I’m so happy to announce that I’m participating in Christine Smith’s yearly writer linkup: Know the Novel! I did it last year on my Facebook page because I didn’t have time to write an entire post, and I enjoyed it so much that I just had to do it again. So, thank you, Christine, for always making this happen. *hugs*

Since I talked about my dystopian novel, Prodigy, last time, I’ve decided to switch things up. I still won’t be doing NaNo because it’s a terrible time for me, but I figure it’s still a good time to really introduce you guys to my summer contemporary romance novel, The Last Time We Say Goodbye.

What first sparked the idea for this novel?

The origin of this story is quite the tale. However, for the sake of time, I won’t tell the lengthy, detailed version. Basically, in a nutshell, this story is a variation of the original idea. The initial inspiration came from Danny Gokey’s song, “More Than You Think I Am.” Specifically, the line that says, “Your days and your times are destined for our dance.” And while that theme will be notably absent from this version of the story, it was the spark that fueled the creation of it.

Okay, editor Bree here. I’m just gonna go ahead and apologize for the mess that is that *points up* I honestly don’t know what Past Bree was trying to say, but I strongly believe it was lost in translation, so brownie points to anyone who can put that together.

Share a blurb (or just an overall summary if you’d prefer)!

I really don’t share blurbs on my blog, but I hope this list of aesthetics satisfies you (for now)!

Summer beach trips | First love | Trying to fix mistakes | Grief child | Look at the stars and forget | Midnight runaways | Checkered past | Live for the future | All we have is now | Yellow vibes | Let’s sit on the roof again | Your frequent stupidity entertains me greatly | The cutest smile | Can we be young forever? | What a plot twist you were | Photography is my thing | My poetry is suddenly all about you | Someday you will find your place in this world

Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects about the setting?

This story takes place (almost) exclusively in Portland, Oregon. There will be some other cities in Oregon that pop up throughout the novel, but the main characters live in Portland. One of my favorite aspects of writing about a setting in Oregon is all the greenery, it literally makes me so happy.

Tell us about your protagonist(s).

'Cause everyone falls so hard
And everything falls apart
But we know we still got heart
Here's to the broken ones
:: Broken Ones by ILLENIUM ::
And my friends say I'm losing my mind
And my parents check in all the time
But it's harder to see you're not mine
with my bloodshot eyes
And I know that they're all probably right
And I know I should just say goodnight
But it's harder to see you're not mine, with my
Bloodshot eyes
:: Bloodshot by Dove Cameron ::
You were always there
Like a shining light
On my darkest days
You were there to guide me
Oh I miss you now
I wish you could see
Just how much your memory
Will always mean to me
In the blink of an eye
I never got to say goodbye
:: Gone Too Soon by Simple Plan ::
If I could go back and change the past
Be a little braver than I had
And bet against the odds
Would I still be lost?
Even if I woke up in my dreams
Would there still be something I'm missing?
If I had everything
Would it mean anything to me?
:: Wondering by Olivia Rodrigo & Julia Lester ::
Feels like we're on the edge right now
I wish that I could say I'm proud
I'm sorry that I let you down
I let you down
:: Let You Down by NF ::
It's a classic "me" mistake
Someone gives me love and I throw it all away
Tell me have I gone insane?
Talkin' to myself but I don't know what to say
:: Lose Somebody by Kygo & OneRepublic ::
I just wanna run
Hide it away
Run because they're chasin' me down
I just wanna run
Throw it away
Run before they're findin' me out
:: I Just Wanna Run by The Downtown Fiction ::
When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I've done
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed
And don't resent me
And when you're feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest
:: Leave Out All The Rest by Linkin Park ::

Who (or what) is the antagonist?

The antagonist is…well…too much of a concept to really describe. I’d say grief, but it’s so much deeper than that. The antagonistic force of the story is a deeply intricate sense of loss that propels the two main characters into each other’s arms. She needs someone who will stay… He needs someone who will see through the shattered pieces of his tough exterior and complicated past.

