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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Bootcamp (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Bootcamp
Kickle
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I'm planning on applying for Bootcamp and am going crazy waiting for the link to go up. So while I am fretting, I'd like to put my writing sample together. For those of you have applied before, does the sample have to be a finished story or can it be something you have just started working on? Does it make any difference?
Guess I'm not sure if I want to hear Autumnmuse's advice after her experience last year!

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Rahl22
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It doesn't have to be a finished story. Makes no difference since he'll never see/know about the rest of it.
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mikemunsil
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I beg to differ. Didn't autumnmuse say that he asked for the rest of her story? And then she had to write it in an extreme hurry? talk about pressure...
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Rahl22
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Ha! Okay. "Never" might be extreme. Do a find and replace with "almost never."
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EricJamesStone
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My sample was the beginning of a short story that I never finished -- in part because I decided it was part of a novel I have yet to write.

You can see the sample that got me in here, along with advice about the sample: http://www.ericjamesstone.com/writing/osc_boot_camp_sample.html


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autumnmuse
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The sample is one page. The first page. So, you can be like me and only write that page if you want. Or you can complete the story. Either way is fine.

Kickle, if you don't want to hear from me just pretend someone else wrote that


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Silver3
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The previous years, was it one single-spaced, double-spaced page, or were there no requirements?

Silver, who's also hesitating on going to Bootcamp (long story that involves somebody's offer to pay for my plane ticket)


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Beth
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is Boot Camp on the east coast this year? Or do I get to hook up with Silver for dinner?
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Kickle
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Silver, don't worry about what the deal is, apply and let the somebody pay for your ticket! Who needs a soul or a first born child?

[This message has been edited by Kickle (edited March 03, 2006).]


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Spaceman
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As I look through the packet of all the accepted first pages, mine was about the shortest--roughly the first 13 lines. Lengths ranged from the first 13 to a very full page of single-spaced text. He handed out versions that were somewhat longer, too. Most likely, that is all anyone will see.

The important thing to remember is that this is an auditioned workshop and people are turned away. I did notice that he increased the posted enrollment over last year by two people.

Autumnmuse's experience was the exception. Don't worry about that happening to you, just send in the best opening you have.


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Silver3
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lol, Kickle, I just understood what you meant.

Actually, there are no strings attached (well, not that I know of ) It's just that I'd have to skip one week of school, and I'd need to know whether I'd be missing anything


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Kickle
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Thanks everyone, that really helped me decide what I wanted to send. Now, I'll just wait for the link. My understanding is that genre is not important at all, is that right?
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Silver3
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Kickle, something occurred to me while I was thinking about this thread. I know you've already made up your mind, but can I point out that since you are a finalist in WOTF (not a thing given to everyone), this tends to prove you're a very good writer (not just by my standards but by those of the industry )So, if I were you, I'd have the rest of the story along just in case.

But, in the end, it's your call.

For the other question, I don't think genre is important, or he would have mentioned it, but I'm not sure.

(edited because I saw the other question).

[This message has been edited by Silver3 (edited March 03, 2006).]


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Kickle
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One of the reasons I'm obsessing on this is because I still haven't heard back from WOTF and I have to give my mind something else to think about. Waiting is a huge part of being a writer, but one of the things I am very bad at.
Good point about having the story completed and probably the only reason I wouldn't have at least a first draft done would be because the story didn't work.

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Spaceman
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Scott doesn't care what genre you write. He is looking for evidence that you are in the right zone.; that you are not too early in your writing career to be helped, nor too advanced to be helped. You're sending a blood sample to the lab, my friend.

[This message has been edited by Spaceman (edited March 03, 2006).]


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pixydust
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So when does the post usually go up? And to echo Beth: Is it going to be on the east coast this year?
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Silver3
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The post says Virginia.

Erm...now is probably not the time for me to say I have no idea where Virginia is...


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Beth
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Virginia is on the Atlantic side of the US.

Utah, the other location, and where I am, is way over to the left, in the mountainy bit before you hit the Pacific ocean.


