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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Question for Boot Camp Alumni

   
Author Topic: Question for Boot Camp Alumni
WobblyG
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If OSC follows his usual pattern, then his Literary Boot Camp will likely be held in Utah during June or July 2007. This works for me because I live in the Pacific Northwest, and want to go during a year that it is closer to where I live. All the planets have aligned and I am finally in a position to go this year (translation: I have sufficient spousal support to attend without a cloud of guilt distracting me, have the $, and can take the time off of work).

When I’m there assuming I get in, of course) I want to make sure I get the most out of it that I can, so I want to be prepared. I know this is early, but I wanted to ask a couple of questions to the Boot Camp Alumni about their experiences.

1. What was your biggest take-away from the Boot Camp?
2. What, if anything, did you do to prepare?
3. What do you wish you had done differently?
4. What advice do you have for someone attending the Boot Camp?

Thanks for your advice!

WobblyG


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Christine
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1. What was your biggest take-away from the Boot Camp?

It's hard to pinpoint one thing. Boot camp was one of two turning points I identified for my writing -- the first was when I got up the courage to get feedback. Boot camp was the second, and it was just such an experienced -- I learned to improve my writing in dozens of small ways, I had a pro identify some weaknesses in my writing that I could work on, I met a great group of people some of whom I still communicate with today.

2. What, if anything, did you do to prepare?

Nothing, really. I wrote and rewrote my audition piece to get it perfect, but after that I just nervously bit my nails and waited (but I bite my nails anyway, so that wasn't new).

3. What do you wish you had done differently?

I can't think of anything at all, to be honest.

4. What advice do you have for someone attending the Boot Camp?

Go if you can! You will not regret it!


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AeroB1033
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1. What was your biggest take-away from the Boot Camp?

Not any single thing; more an overall understanding of how to avoid problems in storytelling. Basically, before I went to Boot Camp, I didn't have a solid idea of how or why a story worked. After I got back, I felt that I did (or at least I had a lot of the puzzle put together).

2. What, if anything, did you do to prepare?

Read Characters and Viewpoint. Wrote a decent opening to send in. And that's it.

3. What do you wish you had done differently?

I remember some of the critiques I gave sucking, and I cringe a bit about those. Other than that, nothing.

4. What advice do you have for someone attending the Boot Camp?

Have fun. Learn a lot.

[This message has been edited by AeroB1033 (edited October 13, 2006).]


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Spaceman
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1. What was your biggest take-away from the Boot Camp?
Several. The core of a writing network that includes OSC many other great writers and growth as a writer.

2. What, if anything, did you do to prepare?
Read Characters and Viewpoints again. Found a cheaper hotel than the recommended one.

3. What do you wish you had done differently?

Get to know some of the quieter participants better.

4. What advice do you have for someone attending the Boot Camp?

You will be on a writer's high from the time you start until about three weeks after you get home. Don't make any career decisions until you come down from the high. Just keep writing.

4 continued: bring a printer if you can, bring a flash drive if you can't.

[This message has been edited by Spaceman (edited October 13, 2006).]


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WobblyG
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Thanks Christine, Aero, and Spaceman for responding. I don’t participate often in the discussions, but I have been reading this forum for several years. Every year when people get back from Boot Camp and I hear them talk about how much they learned, I wish I had been able to go. So if I get accepted this year, I want to do it right and learn from the wisdom of those who have gone before.

I will definitely have to break out my copy of Character and Viewpoint and read it again. In fact, I may just go ahead and do that now anyway…

WobblyG


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PatEsden
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I'm going to say ditto to everyone's comments about boot camp so far. But I do have one thing I wish I had done. I brought a cassette recorder and recorded some of discussions, but not all of them. I now regret that I didn’t.

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dee_boncci
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Does anyone know where to find information about future camps and the admissions criteria?

I poked around the Hatrack site a little, but couldn't find anything.


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arriki
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So, what sort of things did you do at Boot Camp? Aside from critiquing each other?

Did you write entire short stories or novel chapters to be critiqued, or exercises following information in lectures?


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Christine
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The first two days are the writing class open to everyone who will pay. He do lectures and exercises that are informative and enjoyable. You learn a lot from that. There is homework the first night.

The third day is a writing day for boot campers. You have to write an original short story that day. It has to be a short story and it has to be written that day.

The last two days are also for boot campers only and are round table crits of all the stories with Card weighing in at the end of each. You learn at least as much from everyone else's stories as your own so believe me when I say it's relaly good. You see practical examples of how he applies all the things he teaches in the first two days.


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EricJamesStone
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1. What was your biggest take-away from the Boot Camp?

Networking with other writers.

2. What, if anything, did you do to prepare?

Other than polishing the audition piece, not much.

3. What do you wish you had done differently?

It might have been more fun to stay in the dorms with most of the other Boot Campers, rather than in a hotel.

I wish I'd had the courage to actually do the interview assignment, instead of just interviewing my Boot Camp partner.

4. What advice do you have for someone attending the Boot Camp?

Be ready to learn. Get to know the others in your group. And after it's all over, keep writing.


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wbriggs
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I did the SVU classes, so I think that's close enough...

>What was your biggest take-away from the Boot Camp?
A thousand ideas in an hour; make everything clear from the beginning; don't assume people know the POV you're using; no, really, make everything clear from the beginning; you must give the significance of the events for us to care; make your loveable-rogue character loveable first before making him a rogue, or people will already dislike him before they get to the loveable

> What, if anything, did you do to prepare?
Showed up.

>What do you wish you had done differently?

>What advice do you have for someone attending the Boot Camp?
Bring your computer.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I've been notified that information on next year's boot camp is going to be on the home page soon.
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WobblyG
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Thanks everyone for your responses! You have definitely given me something to think about.

And thanks Kathleen for the information about the posting of the next Boot Camp. I will keep my eye out for it.

WobblyG


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Dates and information for next year can be found at

http://www.hatrack.com/bootcamp2007.shtml


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WobblyG
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Thanks Kathleen! That really helps. Now I can plan my work schedule around it. Anyone else going to try to go to this session?

WobblyG


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LibbieMistretta
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I am, Wobbly! Maybe we can travel together - that could be really fun! I'm coming from Seattle. Where in the PNW are you located? Man, I want to get started on my audition piece ASAP - I am so nervous about the application process. I hope I get in! :/
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