(Live Workshop) Revising the Novel: Take Your First Draft to the Next Level

with Donna Levin

revising the novel webinar

Ready to start revising your novel?

Congratulations! You have a first draft.

Now what?

You may have heard that “most of writing is rewriting,” and it is all too true. In this two-and-a-half-hour webinar we’ll discuss strategies for planning (and following through on) the next draft.

Step one is creating a realistic writing schedule that you can commit to. The next step is taking a dispassionate look at what you have right now.

We’ll move on to an overview of the main challenges of the novel. What makes for a compelling main character, and a gripping plot? (It’s a myth that a literary novel doesn’t need a gripping plot.) What are the roles of secondary characters, and subplots? We’ll also touch on issues of point of view and scene vs. narration.

We’ll have a substantial Q & A session, during which we can discuss individual issues.

Learning and Writing Goals

By the end of this webinar, you will have learned and crafted:

  • The fundamentals of plotting.
  • What makes a strong main character.
  • The role of secondary characters.
  • Recommended readings on craft.
  • Both a short-term and long-term writing schedule you can commit to.
  • An initial assessment of the strengths and areas of improvement for your first draft.
  • Ideas for your next draft.

Webinar Schedule

This webinar runs on Zoom from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM Eastern time. The schedule is as follows:

  • 15 minutes: Introduction to revising the novel.
  • 30 minutes: Crafting both a short-term and long-term plan for editing your novel.
  • 30 minutes: Lecture on the various aspects of writing and editing novels.
  • 30 minutes: An assessment of the strengths and areas of improvement for your characters and plot.
  • 30-45 minutes: Q & A about the various aspects of novel revisions.

Expect in-depth instruction and lively discussion.

Get started revising that novel. Enroll today!

Course categories: , ,
Course type:

Student Feedback for Donna Levin:

Donna is a force! She is funny, brilliant, and encouraging. This was such a remarkable experience, it far exceeded my expectations. Michelle Matiyow

I really appreciated the Zoom calls that Donna mediated in this class—we could share ideas and feedback in real time and in a more personal way. Donna was always quick with feedback that was both constructive and encouraging. Having weekly deadlines made all the difference for moving my book forward. Andrea Gust

Donna Levin is a gifted teacher. As funny as she is smart, she will captivate and keep you going. One of my favorite writing instructors, I credit her with helping me finish my first novel and for encouraging me in those that followed. Take her class! Terry Gamble, author of The Water Dancers, Good Family, and The Eulogist

This was my first online writing course and it exceeded my expectations. Donna was knowledgable and highly responsive. She was very encouraging and my classmates were very engaged. I had a great experience. Lisa Hamidi

Donna is an experienced and engaging teacher. Her lectures are concise and to the point. Her feedback on assignments are detailed and thoughtful. She goes above and beyond the online platform to organize weekly Zoom meetings to check in, and invites everyone to share their writing practices, their progress and challenges. Dung-Chi Tran

Donna is inspiring and knowledgeable about writing craft. This class will fulfill its promise! Carol Park

I took several classes from Donna while writing my first novel, a book that was ultimately selected for three best of the year lists. She was instrumental in the development of a publishable manuscript, helping me with characterization, plot and pacing. Her critiques are sensitive, insightful—and motivating. If you are high-centered on the rocky road to finishing your novel, you can do no better than to study with Donna. Mark Coggins, award-winning author of the August Riordan series

donna levin headshot


Donna Levin is the author of Extraordinary MeansCalifornia StreetThere’s More Than One Way Home, and He Could Be Another Bill Gates. 

In April 2024, Skyhorse published her latest novel, The Talking Stick

In addition to novels, Donna has published two books about writing, Get that Novel Started and Get that Novel Written.

Donna has taught fiction writing for three decades, most notably at the University of California Extension at Berkeley, where she led the Novel-Writing Workshop. She has also been a frequent guest at writers’ conferences, including the San Francisco Writers’ Conference and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.

Donna’s work is included in Boston University’s 20th Century Archives and in the California State Library’s collection of California novels. She lives in San Francisco. More at donnalevin.com.