For this, and any other Wacky Writing Ideas, I happily release them into the wild for anyone to use. If you like the idea and want to write it up, do so with my blessing! If you want to change it or use it for something else, have at it! If you really want to do something nice for me, feel free to acknowledge me and let me know if you’ve used one of them (I’ll link to your creative work from my blog). If you don’t feel like it, no worries. If there’re a few comments with enthusiasm for an idea, I may write it up, so please comment if it sounds like something you’d like to read.
Portal fantasies are a subgenre where the protagonist(s) gets transported to a magical world and are often given a quest once they arrive there. Classic examples include Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia, Peter Pan, and The Wizard of Oz. More modern examples include Harry Potter and Isekai anime and manga.
The most typical protagonist in such stories are children, but some examples, such as Magic Kingdom For Sale — Sold! and Her Majesty’s Wizard have adult men. The idea behind this novel would be a portal fantasy about a middle-aged woman.
The protagonist could be a librarian, working at a research university. She runs the library but is poorly treated by her family, co-workers, students, staff, and faculty. While working on a research project with a computer science professor, they generate experiments and simulate results for research fields based on existing publications and articles. On a lark, she runs it on the occult literature they have and it creates a working spell that sends her to a fantasy world.
In the fantasy world, she continues to be abused, until she is able to organize a wizard’s library while being forced to clean up his lab. He’s impressed by her work and begins to treat her better.
She wanders through the fantasy world, applying principles of library science to help the local population, and eventually gets a knight companion. She learns about an ancient compact with the fairie realm that used to provide the basis of governance for the aristocracy and monarchy.
The despot ruling the country eventually captures them and is preparing to subject them to a “fate worse than death”™. Feeling it’s their only chance, she pledges the country to the fairy realm to renew the compact, expecting it to elevate her knight companion to the throne. The despot and knight have no idea what she’s talking about, until a fairy host rushes into the room, taking the desport and his soldiers prisoner.
It turns out, the librarian invoking the compact makes her the monarch of the land. She begins modernization of the land, a transition to a constitutional monarchy, and launches a literacy program and the establishment of a chain of libraries.