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So that's how they publish so quickly

I can't stomach stories written by such writers. Their material is too generic that they could do this. I myself, will strive to write my own story until the day that I die.

On a side note, I'm attending school to be an Electrical Engineer and I have faith in my writing and my stories. But after reading many of the reports from fellow students, I can attest that this does apply to many of us.

Did you read the list of those "most prolific" names on Wikipedia? A large number of those names are AMAZING writers, exceptionally famous writers whose work is of the highest merit. And that list is certainly not all inclusive; with a little effort I could probably come up with a list of a couple dozen writers with 200+ works in SF/F alone.

"Prolific" in writing usually just means "worked more hours than the other guy." ;)


Felis amatus
I don't think just being prolific is what he's talking about, Kevin. For example, Steven Erikson is prolific. And his writing is good. And he writes the stuff himself.

I think what Inglorious_Hero is talking about are those who hire groups of other writers to write for them, and then maybe edit it and stamp their own name on it. I tend to agree, as to the extent I've checked out any of those authors they do appear to be boring and generic (James Patterson).
Ah, gotcha. Yeah, I don't find myself reading that sort of thing, either.

I DO sometimes enjoy the books that are co-written by "famous author and new guy/gal". A lot of those stories were actually written by the new guy/gal, with some oversight and input from the famous writer. And I find some nice new writers that way sometimes.


I second Chilari's sentiment that it's unethical for an "author" to take all the credit for a ghostwritten story. It's dishonest and exploitative against the actual writer. I for one would never ghostwrite anything. Not only don't I have the heart to make someone else do all the hard work of writing for me, I don't even see the appeal. I earn far more bragging rights and have far more control over my production if I do all the hard work myself.


I really only became aware of this when I worked as a bookseller. I knew about ghost-writing, but this kind of thing is becoming an epidemic. Let me give you a few expamples:

- V. C. Andrews has been dead for three decades, yet has a new novel come out just about every year.
- Ann Martin, Franklin Dixon (Hardy Boys) and Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew) are not real people and never have been.
- Tom Clancy publicly announces on the cover of his books that he uses a co-author/ghostwriter. *However*, that ghostwriter is also a fictional persona; he makes all of his ghostwriters publish under a fake identity that he controls.
- R. L. Stine has not put pen to paper in years; he provides plot outlines (which are broad, supposedly; 'boy and girl get into trouble with the supernatural') and a whole team of ghostwriters churn out the story.
- Clive Cussler now publicly lists his ghosts - however, he was secretly using them for most of his writing career.
- Ellery Queen is particularly bizarre - its a pseudonym used by the author and given to the main character. The author was from the starting point two people, and is still a series of different people.
- Don't ever both reading any western stories. 99% of their ghosted, the authors publishing under a house name.

It pisses me off, to be honest, and really did a number on my opinion of the publishing industry. It's huge, it's a pandemic and it's fundamentally dishonest.


Myth Weaver
I had no idea James Patterson used ghostwriters. I've enjoyed a few of his books, mainly the Maximum Ride series -- at least the first three, before he jumped the shark with the whole environmental awareness thing right the heck out of nowhere, and giving the bird-kids ridiculous amounts of new powers. Witch and Wizard wasn't bad either.


Myth Weaver
Seems almost like if our novels flop, some of will still get offered tightly constrained jobs as 'ghostwriters for the greats'. Ireth up to writing the next Patterson epic?
I don't think I'd ever pay someone else to write stories so I could take the credit; seems a little gauche to me.

But am I a bad person for feeling like I'd be perfectly willing to WRITE a novel someone else took the credit for, provided the paycheck was good enough? ;)