Completing a full draft of a novel is an awesome achievement and one
which should be celebrated but, on its own, it's not enough. Whether you
intend to pitch to agents or self-publish your novel, you need to
polish your MS until it sparkles and it's hard to do that on your own. A
critique is one possibility. According to the 120+ people who have done
the Writers' Workshop 6-week online Self-Edit Your Novel
course, is another option and one that you won't regret.
and I designed the course together. Hosted in a private group on the Word Cloud
each week, there's a short video introduction and a detailed tutorial.
The homework we set is based on participants' own novels and we workshop
the exercises together in the group. In other words, the course is
designed to give you the tools of creative writing and then show how you
can apply them to your own MS.
In a couple of weeks,
the 11th course begins, adding to the wonderful groups we've had over
the last years. The fruits for many of those on the earlier courses are
beginning to be harvested. How amazing is it to hear that authors have
gone on to success and credit the course for getting them there? It
can't and won't happen for everyone, but we can guarantee that the
standard of your writing will shoot up several levels as a result of
those 6 weeks. If you're not sure if the course is for you because, say,
you're not confident about your grammar, have a look at Emma's blog here.
for an example of the sort of detail we go into in the Prose Microscope week.
of the advantages of the course is its flexibility and the way you can
fit it into your Real Life (though some will say it tends to take over
for those 6 sweaty, intense weeks). Also, the groups stay in place on
the Cloud for EVER, and several have continued to function as online
writers' groups after the course finishes.
take my word about how good it is. I'd rather you hear it from some of
our self-edit graduates. Jules Ironside blogged about it here.
Below is a selection of quotes from various posts on the Cloud.
It's a really fab course - you won't regret a moment on it ... what I've written since has taken leaps
forward in terms of writer's craft and how I feel about what I
Some of our group are still meeting ... and offering pieces to read and critique ...
the SE course gave me the tools to look critically at my own work ...to stand apart from my baby and be a bit less
emotional about it. Clear and supportive, but not namby pambying
direction from Debi and Emma got me to the stage where I
writing is re-writing, rather than just spouting the phrase. So,
absolutely excellent investment into your future as a writer!
The six weeks was the most
writing-related fun I've ever had ... the best
investment in your writing you'll ever make ... The course does much more than teach you how to edit.
It teaches you to be an all-round better writer. Yes, in six weeks.
Do this course. Your writing will level up and you'll get more
It has given me
the confidence to pull the whole WIP apart and weave it back
together, hopefully with better materials!
Do it. Get the money - sell the car / kids / a kidney, it doesn't
matter ... JUST DO IT!! The skills learned on this course don't just
apply to the WIP you work on, but to ALL your writing - it's
invaluable, and I have never, ever regretted doing it.
I have not had so much intense fun in ages
(but then I'm an engineer...). No hesitation in recommending it
unreservedly. Forget low energy
lightbulbs, all my light bulb moments were high energy
incandescent! And Debi is a saint, generous and patient and tough
and wise. Emma is a font of wisdom. And on my group the course
buddies were awesome.
It was revolutionary for me. Can't believe how much I learned
and am still learning. Still have the support of my classmates over
in our little group too so well worth it!
We had Young Adult, Historical, alternative universes, magic
powers, crossed continents, burgeoning super-spies and family
sagas; a veritable Waterstone's of WIPs - and yet they all worked
together ... more arc-lights than lightbulbs, and yes,
although it's an editing course, it's very much a be a better
writer course ... you don't just get the guidance of one
uber-editrix, you also get
however-many-other-people-are-on-the-course editors too.
Do the course. Do it. Do it. Do it (everybody now,) Do it. Do it.
I couldn't imagine more perfect teachers. Not
only are you both writers that I admire and not only do you both
know your craft inside and out, but also you know how to share
your 'toolkit' and teach others how to pick up and use the tools ... you never made us feel stupid for not knowing
or asking questions, but have always been ready to come to the
rescue with answers, links and encouragement ...
combined with humour, kindness and the right amount of challenge.
... your energy and care for
detail has surpassed anything I could have possibly expected.
Your fierce support has been like medicine to our lows and your
praise when we have got things right has given us wings. On this
occasion, even with the help of this course, words are inadequate
to relay my depth of gratitude.
In the past six weeks, I've been shown the error of my ways
a number of times, but always with patience, humour and honest
truth and a knowledge of the craft and an insight in how to
impart it so as to enable us to improve.
It blows my mind to look back at how far we have all come in six
weeks. I started out as a leaky wee boat, but now, not only am I
floating, I am sealing all the cracks instead of simply bailing
for a breakdown
of how we cover the subjects during the 6 weeks. Go here
to book. The course runs 4 times a year, so there are plenty of
options. Maybe use the date as a deadline to finish that first draft?
Hope to see you there.