Even after you’ve learned everything you could possibly learn – Find ways to learn more @SJWriters

Helpful_RemindersLast week I attended a talk at SJWG given by fellow Month9Books author Donna Galanti.

It is always interesting to hear how other authors clawed their way through the world of publishing.

But what really stuck out to me, was when Donna discussed some of the mistakes she saw authors make while she was working for an agent. Her job was to cull down submissions and decide which would be read by the actual agent the authors had submitted to.


While most of the mistakes were obvious to me, a few were obvious… but not so obvious at the same time. They gave me pause.

Had I done that in my current first draft?

Maybe. But maybe not.


Today, I’m going back to a particular scene in my new book, and deciding if a section is “tell” or not. I don’t think it is, but a few things she said made me at least want to go back, take the scene out of context, and decide if it is a valid introspection at that point in the story, or am I forcing information.

Likewise, I have a string of dialog that is there for the sole purpose of explaining where the mother is. I believe that there is a valid reason for this conversation to happen at this point—but again, I want to make sure.


I guess the “gist” of what I am trying to say is this:  Even after you’ve sold multiple novels, sometimes it helps to listen to people tell you things you already know. That may sound incredibly stupid, but sometimes it helps (at least it helps me) to get kicked in the butt and reminded sometimes.

Writing is art. Art evolves. Listening to others speak about the craft, reiterates what I already know, and helps me make sure that my art does not devolve into the mess it was what I first started out.




8 responses to “Even after you’ve learned everything you could possibly learn – Find ways to learn more @SJWriters

  1. Part of the reason I like to read your blog is to get the reminder tips you’ve been posting along the way. It’s great that you share with the rest of us.

  2. We really need those reminders from time to time. It’s easy to slip into old habits or to forget something we’ve learned before. Life doesn’t come with “no further learning needed after this date”!

  3. Life is learning. We will never know all there is to know about perfecting our craft or story. Great reminder that I should have a writing craft book that I’m reading. What should it be?

  4. Jennifer, thanks for coming out to my talk! So glad some of it resonated with you. Love the pic 🙂 Thanks for being such a cheerleader of other authors!