Fiction writers these days commonly group themselves into one of two categories: "plotters" and "pantsers." Plotters are those organized, methodical folks who draft character sketches, craft meticulous outlines, and know what will happen at any given point in the story. My opinion is that this approach works particularly well for mysteries. Pantsers are those who dive into a story and let the characters do as they will. Pantsers have a general idea for the outcome, such as the story will end in a "happily ever after" (HEA), but how to get there hasn't been mapped out.
I'm a pantser. I have never, ever mapped out one of my books. Regardless, I can appreciate the craftsmanship in knowing what will happen and when when writing and, so, am currently working on a book, plotter-style.
The project is a murder mystery based on a screen play. The screen play--which I did not write--serves as a detailed outline. In short, I'm not deciding the story, I'm building the world around the characters and adding character development through inner thoughts and gestures. It's an interesting project that I'm enjoying very much. Thus far, the client seems to be pleased with how the book is coming along.
I also finished a short self-help/motivational book for another client who plans on offering it to spectators at her motivational presentations. She provided a mishmash of poorly written thoughts which I organized and expanded into a coherent narrative, adding referenced material where appropriate. She knew where she wanted the narrative to go, but had no real idea or skill on getting it there. I did. She expressed thrilled satisfaction at my work.
I suppose that means, as a ghostwriter, I take direction well.
A good many requests pop up every week for ghostwriters, more than I would have expected. A lot of people want to have written a book; however, few actually want to do the work of writing a book. Fewer still understand the time, effort, and skill that goes into writing a book--a failure of comprehension reflected in project budgets that devalue the ghostwriter's skill and time. But I've ranted about that before and won't bore you with that particular gripe this week.
Requests for ghostwriters come in handful of general categories: fiction, memoirs and autobiographies, self-help and motivation, and business. Anyone who knows me won't be surprised at my preference for fiction. Autobiographies and memoirs require frequent collaboration with the client--because it's the client's life that is being recorded. Self-help and motivational books often have an autobiographical slant to them. (I recently learned that there is no authoritative organization establishing best practices or certification program for self-help and motivational speakers and coaches, despite it being a lucrative industry and genre.) Business-oriented books focus on how-to topics and tips and tricks for getting ahead in whatever category. Those are the most informational and factual and require the most outside research, which has to be factored into the project fee.
So, I'll end with a plug: If you want a book written for you and you have an idea of what you want written, Hen House Publishing is an excellent option to serve as your ghostwriter. I work with you and exert myself to make sure the content aligns with your intentions and meets your expectations.
Every word counts.
Book Of The Month