THE FIRST DRAFT

WRITE YOUR NOVEL IN SIX MONTHS

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (see reviews)

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Seriously could not have done it without this course. Plotstormers, Making People and now First Draft! My dreams are becoming real. Thanks WHQ! 5 STARS!
- Gill O'Sullivan

Part of the WHQ membership

Six month course, rolling access

Join our kickass community

COURSE HOME

Let us hold your hand through the epic first draft slog. All the guidance you need, coupled with swearing, tea-drinking, and gold stars. 

In case you hadn’t noticed yet, writing a novel is haaaaard. And we don’t mean walking-up-a-steep-hill hard or having-to-tell-someone-they’ve-got-cake-on-their-chin hard, we mean like pushing something the size of a watermelon out of something the size of Smarties tube hard. But you know what? Every day, people do it. People have been doing it since the dawn of time. It’s one of the reasons that we’re so successful-slash-cataclysmic as a species; our ability to do art. It’s what we were built for.

Think of this course like hypnobirthing for writers. NCT for novelists. Mothercare for motherfucking wordsmiths. This novel is coming out of you one way or another, we’re just here to make the process smoother, calmer, and full of appropriate medication.

This is a badass course for badass writers. You’ll start with a plan and finish with a novel. We won’t lie: it’s full-on. But the results are totally worth it.

AIMS OF THE COURSE

To guide you, step by step, towards a completed first draft novel in six months (or less, or more – it’s up to you!)

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

You will need some sort of plan for your novel before we start ’cause we’re gonna hit the ground running and get writing pretty much straight away. We’re not going to spend a month or two rehashing the basics of plotting – we’re going to crack on with writing writing writing, taking everything we’ve learnt in Plotstormers and going broader, deeper and wordier. YEAH!

DO I NEED TO HAVE TAKEN PLOTSTORMERS FIRST? 

Well, we’d prefer it if you had, but we understand that’s not always possible. So if you already have a plan for your novel and want to join the course, you can, just be aware that we use the Plotstormers format. If you’re unsure, give us a yell on [email protected] and we’ll help you out.

CURRICULUM

PART 1: Get your house in order

PART 2: The 1st act

PART 3: Inciting stuff

PART 4: Refuse the call

PART 5: Set it up

PART 6: Crisis ahoy!

PART 7: Crossing the threshold

PART 8: Subplots

PART 9: The second act

PART 10: Magical midpoints

PART 11: Midway progress

PART 12: Having a terrible time

PART 13: Pinch points

PART 14: All is lost

PART 15: Navel gazing

PART 16: The third act

PART 17: Pull yourself together

PART 18: Slaying the bad guys

PART 19: Failure

PART 20: The climax

PART 21: Wrapping up

PART 22: Endings & loose ends

PART 23: The final sprint

PART 24: What to do with a first draft

PART 25: What comes next?

HOW IT WORKS

1. Enrol
Once you’ve joined you’ll get an email confirming your place and explaining how you access the course. Spoiler: you click a link. Super simple.

2. Read, watch, do
The lessons are a mix of text, images, videos and exercises. To get the most out of the course, try to give yourself at least an hour a day to read or watch the material and do the exercises. We’ve made them as bite-size as possible but also if you wanna do the thing you gotta do the work.

3. No rush
This course is designed to be done over six months but you can be as quick or take as long as you like. With membership you get rolling course access until you cancel.

4. No money? No problem
We’d love to give our courses away but we have a terrible notepad and clicky pen habit to keep up. Our membership is pretty cheap when you consider other courses like these generally cost over £1,000, And if you’re really struggling check out our Sponsor A Writer page and see if we can help.

5. Milk no sugar
Drink plenty of tea, stock up on biscuits, gin for later. Enjoy it. It’s supposed to be fun. Love you. Mwa.

WHAT YOU GET
  • Omg so much stuff
  • Week-by-week hand-holding to guide you through the process of getting the first draft of your novel out of your head and onto the page
  • Exercises to help you dive deeper into your story and understand the technicalities and magic of story writing
  • Ideas, examples and inspiration for every step of the way
  • Personalised, focused targets to get you and keep you on track
  • Access to our dedicated student forum for chatting, critiquing and feedback with our amazing community of writers
  • The option for extra personalised feedback from tutors (note: this is a paid add-on)

Take your plan and turn it into a 50,000 word first draft novel

Finish the course with a solid manuscript, ready to be editing and sent out into the big wide world

Join our lovely little online community to support you through starting, middling, finishing and beyond.

LOVE FOR WRITERS’ HQ

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I took Plotstormers and used it to plot and write my fourth novel. HarperCollins bought it on proposal! Sent it to my editor two months before my deadline and she loved it. Thank you Jo and Sarah. Plotstormers is fabulous!

Hannah McKinnon

Author of Her Secret Son

Plotstormers ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Took me from vague idea to specific novel plan in six weeks. I don’t have any writing time, but guess what – it’s still possible. Supportive and clear – highly recommend.

Stephanie Hutton

Plotstormers

SUPER SPLENDID IDEA GENERATING JOY! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I’d been feeling like I’d lost the ability to generate ideas but this course gave me my confidence back. You’ll get the chance to play around with some really fun exercises and just see what happens! I got at least seven really decent ideas to develop further. It’s great value for money and will really give you a great big creative kick. Five gold stars from me!

Lela

Seven Ideas In Seven Days

I LOVED THIS COURSE & IT BEATS THE PANTS OFF OTHER, SUPPOSEDLY ‘HIGH END’ EDITING COURSES ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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

TUTORS

Sarah Lewis
Half of Writers’ HQ
Procrastinator Level: Set up WHQ and had a baby to avoid writing her novel

Jo Gatford
Half of Writers’ HQ
Procrastinator Level: Set up WHQ and did an MA to avoid writing her novel

RELATED COURSES

Plotstormers
how to write a novel
course info >>

Making People
the characterisation masterclass
course info >>

Publishing 101: Find An Agent
prepare your manuscript and learn what to expect
course info >>

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