Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis

Articles & Essays

Available for download: Diana’s Dissertation about

Dissertation (PDF)

In Parts:

Table of Contents (PDF) Chapter Two (PDF) Chapter Five (PDF)
Intro (PDF) Chapter Three (PDF) Conclusion (PDF)
Chapter One (PDF) Chapter Four (PDF) Bibliography (PDF)

Character Development help

I developed the following information sheet to give writers some pointers on developing characters. I hope if you’ve stumbled over it, that it helps you. This and the following article on plugging into characters should offer a lot of help.

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Plugging Your Reader Into Your Characters

Characters don’t have to be necessarily likeable, but readers do need to connect to them. Even the anti-hero has to have some sort of sympathetic quality. We’ll talk about how you can boost that reader/character connection. Let’s face it, if readers love a character, they’ll stick with the story.

Show of hands: Ever read a story or book that you didn’t like that well, but the character kept you going? You just had to know what happened to him or her?

Why do you suppose that is?

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Tips for Keeping Track of Vital Information in Your Novel

First published in The Broadsheet. February 2005

Let’s face it, write a novel, and you need to find a reliable method of keeping track of informational details. Write a fantasy trilogy (as I am doing), and suddenly you need to keep track of everything in the last two books, plus the third one you’re working on. Imagine yourself in the fifth chapter of the last book, inserting character information that contradicts what you already said in book one! Maybe it’s only an eye color shift, but maybe it’s a shift in religious beliefs or suddenly your heroine becomes an orphan, though earlier she had a mother and a father.

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Publishing your first commercial novel

First published in State of the Arts, Montana Arts Council, September/October, 2004. 22-23.

You’ve triumphantly typed those lovely last words “The End.” Congratulations! You’ve finished your commercial novel. Now what do you do? Like almost every writer who finishes a novel, you undoubtedly would like to see your book in print. But how to get an editor to even look at it, much less buy it?

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First published in The Writers Post Journal. February 2005. 61-62.

You hear of it often. The loneliness of writing. The cliches: blood, sweat and tears. The urge to do anything else—scrub the toilet or scrape gum from beneath cafeteria tables—rather than spend one more second in front of a blank screen typing out words, erasing them, rearranging them, only to finally sit back and despair because you couldn’t even write a grocery list.

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