Work in progress: The A – Z of how to survive absolutely everything

Hello! I thought I’d do something different today and post an unedited excerpt of my current WIP, a YA novel with the working title The A to Z of how to survive absolutely everything. I wrote this chunk today, on the first day of NaNoWriMo. My aim is to finish the first draft of A – Z this month (I’m already 60,000ish words in) then spend the remainder of November working on a novella.

How’s your Nano Day one going? If you are in a sharing mood, feel free to post an excerpt of your Day One words in the comments below, or a link to your blog if you’ve also shared… 🙂


I hug Tom like a crazy person when I see him. Mum and Stacey exchange a look. I’m in shock, I guess, because now I’ve got my brother in my arms I start shaking.

‘Abbie?’ he says and he sounds scared.

‘It’s okay Tom. Just glad to see you.’

‘Couch, guys, Stacey can you get Abbie a blanket please? And I’ll get a hot chocolate on.’

Warmth and sugar, mum’s answers to many of life’s problems. I’m not sure if that’s what they teach you in med school but it often seems to work.

I’m not sure about now though. I keep getting flashes of Dave – alive, being a dick; cold and damaged and dead, on a gurney waiting to be sawn open for an autopsy. I know a little bit about autopsies due to random late night TV watching, and now I wish I didn’t. I didn’t like Dave, it’s true, but I don’t want to think of him like that.

And along with all the other thoughts is the one that I keep pushing away, but I know requires an answer, sooner rather than later: Who did this? And why? And did it have anything to do with me visiting Christina?

I find myself being tucked in like I used to be when I got sick when I was little. Mum brings over a big mug of hot chocolate and I sip it, feeling the warmth and the sweetness ease their ways into my veins, and settle me. Mum comes and sits next to me. I rest my head against her shoulder and she puts an arm around me. I don’t have any words left and I’m grateful she doesn’t try to talk to me, or ask me any questions, even though I can sense them brewing away inside her.

‘Can I watch some Dr Who?’ Tom asks, clearly taking advantage of the unusual circumstances in the hope that the no TV till after homework rule doesn’t apply. Mum says yes. He puts it on and I close my eyes and listen to the sound of alien worlds and time travel and feisty companions facing terrible danger. And then, unexpectedly, all in a rush like a storm breaking, I start to cry.

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