In the past, I've always been meticulous about obeying the "rules" of NaNoWriMo - no starting before November 1, no finishing after November 30. Having won a couple of years, I don't allow myself to use the easy word-padding tricks (eliminating contractions, giving characters two- or three-word names, writing stream-of-consciousness). And last November, it worked bizarrely well; I managed 100,000 words in the first two weeks.
For some reason, though, I decided to throw out one of the basic commandments of NaNoWriMo when it came time for Camp NaNoWriMo - Thou Shalt Start A New Novel. This summer, I decided to ignore the rationale behind that rule (it's much easier to write freely if you haven't invested a lot of time and emotion in a novel already) and write the last 50K of a novel I've been writing, word by word, since early May.
Yeah. It's hard. I've already been cherry-picking the most interesting/exciting/dramatic scenes to write, so now I'm filling in scenes that I gave up on when they got too difficult. My novel is literary magical realism, so I can't exactly throw in a random car chase (NaNo 2006), demonic intervention (NaNo 2007), kidnapping (NaNo 2008), or horseback chase through the Himalayas (NaNo 2009). I know where it's going, and I like it - it's just not very conducive to high daily word production.
I'll keep chipping away at it - the purpose, after all, is to finish the novel this month. But when my word count reads 29,414 I have a hard time remembering that I'm shooting for 71,000, not 50K.
Wish me luck - I'm diving back in! And stick to the NaNo straight and narrow - the rebel life is a tough one.