Reviews: RJ Garside

I enjoyed being accountable with word count and I appreciated all of RJ's bountiful effort and enthusiasm. It would be good for the sprints to have emails sent out saying: We're sprinting in an hour. Also, as I'm in a different time zone, it would be good to vary the times for the writing sprints. Maybe, during bootcamp we could be "matched" with similar genre partners and encourage each other to reach our goals.
Thanks, Bella! Great feedback! We will definitely look to offer more sprints in different time zones and send out announcement emails. Happy writing!
Allie was very accessible and had lots of examples and really solid information and tips to share. My only complaint is I wish it was longer :)
The BluePrint event was amazing! It was very challenging, a lot to do in two weeks and a fantastic learning experience. Cate Hart gave us constructive feedback and I have a lot of ideas for improving my writing.
good class, good material but not quite as advertised. I thought from the title "plotting with an editor" that the focus would be on plotting. It was not. character and setting came first, with only one lesson on plotting and not enough time for that section.
Thanks for the feedback, Sarah. We will be looking to make improvements with our next working with a publishing professional event and will definitely take your feedback into account. We appreciate all the feedback.
I felt like a lot of the lessons and info were great, but it was unevenly balanced. I signed up thinking it was largely about plotting, yet we spent only 2 days on a beat sheet. I also noticed that particular lesson was more sparse. I wondered how the participants who had not read Save the Cat fared with the final assignment. I did learn a lot and feel prepared to go on and complete my plotting before April but I feel the course structure needs a little fine tuning.
Thanks for the feedback, Connie. We are always looking to make improvements with our events. We truly appreciate all the feedback and will definitely look at fine tuning this event.
I think the timing of the homework should be corrected. The way it's set up now, it only leaves one day for correction/revision/feedback on assignment three. Assignment three takes the most work since it is the beat sheet and requires more time. Some people also have full-time jobs along with other responsibilities so it makes completing assignments on time tricky. Assignment two with the scene blueprint didn't work for my story with the questions on the side because I am writing a women's fiction/upmarket fiction story not a romance.

Also, it would be nice to have a fourth assignment where you turn your beat sheet into a synopsis since those can be tricky for writers. I think it would have been nice to actually do a synopsis and get feedback from an agent.

Overall, I enjoyed the assignments and the workshop even though I struggled because I am not a true plotter and I write character driven not plot driven stories.
Thanks so much for your feedback, Danie. We truly appreciate all feedback and take all comments into consideration to make improvements for the next event. You gave us a lot of great feedback to work with. Thank you!
Having the a monthly calendar of sprint times, double word count days and the list of daily bonus questions in prior years enabled me to plan better and not spend so much time searching around on the computer.
I liked being able to report numbers on the spreadsheet, because I don't like having to chase people for word counts etc, but perhaps if there was a way to show who reported and within the team page.
I agreed to be captain but then we lost over half our team (from 10 to 4)- hopefully it wasn't due to my 'captaining' ;) i spent a lot of time trying to track down team members to see if they were still participating, because I didn't know who was reporting each day.This added extra to do on top of the word count I was trying to get in.
I do love the Savvy bootcamp and am looking forward to next year.
Well organized and fun. RJ is the best! Tamsen, too!
For me there were more glitches with this event.

1. The start was rougher: The pre-notifications didn't happen. I didn't receive any or I would have responded immediately. Also, the set-up time seemed short and there didn't seem to be as many sign ups or newbies, so the energy wasn't happening at the front end of NaNo- boot camp.

2. Within the teams, there wasn't team building at first, since we entered our scores separately and had no interaction in the forums. Of course about mid second week that began to change and we started having Daily postings of encouragements and we had a watercooler that we added, but it wasn't until the number postings changed and we could see each other's numbers that we could really interact with each other. e.g some one had a great word count--two or three would atta girl them and comments would stream in. Lots of energy and interaction. This brought people into the threads more regularly.

Hence from that moment on, this boot camp became AWESOME!!! Our team ROCKED out. We didn't know who was writing all the crazy wild numbers but we soon found out...we had a couple of power houses steaming away with word counts. It was fun. It was crazy and most important it was team building. We got to know each other as people. We interacted with each other as people...as writers. and as individuals. THAT is what makes a GREAT boot camp. BONDING! We bonded.

3. There was no cross team interaction. In the past, we have had cross team challenges. A water cooler where we could post things -- grandbabies born or awards to children etc. -- and we bonded across the teams.

If there were ways to interact across the teams, small competitions, or challenges--sprints? or awards given to one team on a given day, who has participation by all members?

