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Is ghostwriting to blame?

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:42 am
by (104)Hyun-Kyu SHIN
Comparing to media before, those in nowadays are required to be more real and touching. Many TV shows, products shown by CMs, etc call themselves 'Real', although all the stuffs sent to consumers should have been filtered, planned and fabricated. Arts including literatures, movies, photos and even paintings are never exceptions. We really live in the world of should-be-real.

In the field of business it is common that superficial leader and actual leader coexist, especially when stocks are engaged. This capitalistic concept settles in writing and is called as Ghostwriting. It is sometimes considered as a betrayal of belief that buyers had. Then, is it WRONG?

It is understandable that people want to hear REAL storytelling from author, especially when a book is advertised to be written by celebrities. Also they might be willing to communicate with fans in terms of life, philosophy, visions, etc. The problem is, however, writing a book is not that easy work for them, who usually have not even written booklets at all. Thanks to technologies, Twitter or Facebook stuffs have filled gaps up, but still unveiled areas exist. Ghostwriting seems to be needed in such cases.

Suppose that you are a famous singer and super busy to follow schedules. Or a sport player, good. You want to share your thoughts on your field with others, not in short messages but in arranged sentences and plots. I would like to divide it into two cases.

A. You write a book(others think it a draft.) by yourself. It may take long time and even not be completed. It must be deeply modified by editors, because this is a commercial business and they ought to sell productive in digestive form.

B. You give all information to ghostwriter(s), including episodes, memories, thoughts, etc. Ghostwriter(s) may write the book faster than Type A, and check the text out.

I do not think that ghostwriting twists original purpose. Type B is much more convenient for both you and editors, and sometimes for readers when you are not so talented in writing. What readers want to know is not how you write things, your writing skills, but things that you had given to ghost writers.

Still a thought might stay in your mind. "Anyway, Type A is yet much closer to author's intent, isn't it?" There might be a classic form of (auto)biography in publication and ghost writers are who follow the law directly as industries do. Your draft will be also modified according to the convention; then, what would be the great difference? Instead, ghostwriters may pick up what you missed.

My conclusion is that we do not have to think narrowly about the trust of consumers. Ghostwriting can be an effective way of presenting him/herself for celebrities and better for readers to get what they expect.

Any other ideas are welcomed. Thank you!

Re: Is ghostwriting to blame?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:51 pm
by (103)LimChan
I agree that there are not much stuff that isn't modified before they get to people,but I think what matters about ghost writing is the potential danger.
You said you don't think that ghost writing twists the original purpose, but other people like me could think otherwise. I think people could describe one idea into many different perspectives, and also there can be ghost writers who might, for the sake of commercial business, change the original intention somehow, so ghost writing may change the original purpose with or without the writer's will. Therefore I think if there is people who thinks ghost writing has potential danger of misgiving the reader of the original intent, ghost writing should be at least tell people that is has been ghost written, since people have right to know.

Re: Is ghostwriting to blame?

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:25 am
by (104)Hyun-Kyu SHIN
Thank you Lim Chan. I read your reply and became convinced.

To be honest, our positions are not that opposite.

How about putting this additional condition? - Ghostwriter writes a text with materials from celeb, and after it is completed, the celeb reviews it and points out the wrong points or things that need to be fortified. I don't know much about the true operation of ghostwriting(if I know it clearly, it is no GHOSTstuff at all!), but this type seems possible.

How do you think? I want to know how you think about the additional condition.


Re: Is ghostwriting to blame?

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:51 am
by (103)LimChan
Your added condition would solve most of the problems that people might fear, but I think some part of the problem would still remain if ghost writing stays like a 'ghost'. I think as long as people don't know if the book is ghost written or not, there is still room for unwanted modification. As long as the ghost writing hide itself from the world, ghost writers would be free from the blames for writing in unwanted way, and they wouldn't feel any pressure to do it in a right way. So to prevent this problem I think all books should show who really wrote it. Other than that, I think your way of ghost writing is good way of writing for both the writers and the readers.

Re: Is ghostwriting to blame?

