Friday, 8 February 2013

Some people have no shame

Those people that know me also probably know that, as well as being a surveyor, I am also active on Elance. Elance is one of the homes of electronic freelancing and, I have to admit, I love the work that I get off there. Some of it is in my specialism of property economics, some academic work but some is ghostwriting work (which as my forthcoming novel, 'Touched', has a ghostly theme is quite apt!), and it's this that I want to blog about. There's nothing wrong with the type of ghostwriting I do. It's generally business related stuff, usually with a broad connection to my background. People who use me do so usually because they want to get over a message to their audience but find that either they have not got the time to devote to writing or that they struggle to get over what they say in a written format. I work to their brief and their notes - it's what they want to say, it's their work, I just interpret and present it for them. There is, however, another type of ghostwriting that I'm seeing more and more - and it really winds me up. These are the 'I've had an idea for a novel...' ones or, even worse (and I've seen it a lot), 'I have published the xxxx series of novels on Kindle and I want someone to write the next one...'. Yes really. And, if I wanted to, I could name and shame. As someone who writes fiction, I'm pretty annoyed at the people who think having the idea for the novel is the difficult bit - I have 5 or 6 good ideas a week I could use if I had the time - but they are just misguided and lazy. It's the second type I'm just disgusted by; it's like passing off horse meat as beef! To write a piece of fiction, the writer invests their time, creativity and, quite often, a bit of their soul in their work. To ask a writer to do this, pay a pittance for their time (because these people aren't shamed enough to pay decently), receive no credit for it but for the commissioner to pass it off as their own work is just so distasteful. What is the point of putting this work up? What do the people who do it gain from it? Kudos? Status? No, you are frauds, pure and simple. If I have had a few too many glasses of red the next time I see one maybe I will name and shame....

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