There is More to the Story than the Final Line

24 Mar

I do a lot of ghost writing. While I wish I was independently wealthy and had enough money to just work on my books…alas…I don’t, therefore I take other writing jobs. I do actually enjoy ghost writing, as a journalist for many, many years I have always loved telling other people’s stories, but, as with any writing job, ghost writing has its pros and cons.

One of the largest “cons” if you will is the writing itself. While I am always motivated to do the work, sometimes my clients are not. They begin the project with me and almost always there comes a time when they (the client) start to drop off a bit. I have to wrangle them back and refocus them back towards the project. Sometimes it is easy because the client is invested in the project but at other times clients get side tracked by everything else. It is for this reason that when signing a contract I try and make it very clear to the client that they have to commit to the project.

Ghost writing is just that, ghost writing, you are writing someone else’s story. If they don’t tell you the story there is nothing to write. Then it gets into a time wasting effort and no one has the time or money for that. So in an effort to help other writers out there who want to ghost write, here are some things to say to a potential client BEFORE signing the contract…

1. Make sure you are committed to the project – Just because a client puts a down payment down it doesn’t necessarily mean they will stay focused.
2. Explain the way you work – Remember that often times the person you are ghost writing for knows nothing about how writing works. They instead have a romantic notion which is often wrong. Explain the writing process so there are no misunderstandings.
3. Set a specific number of times to meet each week. If you are working for someone with a lot of time on their hands they can take over your life. Set it out in the contract that you agree to meet X number of times.
4. Explain the way the payment plan works – almost all ghost writers work with payment plans; set specific goals and then stick with them. You don’t want the project to start costing you money and it will.
5. Goals are fluid – Life happens so it is important to write that into the contract. Make sure that your client understands that sometimes life slows us down and it’s okay.
6. Finally, you have to finish at some point – Your client has to take part in the process. You have to be able to get the story from them and the only way to do that is to work together.
These are just a few things to consider telling a client before signing that contract. Remember that the contract binds you both.



© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 24, 2023 in Writing


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One response to “There is More to the Story than the Final Line

  1. September 24, 2022 at 7:07 am

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