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Any ghostwriters here?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by KJIM, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    I've taken a ghostwriting gig and I'm looking for some advice on how to go about it.

    In the past, I've written strictly sports, mostly hockey, in the form of gamers and features. But this is somewhat different -- it's a different kind of book for a former sportswriter, but on a different topic. Like sports-related, but only remotely.

    How does one ghostwrite? The work I've gotten has been handled by several people so I'm no longer sure what came from the original author. The plan is to talk to him before I proceed with each chapter, which works for me.

    What I really don't understand is how to write in someone else's voice. I've only done straight facts stuff, and this is vastly different. I believe in the topic, but I'm wondering how to balance my input with the author's - if that makes any sense.

    Who out there has helped ghost write? Is it normal for me to be really confused as to how to write this? I've been out of the game for a couple years anyway and coming back in like this is a bit bizarre. I've read several of his books, but they're usually "So and So with This Author,"s so I'm not really sure what's his and what's the other person's.

    I like the challenge but I gues I am a little weirded out. Any suggestions?

    Also, can anyone who's been there suggest a payment method? I've only done short-term writing, so it's been payment afterward, no big deal. I'm fine with that on this one, too, but since it's more long term -- months, I think -- should I expect something else? (And yeah, I know I'm an idiot for not discussing this previously. Long story.)
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    You're ghost writing for a former sports writer?
  3. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member

    Ie: Payment...unlike writing your own book, you should get the money as soon as your work is done. Sign a contract per word and stick to it. Don't worry or think about royalties at this point.

    Ie: Name on the book...if you are ghostwriting this, you will not get it. The books that state "By Earl Weaver with Terry Pluto" are more of collaborations where the writer basically edits, refines what the subject says.

    Ie: Style...when I ghostwrite, I tend to write in my normal style because the person I am ghosting likely doesn't have one, which is why they need the writer. However, get to know them a little first so you can get a feel for what they would or wouldn't say. For example, I once ghost wrote something for what can be described as a lefty, so I wasn't going to put in anything in there praising Reagan or Nixon unless he specifically asked me.

    Hope that helps a little.
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