What is the ghostwriting process?
Successful ghostwriting has several components.
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On this page, we explain what to expect when hiring a ghostwriter at The Memoir Network. You will learn how to best work with a ghostwriter.
1. The Interview
When we do all the writing, the foundation of the ghostwriting process is the interview during which your co-author gets to know you and becomes familiar with your lifestory. Consequently, 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 done as you continue to work on your manuscript.
2. Support materials
You also send your material—perhaps a manuscript you’ve started, notes, Memory Lists, newspaper clippings, maps, photocopies of documents such as letters and certificates, and photographs. You and your memoir writer review these together as part of the ghostwriting process, and s/he learns how these puzzle pieces of your life go together. Some of these items will be scanned to become illustrations in your printed book. Others simply serve as background info that contributes to the writing.
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 for the growing document. You create a memory list. Clients often feel that these questions prompt an interesting and creative re-evaluation as part of the ghostwriting process—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 in the memoir ghostwriting process
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 hard copy with changes and discuss them over the telephone. Obviously, the text is often in revision and is always subject to your approval.
5. Your story, your vision
Your vision for the story always dominates. The ghostwriting process is called co-authoring because you play an active part—you are the 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 one. Once their book is ready, most of our writers choose to self-publish.
Questions about the memoir ghostwriting process?
Here is a list of five questions to consider as you choose a ghostwriting company.
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Are you ready to work with a ghostwriter?
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