I am done with the revision of Gaia’s Hands! I think I finally have it in a place where I like it, although it definitely needs some revision on the revision as any good novel would.
This is momentous, because Gaia’s Hands is the first novel I ever wrote.
To give you some background — I had a dream. And it was a pretty raunchy dream, raunchier than the book finally ended up, but it was also romantic. So I kept interrogating the dream, and particularly its characters, and it kept developing further.
I kept writing excerpts of the dream and its spun gossamer threads, and I kept making my husband read them. (My husband is very patient.) After maybe a half-dozen of these, Richard said, “If you’re going to write all these stories on the same topic, you might as well write a novel.”
“I can’t write a novel!” I squeaked. “It’s too long! I don’t know how to write plots!”
“Try,” he said.
So I wrote the first draft, and didn’t like it. I then wrote several other drafts, adding voiceovers and deleting them, adding a couple new characters, deleting them, turning it into a novella, giving up on that. and leaving the story in the metaphorical drawer for a while only to start again. Toward the end of the process, I handed it off to a writing coach, who pointed out that there were so many editing errors from having gone through it so many times my eyes bled, She also informed me that Gaia’s Hands was, in fact, a romance novel and I should emphasize that.
This was a revelation. I knew there was a romance involved, but there was also this fantasy element of Jeanne’s talent and Josh’s visions and the build toward a miracle at the end. Primary to the book, however, was Josh and Jeanne’s unorthodox relationship with its age difference.
So I emphasized that romance, not forgetting the fantasy elements, but using the romance as the backbone of the story. Jeanne and Josh, it turns out, make a great couple. They fight and break up in a totally believable style, and come back to each other within a week just as believably. And they make sense as the unprepared wielders of talents that come from — Japanese spirits? Gaia?
I think I’m happy with Gaia’s Hands. I think.