I'm writing a fantasy novel for children.

Ian Fortytwo

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I have just started the process of writing my first novel for children.
I want to use this thread to ask questions as I go along.
I'm feeling quite excited now, is this usual?
Can wizards be female?

I am liking the challenge, but I will need help along the way.
 

Toby Frost

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Writing books is exciting, so that makes sense to me!

Sure! For one thing, it's your book and setting, but female wizards (as opposed to witches) are firmly established in pop culture. There are some female sorceresses in myth (Circe and Morgan le Fay spring to mind) but they tend to be evil. However, there are plenty of books with female wizards as heroes these days. It might be worth having a look at recent children's books - I'm not well up in the area, but I'm sure there are plenty of people here who could give you suggestions.
 

JunkMonkey

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Can wizards be female?

It's your universe - they can be whatever you want them to be.

But you've got the basis for a book right there.
"But you can't be a wizard! You're a girl!"
"Who says I can't?!"

In my comic book universe every unexplored planet is called Altair IV - and a lot of the populated ones too. It would make no sense in the 'real' world but it pleases me and, as it's my universe, I get to set the rules.
 

Elentarri

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The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane has female wizards of all ages, and at least one of the girl wizards is really young and one of the main characters is a younger teenager. These are really neat books. They are usually shelved under Middle Grade or YA.
Goodreads link

Not really a children's book, but Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett has an eighth son of an eighth son and thus a wizard born. The fact that the son is actually a daughter is discovered just a little too late.
 

Pyan

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I suspect it's the difference between using 'High Magic' and 'Low Magic'. Earth-shattering war spells and pulling down mountains would be HM, cursing people and healing livestock would be LM. A witch (or hedge-wizard) can heal the stump of a severed arm or leg: a wizard, or mage, can re-grow the whole limb
However, it's all very nebulous, and I refuse to get drawn into it...:) Make a good thread, though!
 

JunkMonkey

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Hmmm. 'Wizard' is a pretty gender neutral word when you come to think of it. There is a male equivalent for 'witch' (i.e. 'warlock') but no female equivalent word for wizard - so I would work on the assumption that women can be wizards. Would they have to wear false beards though? That's the question.
 

Ian Fortytwo

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Thank you so far.

Quite a lot to think about.

My main character is going to be female, but is not a wizard. The secondary character is going to be a female wizard and something else.

I am hoping to use first person, is that good idea?

I'm trying not to give too much away at the moment.

I've done some research.

And my local bookshop would give me a whole day to promote my book.

I know it is early stages, but how easy is it to get an agent.
 

The Big Peat

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It is fairly standard to have male magic users called wizards and women something else, even when their magic is exactly the same, or to call them all something else, to the point I actually struggle to think of many books where female magic users are routinely referred to as wizards. There is no particular reason why this should be so other than custom, so ignore it, but if you are very worried about staying in the lines of comprehension, then it is still a little unusual.

As for the other parts

- No, excitement is forbidden. One must frown and suffer. Stop showing excitement or the book police will sho- oh wait, hang on, children's books, you're allowed to be excited in a quiet and avuncular way.

- Quite far from easy.
 

Wayne Mack

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There is at least one precedent for female wizards in the youth market. There was a US series that ran for several years called "The Wizards of Waverly Place" about a preteen, female wizard. As for first person, I see no problem with using it. A significant number of novels have been written in first person.
 

worldofmutes

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Well, if you read Terry Pratchett’s Equal Rites, then yes, wizards can be female. In Pratchett world, but not in the real world, of course.
 

The Big Peat

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I've always taken wizard to cover men and women, and "warlock" to be the male version of "witch". And weren't the female magicians in Harry Potter referred to as wizards?

No. Wizards for boys, witches for girls, despite having the exact same magic. Probably the main reason I raised that wizards as gender-neutral is going slightly against the tide.
 

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