FINISH YOUR FIRST DRAFT

  • Finish Your First Draft is a four-module online course, consisting of ten monthly lessons, covering all the skills and techniques you need to turn your book idea into a finished draft. 
  • This course aims to help you get your ideas out of your head and onto the written page. We’ll give you the tools, resources, and support you need to go from thinking or dreaming about your book idea, to finishing your first draft, and actually holding your manuscript in your hands.  
  • It doesn’t matter if this is your very first attempt at writing a book, if you’re already a published author, or if you’re looking to write a breakout book in a new genre. We understand the problems, pitfalls and doubts you’re facing, and can help you overcome your uncertainty, frustration and confusion. Together, we’ll get this first draft finished. 

This course is for you if: 

You want to write a book to tell your story, support your business, attract new clients.

You've written books before, but need an easier, more time-efficient way to write the next one.

You need to learn a tried and trusted process to produce a solid first draft. 

You dream about your book. You think about your book.  

You talk about your book. You may even write about your book.

But you have yet to write your book.

Are you: 

• Frustrated with having a goal that doesn’t seem to be coming to fruition? 

• Overwhelmed with decisions about where to start or how to approach your book project? 

• Confused about why your book project isn’t moving forward when you know you're capable, motivated, and hard-working? 

• Unsure if you really have a book in you, and wanting reassurance that you’re on the right path? 

• Curious about the process of writing a book? 

• Frustrated because you’ve written several books and don’t seem to be making progress toward full-time writing yet? 

This course can help you move forward, with 10 self-study video lessons (available immediately), helpful worksheets that walk you through exactly what to do (just answer the questions and make immediate progress), and several bonus resources that will help you finally get your big idea out into the world! 

It's Time.

We’ll help you in every area, to move you towards your goal and get that first draft finished. Every writer needs something a little different. Maybe you need help in one of these areas.

WRITING 

•We’ll show you how books written like yours are organized so you can get your ideas sorted out. 

• We’ll help you develop your skill set to write a beautiful, flowy book, and improve your writing across all aspects of your business and brand. 

• We’ll support you as you improve on any past attempts to write a book. We’ll gently bring you back to the basics of writing a stellar first draft. 

TIME AND ENERGY

• We'll help you save time and energy by getting a solid outline in place before writing the first draft. 

• We'll help you with step-by-step support and answer all your biggest questions about how to get that first draft onto the page. 

• We'll help you stay accountable and get feedback from likeminded writers just like you in our Facebook group. 

BUILD YOUR SUPPORT

• On this course, you’ll find other serious authors who intend to be around for a while!  

• From now on, you’ll have trusted peers in the industry, and you can all bounce ideas off each other, share your data, and give each other feedback. 

• You’ll meet your people: people you can to go to when the going gets tough, people who know what you’re going through and will help you stay accountable. 

It's Time to Finish Your First Draft.

"Riding off the residual energy of our conversation..."  

"Thank you for holding space for me... I'm freaking excited to get started! I have that inspired passion again for my book idea now that I have more of a direction. Before, I knew it was there but didn't know where to go, what to do, where to start. Thank you!"  

 ~ Jen Mavros, host of The Jen Mavros Show podcast and creator of the Mavros Method of Manifestation 

You will have the tools, techniques and resources you need to move forward with your first draft, getting the structure right, from day one.

10 video lessons at your own pace, setting out exactly what to focus on using a tried and trusted process.

Lesson assignments that will help you move towards your goal of getting that first draft finished.

An opportunity to ask questions and get feedback at each step, via our exclusive private Facebook group. 


Week by week, you’ll work toward finishing your first draft, confident in your idea and committed to making it happen.  

 

It's Time to Write Your Book.

Who exactly is this course for?

It’s for storytellers who want to get their novel or big message out into the world. It’s for entrepreneurs, coaches and business owners who want to create a book that helps them support and grow their business. And it’s for authors (fiction and non-fiction) who are already writing and publishing, but want to improve their writing practice and nail the process of writing a first draft, for their current book and all their future books as well. 

This course is for you if you’re committed to completing the videos and assignments (there are only ten total!), and are good at working at your own pace (you’ll have the flexibility to complete each lesson in your own time). It’s for you if you want to start creating your finished draft, step-by-step. It’s for you if you want feedback and support on your assignments from likeminded authors and peers (you’ll get that in the private Facebook group). 

It’s NOT for you if you’re not prepared to commit to the process and do the work. We aim to make the challenge of producing your first draft much easier than if you were going it alone, but there will be work involved and you are responsible for your results. There are no results without effort, but we're fully committed to helping you succeed. We want you all to have that finished draft sitting on your desk, or device, by the end of the course!

