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Tips for Short Story Writers

March 7th, 2021

First, thanks to Theresa for last week’s post. I think many writers are intrigued by the idea of ghostwriting as they have friends, or know people, who they feel they could collaborate with to produce a great book. But, they’re not sure how to go about it.

They wonder what will happen if they get part way through and then the subject changes their mind?m What if they write the story that they’ve been told and then find that the subject disagrees with the slant they’ve put on it? What if they are refused permission to use facts and incidents that would  make it  more interesting? Does what they are being told lead to a legal minefield? Should they get agreement from a publisher before they begin or hope that a contract will be forthcoming on completion? And, not least, how will any profits be split? Read the rest of this entry »

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Busting Ghostwriting

February 27th, 2021

I’m often asked what it means to be a ghostwriter. There isn’t a straightforward answer to this question because the process works differently depending on my relationship with the person I am writing for.

I first fell into ghostwriting by accident, helping a friend who wanted to tell his story. We audio-recorded around twelve hours of him speaking; me prompting his account with questions when I needed more detail or couldn’t ‘see’ clearly what he was describing. I carefully transcribed his words, and then gradually shaped and whittled them into his narrative.

The hardest part about working like this is that people don’t naturally tell stories in the way that they would be written – particularly in terms of structure. I spent many hours organising the order of the anecdotes he told, working to create a coherent and compelling narrative. I used a ‘strike-through’ technique with the transcripts: scoring out text on the page so that it was never deleted but I could easily see which material had already been used. Read the rest of this entry »

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