Friday Flash – Razorland

Those of you who pay any attention to me on Twitter know I’m Fast Drafting. What is that, you might ask? It’s writing 5K a day for 2 weeks. No breaks. No days off. No tinkering. Just write until the damn thing is done.

I first heard of this via Candace Havens, but I had never tried it because I think doing 5K for more than 14 days would kill me. My adult books are longer, which would mean doing it for 20 days. And OMG, no. 3K a day 5 days a week – that’s my sweet spot & my sustainable, long-term pace.

But for some reason, I thought this sounded like a great idea for my YA. I’m on day 9 now and chanting I think I can like the Little Engine that Could. Thanks to Shannon Reinbold-Gee, kickass author of 13 to Life, one of the best YA novels I’ve read this year, I’m sticking with this. Everytime I think about wussing out, I tell myself, hey, if Shannon can do it and all her farm chores and look after her wee one, then you can do this, so STOP BEING A WHINY BITCH! And I keep writing.

I thought maybe you guys would like a taste of today’s work.

It took us two days to find the part of the ruins where Fade thought his father’s friend had lived. We traveled in the dark and avoided the gangers as best we could. The markings helped with that, and we stayed away from the areas that bore the most paint. Still, it was slow going.

The air smelled different here, sharper, stronger. Each open-mouth breath tasted of that salty, tinned fish. Tegan noticed it too; she lifted her face and then set out east. Fade called to her, but she ignored him. I ran after her because I wanted to know what was causing the change, too. We drew up short when the world ended. Below, a sharp drop, down to loose earth, and beyond that, water. I had never seen anything like it or even imagined; it met the sky for vastness. In the distance, they kissed in whispering shades of blue, deepening as the stars came out and twinkled in reflected light. I drew in my breath, overcome.

“Have you seen this before?” I whispered to Fade.

“Once. But I wasn’t sure I remembered right. I thought I might have dreamed it.”

In my mind’s eye, I saw him half his height, a small boy clinging to his sire’s hand and watching the water tear high against the rocks. I saw no ending to it, just this beginning, or perhaps I had it wrong, and this was the ending of all things. Certainly it felt that way to me, as I gazed in aching silence, and refused to weep for the wonders the enclave brats would never see.

And so I saw the sun come up for the first time, rising over the water until it shone with a reflected light that arrowed toward me. I didn’t know how long we stood there, rapt, but eventually Fade tugged on my hand. I hadn’t even realized he was holding it.