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  1. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    A Writer Who Can't Write, Hires A Ghost Writer Who's Really Good But Turns Out To Be A Ghost.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Bobby Burrows, Nov 6, 2018.

    Hmmm...

    Going to need to write a writer, but they can't write.
    So I'm going to have them in a setting surrounded by the greats; maybe literature everywhere in framed quotations and word of the day calendars, give my character a background of wanting to write.


    Then write about his stories getting rejected time and time again, to a point where, he wants respect in literature, make him a geek of a character, make him a book worm geek over writing and this writer (probably'll be a guy) just knows everything about authors and publishing and wants to make a name for their self.
    They go online (contemporary story) like craigslist or if it's British set, gumtree; and, they find a ghost writer.

    They hire them, pay pal it, never meet, always done online.

    I'm thinking...
    Horror story that's too good that makes my writer famous.

    Or

    Period story that captivates the world and the ghost writing it is the ghost of the character, and this ghost was just writing a non fiction or something..


    This ghost will write something sure to sell and give my bad writer fame and fortune, maybe this ghost has other intentions like evil or warning or whatever in mind.

    Maybe the twist is, the writer doesn't want to be remembered for somebody else's stories, so kills themselves, and in the future they're a ghost writer themselves writing some futuristic character's story.

    As ever, I'd like to keep it 17th century, modern/contemporary, and futuristic... So at the end, throw in my future and my bad writer now a ghost too writing, like it's their day job.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  2. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    A ghost writer who turns out to be the ghost of Mark Twain?
    *make ghost not 17th century, make ghost write about the Mississippi?
    Throw in Halley's Comet for good measure?
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  3. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    I would personally avoid using a famous figure. First because it means I wouldn't have to research them, and second, because I can make the reason they haven't moved on because they haven't published a novel yet. Not only does it explain the ghostly aspect of it, but it also explains why they're willing to hold down a career when their cost of living expenses aren't really a problem.
     
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  4. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    I was toying with having Mark Twain cursed and having my writer get as famous as Mark Twain and then having to relive the curse.

    But that's only if my ghost ghost writer's a writer.

    If not, I could make them some pirate or something and not have my writer kill themselves writing for some other writer in the future.
     
  5. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    Or just invent a long dead fictitious author my writer admires who turns out to be writing from beyond the grave.
    And then have my writer follow the same fate, and have this fictitious long dead author and my writer be caught in the same trap/curse as my writer at the end is a ghost now writing for another/futuristic writer, making the curse unbreakable and my fictitious long dead author could take their own life like might what happen to my writer to get them ghost writing in the future.
     
  6. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    You're essentially basing a story on the phrase "ghost writer" which may not be a phrase familiar to a significant portion of the reading public. And if someone doesn't know the term, the story loses a lot of its punch...
     
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  7. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    If he loves writing and literature so much, why wouldn't he try taking classes or something? And if he's well-read, why is he so bad? Also, someone who really wants to be a writer wants their writing to be published, not just their name on a book. Also, I spent years getting nothing but rejections. I wanted to be better, good enough to get published. I took classes and lots of them. And it got me to the point where I have published. I'm not saying everyone needs to go get an MFA, but for someone who wants to be a writer (and for real wants it), I can't see hiring a ghost writer would really be what they want or what would make sense for them to do. He would be a fraud essentially.
     
  8. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    So?


    Doesn't stop the ghost writer from being an actual ghost now does it.
     
  9. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    No. But once you're past the pun, you could just as well be writing a story about a musician who wants to compose great music and hires someone to do it and the someone turns out to be a ghost, or a painter who wants to create great paintings and hires someone to do it and the someone turns out to be a ghost, or... anything. Do those ideas seem equally intriguing to you?
     
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  10. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    I know a ghost writer who claims to have ghost written for the greats including Johnny Cash and Cliff Richards and even a patriotic national song for Australia.
     
  11. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    So, would a famous writer use a ghost writer?
     
  12. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    What type of writer would use/hire a ghost writer?
     
  13. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    Some fictitious best selling author? Would that be more believable?
    And one of their heroes is ghost writing for them?
    And then they suffer the same fate...
    And is ghost writing in the future as the ending.
     
  14. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    QUESTION:
    How do I make it so this ghost writing ghost producing work that gets this author their dreams of success?

    Who would have disposable income to employ a ghost writer?
    Let's say someone without a family but a decent income.
    They could be a programming genius but they want to take up writing and fail and out source it on craigslist and this story wins prizes and gets the author acclaim - perhaps.
    Maybe not a writer writer, but a computer programmer with disposable income trying out the publishing market perhaps..
    Would that work?
    - They'd be young with disposable income wanting a hobby?

    Write about them quitting their day job and getting published; and, work out local laws around that about self employed and accountants for writers in whatever country I set this in.
    And it'll be a story of a fraud who comes to a tragic ending..
    And.. Is writing for someone else in the future.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  15. NateSean

    NateSean Senior Member

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    Is your MC named Emily Hutchins by any chance?
     
  16. Mark Burton

    Mark Burton Fried Egghead Contributor

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    If you're going with a ghost of a famous writer, it's going to be difficult to get their turn of phrase and/or mannerisms correct. I agree with @The Dapper Hooligan that it's better not to have a famous ghost writer.
     
  17. Legolas

    Legolas Member

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    First, I absolutely love to read and write. I at one point in my life would read a entire novel in one day. I enjoy a good story. As luck would have it I live in poverty and fight month to month to pay my bills. I went to college when I was younger, but dropped out to take care of my wife. She recently passed away. I truly can't afford classes, or a ghost writer or much besides necessities. Life is not always so black and white for all of us.