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pixydust
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Well, that gives me a year to save up. You can't get much farther west then me, well, unless you go to Hawaii.
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Silver3
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On the other hand, east is (marginally) closer to where I am
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Beth
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it'll add a few hours onto your travel time, yeah. but if you come to Utah you can see ME, so clearly it is worth it.

[This message has been edited by Beth (edited March 04, 2006).]


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Silver3
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um, true. I'll have to ponder this
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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If you come to Utah, you can also see me, and maybe even djvdakota, if she's available. There are others here as well, so we could have a big party.

Anything to keep from letting Beth monopolize your time.


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Spaceman
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quote:
Utah, the other location, and where I am, is way over to the left
Which is kind of strange, if you think about it. Over on the left you have Utah, which is largely to the right.

Of course, it's to my north.

[This message has been edited by Spaceman (edited March 04, 2006).]


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Spaceman, are you confusing geography with politics?
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Matt Lust
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its a bad pun.



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Kickle
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If Utah is the middle, that puts my home state of Vermont way over on the right--guess we're talking geography.
At any rate, Silver I am way closer to you then those Utah people. Lets just worry about applying and hope for the best. But I would watch it if I were you, once you're on the east coast, those westerners probably send their minions to kidnap you.

[This message has been edited by Kickle (edited March 04, 2006).]


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Spaceman
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quote:
Spaceman, are you confusing geography with politics?


I'm not confusing them, I'm confounding them.

[This message has been edited by Spaceman (edited March 04, 2006).]


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Smaug
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quote:
If you come to Utah, you can also see me, and maybe even djvdakota, if she's available. There are others here as well, so we could have a big party.

Count me in--for the party at least.I won't be applying for the workshop at least for next year---with two sons on LDS missions at the same time, funds are going to be extremely low.

[This message has been edited by Smaug (edited March 05, 2006).]


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Dude
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Forget about Utah--it's a desert. Most of the west is for that matter, unless you are talking the northwest. Come on over to the Virginia mountains where bootcamp is to be held this year--it is beautiful country. I go camping up in that area every year. Also, you are right--it is closer for you. A 6 to 8 hour airplane ride, probably flying into Dulles in Washington, D.C. The place where bootcamp is being held is only about an hour's drive southwest of the Dulles airport.
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Silver3
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Hum...Have I mentioned I can't drive? Well, I have my driving licence, but you need to have had it for more than a year before they'll let you rent car... If I come, it's through greyhound/train/taxi/whatever

The form is up. I'm still wondering whether to apply.


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rcorporon
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I wish that there was something like Bootcamp in Japan.

I feel so left out


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Kickle
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Silver, thanks for mentioning the link is up--I had missed it. If I end up getting in, I'll be flying and renting a car--and would be happy to have a rider. However I'll probably try to avoid Washington if I can.

[This message has been edited by Kickle (edited March 08, 2006).]


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autumnmuse
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Silver, if my opinion counts for anything, I say go for it. At least apply. I know lots of people who went and not one of them felt it was a waste of money in any way. All of them say they can see it as a turning point in their careers. And you said you've got someone to help with your ticket? Sounds perfect. I think it will be hugely beneficial.
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wbriggs
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I second autumnmuse's comment. I didn't do boot camp, but I did OSC's class in writing popular fiction at SVU, which I gather is the same deal. I now have *two* sales; and I learned a lot about POV, and beginnings. (I'd learned the how to generate ideas for stories quickly at a previous workshop -- with OSC.)
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djvdakota
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A big HUMPH to Dude. Have you ever BEEN to Utah, my friend? You make it sound like a solid square of sand dunes and sage brush!

The east is green, true. But green can be monotonous. Here in Utah we have a full spectrum of landscape colors and you CANNOT beat the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains!

Good luck with your application Kickle, and everyone else who's considering. It's well worth it.

[This message has been edited by djvdakota (edited March 14, 2006).]


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MaryRobinette
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Oh go, go, go!

Your brain will explode. In a good way. I'm definitely a stronger writer post-BootCamp than pre-BootCamp.


