For me, anyway.
Last year's NaNo, I worked on a fanfiction novel for The Sentinel, tentatively titled "Senseless". I got nearly 30,000 words written on it--not enough to finish it, or to "win" NaNo, but considerable for me.
I haven't been able to work on the story since, and after a couple of months I decided I should wait till this year's NaNo, and pick up the story right where I left off. I've reread what I wrote, but haven't done any revision work.
Then, courtesy of fernwithy's own mild freakout over having written her prologue early and whether that disqualified her, I went back to the NaNo FAQ and found this:
"Do I have to start my novel from scratch on November 1?
This sounds like a dumb, arbitrary rule, we know. But bringing a half-finished manuscript into NaNoWriMo all but guarantees a miserable month. You'll simply care about the characters and story too much to write with the gleeful, anything-goes approach that makes NaNoWriMo such a creative rush. Give yourself the gift of a clean slate, and you'll tap into realms of imagination and intuition that are out-of-reach when working on pre-existing manuscripts."
They have a point, but this is a NaNo novel, and I'm not going to be doing any revision work, just writing new stuff.
But it's still clearly "cheating," as defined by the above rule.
So should I cheat, or not? Please, I need some help on this. (And don't bother telling me "it's not cheating," because technically, it is, and my brain can't let go of that sort of stuff.)