I wrote a novel in 13 days! I got all 76,000 words of my first draft into my laptop during one holiday in Cape Verde. I blogged about it every day. Check out all 13 videos of me waffling on camera here:
I now have yet another novel in draft form and in need of a bloody good edit. I have another two of them waiting for a hefty dose of revision sat in my computer, too. I’ll get to those in due course, but right now I have a new novel to focus on. One that is an actual stand-alone novel (with series potential). It’s a novel that takes a fresh approach to the theme of female empowerment.
Now, before you role your eyes and think to yourself not another feminist fantasy novel, I should note I’m no feminist. I like to think of myself as an equalist. I believe in equal opportunities, not preferential treatment for one gender over the other. And if you were to read my story, I think you might just figure that out.
The story is called Magic Breakers. This novel centers on Alicia Townsend, a young, female infantry soldier recruit from Earth who is transported through a portal to a fantasy world by mistake. If you’re familiar with my other novels, you would no doubt notice that this is similar to what happens in the Gallantrian Legacy series. Except in the Gallantrian Legacy, I sent a male Army Captain and his wife to a magical land, in Magic Breakers I send a young female recruit. In the Gallantrian Legacy the fantasy land is based on a Tolkien-style traditional fantasy world. In Magic Breakers I make up a whole new system.
Traditional fantasy worlds are very much patriarchal places where men are in charge, men tend to be the rulers, and women are largely given supporting roles. In Magic Breakers, I’ve created a setting where women are in charge. In the country of Zerra, on the planet Zorb, only women can use magic. The women have used this strength to dominate society and subjugate the men who are treated very much as second-class citizens.
When Alicia stumbles through the portal into Zerra, her world is turned on its head and she has to find a way to navigate through a very different set of societal rules to those she’s used to. As she adjusts to a new way of living, she discovers a side to herself she didn’t know she had and becomes embroiled in a rebellion against the status quo. There are some in Zerra who want to see equality for all, the war against male suppression begins.
I think I’m basically turning the whole feminist argument on its head and looking at the fight for gender equality from a completely angle.
That’s the outline concept of my story, obviously lots of other stuff happens in the middle, but I’m not writing a synopsis here, I’m just trying to give you a flavour of what I wrote. It now needs a hefty edit, and I’ve already stalled.
I’m not sure if lack of enthusiasm is to blame, or if it’s because I’ve been busy with other stuff. I’ve been doing lots of DIY recently; manual work really takes it out of you if you’re not used to it. So, by the end of the day, when the kids are in bed and I’d normally be thinking about doing work on my novels, I’m too knackered to think.
Hence no work on my stories in over a week.
I’ll get to it.
I have a good feeling about this book. I think it has some unusual themes and interesting characters. I think it has more chance of attracting the attention of an agent or publisher than some of my other books. I really need to keep telling myself this, because right now, after having put so much time, effort and money into writing, publishing, and marketing over the last year, and seeing disappointing sales, I’m starting to lose a bit of faith in myself. There’s a part of me that’s telling me I’m wasting my time, it’s like a little demon that gnaws on my consciousness. I’d like to smite the little git, but he runs too quick for me to catch him. I’ll never kill him, but I recon if I do eventually get some success, I can conjure up a bigger, better demon that will put the little monster firmly in his box.
Charlotte Goodwin is the author of the Gallantrian Legacy series. A set of six books (and counting) set in a universe where magic is real, there's just not much of it on Earth.