Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis


Sunday, June 28th, 2009
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So [info]cathschaffstump asks: Do you identify with any of your characters? In what ways? Has that changed as you’ve continued on your writing journey?

I suppose I identify in some ways with them. For instance, with Reisil I made her dreadfully afraid of heights (which I am). Course she gets over it and that’s just wishful thinking for me. I’ve also used some of my experiences to give flavor to the characters. For instance knowledge about horseback riding or what it feels like to get saddle sores (which I did when I spent time riding bareback in a saddle one time). I know what it’s like to be in dreadful pain and that goes into the stories. But as far as idenitifying with them in terms of being close to them and feeling what they feel and really being attached . . . not so much. I’m always aware I may have to kill them. Or torture them. Plus I worry about the whole Mary Sue problem. So I try to make them different from me and people that I don’t too closely idenitfy with.

[info]mtlawson asks: What’s your most memorable college experience? And for something writing related…. What sort of novel do you not like?

Most memorable college experience. Well. It was about my third day into college my freshman year. I broke my contact that morning and so was wearing my glasses. I was riding my bike to class. Now you have to understand, first, I was going to my calculus class (engineering calculus and it was both hard and terrifiying). Second, at any given time at Davis there was about 17,000 bikes on campus. The had traffic circles. Well, I got into the traffic circle and couldn’t get out. These people ride FAST. So finally I was coming out of the circled and Moe Howared clipped my back tire (okay, he had Moe’s haircut.) My bike flipped and I landed on my face. I had a swelling the size of a golf ball on my chin and it looked like a cougar had scratched my glasses. My bike was fracked. So I got up, walked it down to the class (a good 1/4 of a mile) and turned my homework in. My instructor looked at me and told me to go to the med center and don’t pass go.

As for novel’s I don’t like: I don’t like novels that don’t have compelling characters, that don’t have a plot, and that don’t have a satisfying resolution. I hate boring novels (and I like Dickens and Victorian novels so boring simply means that if you are going to go slow and meander, that you’d better make the trip interesting). I hate books that are too cliche. Again, I can take a good cliche if you can find a way to make it different or entertaining. Good dialog, good characters–something. I don’t much care for Hemingway or Steinbeck. The first is too minimalist and the second too heavy-handed. They just bore me. And neither seems to come to any real point.

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