The First Two Pages: “Dreaming of Ella” by Francelia Belton

In April 2015, B.K. Stevens debuted the blog series “The First Two Pages,” hosting craft essays by short story writers and novelists analyzing the openings of their own work. The series continued until just after her death in August 2017, and the full archive of those essays can be found at Bonnie’s website. In November 2017, the blog series relocated to my website, and the archive of this second stage of the series can be found here.

Francelia Belton returns to the First Two Pages as part of a series of essays by contributors to Denver Noir, edited by Cynthia Swanson and out in the world… today! Happy Pub Day to Cynthia, Francelia, and all the contributors: Peter Heller, Barbara Nickless, Mario Acevedo, R. Alan Brooks, D.L. Cordero, Amy Drayer, Twanna LaTrice Hill, Manuel Ramos, Mark Stevens, Mathangi Subramanian, David Heska Wanbli Weiden, and Erika T. Wurth. And for any readers in Colorado, Tuesday, May 3, is also a pub day party at Tattered Cover on Colfax Avenue in Denver, with Cynthia joining contributors R. Alan Brooks, David Heska Wanbli Weiden, and Mark Stevens; find out more here.

Francelia last appeared at the First Two Pages late last year with an essay on her story “The Brotherhood of Tricks and Treats” from the anthology Festive Mayhem; that story was later named a quarterfinalist in the 2022 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Competition. Last year Francelia also published a collection of her own short fiction: Crime & Passion: Three Short Stories. You can find more about that book and all Francelia’s work at her website.

In addition to checking out Francelia’s story below and her work generally, check out the essay that launched this series of contributors to Denver Noir: editor Cynthia Swanson on her own story, “Pieces of Everyone, Everywhere.” And stay tuned as well for one more contributor ahead: Mario Acevedo next week!

Please use the arrows and controls at the bottom of the embedded PDF to navigate through the essay. You can also download the essay to read off-line.


9 thoughts on “The First Two Pages: “Dreaming of Ella” by Francelia Belton

  1. Pingback: The First Two Pages: “El Armero” by Mario Acevedo – Art Taylor

  2. Rhoda Berlin

    Wonderful essay, Francelia! Following your creative processes helps me feel an almost personal connection with your characters that wouldn’t otherwise be there. Thanks to you both, Francelia and Art!

  3. Francelia Belton

    Thank you, Art, for having me on your blog again and hosting Denver Noir. I am very excited about our launch and I want to thank Cynthia Swanson for inviting me to submit a story to this anthology. She had no idea when she asked me that this was a dream of mine to one day be in the Akashic’s Noir series. 😀

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