Saturday, December 8, 2012

You'll Know When You Know

Scott D. Parker

"You'll just know." That's the typical answer when someone asks how they might know if they're in love. You cannot rationally explain the internal feelings, the swirling of emotions, you just can't. Which is why, when it comes to love, you just know.

Same is true for writing projects, too. In November, Steve and I both latched onto the NaNoWriMo gimmick as a means to kickstart our respective projects. By the confines of the WriMo rules, we both failed. That is, we both failed at stringing along 50,000 words in a row. But, as Steve pointed out in his excellent piece on Wednesday, we both won by losing. I had honestly hoped to compile 50,000 words, but I didn't. What I did do is get back on track with writing a novel.

How so? Well, for the month of November and on into December, I've thought about my new book, the characters, the plot, the order of things, how best to say something, etc. It's been constantly churning in my noggin, so much so that most nights, if I haven't already worked on some words, I very much look forward to that quiet time, alone with my thoughts, my index cards and pencils, my corkboard, and my Mac. It's great.

I've been there before. When I was writing my first book, it was all just chugging away like a well-oiled machine. Still, there were those moments when I doubted. Why am I writing? Should I be writing *this* book? Well, I told myself, *I* like it. That is enough. But there was one moment that really solidified my book in my mind.

The book features Harry Truman (fictionally) and a particular type of Japanese submarine that can launch a plane. I had seen photos and drawings of the aircraft, but that was about it. On vacation at the Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas, I went into the gift shop. Lo and behold there was a plastic model of the exact airplane in my book. That was karma. That was the external indicator that I was on the right track.

I haven't had one of those--yet!--for this new book, but I'm happy that I'm just thinking about it. All the time. It's a struggle at times, but I still have my answer to that question about this book.

I just know.

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