Screen Writers Bootcamp

place for the best freelance writers

Hints For Freelance Writers: How To Succeed In Ghost Writing

I remember back when I was in school and my instructors discussed different kinds of writing styles. Two ideas caught my interest back then and these were the biography and autobiography. A biography was someone who wrote the story about their own life but an autobiography was when someone else wrote the story for them about their own life. To me, this was the beginning of ghost writing.

What is ghost writing?

Ghost writing is when a person has a story to tell but is not confident in their ability to capture the words in the proper fashion and instead has another writer compose the work. Like the autobiography, the ghost writer will take the ideas and build a story with input from the primary author. The author will sometimes add their own touches to the story but in many cases, beyond editing the writing is really the work of the ghost writer. When the work is published, however, the primary author’s name is on the piece.

Why would someone be a ghost writer?

If another person takes credit for the writing then why would anyone want to be a ghost writer? When you are entering this field and trying to get established it may seem counterproductive to do all this work and not receive credit for the effort you put in, however, ghost writing is a highly paid activity with the right contract. Believe it or not, writing is a skill and many people struggle to put pen to paper and express their ideas. When you find an author who you can work with there is often a steady stream of work you can provide.

Key to ghostly success

The true key to being a successful ghost writer is to be able to adapt your style of writing to match what another person would say. People often try to write like they speak so listen for clues to their style and mannerisms and look for a way to incorporate that into the writing. Review anything they have written from emails to published articles to get clues to their writing style. Immerse yourself in their world and you will soon be able to emulate their patterns and write successfully for them.

Working successfully in this field requires a special talent for writing in the style of another author but with a little practice, you can find your style will change and you can get established with an author in no time.

Pitch your services

You should be able to learn if clients have worked with freelancers in the past and what skills they look for in a good freelance writer. This will help you know how to pitch your services and develop a winning proposal.

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