Just sorta curious, and I haven't seen the topic anywhere. Anyone here going to our favorite uncle's writing class? How about Boot Camp? I've been dying to go since HS, I finally worked up the courage/cash/manuscript/personal maturity to apply.
Is this event really worth the price tag? I mean OSC writes some brilliant prose, though I find his stories bizarre and distasteful, I will give him credit for his skill. But... isn't this whole ordeal just a bit self-important?
Posts: 187 | Registered: Jan 2008
| IP: Logged |
I'm not intending to set any fires. I was mostly looking for the reviews of people who have gone. Nobody can argue with someone whose actually tried it.
Posts: 187 | Registered: Jan 2008
| IP: Logged |
I was all set to go, until I learned it wasn't going to be held on the East Coast. I've been planning it for a year (because I heard it bounced alternately from coast to coast), and was very disheartened to discover it was in San Diego.
Posts: 3682 | Registered: Jan 2007
| IP: Logged |
I feel for you, IB. Try living in the middle of the country. Nothing like this seems to be offered close to here for genre writing of much value. I think it'd be great if OSC decided to put it on in say Kansas City some day.
Sooner or later, I may go. I do know three others that have gone in the past and have said that OSC is a great teacher, and they learned a lot. I met them at Dave Farland's Novel Writing Workshop.
Not a personal endorsement, but I think it'd be well worth the money. At least these three people thought it was worth it.
I think any weeklong workshop that's meant for people serious about writing, and is taught by successful published authors who also know how to talk about the craft (OSC's credentials would be his two highly successful books on writing - Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, the older, and Characters and Viewpoint, the newer and as I recall the far more successful/broad-audience title.) that is focused on producing written works can only help a serious writer. There are a number of others in a similar vein (Clarion being the other big name in the circles I travel) but this being OSC's site, it's natural that there are many here who have direct experience with his boot camp.
Doctor, I don't really get the self-important part of your post. Do you mean is it self-important on OSC's part to invite other authors to learn from him? Maybe. But if you think he has something to teach, sure it's worthwhile. If you don't care for his work and don't think he has much to teach (or that you learned it all from his writing books) then this wouldn't be the workshop for you.
Or are you saying it's self-important of the writers to go to a weeklong workshop to hone their craft? If so, I don't agree. I am one of many here who does not have a background in writing. I don't have a degree in journalism or creative writing or any of that sort of thing, so everything I know about writing I've either learned from high school composition classes, or I've self-taught in the last 18 months since I started writing as a serious hobby. A formal workshop where I can learn more would be a godsend. Sadly for me, I can't spare a week nor the cost at this point in my life. Maybe in the next couple years. Hopefully by then I'll have outgrown the need.
KayTi, I meant that I get the impression (sometimes) that Card has an inflated opinion of his own awesomeness. Enough so to charge hundreds of dollars to share his wisdom. Point being that writing (in my opinion) is somewhat like painting, on the advanced level he can only teach you his style, because it's the only one he knows. Just like Van Gogh can't to Picasso, or Andy Warhol, and Polluck can only splash paint on canvas.
Posts: 187 | Registered: Jan 2008
| IP: Logged |
We'll just agree to disagree then. I haven't ever attended anything with OSC, but I would welcome the opportunity. I'm a lifelong learner. I think everyone out there has something to teach me, even if it's just some arcane rules about Chess that I am not familiar with.
Would you feel differently if it were a different author/group of authors? I hear Neil Gaiman is doing one of the Clarion's this year (I'm too lazy to look it up, LOL) and I understand people are flocking to apply.
Doctor, doctorÖ your bedside manner is atrocious Ė even for Beverly Hills.
Have you ever been insulting someone behind their back and your listener gets this look on their face and you suddenly realize heís standing right behind you? That can really happen when you ridicule your host whilst sipping his champagne.
