Novel Boot Camp 2018: Update & Schedule

Riverdale Public Library Logo(1)Need help with your novel? Join the fifth annual Novel Boot Camp and whip your story into shape!

What is Novel Boot Camp?

Novel Boot Camp is a free writing course and workshop for aspiring novelists.

You can view the videos by subscribing to my YouTube channel, but if you’d like to participate in the workshop, please follow this blog so you receive updates to your email.

Changes to Novel Boot Camp

There will be a couple of changes to Novel Boot Camp this year. Because I want to increase the quality of the videos by providing more examples from published novels and by tackling more advanced topics, I need to cut back on the number of videos and workshops.

Rather than four videos per week, I will be posting three videos per week (15 total!) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (starting July 30).

Rather than three or four workshops, I will just be doing a single workshop (details below).

I know the reduced number of videos and workshops might be disappointing, but due to the higher number of participants and the more advanced topics, to make the best Novel Boot Camp possible I needed to simplify.

Thanks so much for all of your support over the last four Novel Boot Camps! I’m hoping this year will be better than ever!

The Schedule

Week One – Novel Openings, Prologues, Hooks

(July 30 – August 3)

Week Two – Backstory, Setup, Flashbacks

(August 6 – 10)

Week Three – Scenes & Momentum/Thrust

(August 13 – 17)

Week Four – Chapters & Chapter Titles

(August 20 – 24)

Week Five – Plotting & Query Letters

(August 27 – 31)

First Page Workshop

If interested, starting August 6, you can submit the first page of your unpublished novel for a free professional critique (by me!). Please note that these critiques will be posted on the blog but your name will not be included.

Important notes on the workshop:

  • Submissions open Monday (August 6) and close Friday (August 24).
  • The critiques will be posted the final week of Novel Boot Camp (August 27-31).
  • I will accept up to 500 words, but in the interest of critiquing as many writers as possible I will only critique as far as I feel is necessary to provide useful feedback (see last year’s workshop to get a sense of the format).
  • A submission form will be posted on the blog (inside a blog post) on Monday (August 6).
  • My hope is that you will be able to apply the information from the first week of videos (which are all about novel openings!) prior to submitting.
  • Submissions will be critiqued in the order they are received.
  • Due to time constraints and the number of submissions, I cannot update your first page after you submit it.
  • I also (sadly!) can’t guarantee that every submission will receive a critique.

Want to Join Novel Boot Camp?

There is no sign-up form for Novel Boot Camp. Simply follow the blog so you will receive notifications when the workshop submission form and videos are posted (the RSS feed and an email notification form are available in the sidebar).

You can also subscribe on YouTube to view the videos there instead of on the blog (but you won’t be notified when the workshop submission form is posted).

Want to connect with other Novel Boot Camp Participants?




How to Edit Your Novel’s Characters [Novel Boot Camp 18]

Characters are so important to a strong novel, but editing characters can be tricky. In this video I go over five things to look for to strengthen your characters while editing your novel, including character arcs and personality traits.

This is the last video for Novel Boot Camp. I hope you guys had a great time and learned a lot. I had a ton of fun making the videos and critiquing your work. Thanks for all of your support!

Continue reading

20 Query Critiques [Novel Boot Camp]

NBClogoThis query critique session is part of my Novel Boot Camp series. If you don’t know what Novel Boot Camp is, click here to check it out.

If you’ve already submitted your query and didn’t receive a critique or if you would like to now submit your query for critique, I will be posting another set of critiques as soon as my schedule allows.

I know I said in my original instructions that I was going to only post the query up until the point that I stopped reading, but I decided to include the full queries for clarity (and because I got overly ambitious with my feedback). Enjoy!

Continue reading

Query Letter Critique Workshop [Novel Boot Camp]

NBClogoAgents and editors read a lot (a LOT!) of query letters. Naturally they have to make speedy quick decisions about which queries interest them. In this workshop, I will be simulating that lightning quick process.

On Friday (August 25) I will post each query up to the point that I lost interest with a few sentences of explanation and critique. If you missed the first page critique, you might want to check it out to get a sense of what to expect.

I will be critiquing queries on a first come, first served basis, so try to get them in early to guarantee your slot!

This workshop is part of Novel Boot Camp. If you don’t know what Novel Boot Camp is, check it out here. All writers are free to submit their query, even if they did not participate in other elements of Novel Boot Camp.

If you are self-publishing, feel free to send your back cover blurb instead of your query letter, but make sure to identify it as such in the drop down menu. Thanks!


Want to connect with other Novel Boot Camp Participants?


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