    I believe I have some fantastic stories to write, but I am writing them one at a time. Taking small steps into the writing world. Since I have joined this website, I have learned some of the most valuable of information towards writing better. I am learning to tell a story, rather than explain it. I am getting my character's to feel and show emotions where they did not. I can not actually count the number of tricks I have picked up here on this web site in just a short amount of time. And I have been able to apply that knowledge to my story. As only a estimate, I've probably made over 400 changes to it, since joining here.

    Even in doing so many changes, I still don't believe I am doing justice to my story in the way I tell it. I think a ghost writer serves a great purpose if he can translate it, to something greater. It would always be my story but with flair. I don't see that being a fraud. Some people have a natural talent to paint, others do not. Some people are story tellers, others can be story writers IMO. The two are not mutually exclusive.

    I told ghost stories around campfires when I was in the boy scouts with no problems. I could use different tones in my voice to convey scary or afraid. Here in the written word it is very different. It follows a different set of rules. Some people are very famous because of the great ability of a ghost writer. The story teller with the imagination, and the skill to convey the story into words by the ghost writer. With everything I learn here I may become a halfway decent writer, but never a great one I fear. I wont give up, that's not who I am, but I will get frustrated the same as everyone else at times.

    I have recently found a blog that is somewhat for the younger crowd, but there are a great many people there who publish and write and get seen. It is https://www.quotev.com/ Some of the stories there have thousands of reads. I am currently writing my story there, as the website provides some great tools. one of which is to keep your story hidden if you choose, till you are ready to publish. It is also free. there is not the help there that is here, but for my purpose to start out, its fantastic. Who knows if I may indeed one day get seen or publish, but being honest with myself, I don't thin I will ever get that far without the flair of a ghost writer. I simply lack that charisma on paper that I have in life. I want my stories to be shared, that's the bottom line. I may one day be able to have that, if a ghost writer is in the equation.

    So I hope bobby that you can pull this story off, for people like me who are cheering you on. A ghost who is ghost writing, sounds very original.
    With that said, I have to agree with not going with a famous person unless you give it a twist.

    Best of luck, and hope my story can give you some insight for using a ghostwriter.
     
  18. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    @Legolas -- We were talking about a character who seems to have the money to hire a ghost writer which is going to be much more expensive than taking a few classes. Hiring a ghost writer doesn't make someone a writer. Nothing I said was directed at you. I was weighing in on a potential problem with this story and/or character. But I still don't think hiring a ghost writer makes someone a writer. Everyone's got ideas and an imagination. And I think it's such a small part of writing. If I wanted to I could start a completely new story every day. I don't think the ideas would ever dry up. But I don't do that because I feel it's important to focus my attention with the endgame in mind. Finishing. Editing. Revising. Publishing. If I couldn't write without a ghost writer, I wouldn't be writing. And I also believe that writers who work at it get better, especially well-read one. You might be better than you think or you might get there. Ghost writers aren't cheap, and hiring one sure doesn't make someone a writer even if their name is on the book. Just my thoughts.
     
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  19. Legolas

    Legolas Member

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    I am not taking it personally. And ill respect your point of view, as you are entitled to such. It simply won't change mine though.

    Carry on!
     
  20. Carriage Return

    Carriage Return Member

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    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
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  21. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    CHAPTER 1 GHOST WRITER - a writer who writes on behalf of sentient beings, see shadow, lurk.

    @Bobby Burrows - remember we don't want to bring down governments. Nevertheless - 'Advance Australia Fair' written by an itinerant ground worker whilst stood aside sewage and electrical pipes in the ground, a digger over the his eyes, exactly - we might be talking Trump big/5th Avenue big. Write that one first?
     
  22. Bobby Burrows

    Bobby Burrows Banned Contributor

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    Be my guest :)

    Hmmm... This idea, really turned into a back burner if anything to me after I tripped on a hurdle of not actually knowing who would shop for a ghost writer and having them be an aspiring author at the same time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  23. Legolas

    Legolas Member

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    So your ghost writer crossed over to the other side?
     
  24. CerebralEcstasy

    CerebralEcstasy Active Member

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    I have a number of ideas for books. However, despite my aspirations as a writer, it isn't likely I will produce anything really worth reading. So hiring a ghostwriter would completely make sense if I had any money to throw at it.

    My husband and I function a bit like this, with exception to the fact he's building physical models of n-scale trains and scenery.

    For example, he built this monstrosity in our basement and I looked at it and said, it kind of looks like a racetrack. When you said 'trainset' this isn't what I had in mind. I said to him that it should be a length of track, rather than a square, and I'd like to see the scene changing as it progressed through the parts of the set. He had far too much track laid down, and I said trains aren't about the actual train. They're about the scenery.

    Ideally, I envisioned one which started in the province of BC, with lakes, mountains and so forth, winding its way through the mountains, after starting off at a port somewhere on the coast. It would wind its way through the coastal areas, gradually climbing mountainous terrain and working its way through an interesting series of tunnels and bridgework. Then through to the prairie provinces, with the characteristic grain elevators of the 80's.

    Then there was another time he built something that resembled the 'Mongolian Steppes', and I said where do you see this happening in the natural world but Mongolia? Or in a mining town? I told him what I had in mind (initially I didn't say anything too much because I didn't want to discourage him). Anyhow, in this instance, he was so furious and spent most of the night smoking in our garage, while ripping the set apart. Yet, what he built later was spectacular.

    He's such a talented man in his craft now, he's taken his set to show, and has won money for it.

    Your ghostly ghostwriter would work very well for a person like me.
     
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  25. Maggie May

    Maggie May Active Member

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    The ghost takes over the writer and the writer finds themselves with fantastic stories they cannot recall. Everything points to the writer. I'll leave it up to you how the writer figures out the ghost is writing through them. Because now my head hurts!
     
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