I just had a really enjoyable – and hugely productive – meeting with what I call a “SME” (Subject Matter Expert). This SME is an ex Air Force physician, and when I first met him back in July, I had put this novel (the one I’m working on now) on the backburner – even though the plot line was more than half done.
Much of that had to do with time constraints. But also, I think, I was stagnating in certain aspects of the plot. I don’t feel my fiction needs to be 100% percent literal and accurate – it IS fiction, after all, and needs some room to breathe – but I do like believable settings, and understanding the settings enough to use them for character development (like flying with medevac before I wrote “Last Chance Rescue”).
Meeting this particular SME really jump-started the novel. It was like a message from above: ‘YES, I want you to write this story now, and I’m sending you the tools to do it.’ I know it will be a better story because of this person’s experience, insight – and willingness to share those with me. So thanks, SME (you’ll know who you are)!