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Creator / Diana Wynne Jones

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"I start out with people very often. Also some very, very clear scenes from the middle of the book. And usually a notion of how it’s going to go in the end, but that isn’t always the case. But it’s the clear picture from the middle that’s the important bit, I think.
(On being asked how she starts writing a new work)

Diana Wynne Jones (16 August 1934 – 26 March 2011) was a British author of fantasy, mostly of the Young Adult variety. Noted for her intricate plotting with frequent uses of The Plan, high-energy dialogue, and relentlessly British wit. She is probably best known for Howl's Moving Castle (which was turned into a very successful animated movie by Hayao Miyazaki), and her Chrestomanci series, but she has an extensive catalog of novels and short stories.

She was diagnosed with cancer but decided to stop chemotherapy in 2010, and died in March 2011. But her career still wasn't quite over, as in 2013 another of her manuscripts was discovered, and prepared for publication.

Works with a page on this Wiki:

Her other works include:

Short story/novella collections:

Adaptations based on her works:

Common tropes

  • Action Girl: Pretty much all her Urban Fantasy protagonists are this.
  • Adults Are Useless: There were a lot of examples of this, based on both her own experience and a subversion of the common trope of parents who seem to be seeking Achievements in Ignorance. Most prominently featured in Fire and Hemlock with Polly's mother Ivy.
  • Affectionate Parody: Both the Derkholm series and The Tough Guide to Fantasyland are this for the fantasy genre, and there's a soft skewering of fantasy in most of her works.
  • Badass Normal: A lot of her stories revolve around someone normal struggling in a world of magic (or at least, so it seems).
  • Britain Is Only London: Averted. Most (if not all) of her books have at least one setting that isn't London.
  • Bulungi: Changeover is set in the fictional African nation of Nmkwami during the transitional period from European colony to self-rule.
  • Children's Literature: Everything she wrote, with the exception of Changeover and A Sudden Wild Magic, is this.
  • Demoted to Extra: Most of her sequels push the cast of the last book in the series into the background to focus on a new cast and anyone who wasn't a major protagonist tends to get only a brief mention or cameo at best. Howl's apprentice Micheal Fisher who was a notable supporting character in Howl's Moving Castle gets only a brief mention in Castle in the Air and zero mention in House of Many Ways.
  • Invented Individual: Changeover is set in an African colony that's about to be granted self-government. The outgoing governor misunderstands a remark by one of his aides about plans to mark the changeover, and soon rumors are spreading far and wide about Mark Changeover, a mysterious figure who is probably some kind of terrorist. In the end, to save face for the governor, the country's incoming president agrees to be Mark Changeover, and seizes control of the nation in a bloodless coup the day before it was due to be handed over to him anyway.
  • Mind Screw: A pretty common complaint/praise.
  • The Multiverse: The Howl, Chrestomanci and Magid Series, and the stand-alone The Homeward Bounders, are all set in multiverses (though, as far as we know, not the same one).
  • Mythology: Pretty much everything she wrote took cues off some sort of mythology.
  • Public Domain Character: The Homeward Bounders has a lot of this, but a lot of her work has this in spades.
  • The Reveal: Many of her stories feature surprising revelations about one or more characters, the most frequent ones being that they're related to another character, are actually someone else, have special powers, and/or are secretly a villain. Sometimes the characters themselves were unaware of these things, leading to an I Am Who? moment. Archer's Goon, Howl's Moving Castle, and The Merlin Conspiracy abound with multiple reveals, while Charmed Life, Eight Days of Luke, A Tale of Time City and The Lives of Christopher Chant have one or two major reveals each.
  • Urban Fantasy: Pretty much all of her fiction has some degree of this.