How To Write A Series Expansion goes live 04-24-14

On Thursday, April 24, 2014, the HOW TO WRITE A SERIES EXPANSION class will START going live.

And that statement requires explanation.

While this course will BECOME a work-at-your-own-pace course like the current versions of How To Think Sideways and How To Revise Your Novel, while I am creating it, I’ll also be writing the stories that I’m using as demos. And I’ll be building the course as you take it. This has advantages for both you and me—you can tell me what you want to know, and I can figure out quickly what I’d assumed everyone would know that they don’t, so that I can fit the class to what YOU need.

To do this, I’ll be incorporating live elements into the class.

  • I’ll be taking questions live from students (yes, I’m going to risk the craziness of my WebinarJam/Google-Hangouts combo to talk live to students as we work through this process.) We’re going to meet once during each module, and I’m going to both answer some questions live, and save other questions to incorporate into the course.
  • I’ll be selecting questions from forum students to answer within the lessons. When I find students with well-stated questions about their own work that are applicable to what we’re doing overall, I’ll incorporate those questions into the permanent lessons, along with my solutions to the questions.
  • I’ll interview one writer for each module who is keeping up with the classwork and who publishes a series story with the timeframe that I set up in class (these interviews will be done a bit later and then added into their respective modules, because I do want to give students a bit of elbow room on their deadlines. Not a lot, but some. Each of these interviews will include a link to the student’s published story, and to the series. (This portion is going to be open to folks who are self-pubbing their work ONLY, because of time limitations.)

Each module will go up in pieces, as I finish each piece, and will be spaced far enough from the previous module (generally a period of a couple of days) that students will be able to do a good job completing the module section they’ve received before moving on to the next section.

IMPORTANT: My fiction-writing time-outs

I’m going to need time, too, because I’m writing a series while building the course, and it’s nearly impossible to do both things simultaneously. THIS time, I’m not going to try.

After I complete one module, I will stop the class to write my story (I’ll be shooting for 20,000 words per story).

Students will be able to use this time to write their stories, too. I’ll post my progress here as I go, so everyone will know when the next episode of the series goes live on Amazon and I move from writing fiction back to building the next module.

ALSO IMPORTANT: Price changes in the course.

When each module goes live, I’ll increase the price of the existing course by $25.

Right now, you can get the course plus ALL EXPANSION MODULES for $97.

If you’ve already purchased HOW TO WRITE A SERIES as a separate course, you already own all the expansion modules, too, and do not need to buy anything else to receive them as they come out.

If you have the course as a FREE BONUS with HOW TO REVISE YOUR NOVEL, you do not have the Expansion. If you want it, get it today or tomorrow through the HTRYN Student Discount page.

On Thursday, the price will go up to $122. This will cover the existing course and all future expansion modules.

As each module comes out, there will be an increase of an additional $25.

HOWEVER, there is a cap. I’m not sure yet whether I’m going to do six modules or seven, but the final price of the course will assume that I’m doing six, and will stop at $247.

If you want the course for yourself, or want to recommend it to friends, you’ll want to get it as early in the process as possible.

(If you want to recommend it to enemies, you may prefer to wait until the entire Expansion is finished.)

If you already own HOW TO THINK SIDEWAYS or HOW TO REVISE YOUR NOVEL, login first, then get your copy of HOW TO WRITE A SERIES plus EXPANSION here:

If you don’t own either HOW TO THINK SIDEWAYS or HOW TO REVISE A NOVEL, BUT you’re a Writers’ Boot Camp Member, login here, then go here to get your class:

If you don’t have a Writers’ Boot Camp account, you’ll create one (they’re free) in the process of purchasing the class here:


Each student will receive a first-draft manuscript of the story I’m writing as a demo. However, my first drafts do not resemble my final drafts all that much. Because I’ll have the finished stories up on Amazon’s KDP Select, I cannot give away the final versions without breaching my contract with Amazon.

Students who wish to have the fiction textbook—which we will be using—will need to purchase it separately.

Unlike in nursing school, where I was paying $50-$100 per textbook, however, these only cost $2.99 apiece. If you’re taking the course, the first textbook is here:

KINDLE VERSION (recommended):


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17 responses to “How To Write A Series Expansion goes live 04-24-14”

  1. Diana Layne Avatar

    I got the HTWAS bonus with my HTRYN course, I’d forgotten about it b/c I’ve been busy with my self-pub career. I printed all the info out on the HTTS and HTRYN course and put it in binders, but all I’m finding are videos in the course, no transcript print out-am I looking in the wrong place? I’d like to sign up for the expansion pack; however, I’m in the middle of writing an unintended series…the readers kept writing and asking me questions and I thought, well, heck…and I took it in a different direction. The book I just finished writing though, is a set up for the last book and it’s B-O-R-I-N-G. I’m about to pull out my HTRYN course again and see if I can figure out how to fix it (even tho I wrote a blog post on using your HTRYN course, I need to refresh my memory.) Anyway, I’ve got myself committed with deadlines so I’m not going to be able to write a “short story” series along with this expansion pack course, is that going to matter? The info will still be available later, right? Even though I have shelf fulls of writing books, your courses are the ones I keep going back to because they resonate with me. Thanks!

    1. Holly Avatar

      Hi, Diana,
      If you have the HTWAS course as a bonus, you do NOT have the Expansion.

      The four-lesson bonus will stay there for you, but it will be unchanged.

      If you want the expansion, you’ll need to log into your classroom ( ) And then you’ll need to get the upgrade from your DISCOUNT SHOP in the HTRYN menu. The price goes up tomorrow when Module One Part One goes live.

      1. Diana Layne Avatar

        Thank you, got it!

  2. KenB Avatar

    The word “Deadline” is what made my heart skip a beat. LOL. No way I’ll be able to keep up with everything else (The Ship) getting in the way. First book loosely planned and 1/4 written, others just a glimmer of the sentence. Trying to get myself back into a regular routine, however, doing this could be the extra kick in the rear.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Deadlines. Yep. Lots of them. Brace yourself. 😀

  3. Amy Avatar

    I’m a little bit terrified. Seriously. I want to use this class to continue work in a story world that I think I love, but that I know almost nothing about. My first short story was going to be 3000-4000 words and I was going to get it done in about 2 weeks. Instead it came out to about 6000 words, and took me about 4 months to finish due to a bout with writer’s block and real-world busyness. I’m determined that my progress in this class will be much more consistent than on that initial story.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Breathe. It’ll be okay.

      This is not going to be a forced death march to the end of the story at military pace. I’ve found that courses I’ve done where I’ve worked seventy-hour weeks have hurt my health. At 53, I’m getting a bit more careful about that.

      You’ll have space in between each part of a module to work on the idea, the parts of the idea, the story, how it will connect to other stories; you’ll have a ton of other people taking the class with you and the live forum in which to bang ideas around, and brainstorm; you’ll have the live discussions where you can ask questions along with other folks.

      And you’ll have a block in between each module where I’m writing, revising, and pubbing MY next story before we move on.

      We’re talking Support Group City.

      Pretty close to it, anyway. There are currently hundreds of writers who are eligible to take this course because over the years they purchased HTWAS at one point or another.

      I don’t know how many will show up for this particular party, but this should be a lot like what it was like when we were all doing the first run of How To Think Sideways.

      1. Amy Avatar

        Thanks for talking me down, Holly. I’m sure you’re right. I’ve already gotten past the hurdle of NEVER finishing ANYTHING. And I really am excited about the world I’ll be writing in. Looking forward to discovering what surprises it holds for me.
        Since I wasn’t part of the first round of HTTS, I can only imagine what that might have been like. But if it’s anything like the support I’ve gotten doing other stuff on your sites, I’m sure it’s going to be amazeballs.

  4. Katie Avatar

    LOL – I had to go look to make sure I was already part of the HTWAS workshop. I admit I’ve been so busy writing and marketing that I haven’t finished most of the courses I already purchased. Since I’m in the middle of working on a series, this will be fun and I promise to TRY to stay up with you as the new modules are released.

  5. Ashley Avatar

    Hi Holly,
    Is it necessary to have finished the big HTTS course before starting HTWAS?

    1. Holly Avatar

      Nope. It’s helpful, but as with my other courses, this course stands alone.

      1. Juneta Avatar

        This is good to know, since I am still working my way through HTTS for the 2nd time. I love to read series. As a reader, my largest expenditure is in buying series I love. I gobble them up, and my concepts and complicated thinking (world building technically) fall into series better.

        1. Holly Avatar

          I’m a total series ho.

          I got hooked on series fiction with the “Rabbi” series, and Christie mysteries, and the Stainless Steel Rat series when I was young, and then found Lawrence Block and through him, Bernie Rhodenbarr and Matt Scudder. And Robert Parker’s Spenser (for whom my best and final cat was named). And, and, and.

          Give me a wonderful character and a great world and I’m yours for life.

  6. Jean Avatar

    I love that the stories are textbooks! Glad I have mine already.

    1. Holly Avatar

      I’ll be using them to demonstrate how I went from the first draft through the Octopus Sweet-Spot Map and Series Matrix to the final version, and hid each of the elements necessary to make the series hang together in each story…as well as pulling in things like Toys On The Floor from early stories into late stories.

      Watching the process build over the course of the series will make it a lot easier for you to see how the pieces work in the real world, instead of just in theory.

      And…It’s fun. 😀

      1. Jean Avatar

        So looking forward to it!

      2. Elizabeth Poole Avatar
        Elizabeth Poole

        I am sooooo glad you will be talking about this at length because the idea of publishing a story that’s not finished yet gives me hives. I am forever changing ideas, the storyline, and other stuff to suit the needs of the story before I call it done.

        Before, I used HTRYN to accomplish this, and then deliver a finished product that barely resembles the original idea. However, I have many ideas for ongoing series published on Amazon and other places, and I would love to be able to take advantage of that format without shooting myself in the foot in the process.

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