I have been working on an ecofantasy novel for quite some time now and in April, during Camp NaNoWriMo, I finally finished my draft! In the time since then, however, I have started having the feeling that some aspects of the narrative are problematic and bring up the question “am I the one to tell this story?”. I would love to even talk this through with someone who has another perspective.
Q: Name or pen name
**A: Lovis Geier (pen name)
Q: Audience or category of your writing, if applicable:
Q: Genre of your writing, if applicable:
Q: What would you like your partner to do?
**A: Just talk to me. The draft I have written is still very rough, but I am having so many doubts that I just want to talk this through with people from as many different perspectives as possible. I can send portions where the issues are maybe most prevalent, but the main thing I want out of this is discussion and conversation so I can learn and understand where I am going wrong.
Q: What are you willing to do for your partner?
**A: I am more than happy to offer a WIP critique in return! Or if you would like to be paid for your time as a sensitivity reader, I am happy to discuss that as well.
Q: How quickly you would ideally like to work with your partner?
**A: My head is full of these thoughts at the moment so I would ideally like someone who is happy to engage in discussion immediately or very soon.
Q: Please describe your project in 500 words or less, or paste a sample here!
**A: I am having multiple conversations in writing groups about me as a white author writing a book that depicts oppression in a fantasy society (the oppressed group are people with magic). At the moment, my MC is a young girl who is taken in by the society’s propaganda until she realises she herself has magical abilities and has to face truths she had previously been blind to. She then uses her “foot in both worlds” to create a bridge between the two peoples.
My book is an ecofantasy novel and I send an environmental message along the lines of “you can’t have environmental justice without social justice”, a statement I very much believe in. People with magic in my story are used as an energy source to charge “batteries” that are used in industry, having magic is seen as a bad thing and the propaganda spread by the government is that they are doing these people a service by taking it away from them.
My concerns are a) should I even be depicting this kind of oppression when I have no experience with this? b) should my MC be a member of this marginalised and oppressed group? c) is me, a white author, writing this kind of book inherently problematic?
I really am eager to learn, and I am 100% willing to pull the project if my suspicions are confirmed that this could harm someone reading it. That is the last thing I want.
Thank you for your time in reading this and I look forward to hearing from you!
All the best,