There's an old math joke that involves a complicated formula that goes on for a while and then the mathematician writes "and here a miracle occurs" and then goes on with the equation. Another mathematician standing nearby says, "Perhaps you could be more specific in this step here." My partner, who was a math minor in college, had a t-shirt with this on it because she had a professor who tended to skip several steps in the equation saying that those were "patently obvious to the casual observer."

The point of this little story is that I now find myself in the part of my proposal where I wrote "and then they settle into a routine," which is highly akin to "and here a miracle occurred" because the next scene is the grand finale and I'm not quite sure what I was intending to happen to build up to that.

Also, in case you were wondering "and then they settle into a routine" is NOT very dramatic in terms of story and pacing.

I think I came up with a solution last night (which involves a squid on the mantelpiece* finally going off, or in this case a witch on the mantelpiece,) BUT I still am left this morning wondering how to build up to the big finale.

Also, speaking of math, I discovered this morning that I can't count. Yesterday I thought I had eighteen days until my book is due. I actually had only seventeen (now, today, of course, we're down to sixteen.) Yipes!

Must go try make "and then they settled into a routine" exciting and foreshadowy.

Wish me luck.

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For an explaination of the term "squid on the mantelpiece" see Turkey City Lexicon - A Primer for Science Fiction Workshops.

## Wednesday, September 30, 2009

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## 2 comments:

Nice to know that even experienced pros sometimes struggle with that build up to the finale. To me that seems like the most challenging part. I remember at WotF Tim Powers said that this is where the plot "does a somersault" which is sort of like "a miracle occurs." So I guess I wish you miraculous, mathematical somersaulting squid? Or something? You'll come up with something excellent.

Thanks. I actually had a great writing day yesteday, and I'm (knocking on more wood), hoping for a repeat today.

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