Is Ghostwriting a Script a Good Idea?
A lot of people who need a script for something may turn to writers to ghostwrite for them. Meaning the writer’s name won’t be attached to the script at all, but they’ll get paid to create the script.
As you might expect, there are some pros and a lot of cons to the field of ghostwriting a script. Let’s take a look and see if ghostwriting a script is a good idea.
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The Pros of Ghostwriting
The main pro of ghostwriting is the payment behind it. When you write an original script, there’s a good chance you won’t see any money from it. However, with ghostwriting you’re guaranteed payment for the script you’re creating for someone. Thus, the main reason why there are so many ghostwriters in the world.
The other big advantage of ghostwriting is the ability to practice your writing. Meaning the person who needs a script will tell you what they want, and your creative juices will get to work. It’s good practice for any writer, especially if they're just starting out.
Another option here (that's more common in the US) is to negotiate and sell your writer outright. This way, your name stays on the script since you're the author, but the person purchasing it can do whatever they want with it: produce, direct or re-sell. This really depends on your ability to negotiate and their willingness to actually keep your name there.
The Cons of Ghostwriting
The main con is that your name isn’t attached to it at all. If the odd chance someone hires you to write a script and they pay you a few thousand dollars to do so, even if that script turns into the next Star Wars, you get nothing else other than the original payment.
Another con is that you really need to work according to the command given by the person who pays you. Think of a paint commission: they may pay you for your talent, but they won't be happy if you don't follow their rules.
It’s a risk-reward business. You’ll have to determine whether or not you want to do something for quick money with the chance of losing out on other money.
If it’s right for you
In simple terms, it all depends on your situation. If you’re desperate for money then ghostwriting for someone will be a relatively easy way for you to get a quick buck.
However, keep in mind that your name isn’t attached to at all and people don’t look at ghostwriters as successful writers. Even if the script you ghostwrote turns out to be a success, it doesn’t matter for you.
Just remember to keep the pros and cons of ghostwriting in mind for yourself when you determine if it’s right for you or not.
There are certainly benefits one way or another, but it all depends on the person. Your best bet is to ask questions and see what’s in it for you. The bottom line is you need to think about yourself and how it can benefit you.