Confessions Of A Ghostwriter

Sari Botton opens up about writing for the rich and famous:

In my work I never simply interview a person and then write their book using a whole different collection of words than they did. Typically, I use many of the same words that came out of their mouths, although likely in a different order, and surrounded by other words. I also move whole pieces of their narratives around for purposes of better storytelling. I remove boring expository chunks, and try to draw more interesting anecdotes from my clients to replace those – anecdotes they wouldn’t have thought to include until I prompted them; anecdotes I still have to seriously rework and bring to life.

Another way I work is to get clients to “free-write” bits for me, without concerning themselves with spelling, grammar, sentence structure, or “sounding good.” … I tend to think of myself more as a “memoir midwife,” as one client called me.