1. Soodanim
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    Soodanim Member

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    Finding a ghost writer or collaborator.

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Soodanim, Jan 2, 2013.

    I lack the one thing that any successful writer needs above every other facet: will-power.

    I know I can write well but doing so is so overwhelming that I find I tend to defeat myself before I've even started. This will never change. It's not just a matter of self-motivation, it's a matter of brain-chemistry.

    Besides which, I believe that my real talent lies in concepts and developing story and character and plot. I have so many varied and complex stories in my head that I've developed over the years but never been able to write. Or more accurately, finish writing.

    So I'm considering the option of either a ghost writer or collaborator. But when you're no-one famous and have no writing credits, how the heck do you go about finding someone to work with you? And even if you can find people, how do you how who to trust with your ideas? What ways are there to ensure your work won't be stolen or copied?
     
  2. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I looked into the same thing. For a ghost writer that has been published you are looking at $10,000-25,000. For a writer that is famous or somewhat famous and been on the top seller list, $30,000-50,000 or more.
     
  3. Soodanim
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    Soodanim Member

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    Hmm... I can spare maybe $5... who can I get for that?
     
  4. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    So you want to do the designing and let others do the building? I think most writers have their own ideas. Unless you can pay, it won't be likely that anyone will ditch their ideas to work on yours. Ideas are the easy bit.
     
  5. Soodanim
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    Soodanim Member

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    Maybe, but good ideas are still hard to come by and my ideas are brilliant and make me worthy of exaltation.
     
  6. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    There was someone asking a similar question here a few weeks or months ago. And received the same answers. I can't remember anyone looking for new ideas, unless you count those who are asking for help with - guess what? - their plot.

    The other thread's here: http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=55676
     
  7. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Lol. Can't argue with that.
     
  8. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm, just going to be honest here, I hope you don't mind. Everybody gets these "incredibly complex plot ideas" in their head, a story untold always seems to be perfect in our minds. It in itself is not a rarity, and it most certainly doesn't make you a writer.

    What makes a writer is going against our instinct to keep the story perfect in our heads. We ultimately can not resist trying to tell it, in thousands of our own words. Often we learn from others, look at how writers we admire handled certain types of scenes and we steal, a little, to help us do justice to that precious idea for a story. We are never 100% satisfied with the results but luckily, for some of us, our readers are, and they see perfection where we don't. Being a writer means having guts and determination to put your own mind out there, to get people to judge it, to criticise or enjoy the fruits of our own twisted minds.

    Ghost writers are usually hired to tell a particular story that is already very interesting to the audience. For example a famous person's "autobiography" or a survivor story from 9/11 or some such.
    If you have ideas only, you might be reasonably good in the publishing business, or perhaps if you were lucky to get one of the cushy jobs in the movie industry where the studios will hire ghost writers to produce mass-market plots. If you are just an ordinary guy with $5 bucks to spare, and you can't be bothered to actually write the genius ideas that occur to you, then you are probably wasting your time thinking along the lines that you stated.
    In any case, best of luck with whatever you decide to do.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i provide editing and ghostwriting services and can tell you that's perfectly true... plus, it's almost always money down the drain, since a new and unknown writer has little to no chance of ever getting the book published, no matter how well it's edited or ghostwritten and even if it is, you'd have little to no chance of making enough to recoup the editing/ghostwriting fee...
     
  10. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wish you stopped saying that. Almost all writing sensations recently were unknowns, who sold their first book: Rowling, Meyer, James. I personally know a girl who sold her first manuscript and it was immediately contracted for a trilogy as well as series of films. The reading audience is always thirsty for good books and the truth is, a bad manuscript from an unknown writer has little to no chance of being published. A good manuscript from an unknown has a very good chance of being published because eventually someone will recognise its value.

    JK Rowling's first Harry Potter was rejected by 13 publishers. Aspiring writers should be encouraged to spend more time and effort on their books, to believe in themselves and not to give up at the first hurdle (or 13!). They should definitely not be actively discouraged with generalisations.
     
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  11. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Well, the odds of any writer getting published is about 1%. That's just the truth. Mama was saying that spending $30,000 on a 1% chance is foolish. I happen to agree.

    But heck, if you spend $0 and write your own book, then I'll take those odds all day long!

    ~ JJ
     
  12. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    1%? What exactly do you mean by that number, and how did you come up with that, if you don't mind my asking?

    Interpreted in some ways, 1% sounds pretty damn good.
     
  13. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Considering the gigantic volume of hack writers in the mix that have no ability at all, I'd say 1% is fantastic. That's 1 in every 100 writers!
     
