A Video Teaser from HOW TO WRITE A SERIES

I got the video to work. The solution: I took it off WordPress, which was eating the video player code.

Here’s The Video

This is a short excerpt from the beginning of the HOW TO WRITE A SERIES class. I hope you enjoy it.

And in case you were wondering, I drew the mindmap. πŸ˜€

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

66 comments… add one
  • Tracy Lucas Oct 2, 2012 @ 15:43

    Been trying to find the video here, and can’t get anything but a “file not found” page. Granted, I’m (very) late to the party, but I’m interested in buying the “How To Write a Series” course and wanted to check this out first. Any tips?

  • Bill Tillman Feb 25, 2011 @ 0:09

    Ok, Holly put it up on my Facebook page. 8-=)

    • Holly Lisle Feb 26, 2011 @ 11:29

      I did? I can’t even get the blasted thing to work on my blog. How in the world did I get it to land on your Facebook page.

      And I’m sorry about that.

      • Bill Tillman Feb 26, 2011 @ 11:34


        You didn’t do it Holly I did, by linking my You Tube acct. with Facebook I just inserted a copy onto my page to give you some extra coverage.


        • koldham Feb 26, 2011 @ 21:01

          i did the whole likey thing xD love promoting links i like.


  • Samsudin Bachtarysev Feb 18, 2011 @ 2:28

    Sorry me English bad.I wil publish a book the is Chechen people.His book writing
    russian Can you Holly help me.
    Thank you

    • koldham Feb 21, 2011 @ 7:59

      Chechen? That sounds like an interesting topic, but do you mean you want to translate it from Russian? I think your best bet there is to either take further classes in English so you can translate, or to pay for someone to do it for you.

      Holly’s courses are to give you guidance on how to create novels, how to structure them and various other skills that are imperative to good novel writing. To my knowledge, she doesn’t actually do ‘English’ classes though, they really work under the assumption that you have good literacy skills to begin with.

      If you can understand English text, then the courses would still be really useful as I’m sure you can apply the skills you learn regardless of the language you write in.

      Hope this answers your question and good luck with your novel.


    • Holly Lisle Feb 26, 2011 @ 11:31

      Hi, Samsudin,

      Kelly’s right. I teach folks how to write novels—but writers have to be comfortable with the language they’re writing in and hope to publish in. I definitely can’t help out with translation.

  • Elmi Feb 17, 2011 @ 18:01

    You rock Holly, as always. Will definitely recommend it, but writing a book is already a big enough challenge for me, I’d rather just focus on finishing ONE and not think of writing a whole bunch of them. But once I’ve passed that specific hurdle, I’m in πŸ™‚

  • Rebecca Anne Feb 17, 2011 @ 6:46

    Hi Holly I don’t know whether the second video is another teaser or not but I can’t find the link.

  • Danzier Feb 16, 2011 @ 8:14

    I did the “It’s broken, download it and then play it” routine when this was first posted, and I was simultaneously shocked and excited to find that the “teaser” was a nice 20-minute video! Unfortunately, I didn’t save it, so I came to download it again, and the fixed version is maybe 2 minutes, introduction only.

    Chalk me up as one more on the “guaranteed sale when the money is here” list. πŸ˜€

  • Penny Feb 15, 2011 @ 12:17

    is this do-able at your own pace? I would love to take this course after I’ve finished with this semester in school.

    • Holly Lisle Feb 17, 2011 @ 1:06

      Yup. Doable at your own pace, and pretty much whenever you’re ready. Good luck with the semester.

  • Victor Feb 15, 2011 @ 0:35

    Wow, Holly, I’ve been waiting for this course to come along. You don’t know the mountain of frustration I’ve been climbing for a year and a half trying to figure out everything your course is teaching–ALL ON MY OWN!!




    • Holly Lisle Feb 17, 2011 @ 22:55

      Hi, Victor,
      You’re welcome. πŸ˜€ I’m glad you’re getting use from it.


