Writing Tip Wednesday – Settings and Series

Writing Tip Wednesday – Settings and Series

JA Huss

Welcome to Video Five of The Perfect Story. In this video we’re going to talk about world building and how to plot a series arc. Sorry that it’s a week late. Lots of cool shit going on right now for me – but all of it requires my time so WTW had to wait. I will try and release the next video (Pacing and Suspense) next week on schedule, but can’t make any promises.


If you’re just coming in on this series and haven’t yet seen the previous videos they are linked below.

Middles and Scenes
Hooks and Endings
Sex Scenes
Literary Devices

As always, if you don’t want to remember to check back every two weeks to watch the new video, you can always follow my blog using the form below and I’ll send the post right to your email. And if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll answer your question as soon as I see it.

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About JA Huss

JA Huss never wanted to be a writer and she still dreams of that elusive career as an astronaut. She originally went to school to become an equine veterinarian but soon figured out they keep horrible hours and decided to go to grad school instead. That Ph.D wasn’t all it was cracked up to be (and she really sucked at the whole scientist thing), so she dropped out and got a M.S. in forensic toxicology just to get the whole thing over with as soon as possible.

After graduation she got a job with the state of Colorado as their one and only hog farm inspector and spent her days wandering the Eastern Plains shooting the shit with farmers. After a few years of that, she got bored. And since she was a homeschool mom and actually does love science, she decided to write science textbooks and make online classes for other homeschool moms. She wrote more than two hundred of those workbooks and was the number one publisher at the online homeschool store many times, but eventually she covered every science topic she could think of and ran out of shit to say.

So in 2012 she decided to write fiction instead. That year she released her first three books and started a career that would make her a New York Times bestseller and land her on the USA Today Bestseller’s List eighteen times in the next three years. Her books have sold millions of copies all over the world, the audio version of her semi-autobiographical book, Eighteen, was nominated for an Audie award in 2016, and her audiobook Mr. Perfect was nominated for a Voice Arts Award in 2017. Johnathan McClain is her first (and only) writing partner and even though they are worlds apart in just about every way imaginable, it works.

She lives on a ranch in Central Colorado with her family.

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  1. Julie – I’ve been following this series as well as the Marketing Strategy series and I’m not sure what I enjoy more… the info or your no-bull**** way of presenting. You’re a very talented author. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  2. Not sure Julie why you say that you would plot the individual books in a series first. Shouldn’t you have the grand question (series arc) plotted out first and then move into the individual book plots so that you can be assured that you are doing the individual plots with the grand question in mind? Again, really great and provoking video. I’ve been waiting for this one. Thank you.

    1. If I said it that way, I didn’t mean it. lol. You should definitely have the series plot in mind before you start. At least a very general outline.

  3. Thanks again for a wonderful and informative video. Fingers crossed on buying the house! This gave me some great ideas for things I want to try in the future. Can’t wait for the next one!!!

  4. Julie I ‘ve been learning quite a lot from your videos –even go back and replay/listen to them while doing the day job. I have a question about plotting books for a long series. I haven’t sat down and plotted the series on paper, but I know the three points. As I started to write the first book, my original plan seemed too rushed and 5 books is turning out to be more. My question is … the first plot point in each book, does it need to be that turn the MC life upside down type of problem?
    I’m writing it in a continuous fashion, even serial. I’m on my second book and found I’m off on the %, so I’m moving some things to meet the sweet spots of the points.(my genre is sweet YA romance)
    I am amazed at the time and effort you’re putting into these videos. Thank you so much for doing these.

    1. Yes. In the Plot Whisperer, she calls it a move from the “old” world to the “new” world. That can mean many different things. It can be a state of mind or something big and catastrophic. It all depends on what type of story you’re writing.

      1. If the story is character driven … would there be one huge plot point one/catalyst or could there be several incidents like you talk about in the types of endings? Character driven plot has several crisis in the ending, solving them along the way. For romance do you use one thing or several things? [I’m trying to fix a problem and maybe I’m grasping at straws, and yes I’m still learning]
        Thanks for your insight.

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