What people are saying about my courses

An enlightening, flexible yet detailed guide

I finished writing my rough draft - yay! - but have felt a little lost in the editing process. I purchased the workbook because I was hoping to narrow down my thought process and try to refocus on my story instead of focusing on all the work I have left to do and how daunting it all seems.

The workbook helped me think on a deeper level about my style—not my story, but my style of writing that story. It was enlightening. I have often searched for a workbook type guide to help me organize my thoughts for a story. This book not only did that but helped me focus on the details of how to write that story and in my own voice/style. Any struggling writer could find this helpful. It's a flexible yet detailed guide to focusing inward by assessing what things you do and don't like about stories you read or write and how to apply those assessments.

Even at the full price of $21 I think it's worth it, as you can reuse it as many times as you need and can help you reorganize your thoughts and priorities per story or as something to keep near your desk to refer to whenever you start feeling overwhelmed in the writing process. It just felt good to self-examine that deeply and in a way I wouldn't have thought to go about it exactly. The workbook helped me identify the various elements I love and helped show that you can mix and match, making it your own, instead of just trying to emulate your favorite author.

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Buffy Kennedy
Aspiring Writer

Helped me get back to the joy of storytelling

The Define Your Storytelling Style primer workbook focused on the why most writers write. In the push to do marketing, publicity, and the business side of publishing, writers sometimes forget the reason they wanted to tell stories in the first place. This really helped me get back to the joy of wanting to tell a story.

I have a style! That was a revelation. I never thought, as a beginning writer, that I could have a 'style''. The questions in the workbook made me re-evaluate how I want readers to feel when they read my books. The workbook gave me an entirely new perspective on what style is. Working through the questions, especially thinking about what emotions my favorite books evoke in me, showed me how I want my stories to grab my readers.

The workbook made me really go back to why I wanted to be a writer. I have something unique to say, and that got lost in all the 'tropes, GMC, and plotting' focus and the marketing and business emphasis put on authors. While an author needs all that too, the love of writing never gets mentioned at all. The joy of writing gets lost in all the noise of everything else an author is 'supposed' to be doing. I was blown away by how this workbook did what it said it would.

I was a bit skeptical about 'defining a writing style' for myself. But the workbook did just that. I loved so much of the workbook, but the section looking at your favorite author and when they started and what need their stories fulfilled at that time. I would highly recommend that all authors do this at any stage of their careers, but also redo the workbook at different stages of their careers. I'm just starting out but I can see the benefit of rereading it and filling out the questions again. I had mixed feelings about the cost of the workbook, but what I learned from it is priceless, so it makes it hard to quibble about the price.

Evoking an emotion in readers and getting back to why I wanted to write in the first place really helped me. I have gotten so caught up in the business side of writing that I forgot the pure joy of just telling my story.

This workbook is like having a personal coach

I was interested in this workbook because, as a genre-hopper, I was hoping to solidify what my style was and how to make my series resonate with readers. By working through each exercise, my values and content theme were clarified. I looked at my series in a different way, from the reader's point of view, and what I wanted their takeaway to be. The storytelling style hit me as a crucial part of what I needed to work on. I had been looking at other authors to see how I was similar to them but this encouraged me to look at what empowered me to write my characters the way I do.

What the guide made me realize is that my voice as an author was key to where I fit in the romance genre and how I could best deliver on my promise to the reader to produce a powerful story. It was extremely well organized, with thoughtful questions and exercises for each section. Rather than reading through the entire thing, I took the time to work on my answers and dig deep into how I could refine my writing.

Analyzing my personal values and how that applied to my storytelling was a key learning point. It encompassed the how and why of the evolution of my characters and the outcomes I wanted to achieve. The story beats proved to be another valuable exercise to look at the flow and arc of my series and ensure I was staying on target with where I wanted the story to go.

