My first ghostwriting assignment has been completed. After I turned the manuscript over to my client, I felt like a surrogate turning my baby over to its other mother. And I don't know what, if any changes my client will make. This was her concept from the start.
We had more than a few creative differences along the way. I gave the plot a sinister twist and took it darker places than she wanted to go. I watered down my writing in several places to suit her tastes. No creative person likes doing this. I had to keep reminding myself that I was performing a service. I was being paid to write and step away. She owned the cake, I was merely the oven.
Among her complaints was that her characters were no longer likable. I find people with flaws more interesting to write about. Also she wanted to keep the betrayed wife a victim. I chose to empower her and bring out the strength I saw in this character along with her dark side.
I assured my client that many of these characters would become more likable in the end. The survivors all learn their lesson becoming better people for it.
My client is an excellent writer herself, but not of fiction. She admitted that she could never have come up with all the twists and turns I threw into this story.
But one mistake I kept making was that I automatically wrote everything in the present tense because it was live to me. In my mind I saw the story unfolding in the moment as I typed. Of course I corrected this during editing, but I overlooked it in some places. I'm not a perfect writer. That's why another pair of eyes is always necessary! The more pairs of eyes the better!
The novel is paperback length. I don't write anything that doesn't advance the plot. This was also easier on my client's wallet. I could have added lots of filler and kept this thing going for another 6 months. Many authors who don't ghost write do this with their own novels. But these are books I don't enjoy reading. I want to see the story unfold at a brisk pace.
My client plans to self-publish.
Next, I will be given several chapters of a children's novel to finish. This time, my client insists that I keep the initial chapters intact and continue on from there. I'm not thrilled about this restriction, it's going to tie my hands more than a bit. I could do a better job if given carte blanche from the start as with the previous job. But I'm up for the challenge!