What people are saying about my courses
Author of contemporary small-town romance
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. 🙂
The "Secret to 1-click fans" was insightful
Three Fixable Reasons didn't meet my expectations exactly, but exceeded them. It's not a long drawn out guide on how to change everything in your life to achieve your goal the "right way", but an in-depth guide on achieving your goals with a little boost in identifying problems and suggestions to fix it. I realized I need to start at the very foundations of my story and writer brand. The guide helped me ask myself some very thought provoking questions that helped me identify various aspects of my writing that I may not have thought about before. Honestly I hadn't thought too much about making solid fans as much as just getting people to check out my book (if/when published), so the "Secret to 1-click fans" was insightful. I tend to overthink myself in circles on things, one of those being characters, and that section helped me realize that perhaps one of the biggest things you can do is make your characters relatable and that alone will help keep readers coming back for more.
Any of my aspiring writer friends could benefit from this book. I don't think it's just a guide to marketing your published book, but a guide for various aspects to keep in mind from the very beginning of the writing process. I found the guide to be very positive, written in a friendly and encouraging way as opposed to purely instructional. It made me want to jump right back into my editing and helped me realize a few more places off the top of my head I can improve, such as a few characteristics that would help my hero & heroine be a little more authentic and relatable.
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.
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