So you find his work bizarre and distasteful, well thatís niceÖ and what a perfect place to bring up the fact that you proudly sport an opinion that pretty much flies in the face of the entire Sci-Fi community. I for one have a whole new regard for this student from Beverly Hills who has the courage (is that the word Iím looking for?) to insult OSC on his own, free, writing workshop; a one in a million place where you can freely mingle with successful, published, writers and receive some of the best advice that money canít buy.
Success, age, and generosity buy you two things: respect and freedom of speech in your arena of success. Is that really regarding yourself as unreasonably self-important? Would you rather see yet another reclusive, suicidal artist whose only message seems to be, that the more brilliant you are, the more annoying other lesser beings and ultimately, living itself becomes.
Well, youíre a self-proclaimed doctor; you should know how to surgically remove your own foot from your mouth.
Youíll have to excuse me; I have a tendency to meet rudeness with greater rudeness.
For your information, the boot camp has a legacy of breeding successful, PUBLISHABLE writers. Point in case. Our own Eric James Stone attended the Boot camp and was subsequently published in the Writers of the Future anthology Ė TWICE. Thatís one example of dozens.
Note: When I use the word breeding, I'm not referring to what some of you were doing in the hotel rooms in the evenings.
[This message has been edited by tnwilz (edited May 12, 2008).]
I find some of OSC's work bizarre... Bizarrely awesome.
Given that you're getting a good semester or two worth of (presumably better than college level) writing lessons crammed into a week, I'd say that it's well worth the expense. And he has to sacrifice, too. Schlepping 3000 miles from his home and family, paying for a hotel room, then flying back, all the while taking away from time that could be spent on Alvin Maker VII or something. Not to mention reading through a bunch of submissions, putting together his lessons, yada yada. Being a teacher is a lot more than standing up in front of a class and talking, you know.
I agree that it's not right to attack OSC's sincerity and teaching ability in the forum he hosts for free. Indeed, the existence of this forum and its high quality and value is testament itself to OSC's commitment to developing authors.
I think the ability to write is rare, to write and get published even more rare; all that and the ability to develop aspiring authors, very rare indeed.
I learned much from Characters and Viewpoints--it's one of the few books on writing that actually helped me get off my ass and start writing after decades of promising myself that one day, I would.
I would not expect OSC to even attempt to teach his style of writing. He's quite a bit brighter than that. I'd expect his workshops to help me develop my style of writing and improve it technically, and I see no reason to believe he'd do otherwise.
When are y'all bringing the workshops to Olde Englande? There's a big ole pond and a long, long drive between me and San Diego.
Well, I am glad nobody was overly offended, but I did find your responses both interesting and entertaining.
quote:Would you feel differently if it were a different author/group of authors? I hear Neil Gaiman is doing one of the Clarion's this year (I'm too lazy to look it up, LOL) and I understand people are flocking to apply.
I didn't mean to degrade OSC personally, I would set that view against any single artist putting on something like this. A group of writers, however, would have more variety to offer - I feel - and it would subsequently be a much more fulfilling experience, perhaps.
quote:Doctor, doctorÖ your bedside manner is atrocious Ė even for Beverly Hills.
A good writer does his research thoroughly, you must be a good writer.
quote:So you find his work bizarre and distasteful, well thatís niceÖ
Well, I really ought to clarify. I meant to say some of it bizarre and distasteful, for example Treason, Hart's Hope, Magic Street, things of that nature. I like Speaker, though it is still bizarre, I don't find it that distasteful. And while Ender's Game requires a huge suspension of disbelief, it was still a fun read at least once. And I gave credit where credit was do. I respect his skill.
quote:and what a perfect place to bring up the fact that you proudly sport an opinion that pretty much flies in the face of the entire Sci-Fi community.
Now this intrigues me. Are you suggesting that the entire sci-fi community rallies around OSC's work like it's old glory? Or do your words just imply that by accident?
quote:I for one have a whole new regard for this student from Beverly Hills who has the courage (is that the word Iím looking for?)
Yes. That's the word.
quote:to insult OSC on his own, free, writing workshop; a one in a million place where you can freely mingle with successful, published, writers and receive some of the best advice that money canít buy.
