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November 1, 2007


National Novel Writing Month starts today, so for today we'll do without inner editors of any kind. Write the start of something epic and submit the first 100 words, cutting off in the middle of a sentence if that's where the break falls. No revision allowed, although spellcheck is permitted. No editing. (If you're participating this year, use the first 100 words of your Novel, of course, but otherwise, anything epic will do.)

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Michele: Safe Mode

I turn on the television to see what the hell’s going on, but when your town is aflame and the sidewalks have buckled, the cable will go kaput. Same for the internet. which doesn’t matter, as my computer is on the floor in a heap of plastic shards. The keyboard has exploded all over the office. An asterisk is embedded in the wall. F1 has been shot straight across the room, into the eye socket of my poseable Spider-Man, who appears to be winking a hint to “save as” before it all goes to hell. Too late, Spidey. Too late.

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Jeff R.:Infernal Designs

Urik usually did the month's shopping on Lanta's day, so he was unsettled when his mother handed him a bag of coin and told him to perform the errand.

"Are you sure? Today is Nidos's day, and we have more than enough for the ten days until Lanta's."

Nomi frowned. "I may be ill, but my mind is still fine." She pointed at the bag. "There is a bit less than most months, so skip the preserves if you must, but try to get all of the rest." Urik started to speak again, but she gestured dismissively and he knew

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David: General Order #1

It was the time of the quadrennial Great Space Race, when beings from throughout Known Space would gather and test themselves and their starship designs against one another for honor, glory, and a fat prize.

It was a sub-light race, of course, through the various hazards of the Crux, the system at the center of Known Space and the home of the all-encompassing Star League. Known scientifically as Beta Crucis, the Crux had asteroid fields, dust clouds, and the shifting gravity of an orbiting secondary to challenge ship designers on a dozen worlds.

“Now what will we do?” asked the

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Stacy: Autobiographical. Or Not.

Apparently a teacher of mine somewhere in the mists of grade school informed my parents that I would likely grow up to be a writer. As I survey the scattered chaos that is my life, I often wonder if that old bitch still lives. So I can kill her.

Then the Muse sets her spurs to my ass once again and I’m off, keyboard chattering like the Nazis are coming over the hill and I’m all that stands between Good and Evil. It’s a goddamned nightmare, I tell you, having all this STUFF inside me, welling out all over the…

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Jim: Sparks

The summer sun crept across a pale blue sky, searing the high plains. The parched air - trapped between the throbbing sun and golden grass - hung heavy and swollen, almost solid in its utter stillness. Even the usual chirruping insects became lethargic in the heat and stuttered into silence.

Dry sand scraping his belly, Kangee crawled hand over hand through the tall, yellow grass that blanketed the crest between the shallow canyon and the great valley beyond. Behind him, in the tiny canyon, Kangee’s older brother, Enapay, stood still as stone and held the bridles of both Shu-u hunting

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Ted: Water Hole

Lipkok lay staked out against the stone, the rawhide cords at his ankles and wrists wet down from the nearby pond cutting into his skin.

For three days he had been thus, licking the dew off his lips at dawn.

His judges would hold up a cup of water to his lips everyday at dusk and ask if he was ready to drink. For three days he said 'no'.

Finally, Pokik the Elder cut free his bonds, pulled him shaking to his feet, and guided him into the pond. "Now do you understand what it means to waste water, my...

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