Course Information

The 20 August course is now booked out.

This course has payment options, please click the ‘Enrol Now’ link to view the payment options.

Prerequisite: 8-Month Novel & Script Second Draft Course

Course Details

See your Writing Come Alive on the Page

The Third Draft is where we focus primarily on the writing. It is amazing how everyone’s ability to write a page turning story that engages your reader dramatically improves when you learn the art and craft of re-writing and editing.

During the Third Draft course, you will learn how to create subtext in your writing, show as opposed to telling, create powerful dialogue, raise questions in your readers mind, create moral dilemmas, develop your characters’ voices and connect them emotionally to your reader. You will learn to write in a way that has each sentence causing the next so that your reader is drawn through your story wanting to turn the page.

Unfortunately, you can do a lot of writing on your own and still not write in a way that connects your story and characters with your readers and you can waste a lot of time. It is through the giving and receiving of critical, targeted feedback that you learn what is required. You’ll be amazed what a difference feedback makes to your writing once you learn to embrace the process.

It is a real thrill to see your writing work on the page for readers.

“I have emerged from being a dreamer to being a writer. This course has made that possible because it has given me the tools and the courage to give it a go. This has been an incredibly valuable (and sometimes confronting) experience. I think we all discovered what an almighty process this is.” Penny Robinson, author and executive producer of RPA

“For me, this course is where it’s really at. Getting at last to the coalface, the actual word-by-word writing of the thing has allowed me to connect with the character and the story in a way that I had found difficult to this point. I think I have learned to trust the narrative thread and not feel the need to control it constantly.” Dr Elizabeth Farrelly, columnist, feature writer for The Sydney Morning Herald, author of Blubberland and Caro Was Here

“This has been my favourite course. I have loved focusing on the writing and the detail that needed to be fleshed out from Drafts One and Two. And I now see how important it was to get the structure in place before embarking on the Third Draft.

I have learnt so much about the actual craft of writing in this course. The first lesson was about point of view and it has stuck with me ever since. That and other tools such as having a clear dramatic question have made a huge difference to my writing. And I felt that everyone in the class, after applying the tools and techniques, had a strong story worthy of being published.” Kylie Keogh – journalist and media manager

Course Structure

Writing your Third Draft

You have found the dramatic spine of your story in The Second Draft.

The Third Draft is where all the hard work you have put into finding, developing, clarifying and structuring your story in the First and Second Drafts dramatically pays off.

Receiving targeted feedback from your tutor is part of the process. It will improve the quality of your writing, taking it to a whole new level. You will find your voice and your writing will come alive on the page.

While there is scope to refine your structure, the focus is very much on the writing and making each scene as good as it can be.

This is the most challenging and exciting part of the whole writing process as you see readers  respond to your work in an increasingly positive way.

Course Outcomes

Over the seven months you will:

  • Learn tools and techniques, including advanced templates and checklists, to re-write and edit your story
  • Receive detailed, critical feedback on your writing and do extensive re-writing and editing to make every scene work
  • In addition to the writing, have the opportunity to clarify and fine tune your structure from one turning point to the next
  • Find your voice
  • Craft your scenes so your story is well paced, has drama, shape, emotional resonance and flow
  • Learn how to make your characters and story engage your readers emotionally
  • Build creative tension into your writing and raise a dramatic question in each scene so your readers keep turning the pages wanting to know what happens next
  • Experience the joy of seeing your story engage and excite readers.
  • Be well on the way to having your writing and story reach a professional standard.
  • This draft requires the most work, but brings the greatest rewards.
The art of writing is the art of re-writing. Success depends on attitude and patience as you take it one step at a time. So much of writing is about re-writing, I never get it right the first few times. I'm of the school that it's in the re-writes that the story is born. It's a refiner's craft. As territorial as we are, it is important to be challenged. Tina Howe, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright
I can't emphasis strongly enough how important this is, writing leads to writing, that failed attempts lead to eventual success, that the solution of writing problems is made up of all the attempts that lead nowhere. The trouble is that when you're just beginning to write, you may believe that words committed to paper are sacred, fixed immutable. But you're not dealing with a finished, printed, copyrighted book, only with an idea, a pile of words that change shape many times before they take shape as a book. Dorothy Bryant, author

How the Process Works

The 7-Month Third Online course involves developing, re-writing and editing around twelve Sections, of approx. 1500 words. A Section is loosely equated to one chapter. If your seven months run over the Xmas/January period when we have a month break, another month will be added.

