How to Become a Writer


Lorrie Moore

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How to Become a Writer Characters


Francie is the protagonist of “How to Become a Writer.” As a teenager, she begins to write creative pieces—first poems, then stories—in response to the failures and disappointments of her everyday life. In college, she… read analysis of Francie

Francie’s Mother

Francie’s mother, unlike Francie’s father, is a consistent presence in Francie’s life. Her practical attitude is a strong contrast to Francie’s creative, illogical behavior. During Francie’s childhood, her mother is often preoccupied by… read analysis of Francie’s Mother

Francie’s Brother

Francie’s brother serves in the military as a soldier in the Vietnam War. He returns with severe injuries when Francie is in college. Though it’s unclear how close Francie and her brother are to each… read analysis of Francie’s Brother

Francie’s Father

Francie’s father is married to Francie’s mother during Francie’s childhood, though the two divorce each other when Francie is at college. As a teenager, Francie suspects her father of cheating on her mother, and… read analysis of Francie’s Father

Francie’s Boyfriend

Francie’s boyfriend is considered by those around him to be funny, though Francie isn’t convinced by his sense of humor. When Francie struggles to write, he suggests she go cycling, which implies he doesn’t understand… read analysis of Francie’s Boyfriend
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Francie’s Roommate

Francie’s roommate is a caring presence in Francie’s college life. When Francie shares with her a particularly absurd idea for a new story, she takes Francie out for a drink, which demonstrates, on one… read analysis of Francie’s Roommate

Mr. Killian

Mr. Killian is Francie’s high school English teacher who makes a critical comment about the nonsensical plot of her first short story. Rather than accepting his criticism, Francie writes a secret, angry response to… read analysis of Mr. Killian