Two new ghostwriting projects that will start up the first week of May. Being large projects, they begin with uncertainty. I have no way of knowing how long they’ll last, how well the clients and I will work together, whether I’ll enjoy or dread writing each chapter.
Ghostwriting means having to develop some small ability to read minds. It usually takes me two or three chapters into a longer work to adopt the client’s voice and settle into the story’s groove. However, my voice always comes through when I write. The trick is not to allow my voice to overwhelm the client’s.
I must also avoid imposing my own preferences and prejudices upon the client’s story idea. Sometimes, I’ll think a plot ridiculous–ignoring, of course, my own improbable plots with mythological creatures–only to discover later that readers really like the client’s story. With other manuscripts, I admire the client’s detailed information in fleshing out the sequence of events and characters. I haven’t yet come to thinking, “I wish I’d thought of that” when it comes to a client’s story premise or plot. Maybe it’s because I simply don’t think that way.
One project I’ll be working on is a mystery. As I explained to the client, I enjoy mysteries, but I’m never clever enough to figure out the “whodunit.” I told him that he’d have to provide those plot points and clues, and he seemed happy enough to work with me despite my limitations. He’s hired me to write, not to figure out the mystery. I expect this project will be both interesting and enjoyable.
Another project is a fantasy for young adult (re: adolescent) readers. Although I write fantasy, the young adult focus will challenge me. I tend to write at a higher reading level for an adult audience. The book will incorporate Indian mythological elements, which I’ll find fascinating because I’m weird that way. (I used to read Greek and Nordic mythology for fun as a kid.) I’ll have to curb my usual propensity to entwine strong, romantic themes in this story.
The challenge of both projects intrigues me. I find ghostwriting more satisfying than editing and get more of a sense of accomplishment from a finished project. It’s a happier completion based on creating content, not on finding fault in someone else’s content.
Editing projects don’t generate the same trepidation and uncertainty. Generally, they don’t take as long and they proceed in a straightforward manner. Of course, exceptions do occur.
Now I just have to find the time and energy to work on my own stuff.