  “Put a method to the madness…”

“Monica has always intuitively understood how to create buzz and enthusiasm for a message and she generously shares her secrets of success. She encourages putting a method to the madness in order to gain long-term traction. I highly recommend Monica to anyone who’s looking for a little extra guidance in navigating this confusing and exciting digital landscape.” 

~ Alexandra Levit, author of They Don’t Teach Corporate in College and former New York Times syndicated columnist

This course is for you if: 

• You’re an entrepreneur or coach, and you want to write your first book to promote your business or services. 

• You’re an aspiring fiction or memoir author, and you want to write your first book, either as a passion project or potential commercial success (or both!). 

• You’re a fiction author who has written a few books already but want to improve your first draft practices. 

• You’re high-vibe, high-energy, and motivated. 

• You’re interested in learning story structure and incorporating it into your work, to make your writing shine. 

• You write nonfiction (self-help, business, or spiritual), genre fiction, or memoir. 


HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL BE LEARNING...


In lesson one we’ll cover the basics of outlining your first draft. You’ll choose your theme, thematic elements, and your worldview. You’ll create a section-by-section outline, and decide on the transformation your reader will go through, or the character arc for your book. You’ll identify the ‘tentpole’ moments that hold up the book, and start fleshing them out.  


In lesson two we’ll cover outlining in more detail, creating a solid, chapter-by-chapter outline. Nonfiction authors will start fleshing out examples and/or case study stories. For fiction and memoir authors we’ll be working on characters, setting, and plot.  


Lesson three will focus on writing habits. We’ll put everything in place to help you with writing a specific number of words weekly, and work on writing faster and staying focused. You’ll also be mapping out and improving your writing process for the full book. 


In lesson four we’ll focus on the beginning of your book. We’ll get the setup right and make sure you have everything you need before you start (we’ll go through a checklist of exactly what you need, for each type of book). 


Lesson five will be all about deepening the beginning of your book. This lesson includes nailing the hook for the book, chapter and scene work, and adding in thematic elements, psychological triggers, and more details, so your book hits all the marketability factors. If you’re a nonfiction authors this lesson is also about making sure your personal story is solid.  


“Something finally clicked…”

“I've been spinning my wheels trying to take the next step in my craft… Monica Leonelle finally made something click in my brain.”

~M.A. Brotherton, author of The Seven Keys Saga


Lesson six focuses on the middle of your book. We’ll look at how to get the center of your book correct so people continue reading, and how to add lots of excitement and value to this section. There will be another checklist to make sure you have everything needed for the middle of the book.  


In lesson seven we’ll be aligning all the elements of your book, so everything is flowing nicely. We'll be working on chapters and scenes, and adding in thematic elements, psychological triggers, and more details to make your book more marketable.  


In lesson eight we’re focusing on the end of your book. We’re going to help you nail the final section, and write an awesome conclusion that encourages people to take the next action step.  


Lesson nine will help you deepen the impact of the end of your book. We’ll be looking at how you want people to feel as they finish your book and what action you want people to take next. We’ll find out how to create a satisfying conclusion and add in more of those thematic elements and psychological triggers.  


In lesson ten we’ll be putting it all together. We’ll make sure the book works at both a high level and at a chapter/scene level. We’ll be celebrating our success (of course) and talking about what to do next with this (finished!) first draft.  


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“Best-in-class superstar!”

“Monica’s writing skills are really incredible and I knew from the start that she would be extremely successful. Among her good qualities are her persistence and her passion for all things marketing, technology, and branding. I recommend her to anyone looking to get a best-in-class superstar!”  

~ Dan Schawbel, New York Times & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author of Promote Yourself, Forbes & Inc. 30 Under 30

YOUR INSTRUCTOR

Monica Leonelle

Monica Leonelle is a USA Today bestselling author and creator of the Smarter Storytelling Framework, the Hierarchy of Prosperous Creation, and The World Needs Your Book—where we start with the impact we want to make on the world and then build a sustainable business around your idea, message, or story. Author of over 20 books, she’s been writing and producing her own fiction and nonfiction since 2009.  

Monica is the author of the Growth Hacking for Storytellers series (which has sold over 30,000 copies), helping authors with everything from improving their writing speed to perfecting their author mindset. She’s been featured in several books, and on over 30 podcasts about writing and publishing. Her books, website, podcasts and online courses have helped thousands of authors start, finish and publish their books. 