I would recommend this guide to a first-time author as a must-read because it will save so much time later when you are formulating your outline. I also highly suggest any author who is writing a series should fill out the worksheets and refer back to them often as you move through the series to make sure they are synced. In the beginning I thought the workbook was a bit pricey, but after reading through the guide and doing the exercises, I felt it was a bargain because it was like having a personal coach leading me through the process.

I really liked the positivity and can-do attitude. Everything seems possible and since it was broken into small steps, the outcome was achievable. I am not distinctly a romance writer. Although this talked about tropes and HEA, I think it could target all contemporary fiction. I'm a huge planner so this was the perfect workbook for me. It will be valuable as I move to my next series since it will be entirely new but I want it to be connected to my voice/brand as an author.

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Discover insights you didn't know you had

I'm always looking for ways to make my work more distinctive in a crowded marketplace. Being asked to compare and contrast my work with my role models was a useful exercise in identifying how they've shaped my writing. I came away with a better understanding of what I'm striving for with my own stories as well as the roots of that inspiration. It forced me to do the WORK.

I'm not given to introspection in my own work, but by asking a series of small but important questions, the DYSS workbook led me down a path to greater understanding of areas where I excel and areas where I need to pay more attention. These exercises not only helped me consider how I shape my stories, but they sparked creativity as I considered the brand I present to my readers. Identifying common themes, tropes, and characters crystallized the direction my writer's voice has started to move.

I fully expected a workbook from Sue to be built on positivity and encouragement, and I was not disappointed. Even if you're someone who dreads breaking down your own writing style (guilty!), Sue's upbeat, step-by-step approach will walk you through the process and help you discover insights you didn't know you had. I could feel her rooting for me to make a breakthrough in every line.

Asking what I didn't want my readers to experience was an interesting reversal in thinking and helped me approach the experience I want them to have so I can avoid disappointing them (and myself). Also, by combining a handful of words to describe my characters, themes, tropes, etc., I have a better understand of the writer I'm becoming.

This workbook is suited for writers at all stages of craft and career development. Newbies will start thinking about the work they want to present to the world, and experienced authors can track how their work has evolved and matured. I enjoyed seeing my answers all laid out for clarity, and the exercises even prompted a breakthrough on a plot snarl in a work-in-progress I've been stuck on.

I thought the Define Your Storytelling workbook was great. I love that it sets realistic expectations about what it can and cannot do. And the tone is so lovey. 🙂

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This guide has something for everyone, not just romance writers

I felt stuck with my writing and wanted to read something that would inspire some ideas. The part about committing to your own style really resonated with me. I realized I have a tendency to constantly change my style of storytelling when I write and second guess myself. It prohibits me from moving forward and finishing because I keep going back. I usually write in Scrivener, but the problem with that is each chapter is easily accessible to me, which makes it easy for me to go back instead of forward. Once I realized my problem, I saved my story into a word document, making it more of a hassle to go back and it made me focus on where I was supposed to be.

The Three Reasons Guide gave me the information it said it would as well as some bonus information, which is always a plus. It also felt less like I was reading a book and more like I was talking to a friend. I've struggled with owning my own style for years, but it's thanks to books like this that I've been able to figure it out little by little. I realized that I just need to write what I love and not overthink it.

Anyone who is serious about writing would benefit from this book. Even if they aren't exclusively romance writers. There is something for everyone in here.

Alex Pitones , YA/Urban Fantasy Writer
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Empowering, straightforward, and actionable

I always like reading advice to elevate my craft and anticipate keeping that list of character development questions up along side my working document as I start to plan a new book. They're simple and straightforward, and they'll be good focus questions.

The Three Fixable Reasons guide is straightforward and actionable. When Sue says she’s focused on empowering romance authors, she’s not exaggerating.

This guide offers a series of concrete, pragmatic questions that will help you flesh out your characters and find ways to connect with an audience. Even better, the advice is presented in Sue’s positive and encouraging style, so it’s almost like having a friend cheering you on when you open your work-in-progress.

Whether you’re writing your first book or your fifteenth, Sue’s guide has the potential to elevate both your craft and your marketing.

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