It is that time of year again, and as darkness falls earlier with every passing day I know we are getting close to Halloween and of course, NaNoWritMo.

Last year was my first time doing this, and I barely made it, having squandered close to three weeks with only a measly 16 000 words to show for it. Once I realized the fix I was in – for I was determined to make the 50 000 mark – I managed to buckle down and pass the line less than an hour before deadline.

This year I will not be making the same mistake, for this year I will write every day, making sure I produce the 1600 some words I need to on a daily basis, to end up with the 50 000 word count at the end of the month. This year I will not cross the finishing line with my tongue hanging half way out, tired and totally burnt out, to collapse into the nearest couch and watch TV mindlessly for the next few days while I recuperate. No, this year I will saunter over the line nonchalantly, flicking an invisible speck dust off my immaculate attire as I flash a self-satisfied smile at the cheering crowd.

Or so I tell myself. But I know better, and I suspect that the sauntering part at least will not take place. But maybe I will manage to jog across the final hurdle at an even pace, slightly tired but not entirely empty. That is my plan anyway, but only time will show. In the meantime I am getting ready, working on the outline of the novel I will spend November writing, getting my ideas in order, creating the framework for the hours I will type away, as the cold outside takes hold and the days get even shorter.

I am not doing a lot of planning in detail, only enough to have some idea of where I am going, and what I want to include in my novel. This is the kind of novel that I have to run with, rather than try to rope in and tame, for I know that there are things for me to discover along the way, and surprises that may come up as I keep on writing. I know that I have barely got to know the characters yet, and that they have so much more to tell me before our time together is done.

Not that this story is new to me. Actually I have been living with this story and its troubled and recluse protagonist for some time. Already I have some parts outlined, at least in the form of keywords, and the characters are living and breathing in my mind, interacting and moving around in their world. I have even written some very few scenes, to which I will add at least 50 000 more words during the coming month.

I am thrilled. I am so looking forward to this journey, to learning more about the mystery that haunts the small town where my character has taken refuge, to learn more about her and the shadow that hangs over her. And some time in the early months of next year I plan on sharing this story with the world, and publish what will be the first book in my series.

But before I get that far I have a long journey ahead of me. So, as November 1. comes around, and for the next 30 days I will be here, typing away, and having a great time.