The First Draft

Write Your Novel In Six Months

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.


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


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!


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.



£20 a month. Access all Writers’ HQ courses.
More info

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 first-drafting and beyond, plus peer feedback


  • Omfg 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
  • Regular webinars and Facebook Live sessions for questions, pep and general help

  • The option for extra personalised feedback from tutors (note: this is a paid add-on)



AKA what we’ll be covering in this course

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?



  • Enrol

    The First Draft is currently only available to Fully Fledged WHQers. Once you’ve joined you’ll get an email confirming your place and explaining how you how to access the course. Spoiler: you click a link. Super simple.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 bursaries page and see if we can help.

  • 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.



£20 a month. Access all Writers’ HQ courses.
More info

*When you book a place you’ll receive an email detailing how to access the course material. It can take about five minutes to come through, and remember to check your spam folder.