Wednesday, August 19

Who you gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS!

Okay, okay, so I lied. This post is not near as exciting as watching Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd run around in coveralls shooting things with their proton guns. Or seeing Sigourney Weaver hover barely clad over her bed before later turning into a giant dog.

Sorry to disappoint.

I am however, talking about another type of ghost. In a recent addition of RWA eNOTES there was an article discussing the positives and negatives of ghostwriting.*

In the words of wikipedia (which in this case is actually correct in its definition...) "A ghostwriter is a professional writer who is paid to write books, articles, stories, reports, or other texts that are officially credited to another person."

My initial instinct was to balk at such a practice. Not take credit for work I did? Hah! That's the biggest load of... well, you get the picture. I'm not generally considered arrogant, but I'm certainly not a humble person either. And giving someone else the credit for work I did seems sort of high school, nerd vs jock to me. But that's just my opinion.

Here's a link to the article so you can read for yourself.

-elevator music-

Okay, now that you've had a chance to read the article, what are your thoughts? Do you think the practice of ghostwriting is perfectly acceptable and is simply given a bad rap?

What about the readers? Do you feel that you owe it to them to be as honest as possible? Do they deserve to know who the real author is?

Would you ever consider ghostwriting? Why or why not?

So as it turns out, my initial instincts on the subject ended up being my only instincts. I don't look down on writers who do ghost, especially since it's mostly for money, but it's just not something I'd ever be able to do. I get squirmy at the idea of a reader being purposefully misled on something so simple as the name of the author. I know as a reader I would be offended to learn that I was "lied" to.


  1. I found this interesting (I didn't know this...well, existed). I'm still kind of confused as to what "ghostwriting" fully entitles. I know it's writing for someone else and then it looks like they did it (which seems kind of like paying someone to write your term paper). But can it also be writing under another name? For example, Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman. Obviously now people know it's him, but before they didn't. That's not really the same, but at the same time Stephen's not really getting credit for "Richard's" writing. But I digress...

    The main reason for doing this (I found in the article) seemed to be for financial reasons (helped get them money so they could afford a publisher, etc). Which seems like an understandable reason. I would say the only other good reason I can think of is for practice. Maybe you just want to get some feedback on your writing without people actually knowing it's you? And then once you're confident that people do, in fact, enjoy your writing, then maybe you'd be willing to put it out there under your name.

    I'm actually more irritated at the people who hire the ghostwriters, because they can't come up with their own ideas, and write their own stories. And I hate it when people are lazy and then take credit for others' work. I think it's okay if the "ghostwriter" contacts someone they'd like to write for, but I don't agree with someone contacting the ghostwriter.

    And that's enough of my mini rant.

    ...It's like a posted my own blog in your blog. Sorry.

  2. Very good question but from my understanding the answer is no. Writing under a pseudonym is different than ghostwriting. Ghostwriting would be like having YOU write a novel for Paris Hilton (first name that came to mind... scary isn't it?) but everyone thought Paris wrote it.

    And I agree with you 100%

  3. Lmao, Paris Hilton writing a novel?

    No one would believe that.


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