This is an advanced topic, so if you’re a Nano newbie or still thinking about if you even want to bother, I suggest you read the Nanowrimo – Is It Worth It? post from last year.
The nice thing about Nano is that you can make it work for you. As long as you write 50,000 words of something, you’re good to go.
There are a variety of ways to be a Nano rebel, but I would say the most common is to invoke the Zotukou Clause.
The Zokutou Clause is available to all Wrimos that have won at least once in the past.
How it works is thusly: The Zokutou Clause assumes you have started a novel, but not finished it. The official Nano rules state that you must write 50K on a new work of fiction, but the Zokutou Clause circumvents this. It allows you to work on something you have already started, and it is considered a win if you write 50K or finish your draft. (If you finish your draft before 50K, most people will start a new project or move to another one in order to reach 50K, for tradition’s sake.)
The idea is, instead of starting yet another new story, to finish an old one instead, so you can move on to the next phase (editing, in most cases).
Have you ever utilized the Zotukou Clause? Planning to this year?