Make Your Ghostwriting Ghostly with Stephen King

When we think of ghostwriters, we often think of “nobodies” whose names will never get the recognition they deserve. This isn’t always the case though – some of the biggest names in publishing started off as ghostwriters.

In 1997, when he first began publishing novels, Stephen King was annoyed with the industry stereotype that successful authors could only publish one book per year. So to buck the system, King published four books under the pen name Richard Bachman.

Once his ghostwriting scheme was revealed, Stephen King shifted the publishing paradigm. He also revealed many secrets about ghostwriting and content creation in general. Make your ghostwriting hauntingly effective with these tips from Stephen King!

“Good books don’t give up their secrets all at once.”

Part of what’s made Stephen King’s books so successful is his ability to build suspense over the course of the book. He never reveals everything all at once. Likewise, content creators should never place all their eggs into a single blog or article post. Instead, spread out your knowledge and expertise over a vast editorial calendar. To avoid the temptation of putting too many ideas into a single post, get very specific about your content. Instead of writing about “coffee,” for instance, write about the perfect temperature for brewing coffee or the health benefits of coffee. Specificity is your friend when it comes to keeping your secrets to yourself – for now at least!

“Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.”

If a word feels or seems unnatural to you, it will feel unnatural for the reader. If you have to stop to look up a word in the thesaurus, then why make your reader stop to look up a word in the dictionary? Instead, stay true to your authentic voice and focus on strong descriptions. Sometimes, simplicity and your natural voice are better than the fanciful offerings of the thesaurus.

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination but should finish in the reader’s.”

Descriptions are a good thing. After all, you want to lead the reader through your content. However, you don’t need to spell everything out for them. Allowing the reader to make certain inferences and assumptions makes your content more powerful. To avoid the temptation of too much writing, remember to practice good word economy. Also keep mobile users in mind – there’s a reason more content is going short form!

“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.”

When you write with the door closed and initiate mental privacy, you release your inhibitions and write more powerful content. When it’s time to revise, you have a plethora of ideas and content to sift through. Simply decide what is useful and what you want to toss, and you’re piece will be stronger than it would have been otherwise. Remember, it’s easier to throw away content than to create it. Writing with the mental-privacy-door closed is the perfect way to unleash your creative side!

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