Writing Gaia’s Hands from Scratch



I think I’m going to start Gaia’s Hands from scratch.

I’ve come to the point where I realize the bones of the book are not sound.The current version of one of the protagonists is not someone typical of men in romances: the 45-year-old cop. A former Navy Seal or Army Ranger. An uber-masculine rancher. A billionaire. In other words, the typical protector of a helpless female. Josh, on the other hand, is a surprise. His non-staid nature is in his writing and his visions. He’s a bit fey, perhaps, but without its twee underpinnings. Instead, he is brave in his emotions and his drive.  I need to be less scared in rendering Josh.

There is not enough buildup of the romance part. The book, I’m told, is a romance, given how two characters meet, discover each other, and fall in love. There’s not enough tension. There’s not a big blowout where they’re sure they’re never going to see each other again. 

I have not written this book the way it deserves to be written. Jeanne is accomplished, but lonely. Josh is young, but determined. There are all sorts of reasons why they shouldn’t be together, but they’re internalized reasons from dominant culture. 

And then there’s the fantasy part. That won’t take too much work — Jeanne’s talent of getting plants to grow + Josh’s attachment to the spirits of Shinto = surprise! In fact, if they develop Jeanne’s talent together, they grow closer. The romance needs to be attached to the accomplishments.

Now … OMG, I have to rewrite this novel. Josh and Jeanne scare me, especially Josh. He’s too close to my fantasies. Yes, I’m an older woman who’s attracted to younger men. And smaller men, too. It’s not like I’m not attracted to my husband, but whereas most women go “wow” when they see Jason Momoa, I say “wow” when I see someone built like a dancer or a lightweight wrestler. 

This fear is what kept me from writing this story this deserves. 

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