Are you a writer ready to take your fiction ghostwriting career to the next level? If so, this article is for you! Ghostwriting is not only a great way to make money, but it can also be incredibly rewarding and even life-changing. But because it’s such a demanding craft, it’s important that you know what you’re doing before taking on big projects.
If you want to become a master of fiction ghostwriting, then I have the perfect tips for you! Over the years, I’ve honed my craft and learned enough about the genre to be able to help those just getting into it. So let’s dive right in and start mastering the art of fiction ghostwriting! Here are 7 essential tips that will start you on your path.
Get to Know the Client
So you’ve decided to become a professional fiction ghostwriter. Congratulations! Before you start taking on jobs and writing stories, it’s important to remember that this career is highly client-driven. Every client has their own unique needs and preferences, and your success as a fiction ghostwriter depends heavily on your ability to provide them with the stories they envision.
At the beginning of each project, take some time to get to know your client and what they’re looking for in their story. Start by having an initial conversation where you can ask questions about the type of story they want, the tone, setting, characters and any other specifics. This will help create a basis for your fictional masterpiece—and ensure that it really resonates with your client.
You should also take this opportunity to discuss the scope of the project: How many words do they want? What format should it be delivered in? What are their expectations for revisions? Having this information up front will make the writing process much easier down the line.
Outline Your General Writing Process
As a fiction ghostwriter, you need to make sure your writing process is in order and that you’re delivering work on time. Here’s how to do it:
- Set aside some time for planning: Take a few days before you dive into writing to really plan out what direction you want the story to go in. Outline the major plot points, create character profiles, and flesh out any underlying themes. This is essential for long-form fiction ghostwriting projects.
- Prepare a timeline: Establish a timeline for yourself so that both your client and you know when project milestones need to be met. Break down deadlines for yourself and establish daily word count goals so that the project stays on track.
- Get creative with research: Depending on the setting of the story, proper research is essential when it comes to creating believable characters and worlds. Make sure to take advantage of any resources your client may provide as well as explore other avenues such as books and internet forums.
- Take regular breaks: Even if you’ve set yourself daily goals, make sure to give yourself short breaks throughout the day as needed. This helps keep your creativity fresh and prevents burnout over the course of a big writing project.
Get the Details Right Before You Start
When it comes to crafting a convincing story, there’s no such thing as too much detail. Before you start writing, get the details right: characters, setting, and plot points. This will make it easier for you to write a story that readers will believe and be invested in.
Take time to develop your main characters. Who are they? Where do they come from? What are their goals and motivations? Make sure the characters feel real; the more unique and interesting they are, the more chance your story will have to stand out from the crowd.
Create a realistic setting that your characters can interact with and feel a part of. Then use this setting to add depth to your characters. For example, if your character comes from a small town, you can use this as an opportunity to explore his/her relationships with family and friends, as well as their relationship with their hometown.
Consider the big picture when it comes to structuring your story’s plot points: conflicts that need resolving and climaxes that need building up. This will help you create an effective structure that your readers can follow easily — making them all the more invested in seeing how it plays out in the end!
Understand the Genre Conventions
If you want to write a compelling piece of fiction, then it’s important that you understand the genre conventions. Getting to know a genre — whether it’s science fiction, horror, or romance — can help you create something truly unique by allowing you to mix and match tropes and ideas in interesting ways.
Not only will this make your writing more original, but it will also pique your readers’ interest as they anticipate what’s coming next. Whether it’s a twist ending or just an unexpected detail here and there, you should take time to immerse yourself in the genre so that you can master its conventions.
Writing with Voice
Try to think about what makes the particular genre special. For instance, romance novels are often written in an intimate voice that appeals to readers who want to imagine themselves in those shoes.
Genre Specific Story Structure
Every genre has certain expectations when it comes to how stories should be structured — from the pacing of chapters and scenes, to the placement of climaxes and resolutions. If a story veers away from these expected conventions too much then readers may be confused or even frustrated.
As well as specific structures, genres can also have certain character archetypes associated with them. That doesn’t mean that every character needs to fit into a pre-defined box – heroes can be villains and villains can be heroes; but understanding the typical characteristics associated with particular roles gives you more options when creating characters and helps keep your writing consistent within its genre trappings.
Keep Up With Deadlines and Communication
Are you ready to break into the world of fiction ghostwriting? When you’re just starting out, you must keep track of your deadlines and communication. It’s essential that you adhere to the estimated timeline that was provided by the client, and meet all expected deadlines.
At a minimum, you should:
- Respond promptly to all messages
- Provide regular updates on progress
- Ask questions when certain processes are unclear
To ensure that both the client and yourself have visibility into the entire process, maintain a written record of everything discussed, like deadlines and agreements. With this in place, everyone involved is clear on what is expected, which can help avoid miscommunication and confusion.
It’s important to remember that as a fiction ghostwriter, your goal is to make your clients look good. So by meeting deadlines, maintaining communication throughout and clear documentation — not just for yourself but for the client as well — will go a long way in helping them achieve their goals.
Get Feedback During the Revision Process
Revision is a key part of the fiction ghostwriting process. Make sure you have a reliable source you can turn to for feedback when needed. It’s important to get an outside opinion on your project, as they may be able to bring up things that you may not have noticed.
Have somebody read over your work
This can be a fellow writer or editor who can give you a fresh perspective and point out any issues. You should discuss any particular areas where you’d like other opinions or feedback with them before they start reading through your work.
Get feedback during different stages of the project
From the start, it can help if someone else is looking over your shoulder as you write. If possible, find someone who has experience in fiction ghostwriting and ask for their input early and often throughout the process.
Get feedback from people who will be honest
When looking for feedback, find people who aren’t afraid to be candid about their opinions so that you get an honest assessment of what needs improvement in your writing. It’s important to remember that there are often multiple ways to approach storytelling and writing in general, so don’t take criticism too personally — just use it as an opportunity to grow and develop your skills as a writer.
Fiction ghostwriting is an art, and it takes time, dedication, and hard work to master it. If you have the passion and the determination, you can become a successful fiction ghostwriter.
By understanding the essentials of fiction ghostwriting and following the seven tips outlined here, you will be well on your way to mastering the art of ghostwriting. You will be able to produce quality fiction manuscripts that both your clients and readers will enjoy. Happy writing!
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