Or, My heroine just spent 700 words calculating the odds of meeting the hero again
One of the only math books that has influenced me fairly profoundly is titled Innumeracy. The idea behind the term is the arithmetic equivalent of illiteracy. What I remember most about the book is the calculations of odds it goes into, and when to consider them significant and when to round them down to zero.
Today’s morning pages are a direct result of that book, because my heroine actually sits there and goes through the odds that she would meet this man a second time in a completely different context. The reason she does is because her brother is a gambler, and a successful one–because he understands odds and has a quick mind for calculating them–and he has told her about statistics and probabilities. Not on the page, and not in a preachy way, just in the way you tell your friends or siblings about some cool theory you heard or some new fact you found fascinating. Maybe they listen, maybe they don’t, but you have to tell someone or your head will explode with the new knowledge.
The heroine figures the odds to be 1/150,000, or as close to zero as makes no difference.
I don’t know yet if this scene will make the final cut of the novel. In a way it’s pointless (although I suppose it does exposit something about her, and her brother) but I kind of love it. Maybe that makes it a darling, or maybe that makes it the best kind of texturizer. Time will tell. Now is not the time to make judgments; I’m still writing. The editing passes will be soon enough to decide if the scene can stand.
Now what are the odds those 700 words make the cut…?