I thought an insult had to technically be directed at somebody. Are you insulting someone if you describe someone's car as "junk" when they aren't around to hear? Have you never told someone else that someone was fat, or lazy, or boring? OSC isn't here and he didn't read my comments, I'm sure of that. He won't read my criticism and it wasn't directed at him, so it isn't really an insult, is it? And since when did proper forum etiquette require a conformed community point of view? I would expect OSC, were he here, to encourage dissenting viewpoints. Or at the very least to tolerate them.
quote:Success, age, and generosity buy you two things: respect and freedom of speech in your arena of success. Is that really regarding yourself as unreasonably self-important?
Be careful what you're saying. According to this mantra JK Rowling is the Almighty God of what is and isn't good writing.
quote:Well, youíre a self-proclaimed doctor; you should know how to surgically remove your own foot from your mouth.
Haha! THAT was pretty good! I have to admit it. No comeback for that one.
quote:Youíll have to excuse me; I have a tendency to meet rudeness with greater rudeness.
I'm neither put off nor offended by debate and banter. I enjoy it. Thanks for the dialog.
quote:Actually, at the beginning of the week Scott states that style is personal and that he'll be focusing solely on craft.
This is by far the best argument so far. I'm not at all sure how to separate the two, but that doesn't mean Card is similarly handicapped.
quote:Another aspect of Bootcamp is just fellowshipping with other writers. I met some amazing people and two years later we're still swapping stories and offering critiques.
Another good point.
quote:And he has to sacrifice, too. Schlepping 3000 miles from his home and family, paying for a hotel room, then flying back, all the while taking away from time that could be spent on Alvin Maker VII or something.
Hmm... no I'm not really going to buy this. Granted anything anyone ever does represents some kind of opportunity sacrifice, if you go to the mall now you can't go play baseball now.
But going on vacation to a beautiful city, earning a bunch of cash, and spending time with other artists who share your trade, and who worship the very ground you walk on - that isn't any kind of sacrifice in my book. He may work hard there, maybe, but I would guess he enjoys the experience and looks forward to it. And he's well-compensated for his time. That's probably why he does it. Which doesn't really qualify as a meaningful sacrifice to me. I don't see this bootcamp as philanthropic at all, sorry. With respect, I'm not going to buy that particular item.
quote:I agree that it's not right to attack OSC's sincerity and teaching ability in the forum he hosts for free. Indeed, the existence of this forum and its high quality and value is testament itself to OSC's commitment to developing authors.
I didn't mean to "attack" his sincerity or his teaching ability. What I brought into question was simply "is this worth the price tag?" I didn't come to the table convinced that it wasn't, Jamie Ford has made some excellent and thoughtful arguments for example. In light of them maybe it is worth the price tag.
But that aside, I think you overestimate his "generosity" in providing this forum. It's not like he personally coded this site by hand, frequents it regularly to provide meaningful assistance, and pays hundreds of dollars a day to keep it in business. This site was slapped together by a web designer, this forum was attached for free (it's UBB for crying out lout) and the bandwidth cost (for just this forum) is less than $10 a month. Hardly a sacrifice.
Though I do appreciate the usefulness of this forum, don't get me wrong. But all of the meaningful content comes from the users, such as yourself. Card just happens to host the site, but truthfully it could be done anywhere.
quote:I would not expect OSC to even attempt to teach his style of writing. He's quite a bit brighter than that. I'd expect his workshops to help me develop my style of writing and improve it technically, and I see no reason to believe he'd do otherwise.
Giving it some thought, I think you're right. As I said above I'm not at all sure how he'd do it, but that doesn't mean he can't or won't.
quote:Not only his manners, but also his actions show the type of person he is. Ender's Game is my favorite book, and the idea that the man who wrote that would teach me! It blows my mind...
