Course Information

This course has payment options. Please click ‘Enrol Now’ link to view the Payment Options.

Prerequisite: 10-Month First Draft creative writing course.

Maya Linnell
“I always knew I wanted to write a book, but the idea of a framework made me more confident to start the journey. My tutors were my cheerleaders throughout the process. The course gave me a great insight into the classic novel structure, with great hints, tools and suggestions along the way, and the all-important accountability.”
Maya Linnell

The Second Draft Process

Writing a second draft requires a very different mindset, skill set and process to the first draft. Without a step-by-step process, accountability and constructive feedback along the way, you can easily go off track and waste a huge amount of time.

The First Draft is where you find the possibilities of your story.

The Second Draft Course, with its step-by-step process, allows you to work through the re-writing and re-structuring of your first draft systematically to make your story work logically from beginning to end.

It is significantly different to the First Draft. Your character’s emotional journey drives the process. You pivot to focusing on making your story come alive and work dramatically for your readers.

Most people totally transform their stories when they get the action, character arc and theme working together. Expect at least a 200 percent improvement.

During the Second Draft course, you will:

• Develop the backstory and motivations of your other characters, not just your main character.
• Flesh out any additional point-of-view characters you would like to explore.
• Start to consider sub-plots and ensure the story is meaty enough to be a captivating novel.
• Discover the power of creating compelling moral problems to make sure you write active characters and create meaningful micro-tension at every level of the story.
• Get the action, emotion and theme of your story all working together as a cohesive whole to create a profoundly engaging experience for your reader.

One Writer’s Experience doing the Second Draft course

Below is an email one of our writers, Suzanne King, spontaneously sent us during the course.

“I wondered if you could publish the below review on your website?  I feel strongly about the benefits of this course.  It has been such a learning curve and has so significantly lifted my story, that I just had to tell the world about it!

Suzanne’s Review

You might be tip-toeing around, wondering whether to commit to this course, but all I can say is – don’t think, just dive in!  You will be in for an exhilarating ride.  You will feel stretched emotionally and creatively as you climb a massive learning curve and grapple with new concepts and new ways to see your story with fresh eyes.  You’re not alone though!  Your tutor will be there every step of the way and really help you to dig deep and find how to make your story really shine.

“If anyone thinks they have a fairly good First Draft that just needs a polish and tweak – think again!  It is only with hindsight that you will look back and see the truth about your First Draft; that it was an insipid, pale version, lacking the thrill, grit and intrigue that should be there to make sure that your reader keeps on reading! 

“So this course will definitely result in you achieving a vastly improved story.  All you have to do as a writer is hold on to your resolve to keep going, keep moving forward, shake off the desire to just focus on your First Draft story and allow your creativity to soar.  You won’t regret it!”

Another Writer’s Experience

“Woah! there’s more to writing that I first imagined … this is really an art (so know your tools) and persist!! I used to think that a writer’s tools were paper, laptop and a place to write. Now I know that there is a ‘box’ full of ‘tools’ that a writer uses during the editing process,” Rosa Pastuale

Expect A Dramatic Improvement

Theresa Miller
It's taken me many years to finish & publish my book but if it wasn't for the Writers' Studio, I would still be wandering around in the wilderness. It is all about asking the right questions and pinpointing what is working and what's not. The process is rigorous and sometimes I resisted ... but when I finally knuckled down and followed the steps I turned my notebooks of scribble into a book I'm proud of. Readers have commented on how richly drawn my characters are and how fast-paced the plot is. Most of that is thanks to the Second Draft course. I learned more at the Writers' Studio about crafting a novel than I did doing my Masters of Creative Writing. Really!
Theresa Miller

Pre-Course Work

Before the course begins you will be provided with a series of templates to flesh out and explore your story in more depth and explore your story from all your major characters’ points of view to ensure that the characters are driving your story.

When you enrol, you receive the pre-course work including:

  • A template that enables you to see and explore your story from all your character’s point of view
  • A character template that will enable you to dig deeper into your characters and flesh them out.
  • Exercises to enable you to see the story from all your main characters’ point of view and expand your characters’ storylines.
  • A setting template to help you flesh out your settings and how they impact your main character.
  • Guidelines for research. Now is the time to look at research.
Your characters and their journey will drive your second draft

Expect at least a 200 percent improvement

  • Find and clarify the spine of your story. This is where your “story concept” will really pop to a level that is way beyond the scope of your first draft.
  • Work through the spine and craft your novel or screenplay one step at a time so that your story works logically and dramatically from beginning to end.
  • Dig much deeper into your story and characters and flesh out any gaps

Jan Christie wrote, “The Second Draft Course has made me acutely aware of the gaps in my story, things I thought I’d deal with later. Well, later is now and I have to deal with them before I move on.

“The clear methodical spine in the second draft has been instrumental in highlighting, sometimes in an acutely uncomfortable way, what works and what doesn’t. But in the process I’ve discovered new characters, new motivations, depth to both people and situations that wasn’t there before. It’s a challenge, but it’s also lots of fun.”

Don’t let what you perceive as the lack of quality of your First Draft put you off. You don’t have to go back and make your First Draft more complete.

Many people only really start connecting with their story and falling in love with it in the Second Draft.

Teleconference Calls

Every month your tutor will offer group Zoom calls with other writers in your tutoring group to help you understand the process and make the structure of your story as good as it can be.

Course Structure

Part One: Finding the Organic Spine

You will start the process by finding a fresh Seven Turning Point Spine (this is more organic than the Eight Turning Points in the First Draft course). The new turning points ensure that you have the action, character arc and theme all working together.

Even though your story can and will continue to evolve, the Seven Turning Points you come up with in the first session will clarify the story you want to tell and provide a solid spine for your Second Draft.

Part Two: Writing the Second Draft

Systematically work through each of the Turning Points one at a time focusing on and maximising the drama, emotional depth and character development.

As well as focusing on the structure for each Turning Point, you will also do a series of writing exercises that will develop your connection to your character’s emotion and voice and help bring your writing to life on the page.

In each session, you will work on the structure from one Turning Point to the next. You have the option of joining a teleconference call with your tutor to workshop your structure, an edifying experience.

Gilbert Mane
I must confess to being a bit skeptical when I was told the Second Draft would improve my story 200%. I had spent a year driving my story forward, putting my hapless main character under intense pressure and finding out how my story ended. The Second Draft Course didn’t improve my story 200%. It improved 1000%! Irrelevancies were discarded, subsidiary characters came to life and revealed formerly hidden depths, events took on an internal logic and my main character, Aaron Stern, deepened and broadened before my astonished eyes. I saw the same thing happen with everyone else’s stories as well.
Gilbert Mane

What if I want to write a Different Story?

The vast majority of people continue working on their story from the First Draft Course. However, if you feel it necessary to write another story, there is scope within the course to develop a new story from scratch.

Interested in signing up for the Second Draft Novel & Scriptwriting Course course?
Second Draft Novel & Scriptwriting Course - Online

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