You've got a story idea, but you can't write....

What do you do if you’ve come up with an interesting idea for a story, but you couldn’t write your out of a paper bag??

You get a ghostwriter. I’m a writer; give it to me. If it’s a bestseller, we split the profits.

Most authors can’t go to a party without someone coming up to them and saying “I got this great idea for a book. Why don’t you write it and we’ll split the profits?” Polite writers say “No, thanks.” Impolite writers laugh.

Many people think the idea for a story is the most important part. It’s not. Anyone can come up with an idea that could make a good story, but the matter of execution is something else entirely. A writer has no trouble coming up with ideas and doesn’t need help. It’s the writing skill that turns the idea into a story, and the idea is only about 2% of that.

If you think it’s really a great idea, then write the story yourself. You may be better than you think, and you have nothing to lose.

That’s what editors are for.
– Sylence

“The problem with reality is the lack of background music.” – Anon

Okay - sure - give it a shot. But even good writers need an editor. I’m also an editor;
if it’s a bestseller, I’ll take 20%

You become the next John Grisham.

Nope. Book and magazine editors most assuredly do not rewrite your work for you. That’s a myth. If the story isn’t any good, they reject it. If it’s good, they buy it. If it’s extremely close, they’ll tell you to rewrite it, and then accept or reject it when you send it back.

You can hire a freelance editor or book doctor, but it would be hardly worth it for a short story. And no editor can make an inherently unpublishable work publishable. (By “publishable,” I mean that the work has a level of competence so that publication is a serious option; a publishable story may never actually be published because there are other factors at work.)

Again, ideas are the smallest part of writing a story. Both PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD had the same basic idea – the dead rising to attack the living – but the execution made all the difference. Ideas just aren’t worth that much until they’re turned into a story (that’s why ideas aren’t copyrightable).

Write it yourself. A good word processing program will help you to correct spelling errors. Some even have a program to help you with grammar. Read it out loud to yourself and you will spot many errors. I don’t know of any writer who will write up your idea and then split the proceeds with you; the bulk of the work is in the execution of the idea, not the idea itself.

Writing itself, for yourself, is a lot of fun. IMHO you should write first for yourself and then worry about selling it once you have a finished project.

Good luck to you!

Okay, so I was a little vague. But you don’t have to go to a magazine/publisher to find an editor. Ask an english professor or just let a food friend read it.
– Sylence

“The problem with reality is the lack of background music.” – Anon

Sylence – “you don’t have to go to a magazine/publisher to find an editor. Ask an english professor or just let a food friend read it.”

I know you meant “let a good friend read it”. Anyway, that is good advice too. Write up the story. Read it to yourself. Pick someone in your life that you trust enough to let read it. Let them give you a heads up on the style, idea, execution. You really should pick someone you trust to give you constructive criticism. Don’t pick your best friend that always agrees with you; pick someone you feel will be HONEST with you.

Personally, my mother and sisters read most of my work. They all have very different lives from mine and each other so I get the benefit of many outlooks. With the added plus that all of them can criticize my work in a constructive way. They don’t just say, “This is good” or “This sucks” and then leave me hanging as to why they feel that way. They explain. They say how something hit them and why. I don’t agree with all of what they say but I can take it to heart and have a more objective picture of my work. I can see my work through many eyes.

Sylence also made a good point about letting an English professor read it. Or IMHO a student of English read it. Ask any college student who is working toward an English or communications degree to read it. They might spot spelling, grammar, structure or other various issues that they are now studying. Be prepared for them to say anything. Welcome the feed back. It will make you a better writer.