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  14. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    That's not true if the publisher knows who wrote the book. Sometimes publishers will even broker ghostwriters. So I would say the 1% rule that you proposed isn't true in circumstances where the ghostwriter is actually a well known and accomplished writer.
     
  15. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    No one can know for sure how many first-time authors get published, but it is very, very low. (I think 1% is too high.)

    We can look at information from various publishers and find out how many submissions they recieved in a year, then divide how many first-time authors they published. So if they recieved 1,000 submissions and published 10, then you're looking at a 1% chance.

    But this is all conjecture.

    I don't think anyone would argue that it is damn hard to get published by a reputable publishing house. So if you pay a rediculous amount of money just to have someone type or dictate for you, you are betting against the odds. Big time.

    I don't see how anyone is going to justify it.

    ...and don't think you're going to get your book to say: Concept by J. J. Maxx, Written by Stephen King.

    :lol:

    ~ J. J.
     
  16. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    No, the book itself doesn't have to say that on it, but that doesn't mean the publisher can't know who the ghost writer is.
     
  17. Soodanim
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    Soodanim Member

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    They're not just ideas. They're fully formed stories that I've 'written' in my head. Imagine that I know exactly what will happen throughout the entire book. Every beat, every scene, every act, every character is known and edited into the best order. All in my head. I've spent years on some of these stories. I do a lot of it while walking as I find it stimulates me more than just sitting down.

    But actually writing it all out is just... tedious. And when you suffer from severe ongoing clinical depression with prolonged bouts of melancholy and have given up on the medication round-a-bout, actually typing it all is just so... overwhelming.
     
  18. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Until you write it, I think you are just kidding yourself. :) Although, I know how it feels when health problems interfere with writing. I am sorry that you have to struggle with depression, but if it helps, some of the most incredible writers had the same (or similar) condition. I hope you find the treatment that helps alleviate the problem so you can have more energy to put those awesome stories to paper.
     
  19. Soodanim
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    Soodanim Member

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    Maybe.

    But it's not like I have never written anything out at all. Everything I've completed I've gotten either high marks (A+... the worst I've ever gotten was A-, on a novella written when doing a tertiary-level professional writing course) or high praise from published authors or professionals in the industry (yes, I have contacts, I've been at this for a long time, I've just never had the confidence to actually submit something). So I know that the concepts that I've fleshed out in my head, once put to paper, work well.

    Then again the last time I ever had something critiqued was over ten years ago and I've only finished two short stories since then. Maybe time has rotted away any talent I might've had?
     
  20. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    The only way to do it is to do it. Sometimes it's incredibly hard to get disciplined, and from the moment of decision it can take a year or two to actually muster the courage and confidence. I can tell you that usually the more perfectionist and experienced we are, the higher standard we set and it becomes almost scary. While some people are happy to just write, even if it's crap, others can't bear to give any less than 100%, which can be blocking.
    I dealt with it by reading a few books on writing, and then planning out my novel. By the time I started listing details of scenes I wanted to put in, I started to write the first chapter. And then set the goal of at least 300 good words per day. And on days you struggle to do anything at all, read good books. It helps get you in the mood to write your own.
     
  21. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    Lack confidence? Sounds like you have the confidence to me... perhaps it is the courage you lack. And you need to just get on and write. Stop making excuses and just do it. (By the way I am writing these lines for myself, as much as you. I need a big kick up the backside at the moment! ;) )
     
  22. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    The world will keep going if your ideas are never written. Same goes for all of us. If you can't be bothered then don't be bothered.
     
  23. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the whole idea behind having a ghostwriter is that the ms will be submitted in the client's name and no one is to know s/he didn't write it... and to get to a publisher, they'd first probably have to snag an agent, if it's a novel...

    in any case, it's highly unlikely the ghostwriter would be 'well known' in the first place, as famous authors don't ghostwrite books for a living... and regardless of whether the book's actual writer would be known to the agent/publisher, it's being presented as the work of a new and unknown writer, not the ghostwriter's...

    as for that 1%, jj already admitted it's probably too high... and i'm pretty sure it is...
     
  24. tmrose
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    tmrose Member

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    I'm pretty bad with plots but love to write and so enjoy the sounds and shapes of words. But I'm also determined to write my own stories, and I want my name on the dust jacket (if it ever comes to that). Take a course that gives you deadlines, or get a writing group together - write toward a particular goal with a deadline. That might help. It's helped me a great deal.
     
  25. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    You've definitely got a point here. There's been a lot of discouraging comments made about the likelihood of new writers being published. I'd always thought that forums like this were meant to be encouraging. I thought that the idea was that those who have the questions are supported by those who have the answers.
     

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