In a previous year, a friend of mine suggested pacing...pacing...pacing was the approach for which I should strive during NaNoWriMo.
This advice came on the heels of a flat-out sprint in the final day to cross the 50K marker. I heard, but didn't heed.
This year, although early days yet, is going better. The first two days have turned in over 1,900 words each. That's almost 300/day more than the required number to reach 50K in 30 days.
I had two characters going in—although one of them isn't set for appearance until far into the story. But he's present—serving as a goad to the main character, driving him forward.
Very soon after beginning I acquired five more characters. One of them's already dead. But I realize he's going to serve as driver for another character's motivation—not to mention open an avenue for our 'hero'.
Me? I'm just along for the ride. I'm fascinated by the early twists the story's taking and, equally so, by the storytelling foundation that's arising out of the words.
I have a general idea of where the story might go, but I'm not going to force it.