Ghostwriter as editor

Ghostwriter As Editor

Hiring a ghostwriter as editor of your manuscript re-write might be the difference between completing it, or not.

Sometimes I get the uneasy impression that there are an equal number of magazines and blogs about writing as there are writers. In my ghostwriting research, I often find that those magazines are chock full of articles directing aspiring writers to a formula for crafting award winning work into their busy nine-to-five and family life schedule.

These kinds of articles draw eyeballs. They work well for click bait. After all, who doesn’t want to get to the finish line faster?

If I had a guess though, those formulas leave more writers disappointed than fulfilled.

A wise person once said that a movie’s editor is the last writer. This acknowledges a reality any aspiring storyteller should understand. Creative products go through many phases before they are polished and market ready. A movie is written first by a screenwriter. Then it is acted out and directed by its director. Then comes the editor.

Each one of those roles adds a little and takes a little away. By the time the movie makes it to the audience it resembles what the screenwriter wrote. But in no way is that script line for line.

Writing manuscripts takes a lot of time. Between developing concept, building a coherent plot, breathing life into characters worthy of a reader’s time and executing those artfully, there is no magic formula besides pressure and time. We’ve all read those articles about marathon writing sessions or work that came in a flash but what those tall tales ignore is the hard work.

And hard work on a manuscript often translates into re-writing over and over.

Frequently, I am approached by writers who have taken that first draft as far as they can. Often those writers have been lured in by the promise of a quick fix. The truth is, in the craft of story telling there is no magic bullet to success. A writer must at all times be methodical and they have to be aware that there are starts and stops. It is a part of the process.

Hiring a ghostwriter as editor to help move that process along, going back to the drawing board is not indicative of a failure. Instead, it should be thought of as the next step.

You cannot watch the pages of a screenplay on the big screen. It may be helpful to think of ghostwriting on a novel re-write like hiring a director to bring the story closer to life.

Call me today and let’s discuss your manuscript and the potential benefits of working with a ghostwriter.

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Erick MertzGhostwriter as editor
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Good Ghostwriting Habits


Bad Idea

Writing requires a lot of discipline. Good work comes out of practice and solid habits. One of the keys to a successful ghostwriting practice is to keep focused on what works.

Sometimes however, this can be easier said than done.

By necessity, ghostwriting assignments come with outside constraints. On your project, it’s easy to take time to imagine and develop. Good ideas come from staring out windows.

In ghostwriting though, someone else is handing you the story. Often all that wondering has already been done for you. It is the nature of the ghostwriter’s role to deliver.

Assignments come with strings attached. Word count benchmarks. Time constraints. I have been hired numerous times over the years, and never once was I handed an assignment based on my ability to daydream. I get hired because I can write and deliver.

Accepting these realities going into ghostwriting assignments is critical to success. It keeps your client’s work squarely on the front burner. It prevents unnecessary marathons. If there are, for example, five thousand words due in a week, it’s best to move forward in digestible chunks. No one wants to be stuck with all that in a single sitting.

It’s tough. And odds are if you’re put in that position, the writing will suffer.

Creating bad habits undermine good writing. They won’t allow you to deliver a good book. Rather than search for the right word and proper turn of phrase, you’re looking at the bottom right of your Word program. You’re doing a dreaded word count down.

You may get by delivering a manuscript that is merely competent. Is that what you want though? Is that what your client hired you for?

Good habits won’t go out the window because you scrambled for the finish line. It happens. But it can be dangerously easy to lose your discipline and break creative momentum.

Bad writing habits can too easily form in a ghostwriting scenario, if you aren’t careful. And if you’re working on your own project side by side, you’re doubly polluting your craft.

Place realistic word benchmarks in your contract. Set mindful time constraints. Create a map and do your best to work forward. Communicate the need for extra time, if necessary. That extra week is nothing compared to undoing lazy, uninspired text.

Looking to hire a ghostwriter? Contact me for a FREE consultation on your project.

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Erick MertzGood Ghostwriting Habits
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Manuscript Makeover

Ways To Love Re-Writing Your Novel

If you’re like most writers, completing your novel’s first draft is a cathartic experience. From story inspiration up through meticulous plot and character development and execution, story creation is a special act, regardless of level of experience.

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Erick MertzManuscript Makeover
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