June 28, 2018 | Erica | 6 Comments Welcome to the best writing classes I know of. Seriously. I so wish I’d found these years ago. Perhaps I’d be way ahead of where I am now — currently nowhere — with my fiction writing. This page contains affiliate or referral links, which means I receive a small commission if you decide to click through and buy anything. This is at no extra cost to you, but helps me maintain this website 🙂 If you want to know more, please read our Affiliate Disclosure. Links on this site may lead to products for which the site owner may receive compensation. One of the best things about Holly’s Writing Classes, is that they provide no-bullshit methods for getting you to write, and getting you to write what you really love, making it more likely that you’ll profit. Plus, Holly, will get you to finish what you start. The second best thing about these courses, is that even though some of theme are on the expensive side, Holly offers a free flash fiction writing class to introduce you to her teaching method and style; to let you see for free, whether or not you can or would like to learn from her. As a bonus, this free flash fiction writing class is AMAZING! You learn so much and can apply it to ALL your fiction. One lesson into her this flash fiction writing class, and I was hooked on Holly. By the end of the class, I was hitting up my fiancé for the funds to get started on her career class: How To Think Sideways. She is the best teacher, and I just HAVE to let as many writers know about her as soon as possible, hoping to save others years and years of lack of writing, and reading somewhat pointless writing books. [I may have to restructure my whole website now that I’ve found Holly Lisle and her classes – I don’t think I want to recommend anything else… well, maybe… I still have yet to finish her How To Think Sideways course] Holly’s Writing Classes – A Summary Guide I’ve been wanting to review Holly’s writing classes courses for a while now but I have only completed one of them and that’s free flash writing class which I love. I am in love now with Holly Lisle’s teaching her methods. She teaches writing and teaches you how to be inspired to write, and to be the best writer that you can be. Below, I’ll give a couple of testimonials from other students of hers to give you a taste of what her courses are about. Following this post, I’ll endeavour to complete in-depth reviews of each of her writing classes. I’ve personally done the Flash Fiction Writing Course, am 5 lessons into the How To Think Sideways class, and one lesson into her new Short Story Writing Class, and yeah, I think they’re amazing and I think what they will teach you is incredible. Photo by MILKOVÍ on Unsplash One Cavet for her Career Classes: What they teach is incredible, that is, if you are dedicated to becoming a full-time writer and learning how to write fiction for a living. They’re also great if you aren’t planning on making a living from your fiction writing, you’ll learn a tonne. Just remember though, they’re technically aimed at career writers, so some of the lessons and exercises might not apply then. Her Bonus Exercises – the best bit. She has devised awesome exercises to make the writing life easier for herself and in each lesson of each course, she hands over one (or two) of these exercises to you. She’s incredible. First Up: Holly’s Career Writing Classes for Serious Fiction Writers: 1. How to Think Sideways Career Survival School for Writers (also known as HTTS) Who’s This Class For? Straight up, this is a class for real, super serious fiction writers. If you want to eventually earn a living from writing fiction, then this is the course for you. As I mentioned earlier, I wish I’d found Holly and particular this class years ago. Holly even says it herself, in her sales pitch, this course will save you at least 7 years of trial and error writing. And I believe her. After going through the Flash Fiction class, I knew Holly’s classes were for me, and I jumped wholeheartedly into How To Think Sideways, knowing that I’d finally found my roadmap to becoming an income-earning, published writer. Maybe I wouldn’t be world famous, but I could learn what I need to, to write what I love, and make enough to live off of it. So, who is this class for? For the writer who wants their day job to be writing fiction. You can still learn a great deal from the class if you’re not so writing-career orientated, however, the price will probably dissuade you, as well as the workload. This is a heavy duty course, designed to make a damn well, bloody good writer out of you over a period of several months. Format: Holly’s classes run on a weekly or fortnightly format. This means that if you choose the 15month payment plan for HTTS, you’ll get a new lesson every two weeks. And you can’t jump around or to the end. You complete each lesson as it appears and have to wait for the succeeding lesson. It’s designed this way, to stop you jumping around, because you need to build on each successive week/lesson. Great things take time, remember? Here’s my current HTTS Lesson plan, to get an idea. As you can see, each successive lesson is scheduled fortnightly (for me on the 15th-month plan). A Quick Summary: “29 Weekly Lessons for those serious about going Pro.” Paraphrased from Holly’s website 🙂 You can get all you need to know from her very long sales pitch which goes into super detail about each section of the course, but I wanted to give you a quick summary, to let you know what you might be getting yourself into… But before that… Thinking Sideways… what Holly means by this is: learning how to approach writing from another angle. Section 1: Sideways Thinking on Ideas This is where you break down barriers, find your writing “sweet spot”, find ideas on demand and learn what a good or great is. 4 Lessons (weeks 1-4) Section 2: Thinking Sideways on Project Planning This is where you finally start planning your main project, your novel. 5 Lessons (weeks 5-9) Section 3: Thinking Sideways on Beginnings This is where you finally begin writing. 5 Lessons (weeks 10-14) Section 4: Thinking Sideways on Middles Learn how to keep things interesting throughout the middle 4 Lessons (weeks 15-18) Section 5: Thinking Sideways on Endings Learn how to craft and write an awesome ending which will sell your next book 4 Lessons (weeks 19-22) Section 6: Thinking Sideways on Revision Learn everything you need to know about revision and how to work with Editors, Agents and More. 7 Lessons (weeks 23-29) In HTTS You’ll Receive: The HTTS Class Section Videos Copies of Manuscripts Holly’s Crash Details Access to Holly’s Private HTTS forum You get to work at your own speed You get the Big-Class discount on her other classes Answers to Your Questions by Holly herself and her Forum moderators. Pro-Tips with Audio walkthrough The Think Sideways Walkthrough And the Graduate Bonus: “How NOT To Write A Series” Cost: The full price is $697, but Holly offers two payment plans woohoo! An 8-Month option at $88.00 per month or 15-Month option at $47.00 per month Duration: This is an 8-month long class, delivered in a weekly format. However, if you choose the 15-Month subscription plan, then the class will be delivered fortnightly and over the 15 months. Writing Level: This is for all writers, from beginners to advanced. It’s the commitment level that’s important here. This class is for writer’s who want to write, and earn a living from it. A How to Think Sideways Review from a previous and successful student: “Holly’s huge ”how-to” for writers who actually want to put pen to paper and get a novel out in print. I bought this one after I went through HTRYN, and I wish I’d bought it first. If you put in the work, these techniques will give you all the tools you need to write good, strong, publishable fiction, not to mention make your work in HTRYN much, much smoother. Just trust me. When the industry changes significantly, Holly edits and re-releases. I’ve been through two updates and several bonuses. (Spoiler alert: Some of the bonus materials have saved me thousands of dollars). HTTS is some of the best money I’ve ever spent. It was one of the courses that helped turn a lifelong dream into books on a shelf.” Vanessa Wells – CLICK HERE to check out Vanessa’s highly rated books on Amazon (affiliate link, my fellow writers – got to make money somehow 🙂 ) Pros and Cons? I pretty much mentioned everything above, and they’re all Pros! Well, I think they are. But here are my top Pros for getting this class: The best Pro is: Holly’s students get published and actually make money! You can also cancel at any time and get pro-rata refunds for months not used (for the monthly payment option). I’m sure there is a refund policy in place for the full payment option (I will look into this and update this post as soon as I find out). CLICK BELOW TO LEARN MORE: Holly’s Other Career Writing Classes: 2. How to Revise Your Novel Get the Book You WANT from the WRECK You Wrote (also known as HTRYN) Now, I haven’t completed this class yet, as I’ve yet to EVER finish a story, let alone a novel! But this course is on my list to buy as soon as I finish my current novel in progress (the one I’m writing while I’m working through Holly’s class How To Think Sideways.) Who’s This Class For? Writer’s who have completed their first (or second, or third) draft and need help with revising it. A Quick Summary: Learn how to revise your novel (or novella, short story) in one go, in 22 Lessons, delivered over approximately 5 months. Learn about the 3 stages of revision: Trauma Triage – Finding the Big stuff (weeks 1-8, includes Story Diagnostics) Major Surgery – Fixing the Big stuff (weeks 9-17) Cosmetic Surgery – dealing with all the fiddly leftover stuff (weeks 18-21) And in the final Lesson 22, you’ll learn how to condense this course into a “One-Pass Revision” that will take you 1 month which you can use for all your future books. What You’ll Get: Lifetime Access to course materials and forums Access to the Private Forum 22 Weekly Lessons Bonuses: The 7-Day Crash Revision – Bonus Course A Gradation Bonus: The Secrets To Developing And Writing Series That Sell (in 4 Lessons) Cost: There are three payment options: $377 Full Payment option $77 per month for 5 months $47 per month for 9 months Duration: 5 Months, or 9 months if you pick the $47/month payment plan. Lessons are delivered fortnightly. Writing Level: For writers of any level. Cancellation Policy: You can cancel at any time. If you cancel in the first 30 days, you’ll receive a full refund. Following this, you have 7 days to review each lesson, and if you cancel, you receive a refund for lessons not used and the current lesson. No Questions Asked. Holly stands by her courses, and wants you to try them, because she knows they work. Click HERE to Learn More: 3. How to Write a Series: Master the Art of Sequential Fiction Now, I haven’t completed this class either, so my information below is sourced from Holly’s website and is my opinion, however untested as of yet. I generally think Holly’s courses are awesome and don’t have any hesitation in recommending them. Plus she has that awesome guarantee 🙂 Who’s This Class For? For those writers feeling challenged to write a series of novels. You go get ’em! A Quick Summary: Basically, you’ll learn how to write a series by doing it, and Holly will get you to write a series as your class project. Holly suggests that you focus on shorter type stories