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:11 am
by (104)Jeong Gwang Min
I think your overall opinion is very good. But I think some parts of your opinion is different from me.
You said "It is understandable that people want to hear REAL storytelling from author, especially when a book is advertised to be written by celebrities. Also they might be willing to communicate with fans in terms of life, philosophy, visions, etc."
In this part I think differently. I think in the end , the authors(celebrities) will depend on ghostwriting. If the book ghostwritten has some popularity, I think the celebrities want to publish another book. So he will use the ghost writing again. And that'll be repeated. But what is writing? What is writing's meaning. Of course ghostwiting can express author's idea better. But just writing's meaning will be vanished. If anyone who has low writing ability can publish the good written book, why the good writers write their book? I think, although someone's writing ability is low, writing oneself's letter is important.
Just my opinion. And I think my opinion has low quality.
Thank you for reading my reply.

Re: Is ghostwriting to blame?

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:03 pm
by (104)July Ban
There is nothing to blame ghost writers.
People who frown on and feel a disgust to ghost writers are the one who should be ashamed. People these days should know themselves better. Even though they think they are as clean as a whistle, Most of them are just brass neck customers. People are crazy about the famous person to make him or her as their role-. However, they do not care enough about the rest of the humble toast who should be deserved better. Since Mass are actually the inventors who created the poor job like the ghost writing, I think we have no right to blame ghostwriters. We should look back ourselves first.

Re: Is ghostwriting to blame?

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:18 am
by (104)Ji Young Lee
I do not think ghostwriting is to blame....
it is the idea that counts not the writing
its a technical matter
: )

Re: Is ghostwriting to blame?

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:54 am
by HeeMoon
Ghostwriting itself is not really to blame, but the problem is we don't have option to know that if this book is ghostwritten or not.
In korea, there are hundreds of books that are ghostwritten but the book doesnt indicates that this is ghostwritten.
We should develop the system to actually put the ghostwriters name below the actual person's name.

Re: Is ghostwriting to blame?

Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:10 pm
by (102)Jae eun Cho
I also agree with the opinion that ghost writing itself is not that bad but it is regarded as a immoral thing in Korea society yet. I think the reason why many people regard ghostwriting as a bad thing is because people think that they are being decieved by the celebrity since they bought the book becuase the celebrity "wrote" the book. However, if a person knows the truth that the celebrity actually "didn't write" the book, they feel a sense of betrayal. Thus, I think indicating both the celebrity and the ghost writer at the cover of the book can be one solution.

Re: Is ghostwriting to blame?

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:25 am
by (102)Sunang Shin
I think it deserve to blame for ghostwriting. I consider this as kind of fraud. Because people pay thier own money for this book. And they also believe celebrity write this book him/herself. So people lose thier money and thier trust. The reason publish company use this marketing is selling more books and earning more money. They also know why people buy celebrity's autibiography. Because people believe they write themselves and it is big factor which makes people buy the book. And I heard ghostwriter receive small salary and bad treatment. While publish company and celebritiy gain popularity and money. Is this fair? I don't think so. I agree celebrity participate in this work and they tell their story, maybe they write somewhat. But basically ghostwriter writes! So I think publish company have to mark ghostwriter in cover as co-author. In case of steve jobs autobiography, the wirter is not Steve jobs but Walter Isaacson. And this book became bestseller. So important point is not putting up the celebrity as writer but make a worthy contents.

Re: Is ghostwriting to blame?

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:07 pm
by (102) cho hye ryung
I think the central principle in ghost writing is that you must be honest and trade with others who are willing to.
Getting a book published involves a tremendous amount of work apart from simply writing the material.
If you can find someone who's willing to do the writing while you undertake the rest of the work, then I think that is a perfectly moral arrangement.
Also, I think they need to be honest about the source of the material. It would be fair to say that you produced the script and have the rights to it, but I think it would be dishonest to pass it off as completely your own work.
For example, two of John F. Kennedy's books are almost entirely credited to ghostwriters.
Former President Ronald Reagan also released a ghostwritten autobiography.
They all declared that thier books are ghost-written and I think this kind of is totally moral.

Re: Is ghostwriting to blame?

Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:07 am
by KoEunJung
I think ghost writing can be criticized in that it represents cunningness of the privileged class. I've never seen that a common writer hire a ghost writer. When the privileged class write a book, especially an autobiography, they hire a ghost writer and pay them a lot of money. Through this, they pretend to write the book by themselves, make themselves look intelligent, and keep their fame. I think it's a kind of deceiving. They should put the real writer's name and let the reader know that the book was actually ghost written.