Novel Boot Camp is a stand-alone track of eight workshops that covers everything you need to write a novel, from the story idea to completion. Using concepts from the popular Novel Intensive, this track will combine informative lessons with hands-on writing, beat dissection, and read and critique. Novel Boot Camp will give you all the tools you need to write a sellable story: plot and story structure, character development and transformation, dialogue, pacing, scene construction, heart, message, voice, and much more. This track is perfect for any novel writer, whether you’re thinking about a new project, already in the trenches of a current WIP, or starting the arduous editing process on a first draft. Novel Boot Camp will set you up for success.
Novel Boot Camp includes a one-on-one meeting with Janis before the conference to analyze your logline and concept, as well as a Boot Camp-designated open session Saturday afternoon in which you can work on what you’ve learned, ask Janis questions, or simply commune with other Boot Campers.
Participation in Novel Boot Camp requires attending all eight workshops. Beyond that, Boot Campers are free to attend any other SCWC functions, such as special guest speakers, agents panel, Rogue workshops, etc., when Boot Camp is not in session, optional advance submissions appointments being the only exception. (We try to schedule one-on-ones to least inconvenience Boot Campers who submit material.)
Please be ready to write. Bring pen and paper. Laptops are highly recommended.
The Novel Boot Camp consists of the following sessions:
- What’s it All About, Author?
- The Structure of it All
- Who Comes First?
- The Beats Go On
- WE’VE got the Beats
- WE’VE GOT More Beats
- Brass Tacks and Hard Facts
- The End is Just the Beginning
Pre-registration is required. And please note that this track is limited to only 10 participants and will be removed from the schedule if not met. We do keep a waiting list for those wishing to attend after it fills up, should a slot become available.
“The boot camp with Janis was a hard-to-forget experience. I learned a lot in that class and it helped me to create a draft for my novel. Janis’s energy is contagious and she brings out the best in every author. I would highly recommend it.” – Rommy Nelson
“Janis Thomas is a gifted teacher, who knows her craft well. Her Novel Boot Camp had a positive impact on my writing, as I struggled with my first novel. I found her classes on novel structure and dialogue particularly helpful. But every class presented good quality information, which could be incorporated into my writing. Janis’ upbeat personality and quirky sense of humor made every class a pleasure. Besides Janis’ teaching there was the added benefit of interactions with the other writers in the class. I highly recommend her Novel Boot Camp.” – Loren Hatlen
“By the end of Janis’ Novel Boot Camp, you’ll know how to create a plot that sets your main character and your reader on a memorable journey. You’ll also find that you’ve made friends out of your classmates and you’ll leave prepared and pumped up!” – Kirt Winter
“Janis’ Novel Bootcamp was a whirlwind I would recommend for anyone who writes fiction, regardless of what you think you know about books and story structure. I have been a professional ghostwriter (non-fiction) and editor for 16+ years, and found it to be tremendously eye-opening. I didn’t even mind that it took up my whole conference experience; what I got during the Bootcamp was, by far, the best download on story structure and development I’ve gotten anywhere, and I’ve been able to successfully implement Janis’ teachings in a simple and straightforward way. So much so that I finally have confidence that the book I’m currently writing is really good. As an added bonus, a number of us put together a writing group after Bootcamp, and have been meeting 2x/monthly to share our work ever since. Which, to be honest, has been a priceless addition to my writing life. 10/10 stars: Highly recommend.” – Lizzie Appel
“If you are on the fence about signing up for Janis Thomas’ Novel Bootcamp, hop off and send the email. You will save yourself a lot of time trying to figure out the basics on your own. I really enjoyed the group environment, and the thought and care Janis gives to preparing and teaching all of her workshops was evident. She provides the nuts and bolts you need to write a novel that works.”-Simone de Muñoz, Author of Manflu
“Taking Novel Boot Camp with Janis Thomas greatly enhanced my writing skills. I gained a new and invaluable understanding of structure, plot, character development, dialogue, timing and more. It’s amazing how much you can learn in just two days. The best part was that Janis kept it fun and friendly. I highly recommend this wonderful learning experience. It’s an investment in yourself.” – Donna Phelan
“Janis’s workshop is a must for any writer who wants to learn the intricacies of building a compelling story arc. The beats system helps you to pace your plot so as to keep your reader engaged throughout. With Janis’s balanced doses of wit and grit, the Book Camp will help you find your story and make it pop. I can’t recommend this workshop enough!” – Robert Bianchi
“As a novel coach, Janis is inspired and inspiring. She’s also a skilled and compelling novelist in her own right. Lucky for us, she also teaches well-planned fiction workshops that are useful and fun and much, much more. Do yourself a favor and take one.” – Greg Laksaris
“I attended Janis’ workshops at the Southern California Writer’s Conference and was blown away by what I learned about what makes a good story, a story that people are excited to read. While I learned a lot, learning is not enough, you have to apply what you’ve learned. The Novel Boot Camp that Janis offers at the Southern California Writer’s Conference does just that and more. You not only get to take your project step by step though the story beats process, you get feedback from Janis and your fellow workshop attendees. This feedback helps you learn what lands well and what doesn’t land well. What might sound good to you, might not sound good to others. The Boot Camp is a safe place to work through bringing your project to life. If you love Janis’ workshops and want a practical application-style workshop to apply what you’ve learned to your project, the SCWC Novel Boot Camp is the best choice.” – Karen Iveson
Staffed by Janis Thomas
Janis Thomas is the bestselling author of such domestic suspense novels as All That’s Left of Me and What Remains True, both with Lake Union, and three critically acclaimed humorous works of women’s fiction—Something New, Sweet Nothings, and Say Never—as well as the mystery Murder in A-Minor. She has written more than fifty songs and two children’s books, which she created with her dad, is a passionate writing advocate, a popular workshop leader, speaker, and editor. Her latest novel, the thriller Finding Grace, is now out.