Give your story wings…
Do you have a story to tell but don’t know how to get it off the ground? Do you have a manuscript in progress but feel stuck?
If so, I can help you! Let’s collaborate to craft your memoir with finesse.
A Ghostwriter of Memoirs is Like a Gardener.
You dictate the theme, style, story-line, flavor, intent and any details you’d like to include. The ghostwriter listens, intuits, advises and empowers.
You make the decisions, and the ghostwriter designs the book according to your preferences.
A seasoned ghostwriter will plant the seeds you give, water them, and nurture their growth until they flourish.
A ghostwriter has the sensitivity to delve into the heart of your story and the intuitive ability to find the gems it offers and give it your voice. A ghostwriter has the skill to recognize your story’s potential and to develop your ideas and elaborate your experiences in a creative, professional and personal manner.
How Does it Work?
There are two basic approaches:
1) You talk, I write
I listen to your story and write your book from scratch. We communicate via email, telephone or skype. Through initial intensive consultations, we develop an outline and plan. Then I write…and we share intermittent interactions to discuss, clarify, revise, hone and brainstorm (when needed). Your level of participation is up to you. We can collaborate intensively in an ongoing manner, or I can write the book first and then we rework it together according to your feedback and specifications. How we work together and how involved you are in the writing process is a custom-tailored factor entirely based on your choice. Additionally, if you are a new writer and aim to continue writing, I can offer coaching in writing as we go along.
2) Overhauling or rewriting your existing manuscript
If you have already written a manuscript and wish to collaboratively write the memoir, I can either edit it or rewrite it, depending on the quality of the writing and your preferences. I can also do both.
I will study your story, and then offer advice on how to revise it, restructure it (when applicable) and make in-depth suggestions for improving pacing, delivery and narrative style. I will indicate what needs trimming and what needs fleshing out. I will help craft dialog that sounds true to life. I will help portray characters in a multidimensional manner. We will weave in theme threads. I will offer perspective on the material, helping you to see what is relevant to the story and what to leave out as well as how to organize it. I will develop scenes and dialog, improve descriptions, infuse psychological insight and assure the emotional overtones ring true.
You will be able to review what I am doing, ask me to do it differently (if desired) and add or subtract anything you wish. The memoir is your book, and I am here to make it shine to its highest potential according to your preferences.
As a healer and coach, I am also uniquely equipped to assist processing the reliving of traumatic scenes. I have vast experience in helping people embrace their healing journey. Together, we can transform painful memories into valuable, life-affirming assets that reveal grace in disguise and highlight the wisdom of compassion.
How Long Does it Take?
Ghostwriting a memoir is a collaborative effort that requires at least three months and up to a year or more to complete. Your level of involvement is up to you.
How Can I Help? What Can I offer?
If your story is painful, I can provide compassionate presence and non-judgmental understanding as well as counseling, if you wish, during the process.
If your story is funny, I have a witty sense of humor and will enjoy nurturing that tone into every page.
If your story is sensitive, I will approach it with care and conscientiousness.
If your story is angry, I will help you process the hurt that sparked the anger and reveal transformational tools for you to use the power of that anger to positive effect.
If your story is dramatic or passionate, I will tune in to your feelings and intent and endeavor to infuse an equal level of passion and intensity in the writing style.
If your story is confusing or complex, I can give it clarity and cohesiveness.
If you’re currently unsure what kind of story it is, I will help you penetrate and discover the hidden gems your life could offer you–and the world.
Key Steps of the Process
Organization: We will make an outline of events and key elements to include. This outline can be modified at any time, but it makes a great starting point to have a structure in mind. We will also make a detailed portrait of each main character. Additionally, we’ll discuss themes and ‘bigger picture’ aspects.
Development: We will flesh out the scenes and develop the characters, dialog and story line. We’ll get the entire story down on paper, with all the details, into a rough first draft. This stage of the journey uses the creative side of the brain. The analytical side will come into play later.
Focus: Once the first draft is ready, we’ll shift gears from the creative process to the editing process. We’ll trim out unnecessary detail, elaborate where it is too thin, hone the writing craft (pacing, sentence mechanics, etc.) and identify places where revision is required to produce a well-orchestrated story.
Balance: Once the second draft is ready, we will have the opportunity to approach the story with an eye to balance. Some scenes need to be dramatized into a whole chapter, while others are better summarized in a few short sentences. It’s important to maintain focus on what serves the story and theme-intent best.
Polish: Once the story has been organized, developed, focused and balanced, it is time to polish. This stage is fairly swift. I will proofread to correct typos in grammar, punctuation, spelling or formatting. Additionally, I’ll scan for places that might need additional tightening and trimming as well as spots where we can enhance the writing by adding in similes or metaphors for further literary nuance. During this stage, any of the previous aspects can also be re-addressed, if required.
Sometimes sharing a memoir might prove risky, as there are other people involved who may not wish their private lives become public. In such cases, to avoid legal issues or for publishing and marketing purposes, it might prove an ideal choice to transform the memoir into a novel.
As a talented and experienced creative writer and writing coach, I am equipped to make that happen or to help you manifest your own writing talent and abilities.
I will bring skill and sensitivity to our venture, and you will bring your story, ideas and openness. We will walk on the journey together.
I will assist you in the process of transforming your story into a book that can enlighten, entertain, educate, heal and inspire.
Writing your life story is one of the most rewarding experiences you can embark upon!
Nina Marshall – Ghost Writer