How to Rule the World

How to Rule the WorldKindlesmallMy brand new world-building book is out now! Pop over to Amazon to check it out. The Kindle version is available to pre-order and will be released on 1 October.

It’s my guide to creating a believable world for your stories, no matter what medium you use to tell them or how fantastical (or even mundane) your setting. There are worksheets, writing exercises and illustrations to help you out. There is also a checklist of things you might not have considered (but probably ought to know).

Hopefully, this book will help some of you out, especially considering that it is time to start planning for NaNoWriMo. November will be here before you know it!

How to NaNo

In the past, I’ve been the unofficial ML for the Portsmouth (UK) Region. This year, it’s official. There will be a series of tweets running through October to get you prepared for November (from @AngelLithium and @NaNoPortsmouth), but if you can’t wait to see them each day, here’s an outline. I’m mostly using my worksheets to get you planning, but there are some days when I leave you to your own devices. Good luck! Continue reading

The Rage: Part 29

XIX

Topi comes out first when I give them the signal that it is clear to move. He eyes the man with suspicion, but does not speak. The man barely looks him over; he knows he has strength enough to overpower us. If the Rage takes him, he’ll have more than enough. Topi and I work together to help Emilia up the ladder. As soon as she is upright, the man steps towards her. Topi and I block his route.

“How far along are you?” he asks, stopping only just on his side of the line.

I scowl, looking between him and Emilia. She looks away, her hands clasped in front of her, pulling her clothing more tightly over her front. If she had been injured, we would have known about it; there is no way she could be infected and we not know about it. The last time we saw a Rager was days ago. She would have turned by now.

“Two months?” He asked. “Three? More?”

“What are you talking about?” I begin. “People don’t last—”

“Three,” Emilia interrupted.

I look at Topi. He shakes his head before I speak.

“She’s pregnant. How did you not know?”

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The Rage: Part 28

XXVIII

He’s still there when darkness falls. Still alone. I hear no movement outside. We both hear Emilia complaining beneath the floor hatch. He says nothing. We haven’t spoken for hours.

I still don’t know what he wants.  I don’t know if I can trust him. All I know is that Emilia will not stay put much longer. If I don’t speak to her, she will force her way out of that tunnel. If I do speak to her, she’ll demand to meet the man. Either way, she’s the weak link.

Emilia is desperate. She would accept his help without even stopping to think about it and if she dies because he is dangerous, I have failed. I cannot let that happen.

The only way I can protect her is to go with her, but then Topi will be alone if he refuses this ‘help’.  Topi is more capable than Emilia, but even he won’t survive long alone. None of us would. I wish Miro were here. He would know exactly what to do. Now it is all on me.

I look at the hatch and back to the man. What else can I do?

“How close is your shelter?”

 

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The Rage: Part 27

XXVII

“I am not a threat to you.” The man puts his back against the wall and folds his arms.

I scruff the dirt with the toecap of my boot, drawing a thick line down the middle of the room. “If you are not a threat, you will stay on that side of the line. Then I won’t kill you.” I extend my hand to him. “Give me back my knife.”

The man nods and draws his own weapon, a long, thick blade with a heavy handle. It’s the kind of weapon purpose made for this job. Sturdy. Sharp. When I kill him, it will be mine.

He returns my knife point first, forcing me to take hold of the sharp edge. He’s done this before. I can’t grip it tightly enough to harm him or I cut myself and by the time I have readjusted, he will be ready for me. As soon as I touch the knife, we both jump away from the line, our backs against the walls of the shack.

“What is your name?” he asks.

“Why do you care about my name?”

He shrugs. “I don’t.”

“What’s yours?”

Again, he just shrugs. “Does it matter?”

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The Rage: Part 26

XXVI

“You should leave,” I say, trying to put as much authority in my voice as I can muster. Authority. Like that’s a thing anymore.

“There is a village not far from here,” he replies, ignoring me. “We have fortifications. We have clean water. We have food.”

“You are infected.” I draw each word out to be sure he understands. “You have to go.”

“I am not dangerous. I can help you!”

I take a step back. He doesn’t have long left. He doesn’t realise what he’s becoming. Perhaps he doesn’t even realise he’s trying to kill me. I brace myself and curse myself for not being prepared for this. But maybe, if he’s that far gone, he’ll be as desperate as the others. Maybe…

“I know how to cure you,” I say. “Would you like that?”

He clenches his jaw and his lip curls. His mismatched eyes fix on me like a hunter on prey. Perhaps he’s too far gone.

“I’ll need my knife back, but I can stop you suffering.” I nod and extend my hand, smiling. I think. I’m not sure I remember what smiling feels like.

The man shakes his head and moves away from me.

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