Social Question

smilingheart1's avatar

What do you think of ghost writing?

Asked by smilingheart1 (6431points) December 3rd, 2011

A number of years ago I was SHOCKED to learn that such a thing existed. I found it deploring that leading Christian ministers hired writers to pen their books. What do you think about that?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

19 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

I think that ghost writing is a good idea. Sometimes people who can speak eloquently just can’t put pen to paper with any grace. Whether a minister or not, if you want your story told well in print, it’s a good idea to have an actual writer do it. The words, the concepts are still those of the person, but the crafting is done professionally. I know both ghost writers and people who have had their books ghost written. There is nothing shady, deceitful or untoward about it.

gailcalled's avatar

Milo here; Who do you think feeds Gail her best lines? (All her lines, come to think of it.) It’s no secret.

smilingheart1's avatar

I better take a pill tonight. Does that mean we could go one step fluther and say that if one’s friend or S/O helps craft any jellie’s responses here, THAT would be seen as KOSHER?

JilltheTooth's avatar

Why not? If they’re your thoughts, and someone you know can state them a bit more cogently than you, I don’t see the harm. And we wouldn’t know anyway, probably.

smilingheart1's avatar

@JilltheTooth, but should they be represented as original work (because one has the bucks to fund the project) or should the work be qualified: for example the author is @smilingheart1 as told to @JilltheTooth. To me, one’s written word is not the same hired out, as say, a store bought cake passed off as home prepared or an exquisitely kept home which was really the work of Pink Lady Home Service. Weigh in on that anyone? Am I too prissy about this?

Sunny2's avatar

I think ghost writing is kind of fuzzy and the spelling is generally atrocious. They should have gotten their writing done before they died. They were probably procrastinators who thought they’d get to it and never did. Tsk. Let’s all promise we won’t do that.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I think you’re adding apples and sofas, here. The purpose of the book, if it’s not a novel of course, is to get your ideas out there. If those ideas can be more effectively conveyed by a professional, in a manner that will reach your target audience with more impact, isn’t that the point?

@Sunny2 : I have enough trouble with corporeal fingers, I so don’t want to deal with it after!

zensky's avatar

Some people are dyslexic or dysgraphic, or have ADD or ADHD – but have great ideas that need help getting published.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

I think ghost writing is acceptable but truly hate it when an “author” does the circuit promoting the book and acts all…well…authorish.

smilingheart1's avatar

But isn’t writing an ART form like composing music, playing instruments, singing, painting, photography etc, etc? Lip sync is about as far fetched as it should get either on karoke night or political debate night.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Not to put too fine a point on it, @smilingheart1 , but again, apples and sofas. The story belongs to the person, the presentation is the ghost writer’s. If you hire a designer to decorate your home, does it become less your home? If you claim that you did all the designing yourself, that’s deceitful. If you tell the designer the kind of ambiance you want, and they realize your vision, there’s nothing wrong with that.
I’m getting the impression that you don’t want to see this as an acceptable, reputable practice, but it really is.

smilingheart1's avatar

Folks, if we ramped this up a notch, where does acceptability start and stop? Let’s take it to another place – as a manager or small business owner, it might be acceptable, for instance to have one’s personnel order flowers or arrange reservations for the wife’s birthday celebration, but would it be deceitful to have a designated person pick out her birthday card and maybe with your few suggestions, craft up a nice mushy card for her? You may say that is a ridiculous analogy, but where is truth and where does one draw the line? We live in just that kind of society.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I can only speak to what I know. My friends that have ghost written books have a specific contractual obligation to write the person’s story, concepts, ideas, what have you, in an articulate and presentable way. It doesn’t benefit the hirer to misrepresent. OK, here’s another example. An architect designs a house and hires a contractor to build it. The contractor subs out the electrical and plumbing work. The architect can still call it “his” house. The contractor can still say he built the house. Nobody is deceiving anyone. I can’t explain it any better, it’s an honorable practice. On that note, I’m out. I don’t want to get into a debate hypothesizing that this or that person is deceiving people when they are not.

smilingheart1's avatar

Thanks for your time and thoughts @JilltheTooth; I appreciate them and your kindly way of presenting them.

Sunny2's avatar

Most ghostly written things give credit to the writer as well as the person whose story it is. An author sends copy to his/her editor, who may make changes or suggestions for change. The person whose story is being written for him reads the ghost copy and makes corrections and suggestions. Seems like a similar process. In general, ghostwritten books don’t seem as creative as those written by a good author, but ghost written books may be better than those written by bad authors. If you want your story written and know you can’t write, best to hire a ghost. Boo!

smilingheart1's avatar

Thanks also @gailcalled, @Sueanne_Tremendousm, @Sunny2 and @zensky. I value other people’s perspectives a great deal.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

I ghost edit screenplays for a guy. He doesn’t know how to use the software to properly format a script & also has trouble with structuring a story that lasts 120 pages. I take his very rough drafts (usually 80 pages) & format them. I then edit, delete, & add scenes until I have bulked it up to 120 pages. I go uncredited, but the connections I make during the process are more important.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I don’t like it. It particularly irks me about politicians. How much time and effort and grandstanding could be saved if we knew what the people we were voting for actually had to say for themselves?

dappled_leaves's avatar

But then, of course, we would never have had the movie Singin’ in the Rain

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther