“Write A Series” Students: What you’ll need BEFORE we start the Expansion

I’m still putting together How To Write A Series Module 1: Creating Series Setup through Completion of Story One, but I solved the “how to present it” issue, and my goal getting this module up and making it available is next week.

So let’s talk about prepping for the class.

In the first four lessons of How To Write A Series, you get the detailed instructions on how to determine the sort of series you want to write, and how to put it together, how to make the beginnings compelling, the middles tight, and the endings moving and memorable.



In the Expansion, we’re going to be writing our series.

The first group through this course will be getting what is essentially a very large, extended, live workshop. I’m going to be writing my series. You’re going to be writing your series. We are all going to be pushing deadlines.



The HTWAS Expansion is not a read now, do later course. So you need to do some prep work.

Because of time frames involved, for this class plan on writing a SHORT STORY series, with story lengths between 10,000 and 20,000 words apiece. Figure out how much story you can write, revise, and EDIT in one month, and set that as your story word count.

From HTWAS Lesson 1, know what KIND of series you want to write: Bullet-proof Cast in Inconsequential Time with Linked Sequential Stories in Small World…

Loner in Unchanging Time in Big World with Loosely Connected Stand-Alones…

Or any of the other types.

In case you were wondering, I’m doing a Fair-Game Cast, Consequential Time, Linked Sequential Series in a Universe/Multiverse. (With a neat twist on the Multiverse.)

Know what GENRE you want to write in.

Mine is Space Opera.

But I’m covering every genre you want to know. Your questions in each module will inform the genres and presentation of the next module, as we did with the first run of How To Think Sideways, and How To Revise Your Novel.

We’ll develop series ideas IN CLASS, using the Octopus Sweet Spot Map and the Series Matrix, so you don’t need an idea. You just need to know your framework.


QUICK REMINDER if you’re on the fence…

This is final week that the course will be available at its current price.

Students who buy now at the current price receive ALL six modules at no extra cost. This is a savings of $150.

If you don’t have the course yet, you can get it now for the old price and be caught up with the live Expansion about the time Module 2 goes live.

When Module 1 goes live, the price goes up $25 to reflect that addition. Each additional module will be an additional $25. Modules are NOT sold separately.

If you don’t have the course yet but you’re interested, How To Write A Series is here:

http://howtothinksideways.com/shop/how-to-write-a-series-master-the-art-of-sequential-fiction/  (Opens in new tab)


And a P.S.:

All students who purchased the FULL version of How To Write A Series have already purchased the upgrade. Make sure the course opens for you in the link from your Classroom Hub.

Students who have the free HTWAS bonus version of the class included with How To Revise Your Novel DO NOT HAVE the upgrade.

If you’re an HTRYN student and you want the HTWAS Expansion, use the Big Courses Discount shop in your HTRYN sidebar menu to get before I take the first module live. Discount Shop prices will be going up for this course too.

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31 responses to ““Write A Series” Students: What you’ll need BEFORE we start the Expansion”

  1. Jeanne T Avatar
    Jeanne T

    Hi, Holly!

    How long will the current price be available? Do I have until the 30th to get it?

    1. Holly Avatar

      Current price ends tomorrow, April 23rd.

    2. Felicia Fredlund Avatar

      On Thursday the price goes up (24th April) with $25. See Holly’s next blog post. 🙂

  2. Kit Avatar

    Okay, I bought the full course… now I just have to decide what to write! 😀

    Seriously, though, I think some deadlines might be just what I need to kick my butt into gear… and kick my depression in the butt!

    1. Holly Avatar

      “What to write” will be part of the course. 😀

  3. Mary E. Merrell Avatar

    Hi There!

    I’m very excited to start this class. I’ve watched the first couple videos and the information is very interesting. I have a series started and I wanted to find out if I’m on the right track. At first, I thought I had a Bullet-Proof cast but after the Hows and Whys I think I have a Loner Series, but I’ve always thought of my cast of characters as Bullet-Proof.

    Anyway, I’m ready to listen to the rest of the videos and start a fresh new project. Let my creative juices flow. Look forward to working with you, Holly. Mary E. Merrell

    1. Holly Avatar

      I’m looking forward to this, too.

