The Worthless Queen

McLeish, Anna
Harvey, Siobhan
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Master of Creative Writing
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Auckland University of Technology

The Worthless Queen is the draft for the first book in a YA fantasy trilogy, which forms the creative component required to complete a Master of Creative Writing. This book is a high fantasy, dark fantasy book aimed at a YA and NA audience. It has first-person narration with multiple perspectives. This novel is set in a fictional world whereby the use of magic is normalised. There are three kingdoms, each with its own magical abilities – air, water and earth – and people’s magic is shown in a different way depending on where they come from. This novel follows three protagonists who must fulfil an ancient prophecy to defeat their common enemy, the Darkness. Each protagonist has their own struggles and trauma they are dealing with which holds them back at times and they must confront and move past them in order to prepare for the task of defeating the Darkness.

The accompanying exegesis, titled Journey of Self Discovery, examines the process of creating a YA fantasy landscape and furthermore the development of its creation. This includes the use of multiple perspectives in the narrative, designing an authentic fantasy world and understanding those that already exist as to help structure it and create a world that feels real and believable. This also deals with the exploration of mental health and psychological trauma in a fantasy setting, understanding how trauma impacts one’s life and the consequences it has on the human psyche. It is my personal opinion that mental health and trauma are not widely discussed in fantasy due to the reason why people read books – to escape from their real life. In exploring these factors, I investigate whether or not is it possible to create characters who share experiences with the reader, and if these character journeys can provide support and inform the reader about their own mental health struggles.

Trauma , Mental health , Young adult , Fantasy , First-person perspectives
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