Saturday, February 20, 2016

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Voice?

I know an author who's a ghostwriter.  She just started this gig and honestly, I don't think I could do it.  Her one client had her write his book according to an outline.  She did it (I'd have failed right there...having gone off outlines in wreck-worthy moments) and turned it in.  But he refused to pay and threatened to SUE her if she didn't sound like his voice.  What the heck?  I'd give him the money back (don't know if she even got an advance), void the contract (she didn't have one--she's learning the hard way) and move on.

How can you write like someone else's voice?  Impossible, you say.  Or is it?

In this case, the guy wanted her to use big words like he did (probably to sound more impressive than he really is).  She was at a loss.  It wasn't her style.  So she came to me, the fix-it queen for everyone (or so it seems).

I told her to do what a friend of mine did for me, once, to make my manuscript shine.  She went through the thing BACKWARD and looked at each sentence.  No kidding.  It takes you out of the story and makes you think about the words instead of the plot.  Then, I had my ghostwriting friend sit with a thesaurus and look up words that might be repeated or replaced with bigger words for this freaky client.  Um...I hate to tell him, but big words in a story make a reader want to throw the book OUT if they have to look up the words.

Anyway, my friend said 'great ideas,' did the rewrite, and turned it in.  I think the freaky client was happy, because he THOUGHT it sounded like he wrote (and his outline was FULL of errors, by the way).  However, I'd NEVER read his book.  He's trying to impress when his story isn't impressive at all.

Plot counts, people...not big impressive words.

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

No comments:

Post a Comment