It’s really important to have a game plan for your book before you start writing. Would you build a house without an architect’s plan? Would you build a car without a mold? Of course not. And you wouldn't do that with a book. Yet, I have met authors who have worked with ghostwriters who just start interviewing them and asking questions right from the start, without any ideas of what direction they are taking.
One businessman I met had spent two full days talking to a ghostwriter and getting hundreds of pages of transcripts, none of which the ghostwriter knew what to do with. If you plan your book in advance, you’re going to save hundreds of hours (and countless dollars!) going back and reconstructing everything. When the book theme and chapter topics are planned properly, a professional ghostwriter knows how to hone in with the right questions and capture the most compelling answers and explanations from the author.
We have worked with numerous authors who have an idea of what they want to say, and we have helped them organize their thoughts into a comprehensive table of contents for their book. Whether they write the book themselves or we interview them and write it for them, we both have a game plan for writing the book. And that makes all the difference.
A good game plan helps organize the author’s thoughts into clear chapter topics so that various elements of a book, including teaching text, personal anecdotes, factoids or questions, can be slotted into those chapters. As you go through the writing or interviewing process, you will find that the memory jumps around. By having a clear game plan in place, the author or ghostwriter can easily say, “This story goes in that chapter,” or “This point goes in another chapter,” or even, “This just doesn’t fit in.” Although the final table of contents might actually be different from the initial plan, the author and writers are going to save so much time following a plan and then refining later.