Embracing #NaNoWriMo: My Novel Plan

The annual write-fest of #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – during which writers challenge themselves to finish the entire first draft of a novel in just one month – is upon us. I’ve known about this formidable challenge for a couple of years, but in previous years, I haven’t gone for it because I’ve been too busy arsing around / panicking / believing I couldn’t possibly do it / getting distracted by other things.

The novel idea I will be working on is one that has been in my head for almost two years at this point. I spent so much time going back and forth with it – changing my plans day by day, realising that certain things were never going to work, experiencing moments of intense self-doubt, deleting vast swathes of it, putting the whole thing away for months on end and doing nothing to move the story forward – but now, at long last, I can say that I’m confident about where I am going with it.

2018 will be my first attempt at squaring up to the NaNoWriMo beast. I have a plan in place, I know what I will be writing about (even if I’m not clear on every single detail of what might happen yet) and I’m finally ready to go for it, come what may. Good luck to every other writer out there who will be embarking on this wild ride too. ❤️

The synopsis of the novel I will be writing is below. Its title, for the moment, is Tomorrow’s Chances.


Tomorrow’s Chances is set in Dublin, Ireland, during the later half of the year 2017 and the early months of 2018. It follows the stories of three main characters. The first of these is Derek Fitzmaurice, an international rugby player for Ireland, who is close to retiring age. As the book begins, he is struggling to deal with the recent betrayal of his wife, Anne-Marie, who left him for a wealthy businessman and has since moved abroad. The scandal was highly publicised at the time, and Derek is struggling to protect his two young children from the fallout.

Emma Harrison is the manager and proprietor of an independent supermarket called Price Watchers. She is recovering from an acrimonious divorce and experiencing difficulties with her teenage son Brian, who has recently gone through a depressive episode.

Emma and Derek first meet when he collapses in Price Watchers, and thereafter run each other on a regular basis at a single parents’ support group recommended to them by their mutual counsellor, Orla Fallon.

Their relationship develops slowly, but little by little, over shared cups of coffee during breaks in the support group meetings, and conversations that gradually become a little deeper, a sense of mutual affection is established.

Anne-Marie suddenly returns to Ireland, saying that she made a mistake by leaving Derek, and feels that it would be better for the sake of their children if they stay together. Derek is briefly torn by her suggestion that continuing with their marriage would be best for their children, leaving Emma deeply distressed. However, he ultimately decides to be with Emma.

A third narrative strand in the novel deals with Sarah O’Mahony, a twenty-four year-old employee of Price Watchers. Her storylines include attempting to come to terms with the fact that she is on the asexual spectrum, navigating a new relationship with a young man named Mark, and trying to figure out how she can move forward with her filmmaking career.