#NovelBootCamp – Free Online Writing Workshop in July!

Attention aspiring novelists, get your manuscripts (and your coffee!) ready for Novel Boot Camp! It’s a brand new writing course and workshop that will be offered for FREE throughout the month of July.

There will be lessons/lectures and a homework assignment every weekday. There will also be workshops where your fellow boot-campers and I will help polish your prose to perfection.

Unlike other online writing events, Novel Boot Camp focuses not on the writing process, but on editing a novel you have already written. It’s not about word counts or brainstorming, it’s about figuring out what’s NOT working with your novel so that you can make it stronger and more appealing to agents, publishers, and readers.

You don’t have to have a full novel to participate (though most of a first draft is ideal), and you do not have to participate in every assignment or workshop. This commitment is as big or as small as you want it to be.

The Schedule

June 23rd: A special “meet and greet” blog will be posted where you can use the comments to pick your friends, allies, and critique partners – the people who will help you through Novel Boot Camp madness!

June 30th: The Kickoff Party, which will include the start of our first workshop!

Workshop 1: The Genre Guessing Game (details to come). Prize: A free 1,000 word edit and critique!

First Week of July: The Beginning — Lessons will focus on what makes a beginning great, how to introduce your main character, and much more!

Workshop 2: First paragraph critique session. Prize: A free 1,000 word edit and critique!

Second Week of July: Conflict — It’s what makes the novel go round! Learn how to make it interesting, satisfying, and exciting.

Workshop 3: TBA – Suggestions/ideas in the comments would be welcome!

Third Week of July: The Middle – Learn what makes a middle great and how to avoid the dreaded “saggy middle.”

Workshop 4: TBA – Suggestions/ideas in the comments would be welcome!

Fourth Week of July: Nuts and Bolts – Lessons focus on replacing weak words with strong ones and learning when to tell and when to show.

Workshop 5: Query Letter Critique. Prize: A free query letter edit and critique.

Fifth Week of July: The Ending – Explore what makes an ending great and how to best tie up your story.

August 1st: Wrap Party/Closing Ceremony.

Workshop Info: The workshops will be posted on Sunday or Monday of each week and will last the entire week to give everyone a chance to participate. I will edit/critique/participate as much as possible, but I cannot possibly respond to every single comment. The goal of the workshops is to facilitate a fun and supportive learning environment for writers to critique each other.

**I am still looking for a couple more workshop ideas! If you have any ideas, please post in the comments! The workshops must be able to be performed in the comments section of this blog.

Sign Up

There is no official sign up for Novel Boot Camp. You can be notified of the lectures and workshops by following me on Twitter, following the blog, or signing up to the mailing list.

Spread the Word!

Please help me spread the word about Novel Boot Camp to all the writers who could benefit! Share this blog post wherever you can: Facebook, Twitter (#NovelBootCamp), Reddit, StumbleUpon, and beyond! My goal is to help as many writers as possible get closer to their publishing dreams.

 About the Organizer

I (Ellen Brock) am a freelance novel editor and writing coach. I work with aspiring writers as well as traditionally and self-published authors. I offer a variety of editing services as well as mentoring/coaching. When not editing (which is rare), I enjoy geocaching, reading, and watching movies.

73 thoughts on “#NovelBootCamp – Free Online Writing Workshop in July!

  1. Libi says:

    Thanks for doing the BootCamp, Ellen. You have helped me become a better writer! I would love to hear your thoughts on adding detail to world building and setting in ways that don’t come across as info dumps and slow the pacing. I find that balance difficult. Thanks again.

  2. Helen says:

    I would love a workshop on how to get past writing something you feel may be boring and how to spice it up a little. I often have a point B that I’m aiming for and I don’t want to bore readers getting to that point, but the history might be important. I have a few chapters that are really short because I only provided what they needed to know but the readers said it was too short. How do I accomplish that without adding unneeded fluff?

  3. Sherri says:

    Many thanks for this excellent BootCamp and the loads of hard you have put into it, Ellen. It is obvious you love your craft and are immensely talented at what you do. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us. You are definitely training an elite force of storytellers out here 😀


  4. Junior Kuranchie says:

    Hi Ellen, is it too late to sign up?… I thought I had, but I haven’t received any alerts or info and do you have to be American to be included in your bootcamp?…

    • Ellen_Brock says:

      No, it’s not too late. You need to sign up to the mailing list or follow the blog to get the updates. You can find the old lectures from this past week on the blog.

    • Ellen_Brock says:

      As explained above, you need to sign up for the mailing list or follow the blog to get the posts to your email. Otherwise, go to the “Novel Boot Camp” tab at the top of the page and scroll down to “schedule.” You will find all the posts linked to from there.

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