Every life is packed with stories worth telling, and no one can tell them better than the person who lived them
You know that you have an interesting story but you just don’t want to sit down and write it. Perhaps you have already begun to document your life story but need help with structuring and editing it. Or maybe you have a parent, a grandparent or a friend whose story needs to be told but you can’t get them to commit it to paper. My service as a ghostwriter could be your solution.
What is a ghostwriter?
If there’s one subsection of the writing industry that comes laden with more preconceptions than any other, it’s ghostwriting. Even the name sounds mysterious yet the process of working as a ghostwriter is anything but. The classical definition of ghostwriting specifically involves writing books on behalf of anyone who has a story to tell. Ghostwriters are perhaps best known for ‘ghosting’ the biographies of the rich and famous – we all know that many celebrities don’t actually write the books whose covers proudly bear their names – but every life is packed with stories worth telling, and I work with a real mix of people from all walks of life.
What’s the difference between a memoir and an autobiography?
Memoirs tend to focus on a particular time or aspect of a person’s life, whereas autobiographies cover the whole of a person’s life. Essentially, both memoirs and autobiographies are a life story, and how you choose to tell that story is your call.
The Ghostwriting Process
I will meet you, most likely on Zoom or Skype (unless we both happen to be on the same island or in the same city, in which case I would love to meet you in person) and we will chat at length to discover what you want to achieve and what is important for your life story. I understand both the narrative power and the intimacy of a life story and I will be sensitive to your memories and feelings. Through a series of interviews we’ll explore events, memories, and anecdotes. In this conversational atmosphere, you can reminisce while I build your autobiography – the book of your life – and help you to express who you are as a person, and how you became who you are today. One of the many benefits of telling your story is that you learn more about yourself. The very process requires considering what you believe, what matters most and what the sum of your life experiences has taught you. Even if there are parts of your life that you’ve never told anyone because there were some unhappy times with painful memories, revisiting them can be very healing and will show your readers the strength it takes to overcome life barriers when they face their own. As humans, we think in scenes. The moments that move us, seize our attention, and make us laugh and cry – these are the episodes that matter the most.
Tone of voice is critical — which is why I need to listen to and read your voice and get a true sense of who you are in order to get it right.
After setting the stage and creating the scene, I will craft your story in your “voice”. The tone of my writing will capture your personality, your unique mannerisms and cadence, while also engaging your readers.
I will interview you, usually in one-hour sessions. In between the interviews, I will do the writing and provide you with drafts for you to comment on. Your feedback is of the utmost importance throughout the project. Interviews may be conducted over several sessions or several months if appropriate.
When you entrust me with writing your memoir or autobiography, I will encapsulate your memories as a gift for your loved ones or help you fulfil a goal to inform, entertain, or inspire other people, who will be touched by your story.
I will take care of pretty much everything: all of the writing, editing, and structuring needed to tell your story, while organising it into a cohesive, compelling read. You will have complete control over what is included in your story, so you can remove anything that you want excluded.
No obligation initial consultation
I will explain the process and give you an estimate of cost based on what you want to achieve. After this, I will put together a range of options for how to progress the project at different price points and in accordance with your budget. It will be helpful if you prepare in advance too, by gathering letters, photos, diaries, journals, memorabilia… and your thoughts.
How much will it cost?
I charge on an individual project basis with a personal quote that aims to reflect your budget. My fees for writing an autobiography or a memoir vary, of course, it’s a bit like building a house, how big will it be? How long is a piece of string? You will probably have no idea in advance of how much time and how many words it will take to craft your life into a book but it can be done on a pay-as-you go basis, one or two chapters at a time. You can elect to stop at any stage of the process, and all of the completed work will become your property and your copyright. The finished product is your choice, ranging from a soft copy, which can be stored on your computer and emailed to your family and friends, to a hard copy in the form of a self-published paperback, a leather bound book illustrated with a lifetime of photos, or something less fancy. Think about how many copies you would like and how often the books will be handled (better binding holds up over time and use).
How long will it take?
This depends on the project. It could be finished as quickly as three or four months, while other projects might take eight months or a year. For a full life story of – for example – 50,000 words, expect 12 to 18 hours of interview time, usually in one-hour bursts, with a week or two in between each interview. If you are looking to document just some of your memoirs, this may only require three to four hours of interview time.
If you have already sat down at your computer and written your life story, I can provide an Editing Service
The difference between a good story and a great story often rests in how it is written. If you have already written your story, I will professionally edit it to take your writing to the next level. A good edit checks for all the basics — grammar, punctuation, repetition, typos — but I will also help you to fill in the details and the descriptions, which will bring the people, places, and events to life.