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What is Ghostwriting?

Definitions, Concepts, Methods, Confidentiality

by Bob Kerstetter

Ghostwriting Concepts

Ghostwriting presents the ideas of an author in the words of a stand-in writer. The author has something to share, but may lack the time, inclination or skill to attempt the writing task.

A ghostwriter helps bring out what the author wishes to communicate. Remaining outside of the content, the skilled ghostwriter presents the viewpoint of the author, while tuning the writing style to reflect the personality and content of the author. The final piece rightly belongs to the author and not to the ghostwriter.

Ghostwriting Process

Every writing project originates with an idea—a life memoir, instructions to build a telescope, guidelines for investing or a unique interpretation of history, as examples. Equally, the vision may be for a fictional short story, movie or novel. Whatever it is, the concept starts with the author. This is also where many projects check out and expire.

Encouragement to move forward can come from the assistance of a ghostwriter working behind the scenes.

At the initial meeting the author and ghostwriter discuss the foundational ideas. Topics include the motivation of the author, the current status of the project, a preliminary schedule and the availability of research resources. The ghostwriter and author also sign a non-disclosure agreement for their joint protection.

Later meetings cover the project outline and content verification. Their number, frequency and length varies with the project size and deadline. While the ghostwriter may meet exclusively and solely with the author, the work may also require outside research and interviews.

After writing begins the meetings are timed according to the deadline. If the writer needs more information from the author, frequent meetings may continue. Online conferencing and email exchanges often suffice.

Copyediting by the writer or an outside editor follows the first draft. The copyedit may reveal the need for addition authentication of factual materials.

Before the content goes to publication final proof reading helps find any remaining grammatical, spelling, style and factual errors. Publishing can use print, video, audio, spoken or web media.

Ghostwriting Credits

While co-authors receive credit for authorship, ghostwriters work in the background. Instead of making names for themselves ghostwriters receive financial payment and the satisfaction of helping with stories worth publishing.

Ghostwriting Confidentiality

Professional ghostwriters need not agree with the morality, ethics, politics or tastes of their clients. And they never ever ever identify themselves as the writers. Plus, they never go public for any reason, ever.

Ghostwriting Ethics

With the exceptions of projects for academic advancement, contests or dishonest gain, ghostwriting is legitimate and ethical for all types of print, video, audio, spoken or web communications.

Ghostwriting for Your Needs

Village Hiker offers ghostwriting services to individuals, organizations and businesses in Dallas, Texas and worldwide. We are also writers, editors, writing trainers, writing coaches and publishers. For information on how we can help you with your writing and publishing contact Village Hiker.

See also

What is Writing?

What is Editing?

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