A = a child in peril.

B = love, dissolution of.

This is what I tell my wife when she asks me how I write a story. I say, “These are the variables that I use. It’s a simple formula, math at its most basic. A plus B; a child in peril, plus love, dissolution of, equals a story.”

My wife looks at me like she often looks at me, and I add, “Also, sometimes there’s a dog. In this formula, the dog is C.”

My wife says, “Shouldn’t the dog be D?”

And I say to her, “Honey, if A is a child in peril, and B is love, dissolution of, then the next variable must be C.” I look closely at her and then pronounce, “That is how math works, and that is how you write a story.”

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