Monthly Archives: November 2012

Lagging behind in NaNoWriMo?

How am I allowed to give pro tips to people who are a few, or maybe many, words behind? Because I’m lagging 7307 words behind, that’s why! Whether you’re 1000 words behind or 25,000 words behind, this post is designed to help you, albeit with a few laughs along the way, I hope. Ready? Off we go!


Decide what you want to achieve

Why do you even want to do NaNoWriMo this year? To finish off the other half of that novel which you just haven’t bothered to do? To write a rough first draft of the next best-selling book of all time, a la A Tale of Two Cities? Or do you have an idea in your head that you just have to write down, even though you don’t want to get it published?

Whatever your reason, calm down! The publishing industry is still going to be there when you’ve finished your book, be that the end of this year or 2016. Just relax, take a deep breath, and write.


But what if I can’t write?

Has writer’s block hit you? Well I’m sorry to say that, in the poshest voice possible, that is absolute poppycock! Everyone is in the same position as you: write 50,000 words in 30 days. Now I understand that this is not easy, and in normal circumstances of novel-writing I would accept if someone had a case of writer’s block. But during NaNoWriMo? The only reason you “can’t” write everyday is because you won’t; we’re all naturally lazy, apart from the odd one or two people living on this planet. I really didn’t want to write today, and I haven’t written that much, but I’m proud to have written 1061 words. I wrote something when I didn’t want to write! If you can say the same about you, even if all you write is 100 words, you’ve done something which not many people have done. Be proud of that fact.

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos


Listen to certain music whilst writing certain scenes

I know some people can write whilst even the randomest type of music is blasting (well, maybe not blasting) through their speakers. But here’s a little thing which I do: if I’m writing an action scene, then I’ll listen to something powerful, strong, loud. But if I’m writing a sad scene (there are many of them in my own NaNoWriMo book) I’ll listen to something slower, quieter, which usually means that it’s sadder. I find that by doing this the words seem to push their way through those callous fingers and onto the page, meaning more words for your word count! Whoo hoo!


I’m never going to finish!

As I said before, relax. If you really are a long way off from catching up, or even if you haven’t started yet, then consider creating a new goal for yourself. After all, why beat yourself up about something which you’ll never get done? If you’re at 10,000 words, maybe you should try to aim for 30,000 by November 30th, as opposed to its ‘official’ 50,000. If you haven’t started yet, why not push for 20,000? NaNoWriMo isn’t necessarily about hitting that 50k; it’s about community, striving for what YOU can achieve, and feeling good about yourself. If you haven’t managed 50,000 by the end of November, don’t sweat it – you’ve participated and tried, which is more than a lot of people have ever done, and you’ve had the chance to write, which is always a great thing. And remember that even after November, you can keep going with your novel! It doesn’t have to end! 😀


But my writing isn’t good enough…

Don’t even think about thinking this. Do you know what NaNoWriMo’s tagline is? “Thirty days and nights of literary abandon!” Yeah, that means that your work doesn’t have to be good. At all. It can be terrible, actually, because NaNoWriMo’s goal isn’t to ‘get everyone to write perfect novels which will sell tremendously well.’ Their goal is simple but achievable: bring everyone together who wants to write and let them write. Whatever you’ve accomplished by the end, and if you’ve tried, then that’s the best anyone can ever do.


And that’s the bottom line. If you’ve tried your best, not anyone else’s, then who can criticise you? No one, that’s who. Enjoy the writing that you manage to do, and smile at what everybody else has managed to write, as well. National Novel Writing Month is all about community, and that’s what counts!


Until next week,

Thomas (who is over 7000 words behind and will probably be rushing like mad during the last few days).


I haven’t added many words, but that’s okay, right?

If I apologise to you all that I’ve not added any more than 3364 words to my NaNoWriMo novel, I’ll be honest, it’s not really going to work. But if I apologise to my inner writer for being a lazy bum, then I’m sure I’ll feel a little ashamed and disappointed.

