Ghostwriters See All Kinds, Even This Pale Bad 1


As a ghostwriter, I recently received this email:

I arrived in Los Angeles on October 31st from Mississippi to attend the LA Film School. I didn’t have the means to get an apt, so I lived in my car id travel at night to various places all over Los Angeles way up in the mountains to deep in the worst part of South Central I drove as fast as my car would go on the 101, 5,10,405,605 all of them nightly for 6 months nobody except for 1 Ferrari and one very fast Malibu ever came close to my dodge avengers speed I am a very safe driver and never put anyone at risk I believe the police noticed me quite early on and saw that. I grew detached from the world except for the fact I continued playing darts in tournaments even went to Vegas to play an international tournament where I was called trash by foreign players. I’ve made my living by delivering groceries for Instacart and I think I’ve become the best at that even though they definitely try to give me the craziest orders that sometimes are nearly impossible. I deliver to absolutely anywhere so I developed kind of a tough guy image I suppose because some one made a video depicting me ready to fight on Instagram I still don’t know how they got my face although I have my suspicions. Also in Hollywood there is a caricature of me as a gangsta on a wall. I grew detached from the world and I love my car like it were a person even breaking down on Valentine’s Day because I thought of how reliable she’s been for me. I love my car. Like for real not in a weird way. I was shot at in Mississippi by my ex’s friend because they all thought I’d stolen a food stamp card he missed me on the first shot and I yelled you missed bitch he then fired again and the Canadian millionaire I was living with called the police. I attended a scientology acting class a few months ago and didn’t return I’m not sure but seems like they might be around fucking with me idk I dismiss everything because it keeps me sane. I’m not even gonna start with the weird stuff that happens when I go to Hollywood on occasion.

What intrigued me most about this email was what it didn’t say: “I have a story to tell that I think is really good and I want to talk to you about it” or words to that effect.

I contacted the guy who sent it. 

“Thanks for sending this. I’m unclear on what you’re asking or seeking. Let me know.”

He responded: “I’m not really sure either. I appreciate your time sir and explaining to me how it works.”

When a ghostwriter gets something like this, he/she/they has three choices: Ignore, engage, or take a shortcut and give them information that would disqualify them, such as price. 

The time will come when I take the shortcut, but I responded with an invite to get on my calendar, which he did.

When we met on Zoom, he was driving in his car, which made sense since he had written I love my car like it were a person (and used the wrong form of the verb). He clearly was on his phone. I noticed his short blond hair and goatee and his Southern accent, which made sense since he wrote he was from Mississippi. He also smoked throughout our twenty minutes together. The phone’s picture often froze, but his voice never faded.

I realized I was talking to a redneck, the kind Jeff Foxworthy jokes about. He looked a little like the AI-generated photo above.

Within two minutes, I heard him say that he lived in his car, which told me everything I needed to know: He didn’t have the money to hire me. So, I went into practice mode and asked him the series of questions I ask everybody: what’s the story, why do you want to tell it, who’s the target audience, what do you want to a accomplish with the story.

His answers were tellingly naive: He wanted to have it made into a movie where he could make a lot of money, so he wanted his story to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

I decided then to disqualify him: I told him these kinds of books take about a year and cost between $15,000 and $50,000. Of course, he didn’t have the money, so he asked if there was a way for him to pay me later, after it sells. I told him no, I don’t work on spec. 

I suspect the next suggestion he made was to save face: He asked that if he wrote a chapter, would I take a look at it? I said yes and assured him it would cost nothing, but I know full well I will never see any writing by him.

Ghostwriters see all kinds.

Do you have a story to tell? Are you looking to work with a ghostwriter in Los Angeles? Contact Lee today!

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