The New Book

My new book, The Hollow Crown, is now available. It just came out this week. I love this book. I think it’s one of the best I’ve written and I want everyone to read it. Everyone. Hint Hint. But seriously (I was being serious), I want to talk about this book in another context. I want to talk about writing it.

I wrote this book fast. Really fast. In less than three months–that doesn’t include revisions, just the first draft. I did it deliberately as an experiment in a writing technique that has proved successful for a number of writers. The general idea is to write fast and get the story down with all the freshness that comes with a shiny new idea. You hopefully won’t overthink and you won’t bog down in the little stuff. Time to repair the small things when you’re done. At the time, I was also chairbound with a severely sprained ankle and so I wasn’t going anywhere anyhow.

I think the writing method was a real success for me. The story poured out better than more recent books that I’d written. I got caught up in the telling and enjoyed the fun of it in a way I hadn’t done in a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy writing and storytelling. But sometimes I get frustrated and bogged down and writing fast means I can’t take the time to do whine and freak out about how this or that isn’t working right or how much I suck as a writer or what have you.

The result is The Hollow Crown. I like this book a lot. Make that I love this book. It is everything I wanted it to be. I don’t know if the speed writing was the key or not, but I love the book.

You can read the first chapter online if you are so inclined and feel free to go ahead and buy it. I wouldn’t mind at all.

So what about you? Have you ever tried a new writing technique that worked well? Tell me about it.

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  1. 1. Merry

    I try and write short stories and novellas like that and I’ll generally write them longhand as well to make it as difficult as possible to go back and ‘just tweak that one line…’ I’ll edit/ revise when I type up the first draft.

    I ought to write novels like that too, because then I can avoid the situation where I paused to write some short stories and now need to restart the process by reading the 73K I’ve got so far. Trying to avoid fiddling with it will be a challenge!

    How much revision work did you have to do by writing a speedy draft? Did you find you deviated from your outline a little/ a lot? Did it create any chunky plot holes you then had to fix?

    (btw – I love your Crossepoint books. The Hollow Crown is on my TBB list)


  2. 2. Rabia

    I usually write a first draft quickly (er… except for my last book which is languishing at 25K). I’ve actually discovered that it’s better for me to slow down a bit and be more deliberate and thoughtful with my first drafts.

    Another Crosspointe book! I’d better go right now and stick it into my Amazon wishlist. :D

  3. 3. Diana Pharaoh Francis

    Hi Merry–thanks for the compliment on the Crosspointe books.

    I ended up with a surprisingly full and complete draft. I did revise and do a lot of polishing to the prose, but the draft itself was decently complete.

    And I didn’t really have a major outline for this one. I had something sketchy so that I could just let the story flow.

    I can’t bring myself to write longhand anymore. Mostly because it feels so much more fixed in stone when I do that. Like I can’t just erase and move one. Isn’t it amazing the tricks our psyches play on us?

  4. 4. Diana Pharaoh Francis

    HI Rabia~

    Every process is different, which is why it’s so fun to talk about varying styles. And I think each book demands its own style. Or so mine seem to.

    Now get to work! Hee. Finish the languishing!

    And I hope you like The Hollow Crown.


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Author Information

Diana Pharaoh Francis

Diana Pharaoh Francis has written the fantasy novel trilogy that includes Path of Fate, Path of Honor and Path of Blood. Path of Fate was nominated for the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award. Recently released was The Turning Tide, third in her Crosspointe Chronicles series (look also for The Cipher and The Black Ship). In October 2009, look for Bitter Night, a contemporary fantasy. Diana teaches in the English Department at the University of Montana Western, and is an avid lover of all things chocolate. Visit site.



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