I spend this past weekend in
attending the 2013 Borderlands Writers Boot camp. I feel humbled and encouraged
at the same time. There are times you’ll think that your writing is good. Most
of the time you’re wrong. What’s important to realize is that every writer has
been here. You will get better, but you have to choose to write better. Baltimore Maryland
The Borderlands Boot camp provided me with the means to write better. In fact, the red marks on my manuscript are still bleeding. I felt like the weekend slipped by in a blur of insider information, quality feedback and critiquing, and introspection. Make no mistake, this was a writing boot camp.
- Everyone participating in the boot camp was friendly and approachable, especially the veterans who made efforts to make sure the newbies felt welcomed.
- The rooms were great and affordable.
- I walked away with a mountain-sized stack of feedback and a clear To Do List.
- Made some great new writing friends.
- The schedule didn’t leave a lot of time for us to fraternize with our fellow Boot campers. Several veterans came a day early and left a day later to get that time in with each other.
- The critiquing schedule didn’t work as several members were in multiple sessions together and didn’t meet with a subset of other boot campers.
- More up front disclosure would have been helpful. For example, providing a sample of what the instructors think is a good critique, or informing us of the specific areas the instructors were going to focus on during the breakout sessions (plot, character, and POV).
The 2013 Borderlands Boot Camp was an amazing experience that has allow me to see the prerequisite level of writing skill required to be a successful writer. Where do I go from here? I need to absorb the feedback and critiques, specifically from two perspectives: story/character and writing style.
Here’s what I've gathered from the surface level comments and I’m sure I’ll be adding to these lists.
- firm up on my choice of point-of-view
- define my protagonist, tease out his personality
- weed out the use of passive voice
ruthlessly eliminate adverbs
- establish and maintain a clear point of view