Monica also has the credentials to help entrepreneurs draft a book that supports their business. She has an MBA in marketing, strategy, and entrepreneurship from Chicago Booth School of Business, and she’s led digital marketing efforts for Inc. 100 companies such as Hansen’s Natural and Braintree.  

Formerly from Chicago, Monica now lives in Saint Louis, MO with her husband and an adorable westie (west highland white terrier). She has a strong focus on mindset and positive thinking. Her career began in software engineering, but she shifted to digital marketing in 2009, with the release of her first book. She climbed the corporate ladder quickly, moving from corporate to freelancing in 2011 and then from freelancing to full-time authoring in 2015. Her first $1000 month on Amazon was in 2014, the year she wrote 8 books and one short story. She launched her first course for authors in 2016 and since then, hundreds of students have enrolled in her programs.  

Finish Your First Draft, Write Your Book, & Reap the Benefits.  

You could tell that fiction story that's been in your heart for awhile. You could build your business, get more coaching clients, build and sell tickets to workshops or live events, book more speaking engagements, develop and increase your business partnerships, hit a bestseller list or win awards. You could write the life story that's been floating in your mind for years.

Your big story, message, or idea could create a movement. Why not get started today?  

Why this course? And why now? 

Writing your first draft is HARD, even if you’ve written books before. And getting it wrong leads to a lot of wasted time and energy, as you try to fix it in rewrites and edits. Why not learn to get it right from the start? You’ll save time, energy and money further down the road! 

Writing a first draft is time-consuming. Why put so much work into something unless you’re giving it the best chance of success, using tried and true story structure principles? And receiving feedback to help you correct things as you go along? 

Community is key. On the course, you’ll make friends with people who are serious about landing a book deal, and who knows, maybe that friendship will turn into cross-promotion when you both have your first book launch! Having friends in the industry is important. And it’s invaluable to get feedback from others who are working on the same things as you. 

If you don’t take this course, will you ever get it done? How long have you been wanting to do this? Maybe it’s a year, or more. How will you feel a year from now, if you’ve still made no progress?  

“Great Tips!”

“Some great tips from Monica, and every writer, no matter where on the journey, can learn something new.”

~ Joanna Penn, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thriller under J.F. Penn, author of How To Market a Book and founder of TheCreativePenn.com

Let's do this!

Isn't it Time to Make Your Dream a Reality?  

“Actionable steps…”

"…almost everyone can walk away with actionable steps to take their writing business to new heights.”  

~ Michael La Ronn, author of The Android X Series

Frequently Asked Questions 

Will I actually have a finished draft at the end of this course?

Yes! If you commit to studying all the lessons, doing your assignments, and putting in the work, you'll definitely have a finished first draft by the end of the course! 

How is the course delivered?  

The course consists of ten lessons spread across four modules. You'll get access to the lessons immediately. Each lesson consists of a video and an assignment and/or workbook(s) to complete.

Each lesson should take 1-2 hours at most. And, of course, you’ll also be working on your draft at the same time. The lessons will make working on your draft much easier, as you’ll know exactly what you should be doing at each stage.  

What are the lessons like?  

Each lesson consists of a video and assignment. I use a three step process in my teaching. I share the information, offer an example, and then give you an exercise, assignment, or workbook. As you work through the videos, you'll be creating your first draft.  

Do you provide feedback?  

While I can't read drafts, I'm happy to answer questions in our Facebook group. Posting there allows you to get feedback and encouragement from your peers. This is a course where you’ll be meeting like-minded people and there will be opportunities to learn from each other and collaborate.  

Will you re-write or edit my work?  

Please check out our editing services for one-on-one guidance from me!

Is this course ideal for coaches? 

Yes. If you’re building your coaching program (or any other business), this will help you create a book that supports and promotes your work. Writing your book is growing your business, and vice-versa. They work beautifully together, and a book will help you really stand out from the crowd because so few coaches have one right now. 

Is this course ideal for startup entrepreneurs?  

Yes. I worked in tech startups for most of my corporate career and have coached several CEOs on their writing. Those CEOs have gone on to write and publish books that have helped their businesses succeed. Drafting your first book while growing a business from scratch is a great way to make sure your book and business support and promote one another. You can also take this course no matter where you are with your business growth. We’ll help you draft a book that’s highly relevant to your business objectives, whatever they may be.

Do you have a money-back guarantee?  

This program is no quit, no refund from the moment you sign up, so make sure you are committed before doing so!  

To repeat: We don’t offer refunds. By signing up for this program, you are fully committed to both the content and whatever payment plan you choose. You are responsible for all payments under the payment plan you’ve chosen regardless of whether you use the material or remain in the program.