Novel Boot Camp – Workshop #4: Ask the Editor


Week four of Novel Boot Camp is upon us! It’s going faster than I ever expected. It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s been great fun. And of course, it has sparked a lot of questions from all of you wonderful participants.

So this week I want to give everyone the opportunity to ask me your most burning questions! Since there’s no way I can answer a couple hundred questions this week, I am not going to be responding in this workshop. Instead, I will be compiling the questions that I feel will best serve the Novel Boot Camp community, and I will post the answers to these questions in a future blog post.

When will the post go live? This depends a bit on how many questions are asked, the types of questions asked, and how easy it is to pick the best ones to answer. I may use the questions to write full lectures or I may compile them into several blog posts to go up after Boot Camp.

The Rules

Please follow these rules when posting your questions:

  • Each writer may post up to two original questions.
  • You may request a lecture or blog post addressing an issue or aspect of writing or editing if you prefer.
  • If you see that someone has already posted your question, please reply to their comment with “me too,” “ditto,” or an explanation of why you too are interested in the answer. Please try your best not to start a new comment thread for a question that has already been asked.
  • Please do not answer the questions in the comments. This will prevent things from getting cluttered and will also protect writers from getting potentially inaccurate advice.
  • Questions may be directly related to your book, but please do not post any excerpts.
  • Questions may be general in nature and not directly related to your novel.
  • Please keep questions related to writing, editing, or publishing.
  • All questions should be posted in the comments below.
  • Please post your questions before July 27th.

Unless there is a crazy huge amount of questions, I would like to answer all of them eventually. This will most likely not be possible during Novel Boot Camp, so be sure to follow the blog in case I answer your question after camp is over.

Connect with Other Novel Boot Camp Participants

Need a writing friend? Got a question? Need a shoulder to cry on? We’re there for you!

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I will be answering writing and editing questions on our Twitter hashtag as time allows. Due to the insane volume of emails I’m receiving, I cannot provide free advice or assistance via email. Thank you!

What is Novel Boot Camp?

Novel Boot Camp is a free online novel writing course focused on identifying and correcting problems in your novel. Learn more about Novel Boot Camp and find past (and future) posts here.

51 thoughts on “Novel Boot Camp – Workshop #4: Ask the Editor

  1. English Tim says:

    Hi Ellen, I thought Workshop 2: First Page Critiques was a huge hit (1000+ posts) and was sorry when Boot Camp had to move on. So how about a revisit in which we vote for our favorite first page? We could each state in no more than 100 words why it worked best for us, trying to attract more votes. Everyone gets one vote, including all who submitted, but you cannot vote for yourself. Maybe the prize could be a First Page Friday critique for the opening judged the winner, or even for the top three. Just an idea.

  2. Nicole says:

    Hi Ellen,
    My problem is with the title of my novel. Maybe some tips on how to come up with a good title?
    Thank you

  3. jennfs10 says:

    Hi Ellen,
    What are some books/resources about writing and editing you would recommend for writers? For example, several years ago I read Self-Editing for Fiction Writers and found it be a tremendous help with editing my writing. I’m currently reading How Not to Write a Novel which is both humorous and helpful as well. It would be also helpful to have resource for self publishing too. Google searches can help with finding answers, but I prefer to have a type of resource that I can refer to easily and can help save time with having to do searches. Recommendations for websites, web articles, etc. are also welcome.

    Thank you.

  4. Chase Curtis says:

    What are the rules for phonetics and slang in dialogue? As a southerner writing a story set in the south, I wonder how accurately I should represent natural speech, and the best way to go about it without being confusing.

  5. S. A. Smith, Author says:

    Hi Ellen. I know I missed the deadline but didn’t have internet service. A lightening strike hit a tree that cracked in half and brought down the internet cable.

    Question 1. I am in the process of writing book 3 of my series On RVing Time. I sent out over one hundred query letters, received one request for the first three chapters to be told it wasn’t their genre. Oh well!!!!!. I have since self-published the first two books. Could you provide your expertise to people who have self published on how to go about finding a publisher for a series with two books already self-published and/or focus on the third book as a stand alone?

    Question 2. I created my own book covers. Here is the link to my amazon author page. If you have time, could you critique them and provide your analysis of what makes a great book cover.

    Thanks Ellen.

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