Professional Editor Critiques 225 Unpublished Novel Openings

Another Novel Boot Camp comes to a close! Thanks so much for everyone who participated, donated, shared my videos, and left comments of support and enthusiasm. I hope you feel like you walked away a stronger writer.

I did my best to get through as many novel openings as possible (with my sanity still intact). If your novel opening didn’t receive a critique, I’m sincerely sorry. I will do my best to post another set of critiques in the near future. 

The 225 critiques are listed below. I broke them up into categories for easier reading because there are a lot of them! The total word count of all the excerpts and critiques is 60,000 words! Whether you received a critique or not, I hope you enjoy reading the excerpts and my feedback and that you take away some valuable tips and tricks to make your novel opening shine.

Middle Grade (all genres)

Young Adult Fantasy

Young Adult Science Fiction

Young Adult Mystery, Thriller, Horror

Young Adult Mainstream, Literary, Historical, Comedy, Romance

Adult Fantasy

Adult Science Fiction

Adult Mystery, Thriller, Horror

Adult Mainstream, Literary, Historical, Comedy, Romance

A lot of you have emailed or commented asking me to continue making videos, so I just wanted to drop a quick note to say that I have lots of videos planned, but I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get them filmed, edited, and uploaded. I’m working towards finding a way to make consistently posting videos feasible (both financially and with my schedule).

I sincerely hope you all enjoyed Novel Boot Camp as much as I did! Toby and I are going to rest up before it’s time to get ready for next year!

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19 thoughts on “Professional Editor Critiques 225 Unpublished Novel Openings

  1. Arlene Lockhart says:

    I really enjoyed reading everyone’s first page. It’s clear everyone put hard work into their writing. And Ellen, you gave great insightful critiques. I’ve learned some really important do’s and don’t and will continue to scan the critiques for more writing wisdom!

  2. Morgan says:

    Hi, I wrote the one about the girl who hated poor people. Your critique kind of hurt my feelings at first, but then I realized it was true. Thanks, Ellen.

  3. Maja says:

    Dear Ellen, that you managed to review 225 (!!!) openings with your sanity intact is a positively amazing achievement!
    That’s all I wanted to say, now I’m back to licking my wounds 🙂

  4. Laura Holt-Haslam says:

    Thank you so much for creating these videos and critiquing so many novel openings. Wow! I’ve learned a lot, and truly appreciate your insights and advice.

  5. voxdalian says:

    Just out of curiosity, how many submissions where there?
    Okay, maybe not JUST out of curiosity, I’d just feel better knowing I was just one of many that didn’t get a critique.
    Also, good job on doing 225, that’s crazy, some of them I find really interesting.

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