  4. Rebecca Anne Avatar
    Rebecca Anne

    I am looking forward to it too already decided what story I’m using which is a story called Family Secret and it will be mainstream and about three generations of the same family.

  5. FM Beasley Avatar
    FM Beasley

    I’m really excited about this. I can’t wait for next week!

    Will there be any focus on publishing our novellas after they are written and edited? Or will the expansion just deal with the writing aspect of series and nothing about selling?

    1. Holly Avatar

      I’m going to be taking questions throughout the course. If you want to know about publishing, we’ll get into that, too. As long as we stay tightly focused on SERIES FICTION, we can cover a fair amount of the ground that series fiction inhabits.

  6. Drake_Tesla Avatar

    I am excitedly bouncing up and down in my chair! I’ve been slacking on my writing since I broke my foot last week ( my poor hands have been shocked and dismayed about carrying my weight around, and this is just the incentive I need to get moving in the right direction again.

    I’m off to re-watch videos and do a little scheming. I have an existing world (with a novel first draft in it) that might benefit from a short story series for marketing purposes, but the appeal of a whole new, fresh canvas is attractive, too.

  7. Margaret Avatar

    I’ve just bought the full version after realising that I only had the bonus from HTRYN. I think the one thing that tipped me to do this was the use of short stories – I like the idea of being able to “practice”:-) Like Felicia I’ll be doing shorter stories this time through. It’s also good to know that I don’t have to be present at any particular time – being way down here in Australia can make that difficult. Thanks Holly.

    1. Felicia Fredlund Avatar

      I know about the time-zone problems! I live in Sweden. If Holly does anything in the middle to late afternoon (let’s not to talk about evenings), for me it becomes evening to night. I’m not sure exactly what time zones Australia is in (and I’m too lazy to check), but I’m guessing you have a similar problem, but perhaps not in the same direction. 🙂

      And yes, short stories. I’m thinking maybe I should go for maximum 7500 words, and then I can use Hitch’s incredible deal for ebook formatting (the HTTS benefits Holly introduced a couple of weeks ago). That way I can even get it cheaply published but still quality. And thereby starting to stick my toes in the publishing business. 🙂

      1. Juneta Avatar

        I rather like that idea Felicia. That is something to think about.

      2. Pen Clements Avatar

        Hi Felicia,
        I’m in Northern Australia and you are seven hours behind me. I never get to participate in US live calls and workshops either, sigh… but I guess I can’t expect them to get up at 3 am! At least the information is recorded and not so long ago we would have done this via a snail mail correspondence course.
        I look forward to meeting you all,

  8. Tamara Avatar

    Signed up and watched the first video. Looking forward to joining you on this. It fits nicely with the story idea that’s been floating around my head for a year. It’s nothing but notes and ideas with an opening chapter now. Excited to get a finished product via the course expansion. It’s great that it lends itself to a short story series setup.

    1. Holly Avatar

      I’m going with a short-story series because that’s the only way I’ll be able to offer the course in a timely fashion. In the live talks, we’ll discuss things like adapting stories to a longer format.

      I’m excited about telling this tangentially connected interstitial story in the Settled Space universe in this particular format, though. When I was building the Longview, I realized it was the story I wanted to tell in this course.

  9. Kari Avatar

    Just signed up for the course. I’ve had the bonus from HTRYN, but it’s only within the last couple of months that I’m seriously thinking about writing a series.

    Plus how could I miss working side by side with you, Holly? That’s something I’ve wanted to do for a LONG while.

    Can’t wait to get started — and to meet everyone else who’s taking this course now also — this is going to be a blast!

    1. Holly Avatar

      I’ve been looking forward to doing this for a few years now. I’m so glad it’s finally happening.

      1. Kari Avatar

        Me too, Holly. I’m already listening/watching to the first video.

        I so need the accountability that your deadlines are going to give me. 🙂

  10. Elizabeth Poole Avatar
    Elizabeth Poole

    Okay, just so I’m on the same page:

    I have the bonus version through HTRYN. I did this course years ago, so I have gone through the entire HTWAS course a few times, but not recently.

    Today I will be purchasing HTWAS through the Big Course Discount section of HTRYN because this upgrade is not included in the bonus version.

