Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
Bitter Night Revisions . . . are done

I. Am. Tired. But the revisions for Bitter Night are done and winging their way through cyperspace to my editor. I hope she likes. And remarkably, they are on time. Due today, turned in today. Okay, not be 5:00 NY time, but nothing said they had to be, and as long as it’s before business open tomorrow, it counts. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Just at the moment I’m about cross-eyed with exhaustion. I need sleep. And I need to get back to work on The Traitor King. And there are one or two other things to get done too. No rest for the wicked. Or even for me.

And the remarkable Ilona Andrews has been doing awesome things with my website. Go look. It’s got some issues, especially in IE, but I don’t care. It’s lovely. And I need to add content, I know.

I’ll post the first chapters of The Turning Tide soon–how’s that?

And now, collapsing in a heap. And trying to figure out how to cook dinner while in said heap.

Saturday, April 11th, 2009
Bitter Night Revision Update

So far I’m not nearly as far along on the revisions for Bitter Night as I should be, but I am making progress. What’s interesting is that I’ve cut at least 6K words out (and I’m not quite a third through the revisions–I did say they were going slow). I say at least because though I keep a snippet file of bigger chunks I’ve cut, I don’t include single sentences or phrases or words in there and there’s been a lot of those and trust me, they add up. Anyhow, I’ve got a file of around 6K, and the novel is about 2K longer than it started out.

So that means I’ve probably cut closer to 8K and put 2 K back in. But really, I’ve probably cut more like 12K and added back in about 4K. I’m still chopping–trying to make it lean and not saggy–and also I know of at least two scenes I need to add, and maybe a third, depending. I also have a scene I plan to cut. I’ve added one large scene already.

My goal is to make this novel about the same length as I first submitted it. That’s not arbitrary. Well, yeah, to an extent it is. But I do believe I’ve been a bit wordy and in making those cuts, I’m trying to force myself to really pay attention and streamline the prose so it’s a really good, sharp read.

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009
And now . . . The Cover of Bitter Night

I just got the cover for Bitter Night. Here it is. Isn’t it awesome?


Sunday, March 29th, 2009
Pardon me–I’m a fangirl. Hear me Squeeee!!!

Have your heard of Ilona Andrews? Have you read Magic Bites and Magic Burns? I not, you need to go get them RIGHT NOW. I don’t mean wait until morning, I mean go find a copy this very moment–beg, borrow or steal it if you have to, but get them, read them, revel in them. And then, in two days, go buy Magic Strikes, the newest in the series. You must. You know how some people stood in line at midnight for Harry Potter and the Twilight books? I’d be in one for the Kate Daniels books by Ilona. I love these books. I know, I’m gushing. But I really really love these books.

Here’s why. First, the worldbuilding is phenomenal. It’s unique Urban Fantasy. That’s one thing. Then there are terrific characters. They’re tough, I care about them–not just Kate, but the other major and minor characters as well. They are real and vibrant. There’s humor and snark, but it’s not for the purpose of humor and snark. It fits the story.

The stories are not just murder mysteries, which is getting to be typical of UF, nor are they about some fairy incursion into the human world. The stories are more complex than that, and more integrated into this unique world. She integrates the folklore of our world into her stories in organic ways. There are shapeshifters and vampires, but not like you’ve met before. These are truly different.

The novels also have rich prose, while at the same time being clean and quick to read. You hit the ground running and you don’t want to put the book down until you’re done, and you’re breathless the entire time. These are gritty and delicious. I’m telling you, I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of Magic Strikes. Can. Not. Wait.

There aren’t a lot of books out there that make me squee!!! like a fangirl. These do. Seriously. Grab them. Read them. Fast as you can.

Friday, March 13th, 2009
And so it begins–The Traitor King

So I have a first chapter of The Traitor King. I have no idea if it will still be part of the book later, because I am pantsing this book so much more than I like to. If I were to draw a plot line, it would essentially start with a list of characters who will be important: Keros, Margaret, Nicholas, Gimlet, Amberdel, Vaughn, the lord chancellor and his wife. Then there would be this line leading from Margaret and Gimlet, since they are where this chapter started, and then there would be this large, lovely, black scribble ball in the middle, taking up most of the page. Beneath it would be a caption saying “many bad things (and some good) happen.” Then there would be a teeny-tiny little line, maybe a quarter of a centimeter long, and it would lead to the word: END.

YOu’ll note that what I know about this story is the character names. You’ll note I don’t know much else. Which isn’t true, really. I know a lot. I just don’t really know what will happen, nor the order it will happen in. I’m terrified.

But here is a snippet for those of you who want to know how this begins . . .

Read the rest of this entry »

Thursday, March 5th, 2009
more about beginnings

So on my sfnovelists post, someone asked the following in the comments. It’s such a great question, but I don’t know that I have a great answer. I am, however, going to take a stab at it. I would like for all of you to jump in, though.

The question:

Diana I find I start writing but on the first edit after I’ve finished the first draft I will eliminate up to 7 chapters at the beginning because I’ve mainly written backstory. I don’t know why I do this, but it happens every time even if I plot the story out in its entirety. The first couple of chapters lets me get into my characters heads and then the story takes off from there. Don’t know how to break this habit. Do you have any suggestions?

Read the rest of this entry »

Monday, March 2nd, 2009
Under Construction

I’m in the process of rebuilding my site, so check back often to see what I add.

Monday, March 2nd, 2009
Family additions

Here are the two family additions. Took the pics by phone, so the quality isn’t great.

First up is Voodoo:


Second up is Viggo:


Monday, March 2nd, 2009
On beginning a novel

I have a post up on starting a novel at Sfnovelists if you want to have a look.

Saturday, February 28th, 2009
coming at you from wordpress

So. I’m working on a new website. Long story short, I can’t upload my old one to my new host and wordpress has a lot of flexibility. So I’m learning how to use it. If you go to my website, you’ll see my progress so far. It isn’t actually much, and it’s rather plain looking, but it’s huge steps from a couple of days ago. Thanks to Ilona and Kenna for helping me so much. I plan to keep posting at lj for my primary blog. Stuff that I want to have on the website, too, I’ll mirror over.

I’m trying to reaquaint myself with css and html code so that I can tinker. That’s working fairly well. Figuring out the wordpress code is a bit more interesting. But I’m getting there. Anyhow, that’s the update for the nonce.