What Readers Say

CPE: Character, Plot, & Emotion – the three foundational pillars of storytelling – a writing how-to

CPE Workbook – companion workbook to CPE: Character, Plot & Emotion

What Dixon’s GMC did for the 90s writer, CPE will do for the modern author. CPE foundation doesn’t force you into a prefab process, it helps you refine the process you’re comfortable with. I was a total pantser and struggled with saggy middles. This book helped me tweak my process to highlight Character, Plot, and Emotion to keep my story moving and readers engaged. – Amazon review

This book is phenomenal! CPE: Character, Plot, & Emotion – the Three Pillars of Storytelling and the CPE Workbook should be part of the fiction writer’s A-game tool kit. Diana Stout has efficiently assimilated the great masterworks of story structure and presented her findings simply, in a manner profoundly appreciated. And the workbook makes straightforward her technique.
In one short afternoon of reading the book’s entirety, I walk away with several ‘aha moments’ and clarity of the many related, overlapping and perhaps competing models for structuring story, whether screenplay or novel. As a late-blooming writer of fiction, with the benefit of Dr. Stout’s shared insight, I feel I can breathe again. More importantly, I now truly believe I can have my work published. Is it obvious that I highly recommend this book and its accompanying workbook? It is for writers of all levels, especially those who desire to write and be published. – Amazon review

Diana explains how to weave character, plot, and emotion into a desirable story. She’s created a plotting technique that’s writer-friendly, inspiring, and based on the industry’s experts. Diana’s method makes it easy to spot and fix plot holes before they occur; a time-saver for this panster. Diana’s plan is easy to understand and is a valuable resource! – Amazon review

Diana explains story structure, and how the moving parts all fit together to make a good story. Then she gives us her own workable, flexible method – CPE. Read this book, then take the parts you need and get to work. That’s what I like best – the wonderful flexibility of her method. You can’t go wrong. – Amazon review

David & Goliath – a mystery/suspense screenplay

Compelling from page one. Fast-paced. Intriguing. Had all the bells and whistles for a thrilling crime detective story.  – Amazon review

Determined Hearts – a spicy romance

Danger, drama, and a sizzling romance…Determined Hearts kept me turning pages until the end.  – Amazon reader

An adventure romance that I really enjoyed. – Amazon reader

The majesty of the Idaho mountain and the animals inhabiting it was described in detail, making it seem as if I were there. A very satisfying love story.  – Amazon reader

I originally read and enjoyed an earlier version of this book. Although I’m not a fan of living in the wilderness, Jennifer’s resourcefulness and the ease with which this city girl adapts to life off the grid makes her a strong character. Hawk is the perfect hero: strong, compassionate, and principled. There is danger, drama, and sizzling romance in this book, and it kept me turning pages until the end. – Goodreads review

Finding Your Fire & Keeping It Hot – a self-help how-to

This wonderful book is a change agent to a better life. The messages help you perceive that you are in charge of the changes you desire to make. Highly recommended to read. It can change your outlook on life and your future plans. – Amazon review

Common sense laid out in an easy to read and follow format. This was the kick in the pants I needed to get creativity flowing again. – Amazon review

Reading this book equates to working with a life coach. Discover how to find your purpose and your WHY. Author includes first-hand accounts of how she found her fire and applied her discoveries, universal law, and positive energy to achieve her goals. This is a for-sure go-to book when I need to regroup while navigating this busy world. – Amazon review

Too many times self-help books get mired down in detail that I, as a reader, don’t want or need. Instead, I just want straightforward advice and practical suggestions. Finding your Fire & Keeping It Hot does just that. It was very well written and filled with helpful insights. I went through it quickly, and now I’m going back to read it more slowly and work the exercises. – Amazon review

Grendel’s Mother – a fantasy

An evocative story of a young woman whose life is shattered by circumstances beyond her control and paints a poignant picture of the history of one of the most infamous monsters of Norse mythology.  – Amazon reader

Grendel’s Mother gives us an imaginative, thoughtful, yet historic and literary look into the character we read about but never understood… A story only someone who is fully schooled in the original tale and the myths and legends of those old days could have penned. This is fantasy and magic for adults.  Amazon reader

Laurel Ridge: Seven Ways to Love – a romance series

Laurel Ridge unites old friends in forever-changing ways. Diana Stout’s compelling storytelling creates a delightful world of drama, humor, and love. This small-town romance has big heart. These page-turning stories were a pleasure to read! – Amazon review

Stout’s compelling storytelling creates a delightful world of drama, humor, and love.  This series will grab readers by the heartstrings!  – Linda Bradley, author

Stout knows how to write compelling characters and make the writing look effortless.   – Kat Doran Henry, Wild Women Reviews, 7 out of 5 stars.

Loves New Beginnings – a romance

This is such a lovely, sweet romance. It’s well-written with engaging, likable characters that you will root for. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys, sweet, light romance. – Amazon review
I enjoyed reading Charlene and Logan’s story. Charlene is a concert pianist whose career is halted when she’s mugged in NYC. She arrives at her late grandfather’s home in rural Michigan thinking she’s there only to recuperate, but she finds much more. I loved the strong and industrious Charlene. Despite her hardships, she manages to keep a level head and move on. I also enjoyed several minor characters, like Logan’s son Brian and Josie, one of the workers at the orchard. This is a nice, light romance. – Amazon review

The Super Simple Easy Basic Cookbook 

The answer we’ve all been looking for…simple categories…a quick, easy helpmate in the kitchen. Options for substitutes are included—a wonderful aide to those of us who are challenged in the culinary imagination area.  – Goodreads review

The concept behind this book is brilliant!!  – Amazon reader

Tomorrow’s Wish for Love – a sweet romance

A sweet contemporary romance with an important message for everyone not just those on the brink of falling into love, or like, or hi-how-are-you: communicate!! If it’s important to you, and the other person is worth it–share it. Don’t let a good thing pass you by due to poor self image or fear of rejection. Marion, of Maid Marion’s Cleaning Service, almost lets the wonderful John Dalton slip through her hands on the grounds she “know” he’ll dump her like last week’s left-overs because she’s damaged goods. But then John the Wonderful doesn’t give up—and all ends well, not without some angst, heartache, and agita. Tomorrow’s Wish for Love is more than worth the ride. – Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews