When you're a ghostwriter, it's your job to capture your client's voice. This means understanding how they speak, and then being able to imitate that in your writing. It can be tricky, but it's the number one key to being a successful ghostwriter.
If you’re going to be a ghostwriter, there are a few skills you need to have at the ready. Excellent writing skills are a no-brainer. The profession also requires more than a modicum of discretion, and an ability to check your ego at the door, as you will seldom be able to claim your work. And, oh yeah – you’ll need to be able to do impressions.
Of course, I’m not talking about being able to impersonate Matthew McConaughey or Christopher Walken, a couple of late-night talk show standbys. I’m talking about impressions of other writers, i.e., capturing their “voice.”
Whether you call it voice, style, character or attitude, the component is crucial to your ability to get work as a ghostwriter. Because whether you are starting from scratch and creating a memoir from interviews with a new author, or contributing a piece to a blog that’s been around for years, the expectation is the same: the piece needs to be read as if written by the person you’re ghosting.
So how do you do that? Practice. As you’re developing your portfolio, you want to be sure to include differing styles to show a broad range of options to anyone looking to hire you. Here are a few techniques to use when working to capture another writer’s voice:
A little bit of preparation can go a long way toward helping you when you land that big job. Challenge yourself regularly and you’ll be ready when opportunity comes knocking.