Memoirs & Nonfiction: Ghostwriting in Two Ways


Whether you’ve begun writing a book and gotten lost or found yourself buried beneath a mountain of notes and research, a professional ghostwriter can help dig you out of a rut to get your project complete. Because of the intricacies of storytelling and editing a work, a ghostwriter can be both the motivation and the driving force behind your project.

And while different ghostwriters may work in different manners, writers in different genres employ widely different strategies for completing your book.

The Difference between Nonfiction Ghostwriters and Memoir Ghostwriters

Nonfiction books, such as how-to books, history books, and other informational books require ghostwriters skilled in organizing information for a reader’s convenience. A memoir, however, requires a ghostwriter who specializes in storytelling.

A memoir is an honest recap of a specific time period in the author’s life, picking and choosing moments that hone in on a central story. The work conveys the author’s perspective and thus is generally written in the first person and is introspective. Dialogue can be included in the memoir, so, because it should be a recount of events, dialogue is often recreated as accurately as possible.

The memoir’s unique perspective and capacity to tell an emotional, personal story sets it apart from any other type of nonfiction. The memoir is written in a manner similar to fiction, using suspense, character development, and plot twists to explore a slice of the author’s life.

While both types of nonfiction are based upon fact, the memoir tends toward more lavish, descriptive language than most other types of nonfiction.

Two Different Approaches to Nonfiction

Due to these differences, a memoir ghostwriter tends to take a more personal approach than a typical nonfiction ghostwriter. If, for instance, you have not decided on what events would best be used as the focal point of your memoir, a ghostwriter should be able to help you tie them down. Most importantly, the ghostwriter will take his or her time getting to understand your personality, the nuances of your language, and/or your perspective on the events that will unfold and the people that will be mentioned in the memoir.

Because the work should take readers on an emotional journey much like a fiction work, your ghostwriter will work with you to pinpoint high and low experiences to create a proper story flow. Personality, emotion, and truthfulness are key in the memoir, so it’s important to be honest and open with your writer.

A nonfiction ghostwriter, on the other hand, may entrench themselves in research you have conducted or spend more time finding the objective truths in the events, facts, or opinions you wish to write on, rather than embedding your personality and perspective into the work.

Hiring a Memoir Writer

The choice to hire a memoir ghostwriter is a very personal decision, and you should carefully research your writer before committing. You will want to find a writer who understands the need for emotional highs and lows in the memoir, as well as the necessity for uniqueness in the book’s voice. Not only should a great memoir ghostwriter provide a compelling and engaging story but he or she should be able to develop a rapport and personal connection with you in order to entice others to read about your life experiences.

Instead of providing the daily grind of your life in flaccid paragraphs, give your readers a compelling, emotional narrative. In looking for a great memoir ghostwriter, find writers that are specific experts in memoirs, don’t settle for a ghostwriter whose primary experience is in writing general nonfiction. A memoir specialist will be able to best tell your story.

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