This year’s potential NaNoWriMo project, My Sister Alex.

NaNoWriMo is a month-long creative writing challenge that takes place every November.

As I said last week, I’m trying to decide which project I’m going to work on for NaNoWriMo this year.

As usual, I have a choice of stories and I’ve narrowed it down to three. I’m taking a look at each of them, in turn.

The first one is,

My Sister Alex.

A Science Fiction adventure.

You learn that your sister’s dead, half a Galaxy away. Little do you know, your problems are only just beginning.

Max Walters is an ordinary guy. A surveyor, working on the edge of exploration. When he gets the call that nobody wants, he doesn’t hesitate, he’s on the next flight home.

How could he expect what happens next? He’s come to the attention of some very bad people. They try to kill him, in the one place he should have been safe.

Then he finds himself being chased across the Galaxy.

What was Max’s sister mixed up in?

More importantly, what’s his connection to it all?

This novel is set in the same universe as The Hitman and the Thief, a far future where the Galaxy is colonised and vast passenger liners cross interstellar space, keeping everyone connected.

Here’s the start of the novel, just to give you some idea of where it’s going.

It all came down to this. The mad dash halfway across the inhabited Galaxy ended in this dingy corridor, under flickering fluorescent lights. There was a strange smell, not quite cleaning fluids, something else, a sweet and cloying odour that was only just on the bearable side of unpleasantness. The walls were painted in faded institutional green with worn plastic tiles on the floor.

My companion, an overworked detective in a poorly fitting suit, was shuffling uncomfortably, as if eager to get this all over with. He had explained what would happen and I had just nodded, I was running on automatic pilot, unable to take in what he was telling me.

Even so, I had seen enough movies to know what to expect. It wasn’t that I was space-lagged, we had sorted the time difference out on the way. Despite the length of my trip, I hadn’t really had time to process what had happened, my mind was still on Aspirion, in my manager’s office, at the precise moment when I had been given the news.

The door he knocked on was wooden, with a frosted glass panel, behind which bright light could be seen. Examination Room 2. It creaked open on dry hinges to reveal a white-coated figure.

“Come in,” he said, avoiding all eye contact, any trace of empathy. The walls were tiled and gleaming, as was the bright metal bench in the middle of the room. Racks of shiny tools caught the light from the rows of bright fluorescent tubes. Along one wall was a set of square metallic doors, with black painted numbers above worn plastic handles.

The man went to Number 15, which was ironic in the circumstances, considering it was the number of the house where Alex and I had grown up. He pulled on the handle and a trolley slid out, the unevenly ridged contents covered by a white sheet.

“If you’re ready, Mr Walters,” my companion said. “Can you formally identify the deceased as your sister, Ms Alexandra Walters?”

He nodded and the mortuary attendant pulled back the sheet. I looked at the face. There was a sudden rush of emotions.

“Please take your time,” he added, placing what he must have thought was a comforting hand on my shoulder.

How long did it take to recognise your twin sister?

It wasn’t her.

Next week, I’ll be sharing another contender.

Do you want to know where this story goes from here?

Is this what I should be working on this November?

Why not comment below and give me your thoughts?

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