Susan
The Amazing Adventures of Sara Corel
A novel by Toomey


Explaining the Unexplainable
Toomey

AUWG:
      Man, this current chapter [26 Scrutiny] is a bitch.
      I have erased two nearly-finished attempts so far. I think I've got something usable now, but it has been a real struggle. Fellas, there's nothing worse than pushing the DEL key on three days of writing. Twice.
      From the beginning, I have identified my little story as 'classic science fiction'. To earn the sobriquet, you have to include certain expected conventions. One of these is the chapter where the obligatory myopic Herr Professor explains to Our Hero about some bogus pseudo-scientific principle, as in, "Und zee Krepple rays impinge upon zee crystalline lattice, producing copious amounts of Schnaffle particles vhat makes der spaceship into a hyperspacial vortex be going."
      "Why, you're a genius, Doktor van Zorkstein!" replies Our Hero, who's been staring at the Doc's scantily-clad assistant's enormous boobs the whole time.
      Anyway, here's Sara, finally undergoing the tender scrutiny of the NASA chromedomes. They gotta come up with at least one plausible-sounding theory to explain something they don't understand which means I gotta come up with at least one plausible-sounding theory to explain something I don't understand. It has to be believable enough to perpetuate the old 'suspension of disbelief' requirement, and preferably convince at least a small percentage of my gullible readers that I've stumbled upon a major discovery somehow overlooked by the mainstream scientific community. And considering that a hefty chunk of my readers happen to be Herr Professors and genuine chromedomes, that's not so easy.
      And, it has to be at least marginally interesting to read. Y'know, this was always my favorite part of sci-fi stories when I was growing up. Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke they all actually knew what they were talking about. The scientific expositions in their stories beat the hell out of anything I ever learned in school. I feel like I'm really on the spot here, trying to fulfill a central part of my long-held fantasy that I could write just like the big boys. This has all the makings of a rude awakening.
      I sent off a draft of part of the current chapter to some of my readers who have not been hesitant to point out my shortcomings on previous occasions. With any luck, I'll hear from them later tonight.
      And with even more luck, I won't be looking for that DEL key tomorrow.

Sweating bullets,
Toomey

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Proper Waffles
Table of Contents

Patrick Hill, 2000