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Can't decide whether my novel idea is good or not

(8 Posts)
Seachangeshell Sun 20-Nov-16 20:07:26

I've started writing a novel. It's a 'mainstream ' novel with some elements of magical realism. I love the idea. I haven't been able to get it out of my head for over a year.
So here's my problem. Gah - it's difficult to write this! I'll spit it out. She has fantasies about a man. They could be described as not very feminist i.e. She's objectified. So she's a flawed character and some of her behaviour disagrees with my politics.
So, what I'm worried about is that I'll finish the novel ( ha ha like I'm ever going to finish it!) and someone will read it and say 'this is anti feminist and damaging to women'. How can I make sure that this doesn't happen? Or is it doomed to happen? I've made a supporting character a feminist- will that help? I sort of would like it to be critical of how women are objectified. Do you think I can make this work or do you think a reader would assume the opinions of the main character are my opinions?

SleepyRoo Sun 20-Nov-16 20:11:55

It really depends how well written it is. I don't think one assumes the main character is necessarily the 'truth teller'.

MarklahMarklah Sun 20-Nov-16 20:12:35

As a reader, I wouldn't assume that the thoughts/opinons of your main character were yours. However, having read some (limited) magical realism I have found that the female characters have tended to be fairly stereotypical - girl meets boy, they get it on, boy is trying to undermine girl, girl finishes with boy, girl discovers helpful male friend is love of her life. Throw in some dressing up schoolgirls, pulsating manhoods, a bit of light bondage and apparitions of Ceridwen and that seems to have summed up what I've read so far.

Doesn't mean yours will be like that, but those may be things to avoid. smile

HolidayHunterTeam Sun 20-Nov-16 20:14:15

Make sure your character is more than the thoughts in her head? The point of a fantasy is that it doesn't have to be in the realm of reality. My strict vegetarian friend still fantasies about bacon sandwiches every now and then. Doesn't stop her being a vegetarian.

You're overthinking her. Create her and then assess her feminism.

As long as she's not a stock character created for the men in the novel you may not have anything to worry about.

That's my opinion anyway!!

phoebemac Sun 20-Nov-16 20:17:06

I would worry about all this once you've finished the first draft. You'll then be able to see how this element fits in with the story as a whole, and you can always tone it down if you think it's too much. The best thing about writing is you can go back and change anything that doesn't work!

Procrastinating over stuff like this is normal when you're writing books in my experience (I'm on novel number 5!). You have to ignore doubts sometimes as they can stop you in your tracks. Get that first draft down, then you have something to develop and play with.

HarrietVane99 Sun 20-Nov-16 20:21:42

Personally, I don't think a novel should set out to put forward a particular point of view, whether political or otherwise. And I don't think you should set out to say this character will be x, this character will be y. Characters are like real people, a whole mass of different, sometimes conflicting, motives and beliefs. And often they end up doing something quite different from what you intended anyway.

I think you should just set out to tell the story and see where it takes you, and not worry about what other people might think.

Seachangeshell Mon 21-Nov-16 17:30:13

Thanks everyone. These comments are really useful. I think I am overthinking it, so I'll just get on with it instead and see what I end up with. I'm aiming for 5000 words a week and I managed it last week for the first time.

albertcampionscat Tue 22-Nov-16 16:24:29

Well, there's quite a few novels where the main character/narrator is unreliable/unsympathetic/evil/misguided. Lolita and Turn of the Screw might be a good place to start?

Other than that I'm with HarrietVane99

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