What Is The Ghostwriting Process?
Successful co-authoring has several components.
1. Interviews -
The foundation of ghostwriting is the interview process during which your co-author gets to know you and becomes familiar with your lifestory. Your ghostwriter learns how you relate to your story and how you wish to impart it to your audience. You meet with your writer by telephone on a schedule that works for you. This is an on-going process and is often done in short spurts as you continue to work on your manuscript.
2. Support Materials -
You also send your material—perhaps a manuscript you’ve started, notes, lists, newspaper clippings, maps, photocopies of documents such as letters and certificates, and photographs. You and your memoir writer review these together and s/he learns how these puzzle pieces of your lifestory go together. Some of these items will be scanned to become illustrations in your printed book. Others simply serve as background info.
3. Filling in the Gaps -
Soon your ghostwriter needs to fill in the gaps and learn the links you see between the pieces of information you have shared. This may be achieved by internet-based research to identify historical details you’ve forgotten, or to broaden the context of your experiences. Your co-author prepares questions for your next phone meeting and as you answer them, s/he types details into the growing document. Clients often feel that these questions prompt an interesting and creative process of re-evaluation—explaining the how and why so that your story now provides you with new, or unexpected, insights about your life.
4. Chapters for Review as They are Written -
As the manuscript grows, you receive chapters for review. (This can be done by email attachment or in hard copy.) You approve the pages or annotate the manuscript electronically or in hardcopy with changes and discuss them over the telephone. The text is always subject to your approval.
5. Your Story, Your Vision -
Your vision for the story always dominates. The process is called co-authoring because you play an active part—you are the other co-author. Your insight and point of view are constantly solicited and always stand at the core of the writing. The ghostwriter’s job is to stay behind the scenes and provide the writing expertise to make your story a coherent, interesting book.