4. I like the idea of sharing knowledge. Writing tips. Especially at NaNo time. If every team had the responsibility for producing some tips in a common forum for all to learn. The team receives team points every posting they make. They could receive bonus points for every time they have a different team member post--that team member must be available that day to answer questions about the post that people might have, and provide links to the source so people can follow up and study more. But it helps everyone learn and it gives more team points and individual points.

But over all I REALLY enjoyed this boot camp. While it started rough, the leadership team listened and made mid-course corrections that REALLY MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE!!!! THAT IS FREAKING AWESOME. Even with the glitches in numbers and stuff, it made the latter part of the time of team building soooo much better, that it transformed this from a mundane boot camp with a so-so standing to a top 3 of nine boot camps ever. (I have to keep the ones with Riley and Angel on my top 2 because of partnering with them, not because of the boot camp).

And I think we could coordinate the boot camps and SIGs into more permanent competitions--I've invited this group to join either the Nanolit SIG OR the KidLit SIG because we have had such a grand time.

I think like Team Passion, we could actually develop a group that is ready pre-boot camp in the future. :) And we could develop more like it. A mystery group, a Science fiction/paranormal group etc.

Perhaps we could try to do a membership campaign with a run for SIGs too.
Thanks for asking You guys ROCKED.
I took the rating system above to mean 1 is the best.

I sent the below in as the answer to my daily challenge. I've copied it here.

1. Set up a reference area where either articles, or experts' knowledge on different writing subjects and genres can be accessed if a question comes up while writing. Putting similar material together under section heads would make articles easier to find. I'm new to YA, and although I'm taking a class now, I had many questions while writing.

This area can also be used by the Savvy membership in general at any time. Though, you may want to make it a premium member feature.

2. Concentrate on making Nanowrimo have personal goals instead of the 50K goal. If someone is editing instead of writing, a 50K word count is way off track for that person. Allow people to keep track of their progress however, they like, and give them rewards if they make their goals.

3. Having one overall winner can be modified to seeing if each person (or team) makes his/her own set goals. This, I think is a better way of successfully completing Nanowrimo.

If you find any of these interesting, let me know. I just gave overviews of these ideas.
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I really enjoyed it. My team was supportive, encouraging and motivated me to do my best!
I thought there would be more lessons. Even so, I learned a lot. I have a better understanding of where my story is going and why. Thank you so much for offering this boot camp. Marci Clark was a great teacher who gave very good feedback on each of the three lessons offered.
It was an informative webinar! Jacqui was impressive with her knowledge of Law and Publishing. I was impressed with her slides that she provided during the webinar and the webinar as a whole. I learned a lot about Copyrights and Trademarks that I didn't know. She also talked about contracts. I had an internet mishap and was disconnected on my end for about 10 - 15 minutes. I had to reset my wifi. Other than that issue everything else was great! No worry, it was recorded and I will have access to it next week. Jacqui also welcomed any questions we had and also gave us permission to email her even after the webinar.
I really liked what was presented. All aspects. The sound kept cutting in and out but I think we all had that. Other than the intermittent sound issues, absolutely no complaints and all praise.
Liz Pelletier's webinar the Secrets of Unlocking Creative Ideas was fantastic, although that wasn't what I thought I'd signed up for. From the info and the title of the Webinar I signed up for The Highly Productive Creative Writer with Liz Pelletier, I thought she would talk more about scheduling and that sort of thing. I would still love to hear Liz p talk about being productive, but the Webinar she did hold was incredibly interesting, and I learnt a lot that I think will help me. I will definitely be taking more webinars by her.
lots of practical strategies to use in order to be more creative all based on scientific research. Self-hypnosis was totally new to me. Sound was scratchy for the songs but I can look those up on my own. Thank you.
So much awesome information! I'm so glad this is recorded so I can refresh/review my notes! Everything was explained well with examples and activities. Only reason why this isn't 5 stars is that the course stated 1 hour and this was 2 hours.
Fantastic! I'm going to have to go back to the recording to get the rest of it--since it went so far over, I had to leave early. But I'm very excited to come back to this later. Definitely includes some great info you won't find in other similar classes.
Best, most informative class I ever attended. Everything was completely explained, easy to follow, and the result was that my first 5 pages are now awesome!
Robb and Samantha are excellent teachers. The class material was clear and helpful, and the feedback from the tutors was very thorough. The feedback on my first five pages was excellent - the editing suggestions made a great change to the flow of the scenes, and helped me pinpoint some of my 'tics'. I'd recommend this class to writers of all levels.