There’s nothing like suddenly becoming obsessed with the scenery to fill up pages and pages of your nano novel.
I’ve never managed to beat Daphne Du Maurier or Mervyn Peake*, but I can wax eloquent pretty dammed well about the colour of curtains, the softness of the fabric, yadda yadda yadda.
I’ve always had a soft spot for descriptive scenes; I can’t blame this derailment on nanowrimo. I can remember reading The Horse and His Boy when I was a child, and there were several scenes with food, and I tried to imagine what the various things would taste like (including dirt, lol). A few years later, I discovered The Blue Sword, and found myself similarly enchanted by the description of orange juice, of forests with tangled roots, of burning deserts…
Perhaps because of these childhood/teen influences, I like to include things that make the scene feel real; is it cold, is it dark, does the POV character have sore feet? What can the characters smell, is it good or bad? Is the banister beneath her hand smooth and polished wood, warmed by the sun, or cold metal, rough with rust? I like these concrete moments, because it adds depth to the moment and increases the ability to visualize the scene.
And I do go overboard on occasion. I can get so caught up in the sensory input that I fail to actually have my characters do anything for pages. It’s a bit embarrassing.
*Both are writers famous for writing at least one, long chapter that is only descriptive.