The Multi-Voice of the Ghostwriter


How is it that I can write in your voice? I mean, it’s not like I’ve known you my whole life or anything. It’s also not that there are only a few different voices in the world, and I’ve simply memorized them. Nope. We’re all snowflakes, thank goodness, so writing in someone else’s voice requires intuition, and you can’t be tentative about it. You’ve got to get in there, and inhabit someone else’s head. Talk the way they talk, care about the things they care about, convincingly.

It’s a lot like acting. You have a sense of who your character is and you channel that. Brooklyn_Museum_-_Actor_Reading_a_Scroll_-_Utagawa_Toyokuni_III_(Kunisada)You figure it out the same way you would if you were playing a certain role in a movie. How does your character fit into the world? How do they dress? What’s their favorite food? Where did they grow up? What’s most important to them? How do they feel in your mouth? I’ve made it sound like sex, just there, and of course it’s not, but it IS intimate. I swim around in your head, collecting ideas and then dress the ideas up in the clothing of the persona you’re trying to share with the public.

1200px-Kopfkrauler_schraegobenSo there’s trust happening, and my job is to help you give me access to your mind and keep it feeling comfortable. That part is a bit like being a massage therapist, in particular when they use that  instrument to massage your head. I believe it’s called the Orgasmatron? Anyway, the interaction should feel good, satisfying, and for the most part, be easy. I think many writers are pretty shy, and their facility with writing from multiple points of view is a result of their lived experience being about observing others more than connecting with them. With ghostwriting, I write from your point of view, but the approach is different, because there’s an interaction happening between us, which is great because I don’t happen to be shy, so that collaboration is a wonderful antidote to the solitude of writing.

Lots of times I’m not particularly familiar with your area of expertise, so there’s lots ofmagnifyingglass detective work, which keeps what I do intellectually challenging. I enjoy research and learning. The process of going from having only a very basic idea of what you do, to getting my bearings on the landscape of your field and figuring out how you fit into it, is great fun for me. Reading material on similar topics from the publication that will feature your work, is helpful, especially when it comes to adopting the proper professional vernacular and writerly flow. Talking on the phone, exchanging emails and meeting up in person are also useful in helping me understand your voice. It’s all part of fleshing out this character (you) that I’m going to become for a while.

However, even if you’ve never published, even if we’ve never met in person, or spoken on the phone, I can work out how to write in a voice that you’ll be happy to call your own. Research, intuition, “listening” carefully and asking the right questions are the tools I use to create content to which you’ll confidently attach your name.

To find out more about working together, contact me here.


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