Fortunately for me, though, I haven’t been a lazy bum – the reason I haven’t paid much attention to my work-in-progress novel, 30 Days, is because I’ve had to write 2500-word essay about whether men and women read literature in the same way. Not really my thing, and let’s face it, I’m not an academic writer. Anyway, preparing and writing that essay has taken a huge chunk of my time. However, dawn is finally here, as with my essay now submitted, I can crack on with my pos-apocalyptic novel again! Three cheers for me! Come on, I can’t see you jumping and clapping at my pleasant turn of events! 😛

All jokes aside, this week I’m hoping to reach the 35k mark – even with uni starting up again (this week was reading week) I’m determined to do it! Has anyone else faced similar problems, or even just hit a bump in the road or writer’s block? Write in the comments below and share it all with the Writer’ Cabinet community; a problem shared is a problem halved.

Here is the second extract of my novel. Hopefully you enjoy it, but maybe you won’t – just tell me why either way! See you all next week. 🙂

30 Days Extract (Chapter Three)

The rain was so severe that Abraham literally thought that buckets full to the brim with freezing water were being dropped frantically from the black sky. The wind howled like a pack of hungry wolves and the cold bit into his flesh like thousands of spiders. He screamed uselessly, crying for someone to help. It was obvious that no one would come, but it was the only thing he could do. Going onwards was not an option, as the storm would rip him to pieces if he didn’t find shelter soon, and going back to where he just came from…

            The grass was squelching beneath his feet and the mud coated itself onto his boots – they were already ruined. He stumbled on a few more steps, although every step he did take was sapping a large part of his strength and will. Lifting a trembling hand from his coat pocket, he felt his face. Freezing. In this state he could be dead within minutes. The water had already soaked into every possible dry area, making him quiver with cold. It was hopeless.

            Hurtling to the ground, tears from his eyes began to mix into the rain, just like that Warden with his cut leg. The Warden.

            What have I done?

            His eyes were getting heavy; he struggled to stay awake.

            ‘I can’t sleep,’ he yelled to himself. ‘I must stay awake, I must go on…’

            But what was the point in going on? He already knew that it would be a wasted effort. So why did he have to continue forwards? Suddenly sleep felt far more important and satisfying, and his head drooped; his eyes gradually closed, and within a minute his body was lying face-down in the mud and waterways of rain.

‘Skyfall’ Film Review


Director/Directors: Sam Mendes

Cast: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, et al

Rating: 12A (U.K.)/PG-13 (U.S.A.)

Release Date: 2012

Stars: 4.5 (Excellent)

Bond is back, but is he as classy as he used to be? Is this film full of exciting explosions or is it an exploding mess?

James Bond investigates an attack on MI6, but he’s in for a nasty surprise (Bardem). M (Dench) is ruthless in this film, but it’s Bond’s loyalty to M that is tested. Is this an evil too big for Bond to handle?

Daniel Craig has aged a bit, hasn’t he? Changed race, too. And that hat doesn’t look terribly good on him. Is this even Bond? No? Sigh…Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

As always, the opening scene of this movie is brilliant. It revolves around a car chase, a motorbike chase, and an epic hand-to-hand fight on top of a moving train. This is commonplace for an agent such as 007…until he’s shot, of course! The famous opening sequence music video is also brilliant, sung by the popular Adele. Her voice suits the theme perfectly, and this definitely adds to the film.

The acting is great, the better performances being given by Judi Dench and Javier Bardem, although Daniel Craig’s performance is certainly nothing to sneer at. One thing this film did well was balance the old with the new – there is a classic Bond car in the film, but also gadgets that are more ’21st century’, and this was a great addition to the series as a whole. If I’m honest, there really aren’t many negatives to say about this film, especially in terms of entertainment value. There is, however, one part of the film that I deemed a little too unbelievable – a fight under the literally icy water lasts too long for Bond to live, but even so, this is a minor gripe.

As ever, Bond stands out among the heaving crowd of other action/thriller films, and the ‘Britishness’ of it all just enhances the flavour. I may even go as far to say that this is the best Bond film yet, but that’s ultimately a very debatable view. The only way you’ll know whether it’s your favourite is by watching the actual film!

