Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Ghost Writer: Ghostwriters

Although this is not a typical topic for the L2 class, it can be a good source for conversation or warming a topic about reading/literature/writing. There are so many people releasing books as ghost writers that it made my class really meaningful.

"Ghost writing" is the art of writing for someone else. The Ghost Writer will write the final material and the client will take the credit for having written it. Most Ghost Writers are hired to do what the client wishes they could do if they had the time and ability. Then again some are hired as a service for people wishing to make a profit from the written word but who have absolutely no interest in writing. WIKIPEDIA

I. There are many people who may hire a Ghost Writer but the reasons for hiring one will usually fall into one of a two categories. Decide if you believe the reasons are fair enough and why:

1. Lack of time. A client who is particularly busy in their everyday life or business life may want to write something and may even have the research materials ready and the writing abilities to do it however it takes a lot of time to write anything and the client may not have the luxury of time.

2. Lack of ability. Writing is a skill and not everyone is in possession of it. What are the chances that the owner of 42 content based websites is also an accomplished web writer. What are the chances that a famous pop star also has the technical ability to pen an engaging autobiography. Not everyone is in possession of perfect grammar, spelling and story telling abilities and even those who do may not be able to write a best seller.

II. Decide with a partner if you believe the statements below are in favor or against ghost writing.

( ) The drawback to ghostwriting is that you get no public credit. If you run a writing business that revolves around your personal reputation, you want as much credited work out there as possible.

( ) Freelance ghostwriting is a good source of additional income for you and your family. Although it doesn’t pay that well when you’re just starting out, it still provides a substantial income as you need not shell out any amount to get your ghostwriting career rolling.

( ) Depending on the project you take on, your skills and speed as a writer, as well as your own schedule, you can definitely work at your own pace. And you can work at the convenience of your home too.

( ) Since you have to write articles on the client’s chosen topic, you get to hone your skills in researching and writing for that topic.

( ) As you have no face-to-face interaction with your client, and your communication is mostly through emails, defaults can easily occur. Some have delivered ghostwriting jobs which have remained unpaid as of this writing.

( ) Ghostwriting for online content pays quite low when you are just starting out. Project compensations can come as low $1 per 500-word article or even lower.

( ) You won’t be allowed to use the ghostwritten material in a portfolio (even a private portfolio sent directly to prospective clients). While some ghostwriting clients will allow you to do this, others require that you sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), meaning you can never claim involvement with the project, claim authorship, or imply the listed author isn’t in fact the author at all.

( ) Ghostwriting for online content pays quite low when you are just starting out. Project compensations can come as low $1 per 500-word article or even lower. Information taken from the informative sites below:

Read more:
Read more at Suite101: All About Ghost Writing: The Pros, Cons and Facts About Writing for Others

III. Watch the segment below and talk about the following questions in groups:

1. Who is the ghost writer in the segment? What will he write about and for whom?

2. How is the ghost writer seen by the person who is hiring him?

3. Why is he being hired?

4. Is the reason fair enough? Explain it.

5. What's your opinion about ghost writing?

6. Would you like to be or hire a ghost writer? For what reason?


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