January 14, 2015

Writing Club Wednesday: Guest Post by Kelley Lynn

Today we welcome Kelley Lynn, uthor of ROAD TO SOMEWHERE and ONE WISH AWAY (Bloomsbury Spark) and the newly released FRACTION OF STONE, first in the FRACTION SERIES, to the Misfits blog. I've had the distinct pleasure of reading ROAD TO SOMEWHERE and ONE WISH AWAY and simply adored both! Plus, she's an awesome person and has some fabulous insights for us! Welcome, Kelley!



It takes a village, but remember, you’re the mayor. 

It’s funny. One of the main reasons I started writing (other than the voices in my head who wanted me to tell their story) was because I had this misconceived notion that writing was a solitary endeavor. And sure we put words to paper by ourselves (unless we’re writing a collaboration, but that’s a whole other post) but being an author is not something we can do by ourselves. Not if we want our work to be the best it can be. Hence they saying ‘it takes a village’.

We need to learn the rules for writing (so we can later break them) and to do this we read blogs, books, take classes, talk to other authors, etc. Our work needs to be read and critiqued by others. We (possibly) need agents to submit our manuscripts to editors and then we need those editors to work their magic so the book hits the shelves (or ereaders) in the best possible form.

Summary: It takes a lot of people, with specific expertise, to create a great book.

Now that we’ve established that (which I’m sure many of you understood, unless you were a bit clueless like me) I’d like to talk about our guts. That part of us that churns when something is just not right. That’s where you, the mayor of this village, come in.

Because even though it takes a village to get the book to the finish line, you, as the brain child, must be completely ecstatic and proud when it gets there.

This is a concept I didn’t really grasp until this year. That I’m the boss (even though I totally and completely recognize I need everyone in the village to help me succeed). Basically, I was just saying ‘yes’ to whatever the experts had in mind, even if my gut wasn’t completely on board.

In order to be the best mayor we can be, we need to recognize the strengths of all of those assisting us and thoroughly listen to everything they have to say. Just because we don’t like a suggestion, doesn’t mean it’s not good. We must take time to go through our critiques (whether from beta readers/agents/editors). Don’t react on a whim. Alter what we agree with and feel free to question what we don’t understand. If after we’ve given the constructive criticism time to sink in, we still have that churning feeling in our gut that says a specific suggestion doesn’t feel right that is okay.

We talk to our consulting experts and dive deeper into our concerns, work hard to see their point of view. We come to a place we can both agree on. Ultimately, we have to be happy with what we put out there. Our name is on it.

So whether it’s an opinion on whether to self or traditionally publish or a suggestion to change the feel/plot/character arc, etc in our manuscript, or anything in between, we don’t have to do any of it.

But to be the best author we can be we do have to take it all into consideration.

Because we wouldn’t be the mayor of anything, if we didn’t have villagers.

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Eventually the day came when the voices in Kelley Lynn’s head were more insistent then her engineering professor’s. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer and wrote. Somewhere along the way she became a Young Adult author.

Kelley was born and raised a Midwestern girl. She fills her free time with softball, soccer and volleyball. (Though you probably don’t want her on your volleyball team.) She occasionally makes guest appearances as a female vocalist for area bands.

Kelley's enjoyed working with Bloomsbury Spark (ROAD TO SOMEWHERE and ONE WISH AWAY) and Tulip Romance (NO TIME FOR LOVE, Nov. 2015). As well as publishing work on her own.

Feel free to hang out with Kelley at her Facebook Page or see what she's tweeting about. (@KelleyLynn1) She loves to get feedback on her work through authorkelleylynn@gmail.com.

3 comments:

Kelley Lynn said...

Hey Misfits! Thanks so much for having me today!

Suzi said...

I haven't read One Wish Away but I've read Fraction of Stone and loved it. I definitely need to read Kelley's other books too though. I've got them on my Kindle waiting to be read. :)

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I think this is wonderful advice! It's so easy to fall on either side of this. Not wanting to listen to others, or forgetting to listen to ourselves. It takes a balance. Great post.

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