Well technically he won't. Not unless you fit his criteria. Show a bit of talent, beat out several other applicants, and pay a bunch of money. Then he'll teach you. You let me know when he calls you up and offers to teach you for free.
quote:Now if I could only get Thoreau back...We would build a cabin together.
Haha! Classic! That was great.
quote:On a side note, it is kind of cool to know that someone on this website doesn't really care for OSC's writing. Another testament to OSC's character and class. No petty stuff for him.
I would be very surprised if I was the only person here who doesn't approve or enjoy every single paragraph OSC has ever put on paper. That would shock me.
Part of the appeal of this particular community is the sense that it isn't just another batch of fanboys and wannabes, the people here are full-fledged opinionated individuals and writers to boot! Or so I thought.
Also, I'm not sure how my existence is at all attributed to his sense of class. OSC isn't here. I hate to break it to you, but he's not a member of this community who somehow finds it within himself to tolerate my presence. I come here by choice and my opinions are my own, and OSC and his "class" have nothing to do with them. Especially since he's never read/heard them in his life. And I am not directly criticizing him to his face.
quote:(If doctor mysteriously dissapears in a few days/weeks/month....I didn't do it! I swear!)
Haha... well for the record if this happens I didn't do it either.
[This message has been edited by Doctor (edited May 13, 2008).]
First off, I donít feel being a fan of OSC is a prerequisite for joining this forum. While I am sure over my life I have read more than one of his books, I canít name one. But I canít list 1/10th of the books Iíve read either, so this doesnít reflect on him.
I will say Doctor, that I didnít find most of what you said offensive. I did find this passage as rude though.
quote:He may work hard there, maybe, but I would guess he enjoys the experience and looks forward to it.
The need of placing ďmaybeĒ only shows your cynical feelings towards OSC and I am assuming towards any author whom does a workshop, and gets paid for it.
I personally feel any author who gives his/her time for one of these workshops is doing just that. In fact, I often wonder why they do, as I donít believe the money offered would be worth the hassle to any known author. I live in New Hampshire and have looked into the Odyssey workshop and saw the authors who have contributed there, George R. R. Martin, and Terry Brooks, just to name 2 that I know, household names, who have made their share of money. Why I am sure they get paid, I donít believe it so significant that they doing just for the money.
I am guessing the last bit of your quote above has if right. He and the others who do it, does enjoy the experience and lookes forward to it. I am assuming they enjoy teaching others their craft.
As far as whether or not the price is worth it. Only those who have gone can tell you that. But I would assume it is, as it has been going on for years and the graduates speak volumes of what they have learned.
quote:The need of placing ďmaybeĒ only shows your cynical feelings towards OSC and I am assuming towards any author whom does a workshop, and gets paid for it.
The fact of the matter is that I don't know how the workshop is structured. If he prepares hours of lectures and actively leads discussion then yes, I would call that hard work. If he simply encourages others to write, and gets some coffee while everyone is writing... then I would not call it hard work.
The maybe is meant to indicate possibility, not suggest a bias one way or the other.
quote: The fact of the matter is that I don't know how the workshop is structured.
An indisputable fact. So, the rest of your considerable verbiage is biased conjecture--what we call talking out your @$$ around these parts. Did you even follow Jamie's link? There was another link to an interview with OSC (which I haven't finished listening to, but have every intention of) that says he'd advise against the "write what you know" advice, and advise to "know what you write" instead. It seems, however inadvertantly, you have not only proven his point for him, but also that his advice has merit.
[This message has been edited by InarticulateBabbler (edited May 13, 2008).]
In response to what seemed the two points of debate in my post, I would like to clarify. The first, about his actions showing the type of person he is and so on, it wasn't directed towards this forum. He lives a life of a writer, but also helps others (or so it seems). I hadn't meant for this to be looked at so closely, so I didn't bother giving the support, and I am sorry. That was my fault. I was more expressing how I believed him to be a good person, beyond being a good writer. Also, as the teaching me goes, (even though I do have to qualify and PAY) I still thank him for that. Meeting and learning from someone who you personally idolize (I don't mean golden calf style) is a rare experience in life.
