How Much of My Writing Style do I Add to My Ghostwritten Books?
When I’m ghostwriting, my writing style is virtually indistinguishable from my author’s. I say “virtually” because I sense which bits are more mine then theirs. It’s a tiny amount, perhaps one or two sentences in the whole book.
Through drafts, edits, and review discussions, my words remain. For 99% of the book writing, not a single client has ever objected to my words blended with theirs. I think they feel them, but can’t locate them.
I’m always protective of my orphan sentences. I write a fortress of protection using the author’s words, perspectives, and objectives to keep them justified and safe from deletion. By the near final draft, I
hope that this time I’m finally going to save one of my sentences from harm. It’s not a desire to be sneaky or to hide a kind of Easter egg. It just happens.
In the final edit review, the author will say something about a sentence that doesn’t quite fit, though they can’t put their finger on why. I’m quick to agree. I say something about it being better covered elsewhere and “I’ll pull it.” Only then do I see that this orphan insertion belonged to me all along.
As William Faulkner famously noted, “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.”
Ghostwriters are no exception.