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Writer's Digest University
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August 31,  2015

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12 Weeks to a First Draft
imageplaceholder Krista Rea
Online Education Manager
Writers Digest University
There are numerous things to keep in mind while writing your first draft but don't let yourself get overwhelmed in the process. Novelist Kathy Leonard Czepiel said to "think of your first draft as the clay, not the sculpture." There is time to revise later on in subsequent drafts. Author James Ellison said, “You write your first draft with your heart, and you rewrite with your head.” The beginning stages of writing are the perfect time to receive feedback from a published novelist. Learn how to shape your story in the 12 Weeks to a First Draft workshop.

The 12 Weeks to a First Draft class will provide you with the skills needed to write a first draft. You'll learn how to open your novel, build tension, plant seeds, use dialogue correctly, and wrap things up for the final scene. You'll have the opportunity to finish either a half-draft (of half of your novel) or a rough “in-progress” draft during the twelve weeks. At the end of this workshop, you will have accomplished every writer’s goal – an “in-progress” working first draft. Miki Hayden teaches the online class starting on Thursday, September 3rd.

"I like teaching 12 Weeks to a First Draft because it allows writers to really dig in and explore their ideas for a first or second novel. This class inspires students to focus and stay on track. Writing on your own is great, but sometimes writers get lost in the process or let things go. Here's a class that's a motivator and will help students write a big chunk of the novel--not the whole first draft, of course, but a big chunk. Not to mention that I'm definitely glad to address chronic style problems with students and help them find more professional ways to write. I also like to explain the markets a little if people need to rethink what audiences and publishers they're writing for."

  ~ G. Miki Hayden

A former student said, "Miki Hayden always responded to my questions swiftly, and provided daily encouragement via the message board. Her feedback was honest and specific, and she always got right to the point." Another student wrote, "The course and instructor were everything I expected and could have wanted." Commit twelve weeks of your time to writing your first draft." Students are encouraged to share their work with the rest of the class.

The course system is open 24 hours a days so that class members can work on their own time. There is no scheduled time to meet. WDU Students come from all corners of the world and can log in when it is convenient. Assignments in this class are due every Sunday night.

Make progress on your first draft. Join the 12 Weeks to a First Draft Workshop. Enroll Today!
All upcoming courses can be viewed at this link.

Thank you for being part of the writing community.

  12 Weeks to a First Draft
with G. Miki Hayden

G. Miki Hayden has published mystery, science fiction, and young adult novels with a rave review in the New York Times for her alternate history novel, Pacific Empire. Her Writing the Mystery was nominated for three genre awards, winning one.

Miki's novels prove that "genre" stories can have mainstream appeal. Her second novel, By Reason of Insanity (Free Range Press), is a mystery of psychological suspense. New Pacific (Silver Lake Publishing) is set in 2031. The Heroine's Journey, Miki's YA paranormal in which two girls reach across time and space, has been bought by Noble Young Adult. Miki's book, The Naked Writer, is a style and composition guide.


Starting September 3rd
12 Weeks to a First Draft

Grammar and Mechanics

Professional Copyediting: Tools of the Trade

The Art of Storytelling 102: Showing vs. Telling


Writing the Mystery Novel


Turning Personal Stories into Memoir

Writing the Picture Book
Starting September 10th
Writing the Personal Essay

Advanced Novel Writing

Business Writing

Writing the Romance Novel


Getting Started in Writing


Freelance Writing

Fitting Writing Into Your Life

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