The idea is to develop your writing, re-writing and editing skills as you work through the opening of your story. So at the end of the course you have a strong foundation to keep moving forwards on your own.

You will work with the online materials to identify the best place to open your story and the structure of your story from Prison to Inciting Incident.

Your tutor will guide you along the way, acting as a sounding board for what you are developing in detail on the page while keeping you in mind of the bigger picture of your story.

You start the process by submitting the opening 500 words of your story to your tutor for feedback to help you create a clear and vivid setting; raise a central dramatic question and evoke an engaging appropriate initial emotion.

With a strong opening foundation you can then develop and edit approximately 1500 words. You might repeat the opening a number of times until you get it right before moving on.

As a rule of thumb, it is good to work on your story for between 30 and 60 minutes most days. Every time you come back to your story you’ll have a fresh perspective and the momentum will become a wave you can ride and enjoy.

You can also utilise your tutor for one on one phone chats.

The Third Draft is the most rewarding process, where you get to see the strong story plot that you’ve developed in your first two drafts, come to life on the page.

Please Note

It is not possible to workshop every scene and get to the end of your story. Before you give your work to an agent, publisher or producer you need to make your story as good as it possibly can be.

Depending on the nature of your project, your experience as a writer and your time commitments, the above process can take varying lengths of time. But we can assure you that you will have a solid framework from which to rewrite the rest of your story at home.

In the Third Draft course, it is our aim at the Writers’ Studio to give you the skills, knowledge and accountability to continue to work on your story at home to make it as fabulous as it can be.

The knowledge you acquire from this course, coupled with the First and Second Draft processes, can be applied to create and craft any stories you write in the future.

What Our Students Say

The Third Draft is where the hard work of finding your story and making sure the structure works actually starts to payoff. The discipline of having to write to have at least something to turn up to class with has pushed my characters and myself on to a better place. Thank you so much Roland, Andrew and my class. You've motivated me to finish this novel. And start the next one. June Laffey, Group Creative Director, McCann Healthcare
Settling down and concentrating on each sentence at a time rather than trying to water ski over the story has been a valuable lesson. Now I just need the time and hopefully I can nail this thing. Thank you, Roland, Andrew and the class! John Mavety, award-winning director and writer
remember eight months ago when I first got feedback on my very first section (which I thought was perfect!) and being crushed. But then, slowly, I looked at the feedback and used it to re-write my work. Now I love feedback. It's fantastic to have so many people provide constructive, useful feedback on my work, that has really helped, as Roland says, "take it to a whole new level." Louise Goggin
"The last eight months have been instrumental in me finding my voice and of bringing my story to a point of greater clarity. I have also learnt how to bring my reader into the picture to connect emotionally with my characters and to relate to what is going on in their lives. The giving and receiving of feedback has provided a huge learning curve for me. It has made a huge difference to my writing and ability to critique myself and others. Melinda Wardlaw
"I cannot stress how important this process was. The end result is a book. My book! Not long ago, this was just a spark of an idea in my mind. A spark which Roland, Alex and Andrew and The Writers' Studio team nurtured and guided to help me write a book which stretched my abilities well beyond what they were capable of at the outset. Now armed with confidence, I know I couldn't have written a book of this quality without their help. Not only that, but Roland, Alex and Andrew have expertly guided my online course in such a Lucas Welsh
Third Draft Novel - Online

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