what people are saying
"Novel boot camp was a truly incredible experience. Doug and Dan pushed me to think about my novel in new and exciting ways, and they gave me amazing tools that I am excited to employ as I plow forward with the inspiration I have brought back with me. Novel boot camp is not for the faint of heart. You will work hard on your project, but you'll love every minute of it. And all in one of the most relaxing and beautiful places on earth! If you have the opportunity to sign up for this one of a kind experience, don't hesitate. You won't regret it."
- ANDREW MONG
"Novel Boot Camp was one of the best experiences of my life. To bond with fellow writers, to learn form and function of characters and plot development, that you will never learn in a YouTube tutorial or find in any book, was invaluable. Doug and Dan create a no nonsense, get this done bootcamp. The writing drills had me digging deep on formative events and inciting incidents. But there is so much fun to be had, I have not laughed that hard since I was a kid. I came home with a head full of new ideas and the tools to put a story to paper. Plus amazing sunsets, bioluminescent shores at night, howler monkeys, Anges and Joe..."
- GWYN STUCKLESS
"I've always felt like a writer. I know there is a book (or three) in me. But I've struggled to put pen to paper and actually write. Novel Boot Camp in the Jungle has given me the tools and the confidence to make sense of the ideas in my head and write them down. I went from floundering to focused in seven days. Thanks to Doug and Dan, I have found the author inside me. I'm inspired and working to to finish the first draft of my book."
- BROOKE DILLING
"Doug and Dan are awesome instructors and provided a really workable model by which to structure a novel. The free writing activities really inspired me and helped me to formulate ideas. Their framework really helped me to come up with a coherent plot and map out scenes. Plus, they are just amazing people! The whole experience was outstanding. I made new friends, and I came home motivated to write!"
- JEAN UNGER
"What was great about Novel Boot Camp in the Jungle? What a great surprise! I didn't expect both the workshop AND the beach, jungle and food experience to be so fulfilling and exciting. I'd never been to Costa Rica before. But, obviously the the best part was I got what I came for. I left the workshop experience with a big Ah-hah--I'd been feeling the holes in my ability to put my story together organically before the workshop. Doug and Dan created a visual piece that we worked with all week and it hit the bullseye for me. Worth every moment!"
- NANCY KNUTSON, NOVEL
"If you are looking for a slow paced event that'll allow you to continue to creep along at your current writing pace...don't go to Dan and Doug's retreats. They were the most delightful teachers/kick in the pants I've experienced. In a matter of days, they helped me hone my storyline, craft real tension into the story and build characters who were complex and believable. I left inspired to write more and having the tools to do so. Win/win!"
- KABIRA FERRELL
"Doug and Dan make an incredible team. They are respectful of where everyone is in the process and really work to help you with whatever you're struggling with. If you've resisted outlining (like I have) for whatever reason, then Doug and Dan's story map may be for you. It's a fluid, accessible method that can help you see your novel in a new light."
- LYNNE S
"This is the perfect setting to learn how to write a better story, whether a novel or a memoir. Our hosts/ instructors presented the material in an organized fashion and gave us plenty of practice activities, discussion and one on one conferences. All this occurred in a drop dead gorgeous setting on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast. They incorporated several optional activities to experience the rich culture and also brought us together for two beautiful evenings; beachside for wine, beer, warm Pacific swims and a final night in an isolated jungle restaurant to share delicious food, wine, and our personal readings."
- NANCY WISEMAN
"Grab your most comfortable flip-flops and sign yourself up for Doug and Dan's "get down and write" workshop. Far away from the maddening crowds and commuter traffic, I dug into my fledgling novel at multiple levels and came home full of refreshed creativity. Plus, I learned so dang much. The horseback ride on the beach and hike in the stunning Costa Rican forest didn't hurt either. Fellow writers, do something terrific for yourself. Just go."
- LINDA ROSS
"This retreat was not only enriching for my writing, but also as an international experience. Doug goes the extra mile to make sure the travel and accommodation to Costa Rica are taken care of well in advance. He also contracts out with excellent local companies who, like him, also go above and beyond to provide great transportation, meals, and general support while you attend the retreat. Doug's house itself is gorgeous and rests atop a hill in Nosara, a local town which was recently ranked as a hidden gem by top companies such as Conde Nast Traveler. The beaches are truly jaw-dropping. You get a lot of time to write and explore the town. Nosara also gives you access to local wildlife as well as the freshest fruits and local foods. It resets your mind and soul in a lot of ways. The writing tips and techniques you learn as part of the retreat itself are incredibly thoughtful and well developed. You will get plenty of time for writing drills as well as one-on-one time with both Doug and Dan. I appreciate their wealth of expertise and their genuine interest in each student's work. I am forever indebted to Doug and Dan for teaching all of us how to write the best versions of our stories. I will definitely be signing up for a retreat in the future. It's worth every penny. Pura Vida!"
- MAHA KAMAL, ESQ
"I can't recommend this workshop enough. Doug and Dan were so organized and they really know how to get at what makes a character tic. Their discussions and exercises helped me identify problem areas in my novel that I knew were there but I couldn't put a finger on what to do about them. This workshop tied together a bunch of different facets about writing that I've learned in the last few years, but hadn't completely assimilated. An MFA in a week! Almost. The accommodations were also excellent. I loved waking up every morning at Villa Mango and eating breakfast with a view of the ocean and having great conversations with my fellow writers."
- LEW GIBB
"Novel Boot Camp in Nosara was everything I'd hoped for and more. I learned so much new information about what makes a story compelling, and HOW to incorporate those elements into my work. The instructors are incredibly knowledgeable but also very relaxed and approachable. I returned with more energy and excitement about my book than I've felt in months, and now am working diligently to take it to the next level. Add in the relaxing and heart-opening effects of yoga, cool people, amazing food and stunning scenery, and it's hard to beat!"
- LAURIE BUDGAR
"Boot Camp more than met my expectations. The retreat provided a unique opportunity for me to fine-tune my craftsmanship. The workshops and drills were extremely beneficial. It helped me to drill down to the basic concepts in the character arcs, plot lines, and scenes in my novel which are consistent with the story's theme(s) and character motivations. After participating in the retreat, I was re-energized to complete and refine the second book in the historical fantasy series, Apollo's Raven. The retreat gave me new ideas on how to write a more in-depth story that will resonate with readers. Another bonus is that I shared my adventures with other talented writers in the backdrop of beautiful scenery and sunsets in Costa Rica."
- LINNEA TANNER
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