You want to write a book and you have a great story running around your head, but writing it is not as easy as you thought. You need a professional to prepare your manuscript. So whatâs your story?
For any book to be interesting, it needs a good plot. Plot is what gets the readerâs attention âŚ whatâs it all about? And plot is what keeps it âŚ what happens next?
The following is true, unbelievable but true. I once had a would-be client contact me with an idea for a childrenâs book â and that was all he had.
âWhat is your book about?â I asked him.
âThese children run away and save the world from itself.â He replied.
âOkay, so whatâs the plot?â
âThey run away and save the world from itself.â
âThatâs your idea. Why do they run away? Why do they need to save the world? What do they do?â
âEr âŚ what do you think?â He asked.
âThere a few things you have to before you employ a writer.â We chatted for a while of his need to think about the action he wanted in his book. I gave him a few tips about how to proceed and added,
â âŚ and while youâre at it, you also need to think about the childrenâs characters.â
âCharacter? What character?â
So we went through the notion of character.
âWell what do you think they should be?â He asked.
âThis is your book. Therefore you have to know what you want in it.â I added as gently as I could. âIf I conceive of and develop your plot, characters, location and everything you wish me to, it would be my book. Now why would I write a book of my own and give it to you?â
Finally we agreed that while he would think of some of the childrenâs characteristics (one of whom was the son of the king), I would help him to develop them as the plot itself developed.
âSo where does this action take place?â I asked.
âErm âŚ they run away to the snowfields so it has to be somewhere with lots of snow.â
I suggested a few countries.
âIt has to be a republic and the âŚâ
I interrupted him. âThis country is a republic with a monarchy?â
âYes, and I have an idea for one of the children who all go to the same private school. He is the hero of the book. He is the white adopted son of a black woman, who works at someplace like McDonalds.â
Needless to say, this story had no chance for I was left with a group of children who have to save the world from some unknown calamity. In addition, a black waitress at a fast food outlet, whose son was white could afford to send him to an expensive private school attended by royalty. This boy and a group of his chums, including a prince used only to the lap of luxury, run away to the âsnowfieldsâ in a republican monarchy, where they presumably manage not to freeze to death while finding nourishment in all the snow and ice around them. Perhaps they might find a polar bear to hunt and eat, or catch a whale through a hole in the ice. (I didnât suggest that to the young man).
He had no idea of how to move his vague idea forward. He couldnât develop his characters or his story because he had no plot. The very least a ghostwriter needs is an idea of the nature of the book (for example is it a mystery, comedy, etc.), a believable plot written in outlines (starting from the beginning of the story and proceeding in an orderly fashion to the end), some idea of the characters, and location. This applies whether you wish to write fiction or non-fiction. It is then up to the ghostwriter to craft the manuscript, moving the reader fluidly from one chapter to the next.
So what your story?
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