SPP186 Nailing Your Story with Monica Leonelle

Self Publishing Podcast

Today, Monica Leonelle joins the guys to talk about story structure and how to really nail down the story you want to tell, and your readers want to enjoy. From story format to a writing framework, and theme to symbols and ideas, get Monica’s perspective on writing well.

  • Something cool: Charlie Kaufman is SO interesting; the book “The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August;” Sean’s story of the time someone misunderstood what he meant by ‘shit the bed.’
  • At 17 EDIT**************
  • Why authors are looking at dictation more these days, and what it means for them
  • Monica’s approach to framework when she’s writing, that will work for plotters or pantsers
  • ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ example of framework and character arc
  • Monica’s practical tips to theme, based on ‘Veronica Mars’
  • Is world building only for fantasy and sci fi?
  • Discussion on theme, and claiming Stephen King is WRONG. (For once…)
  • The internal vs. external journey of a character, using Katniss of ‘Hunger Games’ as an example
  • Monica lists some of the biggest mistakes that indie authors are making
  • Symbols and ideas that make a book (like ‘The Martian’) far richer
  • Being careful not to be heavy-handed with symbols and ideas, in addition to theme
  • Johnny’s secret allegory in Fat Vampire 4
  • AT 15 EDIT**************
  • When do readers NOT want character arcs? Something to consider…


  1. Great episode! And love all of Monica’s Growth Hacking for Writers books. Some of my favorite writing non-fiction books.

    Also, have you guys been watching Ash vs. Evil Dead? They whipped out the Ayawaska and I instantly thought of Sterling & Stone and your 99 Design ads.


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