Never forget this: What you write this month will not be published.

Not never, but certainly not in the form that it comes out on November 30. So with that in mind, go mad! Add in hundreds of characters to that party scene, name each of them and describe what they’re wearing, eating and drinking. And then move on and never look at them again. Or, if your scene lacks drama, snowstorm! (But my story is on a spaceship… Doesn’t matter. I said, SNOWSTORM!) You’re in control for this month. Let your inner child write your story with crayons! It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense, or if it’s unnecessary, they are all words and they all count. Every single one.

Or, for those who find it hard to turn off their inner editors… Rewrite. Rewrite the same sentence ten times if you want to. But always start a new line, never delete. And type each word by hand if you want to avoid feeling like you’re cheating. All the words count. You wrote them.

And dream sequences are awesome when you’re stuck. Literally anything can happen without affecting your plot. And look at all the lovely words.

If you really want to publish your story, you will have to draft and redraft anyway, so don’t let the first attempt zap all the fun out of the experience. Don’t be afraid of writing the impossible or the improbable or the downright loony. Have fun.

Really. Do.

The Rage: Part 9

IX

I’m going to die. This is going to be my last night on this planet. Topi drags me into the shadow of the warehouse. It’s like water to a man on fire. But they’re still coming. I can hear them.

We’re both going to die.

Then darkness. All encompassing, pure and unconstrained darkness. Topi pulls me forward and I stumble. I have never felt so helpless.

“What’s happening?”

“Keep moving!”

The slimmest sliver of light creeps into my vision. I am not blind. I am not dead. I force myself to breathe. We keep moving. Topi leads.

Of all of us, Topi is the most resourceful. He makes gifts for us when we need encouragement, tokens for us to remember those we’ve lost and all manner of makeshift survival equipment. He made paper flowers for Anna one time. I don’t remember the last time I saw proper flowers.

Topi’s solution is such an obvious one that I wonder why I couldn’t think of it. I shouldn’t have panicked. I look down at my feet, still illuminated by the dying daylight. Above us, Topi’s blanket is shielding us from the sun. We shuffle forwards, looking for somewhere safe to wait.

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The Rage: Part 8

VIII

Flies swarm out. Maggots writhe on the floor. And the stench… I’m sick as I slam shut the door. Topi covers his nose and points to the other exit.

“Do we try this one?”

Metal scrapes on the concrete floor at the far side. The man is breaking through the barricade. I tell Topi that we have no choice, if we want to survive. He pushes the bar and cool air flows into the room.

Outside, dusk is falling, but it won’t be dark for another hour. And I can hear them screaming.

Topi grabs my hand and together, we run. We are blind in the light. I don’t know where he’s heading. I don’t know if he has a plan. Emilia and Miro have fallen behind. Dark figures loom about us. Ragers.

I swear. We have no weapons. We have no defence. Topi pulls me through a gap in the fence. The wire cuts my arm. The Ragers turn as one. They smell it.

Already, my skin is burning. We need shelter. We need it fast.

This is the first time I’ve feared death. I’m surprised it won’t be the Rage.

The sun will turn me to ash.

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