Starts 7 August 2017. Take your first draft and edit it to glory.
You know what makes great writing? Really great editing. The Writers’ HQ online creative editing course will give you tools and techniques to take you step-by-step through deconstructing your work and rebuilding it, taking it from ‘hmm this is okay’ and elevating it to ‘aah this is amazing!’.
We get it. You’d rather cut your own hand off than get down to editing your work. But you have to do it because otherwise what was the point of slogging it out through the first draft?
Whether you’re contemplating a new project or at the end of a 150,000 word manuscript, you need to know how to venture into the magical world of redrafting and editing. Guess what? We can help! Learn how to transform a rough, vulnerable, wibbly-shaped writing project into a majestic beast of a finished manuscript.
Our approach to editing isn’t just about correcting typos and tweaking sentence structure (though we do cover the proofreading process too) – this is an elbows-deep practical method of deconstruction and reconstruction to help you develop your story’s structure, narrative and characterisation right down to its fundamentals.
When it comes to writing, one size does NOT fit all, so we’ll give you a tonne of editing options and techniques to suit your particular story. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss and brainstorm your plot with your tutors and a small group of writers throughout the course, so you won’t be going it alone. And by the end of the six weeks you’ll emerge triumphant with a solid, detailed outline plan for the redrafting process and all the resources you need to get your manuscript to the submission stage.
NOTE: You DON’T need to have done Plotstormers to take this course.
Learn how to deconstruct your story and edit the ever-loving crap out it without wanting to hide under a rock.
Learn how to put it back together again in a better, shinier, more awesome way.
Take your first draft and bash it into submission.
Emerge triumphant with a detailed, watertight plan for redrafting your story. Plus, a tonne of tools, tricks, tips and techniques for editing to suit whatever kinda writer you happen to be.
- Help and advice from award-winning authors
- Weekly online meetups with your course tutor
- To join our LOVELY little online community to support you through editing
- Help finding a beta reader
- To finally get going with your next draft and peer off into the distance to see the finishing line
|Week 0: Buckle up, Buttercup. We’re going EDITING|
|Read: So you’ve written a first draft. What the hell do you do now?||FREE||00:15:00|
|50,000 words in the bag? Pat yourself on the back. And breathe.|
|Video: Vanessa Gebbie gives sage advice about editing||FREE||00:05:00|
|Watch the Geb-a-tron and then do what she says.|
|Read: Edit like a boss||FREE||00:10:00|
|How do you turn a zero draft into a proper first draft, and then a second, third, fourth, gazzilionth draft?|
|Exercise: Whassit all about?||FREE||01:00:00|
|The work only gets done when you do the work.|
|Week 1: What's Your Story?|
|Read: The elevator pitch||00:30:00|
|“It’s like Jaws in space”|
|Exercise: What’s your story actually about anyway?||00:20:00|
|Break your story into itty bitty pieces and look at the whole dang thing at a conceptual level – sounds scary? Nahhh – it’s liberating, trust us.|
|Discuss: Pitch the forum||01:00:00|
|Learning by doing, man. LEARNING BY DOING.|
|Exercise: Let’s expand this mothersucker||01:00:00|
|Maybe your central conflict changes; maybe your protag’s goal shifts. How many other little elevator pitches can you add to layer up your story? BOOM: these are your subplots|
|Video: Whose story is this?||00:30:00|
|A quick check in: is this a story you *should* be telling?|
|Week 2: Who dat? What they doin’?|
|Read: In which your character takes a long hard look at themselves||00:30:00|
|Characters gotta change, develop and learn something, otherwise what’s the point? What drives them? What’s standing in their way?|
|Every step they take, every move they make... your protag should be DEVELOPING.|
|Video: Character vs plot||00:05:00|
|Exercise: Tracing arcs||01:00:00|
|All the ups, downs, revelations, betrayals, losses, developments, and CHANGES.|
|Discuss: The ultimate transformation||00:45:00|
|In which your protagonist becomes a beauuuuuutiful butterfly.|
|Week 3: Break it down, baby|
|Read: Break away from your zero draft||00:30:00|
|Drape it in flowers, set it on fire and push it out to sea. Here's how.|
|Exercise: Summaries are your friend||01:00:00|
|Here's where the work really begins|
|Video: Death of a thousand cuts||00:05:00|
|Listen to the professionals|
|Exercise: Putting your summary to work||01:00:00|
|Divide and conquer!|
|Discuss: What’s your problem, dude?||01:00:00|
|Sorting the good shit from the shit-shit.|
|Week 4: Back to basics|
|Read: Revisiting the three act structure||01:00:00|
|Use old school plotting techniques to re-plan your story – with the added benefit of having an actual draft to work with.|
|Exercise: What shape is your story?||00:45:00|
|Pear shaped? Apple? Like the ArcelorMittal Orbit?|
|Video: Sticking points||00:15:00|
|Saggy middles, flaccid beginnings, premature climax... Everyone's got a weakness.|
|Read: The point of no return||00:45:00|
|No turning back now. ONWARD!|
|Discuss: What if?||00:45:00|
|We can help! Use the hive mind.|
|Week 5: NEW FRICKIN’ DRAFT!|
|Exercise: Brand new draft, baby!||01:00:00|
|Dancing bananas, it's time to start afresh!|
|Read: Finding your voice||01:00:00|
|You've got yourself a story, now work out how to tell it.|
|Exercise: Filling holes||01:00:00|
|New words new words new words new words!|
|Discuss: A whole new world||00:20:00|
|Are you ready for this?|
|Video: One draft does not a book make||00:15:00|
|Advice on redrafting from the experts|
|Week 6: Edit like a BAWSSSSS|
|Read: How to tackle the big bad edit||01:00:00|
|The first of a bunch of redrafting techniques that sound like terrible sex positions: the reverse pyramid; the multiple sweep; the elevator pitch; the hurdle; the placemarker… Get jiggy with it.|
|Exercise: Scene by scene||00:45:00|
|How to spring clean in small chunks to keep tension, pace, characterisation and all the other lovely bits.|
|Read: Big sweeps||00:45:00|
|You gotta check the big picture too. Here's how.|
|Read: Tips and tricks||00:45:00|
|PANIC! Cram everything else we know in here!|
|Discuss: Beta beta beta||00:20:00|
|And now.... the end is near...|