Let me give you TWO methods, in detail:

FIRST METHOD:

The equation is y = m x + b

The line passes through (-8,9) and (10,-3) when both of the following equations hold:

9 = -8 m + b

-3 = 10 m + b

Substract those two equations from each other to eliminate b. You obtain: 12 = -18 m, or m = -2/3.

Plug that value of m into either equation to obtain the value of b, namely (using the first equation): 9 = -8 (-2/3) + b, so:

b = 9-16/3 = 11/3

If you prefer, you can also obtain the value of b directly by eliminating m between the two equations (multiply the first by 5 and the second by 4 and add them up). You obtain: 45-12 = 9 b, so b = 11/3, indeed.

SECOND METHOD (more efficient):

At a slightly more advanced level, we may obtain the equation of the line directly by stating that (x+8, y-9) is proportional to (10+8,-3-9). If you know what a determinant is, you may just write that the relevant 2 by 2 determinant is zero. Otherwise, just write that the proportionality means:

(x+8)(-3-9) = (y-9)(10+8)

Just simplify that:

-12 (x+8) = 18 (y-9) or 2(x+8)+3(y-9) = 0

This boils down to 2x+3y=11

You may keep this equation as is or divide by 3 to put it in the form

y = (-2/3)x+(11/3) or y = (11-2x) / 3

RECOMMENDATIONS:

I advise you to get familiar with the second method ASAP and, also, to acquire a taste for the nicer form of the equation of a line where the coefficient of y need not be 1. Here: 2x+3y=11.

Last step: Check that the equation obtained holds for both points:

2(-8) + 3(9) = 11

2(10) + 3(-3) = 11

Trimming all the fat, the entire computation merely consists in simplifying a single line, as shown in the link below:

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