    In order to take the expanded version, I need the genre of my series, and type, but I only need the rough idea of the plot/characters because we will be doing that in class.

    Also, as Felicia clarified, what we can write and edit in one month is for one story, not the entire collection we anticipate having.

    You also stated the course would take a few months. Is there a time we have to be able to commit to every day or week to being able to attend the class? How is that going to work?

    I have a somewhat flexible schedule, but I also have a toddler so I have to make sure I can actually attend the live classes.

    This is so very exciting! I can’t wait!

    1. Holly Avatar

      Hi, Elizabeth. You don’t even need to have a rough idea of characters and type. That’s part of the Octopus Sweet-Spot Map, and if you have a few, that’s fine…but the process itself will create them for you if you don’t.

      If you fall behind, the classes will be there for you, and all the information will be available. I’ll put space between each section of a module so a lot of people will have time to finish that work before I introduce the next part—but there are always some folks who pull ahead, and some who fall behind.

      You don’t have to commit to being present for anything. I remember having toddlers—two in diapers simultaneously at one point. Show up when you can.

      The live parts of the course (which will take place on the forums and possibly in YouTube hangouts) exist so you can ask me questions and I can answer them. I’ll build resources for later classes going through that will include questions asked along with my answers—a process I learned writing How To Think Sideways.

      If you know you’re going to miss something and you have a question you want to have answered, see if you can get one of your classmates to ask it for you.

      And as always, I cannot promise to answer ALL questions, but I’ll get the most comprehensive sample I can.

      1. Elizabeth Poole Avatar
        Elizabeth Poole

        *big sigh of relief*

        Oh good!

        I would love to take part in some, if not all, of the live demonstrations. I’ve seen some of the magic you work in the Hot Seat stuff, and you already give my muse so much to work with, I really wanted to be able to take advantage of this, but I also knew I couldn’t do a hard commitment.

        So that’s really great to hear that the classes will be there either at the time or later when the toddler has finally gone to sleep. 😀

        Thanks again for this wonderful expansion and I will see you guys there! *bounces*

  11. Juneta Avatar

    I am excited. This was the first course I ever bought from you. I read through it, but never really started it, because I then bought HTSW. I have been working with it ever since, but my worlds are series world. I seem to think that way, maybe because I love to read series. I gobble them up.

    I was going for the stand alone that could be turned into a series with my current work. I am excited to learn the writing in the process part, while I am still working on the other.

    Can’t wait.

    1. Juneta Avatar

      LOL I realized, when I reread I used the wrong acronym. It should have read I then bought HTTS.

  12. Sarah Avatar

    Quick clarification question: are the words I can write, revise, and edit in one month for ONE story, or for ALL of them? I’m guessing one.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Just one story. Because of the scope of the course, and the fact that I’m writing, revising, editing, and publishing my series at the same time, it’s going to take about six months (fastest case) for me to finish building this course.

      1. Sarah Avatar

        Wonderful. Longer course = more great content for me. Thank you for all that you do.

  13. Felicia Fredlund Avatar

    So all we have to have ready for next week is the kind of series we want to write (the four different elements) and the genre?

    I can do that. Seems like a good motivation to get me writing regularly.

    How many words I can write, revise and edit? Now that one is harder… Because I haven’t really done any revising. I think it would be better to go lower for me. Somewhere between 5k-10k I think. I’d love to do HTRYN on them, but I haven’t gone through all of it yet. Perhaps I’ll do a few lessons and… Well, I’m making plans, I’ll figure it out.

    I’m so looking forward to this!

    A question: Is it a good idea to at least have gone through listen through all the materials of the first four HTWAS lessons, even if you don’t need to do them until next week?

    1. Holly Avatar

      Hey, Felicia,

      You’ll definitely need all the HTWAS materials, but you only need to be fresh and up to day on Lesson One when we start the expansion. In Module One: We’re doing series setup and writing the first story, and just Lesson One covers the overview of that.

      And I’m looking forward to this, too. I’m so excited to finally be able to start this. It’s been a really long wait.

      1. Felicia Fredlund Avatar

        I guess I have some videos to view during Easter then! And I need to look at the different projects I’ve started taking through HTWAS and see if I want to go with any of them or not. 🙂

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