I live in Wisconsin and when I was about 9 years old I went to a Green Bay Packers football camp. I had been playing football for several years already, and went on to play many more, but the camp for me was one of the best parts. It was the Dorsey Leven's football camp. I got to play flag football WITH him, talk about the game, and goof around in the greenbay stadium. It was an amazing experience. I relate that to the bookcamp and would hope it is all that and more.
The second point, that of you not caring much for OSC, I was actually stating more of what you argued back to me. It's good to know we all aren't groupies here. Its refreshing to know that I didn't join a forum of people who read one author over and over again and do nothing but try and write like he does. It was more of a compliment (although mine always seem to need explaining :P)
Either way, no matter what any of us are argueing, I think we can all agree that Hatrack is a one in million forum, and I am personally very thankful for that. (Where is the turkey dinner I was promised when I bring people together in thanks!?)
Cheers to KDW!
[This message has been edited by JustInProse (edited May 13, 2008).]
IB, you seem to have inarticulately babbled your way into a confrontation you were better off avoiding.
quote:...the rest of your considerable verbiage is biased conjecture--what we call talking out your @$$ around these parts.
Asking a question is never "talking out of your ass."
It is sometimes said that someone who reacts the way you just did to a simple question is often displaying a sign of insecurity. Since the question wasn't even directly addressed to you, I'm not sure what the big deal is.
quote:That was my fault. I was more expressing how I believed him to be a good person, beyond being a good writer.
Ah. Well, if you know him personally then you can certainly vouch for his character better than I can. I am not so advantaged. So I cannot assume one way or the other what his character is. I can't make that judgement (whether he's a "great person" or not) because I don't have that information.
It's the same idea with the San Diego workshop. I'll admit that I was skeptical from the onset, but that isn't the same thing as making the concrete judgement that the workshop is a complete waste. I won't conclude that because I don't have that information. Some of you seem to be inferring that this is my stance, it is not. I was only suggesting the possibility (because from the objective point of view, with so little data both outcomes are possible) and probing what kind of response it would get.
But I'm more interested in the reviews of those who've attended, and not as much in the belligerent attempts at defending Card's pride. (I'm looking at you Babbler.)
quote:I live in Wisconsin and when I was about 9 years old I went to a Green Bay Packers football camp. I had been playing football for several years already, and went on to play many more, but the camp for me was one of the best parts. It was the Dorsey Leven's football camp. I got to play flag football WITH him, talk about the game, and goof around in the greenbay stadium. It was an amazing experience. I relate that to the bookcamp and would hope it is all that and more.
OK I'll give you that. It would be fun to play basketball with Michael Jordan. I guess the difference for me is that I see Michael as indisputably better at basketball in every way than I am. His superiority is absolute. But with Card and writing, it is so much a matter of taste and style that I don't want to go to something to learn to write like Card, (which Jamie has already stated this is not the case). But that was my first impression.
quote:Either way, no matter what any of us are argueing, I think we can all agree that Hatrack is a one in million forum, and I am personally very thank for that.
I also appreciate Hatrack. But it would be nothing without its members.
This isn't venom. This isn't anti-card propoganda or hatemongering. This is a question, perhaps a poorly worded one.
So I'll restate it in the form of several more specific questions.
To those who have attended this workshop. 1. Was it worth it? 2. Would you do it again? 3. What was best about it? 4. What could have been better? 5. What was the atmosphere like with Card taking the lead? (ex: pleasant, condescending, polite, short...) 6. Did you find moments where you disagreed with Card, or didn't understand him?
And yes Jason, who I publically don't get along with, these questions do pertain to writing.
Perhaps it would be best if we followed Kathleens advice to people here who don't get along and simply ignored each other. If you don't like my posts then ignore them.
[This message has been edited by Doctor (edited May 13, 2008).]
Please find a less inflammatory way of asking your questions. Someone said it's the responsibility of writers to write so as not to be misunderstood. You've started a flame war and derailed the thread.
