First off, I’d like to say that I do not have anything against people who choose to use ghostwriters to pen their novel. Not at all. And, neither would it stop me from reading a book I’d want to purely because it’s ghostwritten.
To each their own, right?
So I’m sure you all know what semi-recent event prompted this blog post, and therefore I’m not going to mention the “author” / title. But at the same time it’s really hard to congratulate someone on their amazing sales on a novel when – in fact – they have not written it. Yes, the ghostwriter would have received advances and / or a lump payment . . . but what else? Any royalties? Credit? I mean, if something I’d ghostwritten outsold freaking JK Rowling in one week, then hell! I’d some want credit, thank you very much.
Again – no offence / hate is aimed at people’s decision to use a ghostwriter.
But you know what? As a writer, I find it really insulting.
I am a very strong-opinionated person, and I’m really not sure whether I’m going to regret posting this later, but I am of the strong opinion that if you want to write a book, then you should write it yourself. Obviously, you’re going to need editorial advice from a publisher, agent, and maybe even some critique partners, but essentially, you’re writing it yourself.
. . . But having it ghostwritten? Seems to me like it’s choosing the easiest way.
Sure, the story might be based on your ideas and characters. It might have been read through and approved by you. But it’s not you. Essentially, it’s not your words on the page – it’s theirs. A writer writes because they love it. A writer writes because they have a story to tell. A writer spends days, months – even years – turning over plot ideas and characters and sentences. And I have to ask myself: Why would you even want to publish a novel if you’re not willing to actually write the novel? What’s the point? Yes, the story might include your characters and ideas . . . but not your words. Not you.
Take it from a writer herself: It’s one thing to have an idea of stories and characters . . . but it takes a whole other lot of effort to get it down on paper the way you imagined it.