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Elan
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I dunno, Dakota... I've seen the rockies... I still think the Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River Gorge has it beat.

http://www.ashcreekimages.com/CascadeThumbs.html
http://www.skimountaineer.com/CascadeSki/CascadeWebCams.php
http://a2zgorge.info/

Sadly, there is no Bootcamp out here, beyond the military variety.

[This message has been edited by Elan (edited March 14, 2006).]


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Dude
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Dakota,

Yep, I've been to Utah, and Idaho, and Nevada, and Arizona, and Oregon, and...Actually I figured it out one time, I've been in every state in the union. I've done more than my share of road trips, but I've actually lived in Washington, Idaho, New Mexico, and California. Most of the west is either high or low desert except when you hit the coast or get into the mountains. Personally I like the Pacific Northwest and the mountain region between New Mexico and Colorado.

I was just messing with you westies in the bunch. There is some pretty country out there. I'll be going out this summer to visit family and taking the kids to the Grand Canyon.


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Silver3
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I've applied. Don't know if I should have, but never mind. The sample is in the mail. Now I'll try to go on normally with my life
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'Graff
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Just a question about procedure---if we apply and fail to be admitted, can we then apply another year? Also, if we aren't sure that we can attend because of time/money constraints, and then we apply anyway, does that application become binding? What happens if you're accepted and something comes up?

I'd love to know. I'm excited about maybe-kinda-sometime-soon applying.

-----------
Wellington


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djvdakota
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'Graff, as far as I know you can reapply until your face turns blue. And your application is in no way binding. The only thing that binds you is when you pay the full fee and have reserved your hotel. Even then you can walk away and kiss your moolah goodbye if you want.

But who would?!?

If I remember correctly, you can withdraw and get a certain amount of your tuition back up to a point. But if you withdraw the day before, you wouldn't be able to. A similar policy to any college tuition policy.

Also, keep in mind that even if you don't make it into the six-day camp, you can still attend the 2-day workshop. Even that much is of value.


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Spaceman
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Dude, I drove around the Grand Canyon to get to bootcamp in Utah last year. That big hole in the ground added at least two hours to the trip. Orem was much greener than Phoenix, but then, much of Arizona was on fire while I was at bootcamp.

The Uncle Orson part is still well worth attending. The first two days is when Scott passes along his knowledge. The rest of the week is when you are forced to teach yourself. You learn in both parts, but you learn different skills and in different ways.


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Kickle
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Sent my writing sample and application in today. Now I can stop fretting. Anyone else besides Silver applying or planning on going to the first two days?
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kings_falcon
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Kickle,

I am thinking of applying. Now that I have all the deadlines passed for a major case I was working on, I can work on the short story. My biggest problem is that short stories rarely end up being "short" for me. I am planning on using the need to write as a really good excuse to hide from my mother-in-law this weekend.


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Kickle
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Kings falcon, I know what you mean about stories growing For the application your story doesn't have to be done and polished, you only need to send the first page. Think of it this way, Boot Camp won't be held in the east again until 2008.
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Spaceman
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You actually need a little more than the first page written by the time you get there, but you only need the first page for the audition.
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Thieftess
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My audition piece was the prologue of a novel I had written the beginning of...oh...five or six times and never finished. But I thought that bit was pretty good, so I sent it in. (The rough part was when all the Boot Campers were sat up at the front of the class, and a couple non-Campers slid in behind us after lunch complaining about how bad the story beginnings were. Mine especially. My heart was in my throat. I kept writing little notes in the margins, reminding myself to not throw up.)

True, it wasn't perfect. But OSC saw potential. His confidence in me led to my own confidence -- confidence that 3 years later has garnered 3 (going on four, hopefully) major book deals with major publishers.

If you want it bad enough, you can make it happen. (Which pretty much goes for everything, not just writing.) Don't be discouraged. Just do it.

And best of luck, guys.

~Alethea


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Spaceman
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I didn't know you were Thieftess.
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Thieftess
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Oui, c'est moi.
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