  • Lee Feb 13, 2011 @ 21:38

    I was actually being facetious about trying to watch it on my Droid. I really didn’t expect it to work anyway, but guess what? I was highly surprised and impressed that it did indeed run flawlessly.

    Kudos on pulling *that* rabbit out of the hat.

    As for the clip: freakin’ eerie how you clearly explained the thought process behind me creating my series (currently writing book 3 now) that I had no conscious knowledge of.

    Definitely looking forward to getting into the course.

    …Freakin’ eerie…

  • Esther P. Feb 13, 2011 @ 19:03


    That teaser was great. It seems like a professional and informative how-to with an easy to approach interface. I only wish that I could afford it, being a sixteen year old with no pocket money except for that penny I picked up five minutes ago!

  • PolarBear Feb 13, 2011 @ 17:19

    That’s a teaser! πŸ˜‰

  • henya Feb 13, 2011 @ 16:47

    Thanks for the great info. (Still trying to digest 192…)

    • Jim Feb 15, 2011 @ 12:41

      192 comes about because it is the product of the number of choices in each category multiplied by each other: (4 Character choices) x (4 Connections choices) x (3 Time choices) x (4 World choices). 192 is the number of combinations, sure, but at any one time, the number I would deal with is, rather obviously, one – one combination.

      Another way to look at it might be to say that the significant number involved is 4, the total number of categories – Characters, Connections, Time, and World. There are some number of choices in each category, but there are only ever four categories.

      • Danzier Feb 16, 2011 @ 8:21

        I look at it as a chart, with each catagory holding the contents of the remaining catagories. It reminds me of this poem (which was in a children’s poetry book I had as a kid, before I paid attention to who wrote things…):

        As I was going to St. Ives,
        I met a man with seven wives.
        Each wife had seven sacks;
        Each sack had seven cats.
        Each cat had seven kits.
        Kits, cats, sacks, and wives…
        How many were going to St. Ives?

        (Spoiler Alert!)

        Just me.

      • Holly Lisle Feb 17, 2011 @ 1:05

        There are. And yet the most intriguing and fresh series are going to come from exploring the combinations that have not been done to death.

        • Danzier Feb 22, 2011 @ 10:41

          I have a piece of software called Dramatica that I mess with when my muse doesn’t want to talk to me. According to the developers, it has 32,768 types of story that you can pick using that software…so 192 types of series somehow didn’t seem like enough. πŸ˜€

          • Holly Lisle Feb 24, 2011 @ 22:49

            I loathe Dramatica. I know a lot of people swear by it, but when I bought it, it was like suiting up in armor, welding all the joints in place, and then trying to fly.

            Simplicity is much harder (and more useful) than useless complexity. Dramatica is the poster child of useless complexity.

          • Danzier Feb 24, 2011 @ 23:38

            I got the free trial version, actually read the theory book beginning to end, tried using the software, and tanked. It’s fun to mess with, but useless for writing. Especially when you can’t even save. Plus, some of the stuff in the theory book was poorly defined, and I should have stopped at the third “typo”. Caveat emptor indeed.

  • Cher Gorman Feb 13, 2011 @ 16:05

    It works fine now. Thank you. Great teaser!


  • Holly Lisle Feb 13, 2011 @ 14:28

    The phrase TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES does not begin to describe this.

    I’m working on it. If you’re checking, please check back. I’ll get the video up as soon as I can get it working.

    I have no idea why all of them work in the class but they’re breaking on this site.

    • Holly Lisle Feb 13, 2011 @ 16:03

      Wordpress. Freakin’ impossible, does-not-play-nice-with-HTML Wordpress.

      Great for blogging, if you don’t want to do anything cool. Argh.

      • Brian Feb 13, 2011 @ 16:44

        I’ve found that if you paste something into the html editor, it’s best to publish it from there without going back into the visual editor. The visual editor tries to “help” by reformatting, and screws up a good percentage of the time.

        • Holly Lisle Feb 17, 2011 @ 1:03

          I never use the visual editor.

