Novel Boot Camp – July 2016

Novel Boot Camp 2016 – Starts July 1st!

The third annual Novel Boot Camp will be held this July. It will include lectures, discussion questions, and writing workshops. This year, for the first time, lectures will be done in video format. To join Novel Boot Camp 2016, you can follow the blog or my YouTube channel.

Novel Boot Camp 2015

The second annual Novel Boot Camp was held in August 2015.

Novel Boot Camp 2014

Novel Boot Camp was a lecture series and online workshop held in July of 2014. The posts are listed below for your convenience.

The Lectures

Lesson #1: The First Page Promise

Lesson #2: Introducing the Main Character

Lesson #3: How to Avoid Info Dumping

Lesson #4: Writing Believable Dialogue

Lesson #5: Character Motivation

Lesson #6: Internal and External Conflicts

Lesson #7: Be Ruthless

Lesson #8: Writing Believable Antagonists

Lesson #9: The Saggy Middle

Lesson #10: The Character Arc

Lesson #11: Developing Your Voice

Lesson #12: Writing a Series

Lesson #13: Handling Romance

Lesson #14: Strengthening the Setting

Lesson #15: The Climax

Lesson #16: Nailing the Denouement

Lesson #17: Dialogue Tags

Lesson #18: Identifying Your Novel’s Genre

Lesson #19: How to Self-Edit


The workshops are closed, however you are welcome to view and learn from the old posts.

Workshop 1: The Genre Guessing Game

Workshop 2: First Page Critique Session

Workshop 3: Help Me, Help Me!

Workshop 4: Ask the Editor

Workshop 5: Query Letter & Blurb Critique

Connect with Other Novel Boot Camp Participants

Even if you missed Novel Boot Camp, you are more than welcome to join us on Twitter or Facebook.

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 10.41.51 AM 93-facebookgroupDonate to Novel Boot Camp

This free online course is one of the most ambitious things I’ve ever taken on. My goal is for the course to be a wild success so that it can be repeated (with new content!) year after year. If possible, your donation would help support the huge time investment of Novel Boot Camp. If you can’t afford a donation, I totally understand! Please consider sharing my posts and writing positive reviews on your blog.

donate-buttonAny showing of support (in the comments or through a donation) is so greatly appreciated! Thank you!

82 thoughts on “Novel Boot Camp – July 2016

  1. Irene Sánchez says:

    This is such a great idea! I can’t really submit what I write, as I write in spanish and my english is not good enough for a good quality novel. However I really enjoy your videos and I’m sure this will be as helpful or even more. Thank you so much for the time you invest in this. I feel like I already got a lot better since I’ve been following your tips.

  2. Ella says:

    So as not to clutter up the comment section for the genre-guessing game: One of my main problems with my novel is choosing between two beginnings, different enough that no one would know they’re alternate beginnings to the same book. Would it be acceptable to submit both of them?

  3. mediumlaura says:

    Very excited and NERVOUS! I have a feeling there are many re-writes in my future but I know with your gracious help with this AWESOME camp, that my final will be STELLAR!! ❤ Thanks Ellen for all you do for us!!

  4. Anna Chidiac says:

    Hi Ellen
    After the critique of my novel on First Page Friday, I’ll admit I am a bit nervous about this boot camp, but I know it will help me improve. Thank you so much for putting it together!

    Suggestions for Workshops: Writing a good action scene, how to express emotion effectively in your characters, how to make your language vivid and memorable, how to create and keep suspense.

  5. mediumlaura says:

    I recently read an exercise in a book about removing all of your adjectives from your first chapter. Then read it aloud. If it sounds good without it, leave them out. Do you agree that too many adjectives turn agents and publishers off? I find it interesting because my favorite author, Diana Gabaldon has such rich descriptions and I’m never bored with her adjectives and adverbs. What do you think Ellen?

  6. ccfordwords says:

    I have a couple of workshop suggestions… I would love to learn how to effectively outline. It may sound remedial but I have no clue whats the best way. I think it would save me so major editing/writing headaches later on. Also when working with a CP’s or editors notes what would be the best way to work through a complete novel edit. It gets really confusing when moving chapters and information around. I’m sure you are really familiar with this in being an editor but sometimes I feel like my head might explode. Obviously everything about my post gives away my biggest fault — I’m unorganized.

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