Course Curriculum

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?
Exercise: Ch-ch-changes 01:00:00
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.
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...
Closed for booking-1 SEATS LEFT
  • £140.00
  • 6 Weeks
  • 11 SEATS

Course Reviews

  • Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

    Fantastic Course 5

    Thoroughly excellent course. A guided tour of the first draft you thought you knew, with myriad exercises to ensure you end up knowing it better. Help to recognise its strengths, and strategies to deal with its weaknesses. Advice, support, and plain good sense. A variety of approaches, to suit different kinds of writers. By the end of the course, I was raring to go, and what's more, I knew what I had to do to make my draft into the best book it could be.
    Cassie Oakman
  • Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back


    I got more out of this course than all of the other ones I've done put together, and I've done lots and have been to some prestigious places that live off their puffery and fame but what they offer in terms of proper skills and help, simply doesn't touch this. Plotstormers II, has been enormously enlightening and empowering and deeply generous, thanks so much Jo and & Sarah, you ROCK. I have already sung its praises among writer friends; two of whom are signing up pronto and I have only hesitated from trumpeting about it on SM, for fear that all WRITERSHQ courses would, subsequently, be swamped and then there would be no room for liddle 'ole me! I will get over myself - promise.
    Stephanie Gerra
  • Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

    Thought-provoking and challenging. Well worth it! 5

    This is a fantastic course. It helped me step back from my manuscript, asked me difficult questions about plot, consistency and character that I'd been happily ignoring, and helped me to deal with each issue in easy to manage chunks rather than one overwhelming beast. The forums are so useful. Being able to talk to other people in a similar situation to myself, and giving as well as receiving feedback was just as important for me to learn as the course material was. I'm already booked on my next course!
  • Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

    You won't regret it 5

    I signed up for this course to help keep on track with a major rewrite of my novel, hoping thereby to avoid a big editing headache at a later stage. Plotstormers II provides a clearly laid out plan of action and takes you through the deconstruction-reconstruction process a step at a time, with plenty of moral support provided by Jo and forum participants along the way. A certain amount of pain may be inevitable, but it's definitely a case of no pain no gain, and also brings to mind the advice of Mark Twain with regard to riding a bicycle: you won't regret it, if you live.
    Rosemary Sgroi
  • Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

    Everything I wanted and more 5

    I'd been tentatively picking at the second draft of my novel for a while when I signed up for this course, aware that it needed a lot of work, and afraid to properly commit to it. This course kindly but firmly took me in hand and made me look at all the things I didn't want to look at (ie everything). It gave me a synopsis (wasn't expecting that!). It helped remind me what I was trying to say in the first place and why that was important to me. It gave me a plan for my next draft. And, most importantly as far as I am concerned, it gave me the push I needed to get back to writing the novel. The forums are also really useful for bouncing ideas around, and it was so good to chat to other people who were at the same stage with their books! Thank you, thank you, Jo and Sarah - I will be back for more soon.
    Liz O
  • Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

    Doitdoitdoit! 5

    5 stars? A whole constellation for this course. Sarah and Jo are extremely talented teachers masquerading as loons. They will make you a better writer.
  • Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

    Wow! 5

    Being on draft 9 for the book I wanted to edit AGAIN, I wasn't sure how this course was going to make me see things differently. But wow, it really did. Breaking a novel down into its mathematical building blocks (and let's face it, i do have geek tendencies, so if there is a formula, I'm happy) was a unique way to go about editing. Pupping apart first rather than building. Once all those little itty bitty blocks became their own entities, it was so much easier to see where the gape were in my novel and what needed fixing. I will definitely be using this method for all of my other novels and going back over them with this same approach. Sharing with other writers at the same stage, both offering and receiving support gives companionship in a lonely career/hobby etc. So glad that I have now met more writers and hope we can continue to engage. A great way to learn. Also - the humour of Jo (and Sarah) really make the learning curves a little less painful and I can't count the number of times I' have quite literally laughed out loud. Am contemplating coming back for more as wondering what the initial plotting course is all about. Husband....?
  • Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

    Everything you need it to be. And more. 5

    If you think you've done editing courses before, so you don't need to do another one, then you're completely and utterly wrong. This course takes your book by the short and curlies and makes it scream for it's mamma. Because this course isn't your average 'let's look at some of your prose & pretty it up' kinda course, it's a RIP IT TO PIECES & GIVE IT A FULL BODY SEARCH kinda course. Sound brutal? It is. Your brains will ooze out of your ears. But you won't regret it. Not one bit. Trust me. By the time you're done, you will know exactly what you need to do to your book to get it to tell the story you want it to tell. What more can you ask?
  • Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

    Best thing ever... 5

    ...well, the best thing ever editing-wise. My novel's been stuck in the doldrums for ages and I was losing heart, knowing it wasn't right, but not knowing how to identify what was wrong, far less having a clue as to how to go about fixing it. But now I do, and that's really exciting and invigorating. The course is clearly laid out in small, bite-sized chunks. It's all really well signposted, so you know what you need to do every week, why you need to do it, and how to do it. It's laid out in a logical order. It takes things one step at a time. It's completely bargainous. Jo and Sarah are friendly and down-to-earth and they explain things in the way you would talk to your friends down the pub and not as if you're in a university lecture. I really can't fault the course, nor can I recommend it enough.
    Annie Kirby
  • Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

    A life-saver 5

    I had done some writing courses before, heard numerous writers say that the real work begins with rewriting and editing but I had no idea how to approach my novel in order to deconstruct and rebuild it (and I know some writers who have done an MA in writing fiction and haven't got more of a clue!). This course was invaluable, full of practical ways to look at your story differently and very get-down-to-it exercises. Besides I also met some lovely friends along the way (other course students) and the input we gave each other was another fantastic aspect of the course. Highly recommended!
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