          This particular theme apparently is an equal-opportunity train-wreck where posting videos is concerned.

  • Lee Feb 13, 2011 @ 10:46

    Well maybe I’m not supposed to be trying to watch it on a Droid (too lazy to get out of bed and power up the PC), but it just sits there too.

  • Walter Kraus Feb 13, 2011 @ 7:40

    Have also difficulties playing. Any chance of putting it on you tube?

  • Tristano Feb 13, 2011 @ 6:32

    Windows XP SP3, Internet Explorer 8: Video doesn’t play (only download).

  • Kelly Oldham Feb 13, 2011 @ 5:50

    192 types? Wow. Once I’m all caught up on my diploma work, and actually do the courses I’ve already signed up for… then I think I will have to do this one. Thanks for sharing. πŸ˜€

  • Tea Jay Dorian Feb 13, 2011 @ 2:46

    Hello Ms. Lisle,
    That’s an interesting video! I’d like to see more stuff like this. πŸ™‚

    Also I have a question: is it “bad” if my book seems to have all of these character categories going on at once? It’s written in first person, mostly from the view of a single character, which I suppose makes it “the loner.” BUT, it also has a small circle of about 6 people who are (I think?) “bullet-proof: they often get in these terrifying, dangerous predicaments, get injured and upset and it looks like they might die–but they don’t. On top of this, there’s a larger circle of people (less important characters) who are “fair game” and will randomly get picked off.

    AND, on top of all this, the world is a major factor that links everything together–it’s the Dream Realm, where humans go when they sleep–and then it starts to bleed into the human world and there are all kinds of global changes as the two worlds merge. (If not for the MC, I think this would totally be a “world” book).

    So…is this bad? Do you think having a character set-up like this make the book confused, or …?

    Thanks, and sorry for the long comment! πŸ˜€
    ~Tea Jay Dorian

    • Felicia Fredlund Feb 13, 2011 @ 3:15

      Hi Tea!

      If you go the course you’ll know that what you probably have (only you can decide) is a world character with a fair game cast, which have a few bullet-proof characters. At least that’s what it sounds like to me. Since this is a teaser I shouldn’t say too much, but that was my impression. πŸ™‚

      • Tea Jay Dorian Feb 13, 2011 @ 3:34

        Hey Felicia,
        Thanks for the input. I have a question though–“go the course”? Do you mean she has a course on this? If so, is it free? Is it online? (I’m hoping both!)

    • Holly Lisle Feb 13, 2011 @ 14:24

      Hi, Tea,

      The Characters section refers ONLY to your protagonists and antagonists. So you don’t have all of them. πŸ˜€

      And the world as a main character is very different from having a well-developed world (which is a requirement). Your world would be Multiverse. Sounds like your protagonist would be Loner.

      And I do have a course. I’m putting it together as I teach it. Four weeks, very intensive, not free.


      • Tea Jay Dorian Feb 13, 2011 @ 15:32

        Hi Holly,
        Thanks for clearing that up! Now I get it. ^^

        And yeah, the protagonist himself is totally a loner-type. He’s always angsty and trying to get his pushy, enthusiastic friends to leave him alone. XD

  • Silverbill Feb 13, 2011 @ 1:05


    Great teaser!


  • Laurel Feb 12, 2011 @ 22:01

    Great teaser, Holly. Timely, too: Looks like my two NaNo winners might be the beginning of a series. Thanks for posting!

  • Carolyne Feb 12, 2011 @ 21:27

    Won’t work for me either.

  • Jim Feb 12, 2011 @ 21:12

    Download? OK, it works, but that is _not_ intuitive. And one should not have to download the video to get it to play. It really should just start playing by hitting the “play” icon in the middle of the screen. If it doesn’t (and it doesn’t), I think Ms. Lisle wasted her $127 on EasyVideoPlayer 2.

  • Kenneth Pennington Feb 12, 2011 @ 20:58

    Hit download and go from there. It works

  • Eva Feb 12, 2011 @ 20:53

    Doesn’t play for me either. I’ll try to download.

