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 edited 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

Writers’ HQ are absolute legends ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
They have taken me from someone who writes and created a writer. They also making a cracking cuppa. The retreats are an oasis of writing calm and an inspirational treat. Meeting fellow writers is always a treat. The online courses are not only draw out the writer you know is inside but are incredibly fun to boot.

Vicki Sarteur

Membership

The short and the long of it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

There is a huge amount of material in this course, compactly delivered in six weekly batches of units. As well as plenty of straightforward instruction on the craft of storytelling (plot, character, point of view, and whatnot) there are diverse readings to ponder and discuss; soundbites and advice from writers and editors; prompts and challenging exercises; and a chance to post your own writing for feedback from the forum. I highly recommend it as an introduction to the world of short stories, and as food for thought on writing in general which may take me far longer than six weeks to digest.

Rosemary Sgroi

Writing Short Fiction

WHAT A TOTALLY BRILLIANT COURSE!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It’s my editing blueprint for good, for now, forever! I could write a song about this course .. but instead I’ll sing your praises and say how you’ve taken the huge job of drafting a novel and made it simple .. well, simpler, because you have the knack of getting right to the heart of what a novel is, what it’s for, how it works as an entity, who inhabits it. About midway through the course I had a personal business crash that required my total attention to fix, and it’s a shame because I was enjoying the forum and taking part in it. BUT I was safe in the knowledge that if I could get back to reality and my life quick enough, I could continue and I have – and completed! I have a deadline to fulfil with my writing group and if I can manage it, I will return to the Forum too before the course ends in a few days. I will undoubtedly be returning for the course on Submission to an Agent but I’m nowhere near ready. Can I just say how helpful it was knowing the course materials would continue to be up on the site as I’ve desperately needed this time. My only crit would be, and I mean it in a positive way, is that I felt the whole course could have been double the length anyway – as in 3 months, and then another 6 weeks for the materials to be up on the site. Many exercises of ’60 mins’ or ’45 mins’ took days or a whole week! By the way, more expensive courses I’ve taken (e.g. for thousands!) were NOTHING compared to this!! Bless you, and though I wish you EVERY SUCCESS with your own writing, I hope you DON’T STOP DOING THIS!!! A THOUSAND THANKS.

Nicolle Freni

Plotstormers II: The Editing Strikes Back

Do you even edit? Well, do ya? ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
5 stars, natch! So, so, so much great advice, tips, tools and methods for editing – it will take me 6 months to work through everything, but it will make this book much stronger than anything I’ve written before! If you’re stuck in the slush pile and feel your book needs one more edit OR you’re just finishing your first draft OR anywhere in between, then do this course. It’s the Jedi Temple you have always sought, but your midichlorian levels never allowed you access, well here you get full access to a whole heap of mind tricks that will fool even Jabba! So thanks ladies, once more, I bow to your Jedi greatness. One day this Padawan will hopefully become an editing master…

Stuart White

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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