Earlier, I was writing about my concerns with writing a female protagonist. It was after I posted the article that I went and was looking through my old writings and found the folder with Daughter of Glory.
Yup. I’d already written a female protagonist. Two, in fact. And my beta-readers for that novel were women. They were/are romance authors – and let me tell you, they gave me some really insightful comments.
Looking back at Daughter of Glory – which was my only high fantasy novel, with elves, dwarves, wizards, a grand destiny, and even dragons – this is actually something I could come back to for my daughters. The story is of an orphaned girl, raised by a priest whom she knows is not her father, who learns that her father was once the arch-marge of this world – or at least this part of it – and the wizard who murdered him to take his place has somehow learned of her existence. She now needs to defeat the evil wizard and take her place as the arch-mage, or she will never be safe. Through the story, she joins with the bodyguards who failed to save her father, who are now determined that they will not fail her.
It’s an odyssey that starts on the frontiers of the Human kingdoms, and runs the characters through Elven, Halfling (jeez, I forgot about them Halflings) and Dwarven realms before returning to the climactic confrontation at the centre of an ancient Human civilization. I got as far as the Dwarven realm before I ran out of steam.
So, I know I can write females. I can even write female PoVs that pass muster with very good authors who also happen to be female.
I got up to 30 chapters, which was around 80 or 90,000 words. That ain’t too bad. I don’t know if I’d have to start over – a total rewrite – or if heavy editing would be enough. The writing that I’ve looked at is a very different voice from what I now have in my writing, but it’s something I’m pretty sure I could get back into. If Farewell, Something Lovely gets funded, maybe I could look at trying to fund this, give me extra motivation to get this done for my girls.
For my little whinge about writing female protagonists, go here.
You can learn more about Farewell, Something Lovely here.
Just to give you an idea, here is Jian’s PoV, a female Elven character, from Chapter 19:
Corum came out of the cabin and stretched. The younger Ringsereg had slept late each of the three days they had been in Sunyuh. He did little but play on his lute, eat and sleep. He never voiced any concern or any complaint. He smiled to Jian as he caught her eye. He sauntered towards the two, casting a quick glance at Mairwen and Paris. He scratched at a head that was pretty much bare of hair. He had lost his beard in the fire Mairwen had called forth as well.
“They deciding on when we’re leaving?” Corum asked.
“Who’s to say, unless you can eavesdrop or lip read,” Gustav said.
Corum’s smile grew slightly. “If they were speaking a language I knew, I wouldn’t be asking.”
Jian’s eyes narrowed as she examined Corum’s face. If he lied, he showed no sign of it. His gaze didn’t waver and he didn’t look away when Jian caught his eye.
Corum winked. “Sure it’s not polite, but this is a bit too important to be polite about. Truth, now: if you could eavesdrop right now, you telling me you wouldn’t?”
“I wouldn’t,” Gustav said. “But that’s me; I’m a dwarf.”
Jian didn’t answer.
“I thought as much.” Corum finally turned away from Jian. “But I have no idea what they are saying. I hope she’s made a decision, I’m getting bored sitting around here.”
“You and me both,” Gustav said. “We’re all getting stale. I wonder if this is all part of the test.”
Jian chuckled. Then she considered what Gustav had said. What if this were part of the test? Give someone as much time as she likes in a place where all needs and desires were fulfilled, then see how long it takes her to go and face the test. This might be harder than anything they faced in the Arena.
And Mairwen Gloriana, the eponymous Daughter of Glory, from chapter 24:
Mairwen turned to see Thoron moving toward Corum and the fire, Reguerdon sheathed at his side. Jian paused and shrugged.
“You don’t imagine the creatures will follow us out of the Untented Wood, do you?” she asked.
“It is not the creatures from in the wood that worry me, but what may await us in Khanghal,” Thoron said, stopping to stand behind his brother.
“He’s still worried because Tay and the others weren’t waiting for us,” Corum said.
“And I admit, that troubles me also,” Mairwen said. “But so far, Khanghal has been safe. We are in area patrolled by the elves.”
“Still, some caution may be warranted,” Thoron said. “Perhaps I have become too suspicious, but until we find some indication of Tay and his band, I believe I have reason.”
“I’ll be careful,” Jian said. “But I’m sure there’s a good reason why Tay isn’t around.”
Thoron nodded, though Jian didn’t seem to wait for that sign of approval. Corum watched the elf go, then turned back to the pot. He shook his head. Mairwen wondered at that. Was it a sign of amusement, frustration, agreement, or something else completely? Jian was a beautiful woman.
She’s a beautiful girl, Mairwen thought. She may have lived for centuries, but she is not much older in her heart and mind than I am.