazingly, she had lost the case and faced personal financial ruin and ridicule everywhere she went. Despite all this she remained a resolutely charming and funny woman with a strong family all around her.
It had the makings of a Greek tragedy and worked at so many different levels it was easy to find enough material. The same applied to Sold by Zana Muhsen.
Not only did it give an insight into the alien culture of a peasant girl in the Yemen, there was the adventure element of whether she and her sister would be able to escape and the insights which she could give into the way the diplomatic world allowed them to become victims of political expediency. It was one of the first books to talk about life behind the veil from the point of view of someone who had experienced it and it was all told in the voice of a straight talking Birmingham girl.
It was like a true version of an Arabian Knights tale and a nightmare that any young girl can understand. On top of that there was the emotional story of how she fell in love with the young gorillas against a background of her relationship with her husband, who was working with her, the civil war which was brewing up and the terrible tropical diseases which practically killed them both. It provided the escapism of a great travel story mixed with a personal odyssey and an insight into the fascinating world of gorillas.
In Through Gypsy Eyes , which I ghosted for Kathy Etchingham, there was the superficial story of her relationship with Jimi Hendrix, but behind that was a story of a young girl who ran away from home at fifteen and ended up at the heart of the music industry in London during the Swinging Sixties.
Again it was a Greek tragedy filled with great heroes being brought down and gave an insight into where the giant rock music industry of today started. It is essential for the ghost to make the subject feel completely comfortable and confident in his or her company. If they think the ghost is going to criticise them, judge them or argue with them they will not relax, open up or talk honestly. It paints a sharp picture of what our lives are like, alerting people to our existence in a way that usually only happens when media commentators want to reprimand authors like Katie Price or Mr and Mrs Prezza for 'not even writing their own books.
The 'hero' of the film is somewhere between a private eye and an investigative journalist, leading an episodic life where brief adventures alternate with the traditional seclusion of the writing process. So, is 'The Ghost' an accurate portrayal of what our lives are like?
Putting Your Spirit Into Ghostwritten Work
Do we really enjoy such adventures and receive invitations into such closed and secretive worlds? Either way, you should know that these speed bumps are more than likely going to happen—so build in time for that and be sure you get paid for that time. Excellent article and equally excellent responses to those who commented. I do some ghostwriting as a secondary function of my main writing job.
I write for a non-profit — copy, position papers, board presentation, fundraising letters, etc. But the fun part is ghosting editorial pieces for legislators who wish to support the cause. I look up voting records, newspaper articles, etc. To me, the best part of ghostwriting is the chance to get completely out of yourself — forget about yourself and help someone else shine.
Great points, Tamara. Then you have to have enough skill to write in the voice of the person your ghosting for. And THEN you have to get out of your comfort zone and make those connections. All salient points Brian. Like many others, I fell into it by accident. I lost my job, unemployment ran out and I needed to make money fast. I applied to a ghostwriting gig on Elance.
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Got it. I love it. Thanks for sharing your story, Kristen. There are few success stories quite like being able to do what you love and being able to support yourself while doing it. Great post, Blake! It was really thought-provoking to me. Thanks for that and for the useful tips. I appreciate the help! Your email address will not be published.
How to Become a Ghostwriter, So You Can Land Ghostwriting Jobs
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Skip to content. No more waiting on royalties like you would for writing your own books! With the right clients, you can earn substantially more than other writing services you provide. No need for marketing.
go to site You can keep emotional distance. The subject matter is fascinating. It will make you a better writer. Ghostwriting consistently challenges your writing skills.
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How to become a ghostwriter So how do you get started in this lucrative profession? Here are some tips for how to become a ghostwriter. Gain experience Journal. Be patient Ten thousand hours is 1. Pat Springle wrote for two organizations who loved what he produced and helped others finish their manuscripts before launching into a successful year career as a ghostwriter. Emily Chase Smith was an attorney, financial coach for business owners, and an author before witnessing how her combined passions would lead to success as a business book ghostwriter.
Alice Sullivan wrote web and magazine copy for Country Music Television CMT during an internship before being asked by a major publisher to ghostwrite two books. Joy Wickholm Bennett had been doing short-form ghostwriting for clients when she was approached to ghostwrite a full book.
About the Author: Blake Atwood Blake Atwood is an editor, author and ghostwriter in Dallas, where he buys far more books than he has time to read. Filed Under: Freelancing. Enjoyed that post? Subscribe for more:. Mike Loomis says:.
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