Seriously though, watch it.

9504 words…9504 problems?

First of all, please excuse me for not posting yesterday – the only excuse I have is that I was working on NaNoWriMo. Second of all, I want to talk to you about how many words I’ve done, where I plan to take my characters, and whether I think I’ll finish on time. So here we go.

I’m 9504 words in, as you can see from the title, and it’s a relatively good word-count. I’m certainly on target (10k for today) and everything is going swimmingly. Or is it? I have encountered a few problems, but are they as numerous as my current word-count?

Well, one problem I’m having is how much I drag the plotline out. I could write quite a lot in some scenes, but I’ve also got to strike a balance between realism and excitement – sometimes a book slips into both categories, but I’m not that good a writer yet! Anyway, that’s quite a problem for me, but I’m sure I’ll work it out.

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

The second problem I have is the amount of work I have to do besides NaNo (as I write this an essay is due in within a few days, and I haven’t even started), and it is still unclear as to whether other work duties will overtake my writing duties. But again, only time, and work, will tell.Finally, my third problem is that of looking ahead too much. Sometimes I’ll be casually writing and everything is as fine and as cuddly as bunnies and fluffy toys, when something hits me directly in the face (and it isn’t a bunny jumping towards me). No, it’s the realisation that I have to write another 40,000 words. How can I make the plot engaging when I hae that many more words to write, and that being the least? It’s a scary thought when it happens, but as I write more, the scariness factor decreases.

So to wrap it up, do I have 9504 problems? Well the answer is no, no I don’t. NaNo is going pretty well at the moment, and I’m already curious to see where my characters will take me. Now I shall treat you to a short extract of my novel, takn from Chapter One. But before I do, may I just remind you that you can share your work and wordcount in the comments below, or by sharing them via Facebook ( You can also follow me on Twitter (! See you all next Monday. 😀


’30 Days’ Extract (Chapter One)

It didn’t take much time; the labour lasted no longer than ten minutes. As soon as Abraham heard the baby’s cries he walked through the doorway and into one of the rooms, finding a smiling doctor and a very startled naked woman.

            ‘What are you doing here, Abe?’ The new-fangled mother said it kindly, yet there was forcefulness in her voice.

            ‘I was waiting right outside – I just wanted to say congratulations.’ He smiled and cocked his head to one side; being in the labour room was definitely a new experience for him.

            The mother smiled. ‘Thanks, I appreciate it. Just hope I don’t have to go back to work for a couple of weeks. Do you think they’ll let me stay off for that long?’

            It was the doctor standing over the bed that answered. ‘Doubtful; this is the Wardens we’re talking about. And anyway, I need you back here as soon as you can. It’ll be a nightmare being the only doctor here for a while.’

            A short silence began, and Abraham stood there uncomfortably for a few seconds before quickly spluttering, ‘Well, I should be off.’ He gave a little wave to the mother and the tiny baby wrapped up in a blanket, held tightly in here arms. ‘You both take care, now.’ He sidled out of the room and down the cabin’s steps, quickly looking around. Two dark figures were walking towards the square from the right. Abraham clenched himself so tightly that he thought he would collapse.

            Oh no, not today. Not now. She’s so happy…

            Somehow he managed to force his legs to move, and he ran back towards the cabin, bursting into the room again.

                ‘You have to get out of here!’ he gasped, trying to lift the exhausted mother up. He turned to the doctor. ‘We haven’t got long. Is there any way that we can pretend that the baby was dead, or that she had a miscarriage? We have to hide the baby!’ Abraham ran around the room, uselessly opening all the cabinets and drawers. He did not know what he was looking for.

            ‘Hello? It’s been reported that someone was due to have a baby today…’ The voice came from just outside the door.

            Too late.


Any feedback/comments would be greatly appreciated! One more quick thing: watch out for my Skyfall review, expected to be posted either today or tomorrow. 🙂