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All Things Writing & Publishing > Biz without art?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16056 comments Except for not so many best- and greatsellers, good ghost writers probably occupy the 2-nd place in incomes, since for all I know reputable ghosts charge few dozen k for their work, their clients being celebs, nobility, tycoons and the likes.

It may be a good biz, but since you work with somebody else's content and have minimal artful input, it doesn't sound that interesting.
So is ghosting biz without art in your opinion?


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Absolutely not, imo. It is business and art together - the writer just has less control. The very people you are writing for are only interested in the story and the outcome. They trust you to do what you do best and basically leave you alone in the process. From what I've read, the problems occur with little details that are quickly worked out. Many ceebs and public figures lack the time, interest or skill necessary to rob a ghostwriter of his creative spark. And as for lack of complete control what traditionally published writer enjoys complete control anyway?


message 3: by Tim (last edited Jul 20, 2016 03:21AM) (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments I found writing non-fiction is a very different process from writing fiction. With non-fiction I worked with my memory, whilst in fiction I work purely with my imagination. I far prefer working with my imagination and getting to know different characters with whom I create something new.

And art is a word that stretches around too many things in my opinion. For instance, a painter who paints with his or her imagination is far more exciting to me than a painter who paints the image of a flower pot on a table - I always ask the question: why not just take a photograph? For me, copying something you are looking at is more about skill and technique at drawing and it is less about art. The same with non-fiction: skill and technique. Less of an artist, more of a wordsmith.

I used to tweet: Art is about perspective and great art is perspective that pokes you in the eye.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments I found writing my non-fiction to be extremely creative. Taking facts and making them relevant, contextual and accessible was like arranging flowers into a beautiful bouquet. Weaving those dry facts into a narrative that would, hopefully, inspire my readers to think beyond the objective and create their own reality with my words proved to be a very gratifying, artistic experience. There were no riveting plots or finely crafted dialogue but I had to inject texture, originality, voice, humor and style into what I was trying to convey.


message 5: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16056 comments Sure, while writing non-fiction you still decide on the content, while in ghosting you probably have a free hand on performance (and it leaves room for artistic rendition), but have almost no say about contents


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments right. I'm just not sure the absence of control over content means that what you write is not art. That certain magic with words and language is the writer's art and if you have that gift it simply shines through.


message 7: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments I agree, Tara. I don't say writing non-fiction is not creative, but for me writing fiction is intensely creative. As you say, though, it is the writer who adds the texture and, hopefully, colours in the magic.

Would I accept a ghost writing project? Depends on the money... ;)


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Tim
On the Forbes top ten highest earning celebrities for this year i noticed than there was only one author on the list. He raked in $82M and he uses a 'team' of ghostwriters. Can you imagine? I wanted to weep.


message 9: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments Goodness! I'm applying for a job!

But seriously, he must be brilliant at marketing. I'd love to know his secret...


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments James Ghostwriter Patterson. Kind of genius, really. The books have his 'voice' but with enough individuality to keep readers intrigued.


message 11: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11777 comments I think ghostwriting could be a hazardous occupation because besides making the book worth reading, you have to make the client feel that the work is just wonderful. (OK, maybe not Patterson, who only needs text, a cover, and something not too awful.) Clients have this strange habit of feeling they know everything - and they don't.


message 12: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16056 comments Anyone's game to ghost for Obama? Or maybe Barack and Michelle will go all the way?
What do you think of ghosting?


message 13: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11777 comments It's one way of earning a few dollars. My guess is Obama would do it all himself, though. Yes, he can!


message 14: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16056 comments Would you ghost or vice versa - hire one?


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