And, please keep your cynical attitude towards Mr Card, and be polite.
I for one would like for this thread not to be closed as a result of your lack of respect.
There are links above to material on the workshops that you can read, which answer several of your questions--have you done that?
I only noticed one link, and yes. But I'm interested in more than one person's point of view. If you have read through all of my comments I don't think you will be able to find much that is truly rude. I think I have been both objective and polite.
So, with respect, I don't think your criticism is valid.
Please find a less inflammatory way of asking your questions. As you admit, at last, your questions were poorly worded. Someone said it's the responsibility of writers to write so as not to be misunderstood. By not doing so you've started a flame war and derailed the thread.
Please keep your cynical attitude towards Mr Card to yourself, and be polite.
I for one would like for this thread not to be closed as a result of your lack of respect for OSC and the rest of us.
I do not take kindly to being picked apart in the manner above. I'm here to discuss and learn. I do not want this kind of unpleasantness and Kathleen's moderation makes that minimal, a characteristic of this--OSC's--forum that I value highly.
There are links above to material on the workshops that you can read, that answer several of your questions.
Sorry for the duplicated post. I'm angry.
[This message has been edited by TaleSpinner (edited May 13, 2008).]
quote:I for one would like for this thread not to be closed as a result of your lack of respect.
Maybe I'm wrong, I just re-read my comments again to see if there was anything that should have offended somebody, but I didn't see anything. I don't mind (and wouldn't be offended) if you pointed it out, whatever it is that offends you. It would help me to avoid offending you in the future, for I assure you that is not my intent.
But going over the posts here, and re-reading all of the comments. The only thing that stands out to me isn't, in fact, a "lack of respect," but rather a lack of agreeing with the community's opinion.
I brought into question something that the community here is uncomfortable exploring. Namely: Is this worth it? Or is Card being a bit pompous? All the evidence given seems to indicate that the former is correct and the latter is not. I'm not suggesting otherwise.
But I don't think asking the question is wrong. Unless this is a community where questions must be extinguished.
And not that it's horribly relevant. But in the very likely event that KDW bends to the wishes expressed here (for some reason that is inexplicable to me) and shuts this topic down, I just thought I'd first point out something that I found a bit interesting.
Pat, you said: "I for one would like for this thread not to be closed..."
And four minutes later you said: "Can we close the thread please?"
Just mildly interesting.
[This message has been edited by Doctor (edited May 13, 2008).]
While I have never been to the bootcamp, I just read JamieFord's blog on it. It sounds great. If you have the time, the money, and drive, go for it. It sounds like OSC goes to the trenches with you. Furthermore, it sounds like they only accept the writers that they feel are truly ready to take it to the next level, taking them from good writers to great writers, and maybe publishable. I admire that. So many places don't limit their fields, and end up taking money from people who are no where near ready.
Getting back to the original topic, while this thread is still here, is the experience worth it?
Here is an author, and a proven one, teaching 15 students for something like 4 days in a row. That sounds pretty good. But he's doing it for what... $2000 a day? My question is does he earn it? Is he really that good?
If you say yes (and have attended) I'll believe you. I'm telling you that straight-up, I will believe you. I just want to see someone say it. Someone who's been there.
I haven't gone to OSC's boot camp, but I can tell you that the people who have, have come back to report that it was well worth the time and money. The reason they may not be responding to your post is 1) now that they've gone to boot camp, they are getting published and hanging out less and less here, 2) your post title didn't mention boot camp, so if they scan subject headers like I normally do, they may not have opened this thread.
There are a bazillion seminars on a bazillion different topics. OSC's fees for boot camp are not out of line, given the big picture. The bottom line is: would you get what you wanted out of the workshop? Whether or not you like the content of OSC's books, he is masterful at his craft - writing easy-flowing dialog, swift moving plot, seamless presentation between character and setting. Not everything is perfect, but he has earned the right to be considered "good enough" to teach. And from what I've heard back from reports of those who have attended boot camp, he is an excellent teacher.