  • Lee Pletzers Feb 12, 2011 @ 20:16

    Didn’t work for me either, so I clicked the download button. Very interesting, Holly

  • melissa Feb 12, 2011 @ 20:02

    when you said teaser – you weren’t kidding!!!!

  • Paige Feb 12, 2011 @ 19:58


  • Cher Gorman Feb 12, 2011 @ 19:40

    The video won’t work for me. I hit play and nothing happens….


  • Sally R Feb 12, 2011 @ 19:40

    So I love this premise…do you have a course on writing scripts–documentary or reality based specifically. I am VERY interested in taking that course. Pls let me know!

  • Maladicta Feb 12, 2011 @ 19:30

    Played like a dream after that handy little hint. πŸ˜‰

    A very enthralling teaser. and you have such a lovely ‘reading’ voice. I’m feeling very calm and happy now. Now I want to do the course!

    • Holly Lisle Feb 13, 2011 @ 16:05

      Thanks on the reading-voice comment. I’m not actually reading, though. As is apparent in some of the later sections of the videos, I’m working on the fly. At the points where you hear me developing series concepts live and other “tightrope” tricks, the long pauses get VERY evident.

      • Lee Mar 26, 2011 @ 20:47

        I enjoyed the video too. I stumbled onto it after you fixed it, so I had no problems. πŸ™‚ And I have to agree with Maladicta (hmm, interesting): you do have a lovely speaking voice. I’m looking forward to doing this one…as soon as I finish the free plot outline course. I’m such a beginner. Been writing a long time but mostly short stuff, poetry, songs, reviews–NaNoWriMo and WriDaNoJu wins. (If by win you mean, reached the 50k word goal, and nothing more!)

        Over time I plan to take all your courses, Holly. I’ve been a fan of your writing diaries for years. Your wit, humor and generosity are inspiring. And your intelligence is, well, refreshing! You help me relax and encourage me to face the blank screen and get to dreaming, scheming and, yes, screaming. On occasion. Not at you. At me. At power surges. At silly mistakes. At software. At “help” files provided with software. You know how it is.

        Thank you, Holly, for all you do for writers–aspiring or experienced veterans–everywhere.

  • Nicole Bedford Feb 12, 2011 @ 19:27

    Definitely not playing.

  • Hauckston Feb 12, 2011 @ 19:05

    I love the teaser… just have to finish a couple of other courses. Thank you for including me, Holly!

  • Bonnie Feb 12, 2011 @ 19:03

    Lovely little teaser – great Mind Map!! have you got one for ‘Revising your Novel’? Played out on Mac OSX 10.6, Firefox 3.6.13., without any problems, must be my lucky day.

  • claudia c Feb 12, 2011 @ 18:50

    Oh, i see..you have to download it onto your computer and then open. ThatΒ΄s the trick!

  • Brian Lilly Feb 12, 2011 @ 18:42

    Click at the bottom of the screen where it says download and then hit run and it works fine that way. Hitting the play button on the original screen does not work

  • KittyB78 Feb 12, 2011 @ 18:41

    Same here. I press play and nothing happens. Windows ME, Firefox 3.6. 13.

  • claudia c Feb 12, 2011 @ 18:38

    Ditto for me, but it looks like a lot of fun!!

  • K. Britton Feb 12, 2011 @ 18:33

    I can’t get the video to work for me either.

    Windows Vista
    Google Chrome

  • Gary Speer Feb 12, 2011 @ 18:32

    Nope. I can’t get the video to play either. I’m using Chrome browser on a Windows 7 machine.

  • althea preston Feb 12, 2011 @ 18:30

    It’s not playing for me either.

    Windows XPSp3
    Firefox 3.6.13
    All plugins up to date.
    I too click the play button but nothing happens

  • R. Canepa Feb 12, 2011 @ 18:27

    Hmm, I can’t seem to get the video to play. Mac OSX 10.6, Firefox 3.6.13. I even restarted the browser. Click the play button and it just sits there.

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