Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And Here a Miracle Occurs

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.


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


Laura Bradley Rede said...

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.

tate hallaway said...

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