If you really want to know what others think, why don't you do a search on the topic of "Boot Camp" and see for yourself?
quote: I agree with you that the last message displayed a lack of respect. I apologize. (But I'm still human enough to find it funny)
The parenthetical remark nullifies the apology.
quote:But that post was after the fact. What did I say that was disrespectful before you said I was being disrespectful? I actually would like an answer to this please. Because I really can't find anything.
Prevously mentioned parenthetical remark and, for example:
quote:Well, I am glad nobody was overly offended, but I did find your responses both interesting and entertaining.
Respect: Due regard for the feelings [..] of others. (OED)
I really have neither the interest or time to debate "respect". I'm just pleased that, mostly, Hatrack expects and gets it. And very annoyed when it's absent.
Wait, wait, wait, so let me get this straight. You're offended by my comment that responses were both interesting and entertaining?
If there were a way to capitalize a question mark, I would do it.
Because many of the comments, particularly Jamie Ford's were insightful and interesting, and some of the comments were entertaining, particularly JustlnProse's comment about building a cabin with Thoreau, and tnwilz quip about surgically removing my foot from my mouth. Those were funny! Hence entertaining.
What is the problem?
[This message has been edited by Doctor (edited May 13, 2008).]
Iím not going this year, but only because I went last year.
I know when I make a purchase, I usually go on-line to see some customer reviews, so for those who are thinking about going, here is my customer review of my experience at Boot Camp:
It was worth every penny. I highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about writing Ė in any genre or style. To answer any questions about how much Scott is personally involved, I have to say that he definitely earns his money there. For the first two days he is in front of the Uncle Orsonís writing class portion lecturing and answering questions. He talked about developing ideas, what makes a compelling story, M.I.C.E. Quotient, POV, etc. The lecture portion is primarily based on materials from his book Characters and Viewpoint, but not all of it. I had read the book multiple times before I went to the class, but hearing him explain the concepts in more detail and seeing how he applied it in the exercises we did was extremely valuable. He even stayed after on the second day of the lecture to do an informal Q&A with anyone who wanted to stay there, for as long as they wanted to keep talking. He was there until past 11:00 that night.
In the workshop portion, we all had to write a story and turn it in for critique. Scott was completely involved in the entire critiquing process, acting as a facilitator for when the Boot Campers were critiquing, and then offering his own opinions and insights into the stories as well. Simply listening to his critiques and hearing how he analyzes and picks apart a story to find its flaws and strengths was absolutely amazing. Most of us could help point out places where something in the story didnít work, but Scott was able to articulate not only what didnít work, but WHY it didnít work. Not only that, but he generally suggested several possibilities for fixing the story.
In our class we had wildly different styles and genres represented. Scott really focused on the universal aspects of what makes for a compelling story and engaging characters in his critiques. Each time he found something that either worked very well or didnít work in the story, he would use that time to teach us the concept behind the issue and how it applied more broadly. The result was a class that was completely tailored to our needs as writers.
Scott really doesnít do this for the money. He has to rent out the venue, pay for his own travel expenses, he bought ENORMOUS quantities of very expensive snacks, and took all of us out to dinner, twice. By the time you add up his costs for this, he makes some money, but it is not a get-rich business model. Iím sure he could make a lot more using that time for writing other books. When I was an external training consultant, I charged $2500/day plus expenses to do stand up training and facilitation, and I am fairly young and cheap. $3000-$5000 a day plus travel and expenses is not uncommon in the business world, so the idea of someone with his knowledge, skills, and experiences making $2000 a day AND paying for all his expenses, seems under priced to me. (Not that I am encouraging him to raise his rates )
Honestly, Scott does this because he loves to teach. He loves helping new writers learn and to share the craft of writing with others. You can see that when he lectures, and you really get to see it during the critiquing portion of the Boot Camp.
So, for what itís worth, thatís my customer evaluation of the Boot Camp experience.