Having recently rediscovered one of my old novels, I’m starting to think that this may be exactly the vehicle for which I’m looking. The main character is a young woman and there is at least one other important female character. It’s high fantasy – which my eldest daughter seems to dig – and the plot seems to fit nicely into something that might catch her attention.
It will need some tweaking, but I think this is doable.
The first thing I want to change is the whole “destiny” thing. In the original novel, the character of Mairwen was destined to become the next arch-mage, just as her father had been. I think I want to change that. It won’t be about destiny because I really don’t like that whole concept. It’s fine to say one is “destined” to do something great, and I think my children are, but a destiny indicates that the future is set, that one has little choice in the matter, or that any choice one might believe one has is false.
I believe in free will, and I think it’s important that my children believe the same. Anything can be their destiny, if that is what they choose. And it is for them to choose – no other. So I think Mairwen will be told by many people that it is her destiny to overthrow the evil wizard and take her rightful place as her father’s heir, but that’s not what she wants. It’s not that she doesn’t want to be wield magic, or that she has some unresolved anger issues because her father left her, it’s because she honestly doesn’t want the responsibility.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Listen, I’ve ducked responsibility plenty in my life. I’ve made choices in my personal life and career to avoid heavy responsibilities. Sure, I chose to be a father, but that is one responsibility I was willing to accept. I don’t think being a little irresponsible is all that bad.
Especially if there is someone better to take on that role out there.
Also, I’m not happy with the quest of the original novel. Mairwen isn’t going to be out to kill the evil wizard. She wants justice for her father, but that’s a very abstract thing for her. She never really knew her father. Paris Fitzgurth – one of her father’s bodyguards who is a priest at the novel’s opening – raised her. She does not call him father, but what else is that relationship except adoption? As an adopted child who never had any interest in seeking out my “biological” family – except for medical information – I can relate to a child raised by someone who might not be their birth parent, but who fits the description of parent in every other way.
So Mairwen might want justice, but that doesn’t mean an eye for an eye. She’s not Hammurabi and she’s not into Leviticus. I think much of the novel will have her uncertain of what she wants, except for that abstract desire for justice. This dude did something heinous, and he should not be allowed to profit from that.
This is only one of the changes that I think the novel will need. Piece by piece, I’ll tear one house down to build another.
You can learn more about Daughter of Glory here.
Art for this article from nanami-yuki at deviantART.