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Uncle Orson’s Literary Boot Camp—Wednesday

OSC spent four hours answering our questions about writing and publishing.
No class today. Nothing but nonstop writing and nervous tension.

The workshoppers are gone. I realize now that everyone here for the boot camp had a workshop roommate. And since they all left this morning, everyone now has a private room. It’s way too quiet. The only time we really see other attendees is at the cafeteria or maybe the library. Everyone’s in bunker mode writing like crazy, swapping stories over meals, comparing progress, then back at it again.

They needed two volunteers to turn in stories first. I was one of them. It was funny; the two of us that volunteered both come from advertising backgrounds. I guess we’re hard-wired for deadlines. I mainly wanted to go first so I could enjoy the rest of my time reading and critiquing. I’d hate to read someone’s stellar work right out of the gate and then be intimidated and wanting to tweak mine at every meal break.

Since it will take two-and-a-half days to get through all the stories, conceivably some people will be able to work on theirs a day longer. Oh well.

I’ve written about 3,400 words today. (3,600 counting this blog entry).

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Reader Comments (7)

Hey roomie... glad I could clear out so you can work on your story. I made good time coming down from the mountains and shaved an hour off my trip up there. So the big question is... which story did you choose?
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCharlesP
Hey Charles! Thanks for stopping by. I went with the last one. The Seattle-based story. It was the cleanest outline and a setting I know like the back of my hand.

I finished about 8:30pm--after about 10 hours of writing, only stopping for meals. It came out to 18 pages/4,400 words.

Jim and I went and checked out the town for an hour, then came back up, printed, proofed, printed again. Now I'm done at about 10:45pm. Long day, but it's nice to have it settled.

A lot of peeps are still working and probably will be well into the night.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjamie ford
Sounds like an excellent and productive experience. Thanks for sharing! You're actually motivating me.
June 14, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJess
Jess--it's been a great experience (so far, I throw my story to the wolves in about an hour).

I really like the concept of a small, intense workshop. We get to know each other over the week, and we really get a ridiculous amount of our instructor's time. Rather than a one-hour workshop, then move on to the next one-hour workshop.

In just looking at what I wrote yesterday, I can see I've become a better writer. There are so many aspects of the craft that I realize I only had a vague, functional understanding.

That's an academic way of saying I was sloppy as hell.
June 15, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjamie ford
Oh, another nice thing. OSC has a members-only section of his website just for former Bootcampers to interact and stay in touch.
June 15, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjamie ford
Loving the boot camp write-up. And I'm so very jealous. OSC's one my long time faves. Books like Xenocide made me want to write myself.

If you have some time in the future, I'd love to hear some more about the general questions you had answered. Especially in regards to the writer's life.

Have lotsa fun!
June 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Hatadi
Will-do Daniel. I'll post a lot more detail next week on particular issues. The discussion of the writing life was very frank. The crux of it is "work to get you life in order, so you can deal with being a writer". Some very serious discussions on writers with poor health, depression, and the maladies that many writers suffer. How it affects spouse, family, day job, etc.
June 15, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjamie ford

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