at approximately 10,000 to 30,000 words each. Here’s what you’ll learn each month: Month 1: Building your Story Core, Building your Series Matrix, Starting your first Story and getting it to the Middle. Month 2: Getting you to finish your First Story. Month 3: Writing the Middle Stories Month 4: Involves learning about Advanced Series-Writing Skills Month 5: Problems and Cures of Writing Series Fiction. Month 6: Extras like how to write and produce a series on an Indie budget, How to Fix Grievous Errors in already Published Stories in your series AND MORE. Month 7: The Special Challenges of Series Promotion. Bonuses: None yet – this is a recently developed course and still in Holly’s “Splinters” version. Cost: $497.00 (Splinters price) PDF format only currently. or $83.00 per month for 6 months (Splinters price) PDF format only currently. Duration: 7 Months Writing Level: For writers who have finished at least one novel preferably. But really anyone could take this course. Cancellation Policy: As always, Holly provides a wonderful cancellation policy. Another quote from student Vanessa Wells: “How to Write a Series: This is a favourite of mine. Oh, I loved How to Think Sideways and How to Revise Your Novel, but How to Write a Series is so entertaining that I could read it just for fun. It’s full of brilliant advice and worksheets to help you turn your ideas into reality in a way that will make your readers happy. This course is wonderful for the writer who wants to make a living off their work. Which is the point of Holly’s courses. It’s all about putting pencil to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and getting the job done. It doesn’t hurt that this isn’t advice from someone who just writes about writing. Holly has over 30 published novels. A lot of those are trilogies and serial. She understands how to keep a reader glued to the page, and even better (from our perspective) she knows how to teach us to do it as well. If you buy this, you are buying a tool that you can use over and over again. And unlike a drill or a saw, as long as you have your receipt, Holly will always get you a new copy of it if your computer crashes and you lose your password (I hate to admit it, but I’ve tested this more than once). It’s a phenomenal product and I couldn’t be happier with my investment.” Vanessa Wells – click above to check out Vanessa’s highly rated books on Amazon The Free Writing Class 4. How To Write Flash Fiction that Doesn’t SUCK This is Holly’s free introductory class to her lessons and method and style of teaching. This is an immensely valuable free product that everyone really should check out. This is the course that sold me on her career class, How To Think Sideways. What You’ll Get: 3 Lessons over 3 weeks, teaching you how to write 5 to 10 flash fiction pieces. Access to Holly’s Writing Forums, which allows you to find valuable information from other members and receive feedback on your current projects. Check out the Free 3-Week Flash Writing Class Here: Write Flash Fiction that Doesn’t SUCK Holly has a number of other short classes and books available: Single-Skill Writing Clinics These short clinics include an ebook (in kindle, pdf and ePub formats), worksheets, and access to the class forum. Cost: Low (typically $9.95) Create a Character Clinic Create a Plot Clinic Create a Language Clinic Create a Culture Clinic Create a World Clinic How To Write Page-Turning Scenes Student Quotes From the Writing Clinics: Page Turning Scenes: Holly takes the humble scene and shows writer how to make them pop. If your goal is to write fiction that your readers don’t want to put down, this is a great place to start! Vanessa Wells Create a World Clinic: Being a world-building geek myself, this course actually helped me immensely. It not only gives you exercises that help you build a rich world that pops off the page, it also tones down the tendency of many writers to over-build before we start writing. The end goal of any course by Holly Lisle is to give you the tools to write and publish fiction…not to plan incessantly. Vanessa Wells Create a Language Clinic: If Holly can teach me to make up a reasonable language with decent complexity, she can teach anyone. This one is a must have for fantasy and sci/fi writers who need to add that touch of authenticity that only comes with a world having a couple of dead languages to translate. Vanessa Wells Writing Workshops Includes: These workshops typically include multiple lessons, worksheets, and class forum access. Cost: Ranging from $37 to $97. 24-Hour Intensive: Find Your Writing Voice How to Write Villains currently in a splinters version (recently created, and may need tweaking) How to Write Short Stories currently in a splinters version (recently created, and may need tweaking) How to Write Dialogue With Subtext Title. Cover. Copy. Fiction Marketing Workshop 7-Day Crash Revision Click HERE to Learn More: “Get Back On Track” Writing Workshops Includes: These workshops typically include multiple lessons, worksheets, and class forum access.: Cost: Ranging from $14 to $77. 21 Ways To Get Yourself Writing How To Find Your Writing Discipline How To Motivate Yourself How To Beat Writer’s Block I hope this gives you an insight into what Holly’s writing courses entail and what they’re all about. Holly’s free writing class is a great introduction to her classes and teaching methods, plus it’s FREE! So what have you got to lose? Learn More about her Free 3-Week Flash Writing Class Here: Write Flash Fiction that Doesn’t SUCK Hope to see you in the class forum 🙂 Happy Writing! Erica Do you just love Holly’s writing classes? Let me know what you think, and any questions you have about them, and I’ll reply as soon as I can!