It’s almost time. National Novel Writing Month: 2016 kicks off a week from tomorrow and I readily admit that I’m am horribly unprepared.

I “won” last year, crafting a strange Redwall meets Fallout hodgepodge over 54,000 words in less than 30 days. Have I gone back to edit it? No. Has anyone actually read it? No again. You know what? Maybe no one ever will dive into my first experiment in novel writing. But it was still a wonderful experience that taught me a hell of a lot about my own writing process. I went in with a basic plot and a simple plan. I came out with over a dozen characters I had never conceptualized in my outlines, a story that went in some weird places, and a gratifying sense of accomplishment throughout it all.

So I’m going to try again.

Only this time… my planning process is even worse. I have a concept, a protagonist, and a very loose ending. I’m not yet sure how my story will reach that conclusion, but that’s part of the fun of NaNoWriMo. You have to write an average of 1,667 words every day. Sometimes ideas just fall out, people and places get vomited on the page for the sake of progression.

I also do not have nearly as much time as I did last year. I have graduate school and extracurricular obligations that were not there in 2015. But I’m going to give it a shot anyway. Maybe I won’t hit 50,000, but that’s ok. Win or not, NaNoWriMo is like a set of jumper cables to my personal creativity. Even if I fall short by a few thousand words, or even if the story is truly awful, it will still be something I made.

So What am I Writing?

I was in a short-lived writing club last year, and a story prompt about time travel gave me the idea for this story. What if you could go back in time, but in a way that was incredibly limited? For the sake of my story, it allows a passage of only seventeen days, to be explored for only seventeen minutes. What happens? Hell. I don’t really even know yet.

How am I Writing It?

I’m going to give Scrivener a try. I got a coupon for last year’s NaNoWriMo win, and I’ve played around with it on some other projects. Time to set some daily goals, organize some scenes, and make this time travel mess somewhat coherent!

Last year I mostly used Google Docs, just for sake of ease (I was moving around a lot on different computers). I may have to supplement with that a tad this time, but time will tell.

Are you Doing NaNoWriMo too?

Be my writing buddy! I’m at