I don’t think that really answers the question, but it’s the best I can do right now because the antagonist isn’t really a person or thing. It’s an emotion. A feeling. A deep sense of feeling like you don’t belong that drives you toward bad and, sometimes, good things.

What excites you the most about this novel?

I’m actually really excited to write some of the more mundane scenes between Alex and Hope. I have a lot of fun dates planned for them, but I kinda like the idea of just writing about them going to get french fries at 2 A.M. or watching a movie and cuddling for two hours. There’s something really special about the bonding that happens in the little moments, so while the BIG SCENES are exciting, I’m also happy to write the smaller ones.

Is this going to be a series? Standalone? Something else?

This is a standalone novel. When I first had the idea (which was like drastically different from the current one), I thought it would be a trilogy. But since the plot has undergone many, intense overhauls, it’s just going to be one book.

Are you plotting? Pantsing? Plantsing?

Plantsing. I have certain scenes plotted to a T, but other scenes are just a complete free-for-all. I don’t like planning every single beat of the story because I need to feel like I can make a spontaneous decision and having a detailed plot would kinda ruin that for me.

Name a few unique elements about this story.

Unique elements? Well, every time I try to answer this, I can’t think of anything particularly original about this story. It’s filled with a lot of tropes that people dislike, such as the Bad, Brooding Boy, but over the years, I’ve found my peace in that. Not everyone is going to like this story. To be perfectly honest, it’s not the most original story. But it’s MY story to tell. God gave ME this story, which means that He wants ME to write it into existence. He gave it to me for a reason, and I think the most unique element about it is that it’s mine. I’m a unique being just by existing, so I think the same logic applies to my little story that makes me cry.

Share some fun “extras” of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you’ve made, a special theme you’re going to incorporate, ANYTHING you want to share!).

The sun comes up when the stars keeping falling
Life goes on and on and on, yeah
Morning comes, it can't take that away
Holding on when you keep falling
Changes that we gotta count on
We'll get up and fight another day
:: Life Goes On by Bailey Bryan ::
We've got young blood
Can't destroy us
We make our own luck in this world
We've got young blood
No one chose us
We make our own love in this world
:: Young Blood by Bea Miller ::
Everywhere I go leads me back to you
I don't wanna go, think I'll make it worse
Everything I know brings me back to us
I don't wanna go, we've been here before
Everywhere I go leads me back to you
:: I Miss You, I'm Sorry by Gracie Abrams ::
So, before you go
Was there something I could've said to make your heart beat better?
If only I'd have known you had a storm to weather
So, before you go
Was there something I could've said to make it all stop hurting?
It kills me how your mind can make you feel so worthless
So, before you go
:: Before You Go by Lewis Capaldi ::

Let’s Talk!

Are you participating in the writer linkup? If so, drop your link below so I can check it out. What do you think of my book baby? Are you intrigued? Which part of the post did you like the best? I tried to give you guys a nice little peek into my story, so I hope you love it as much as I do. ❀

22 thoughts on “Know the Novel – Part 1 // Introduction {A Writer’s Linkup}

  1. Wow, Bree! I absolutely love all the songs and the pictures! Alex and Hope sound like a precious pair. ❀ The list of aesthetics makes me want to read this book NOW! ^_^

    I agree, sometimes it's the small bonding scenes that are the sweetest to write.

    I love, love, love how you said that God gave you this story for a reason. That it's yours to tell, and I could just quote that entire paragraph. I agree with it 100000% <333 You always have such a beautiful way of wording these things! ^_^

    Best of luck on writing it, I hope all goes well!!!

    I did the linkup too if you want to read it. πŸ™‚

    https://livingoutsidethelinesfindingthewritelife.wordpress.com/2020/10/10/know-the-novel-part-one-introduction-a-writers-linkup-hosted-by-christine-smith-featuring-more-than-a-dream/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe, thank you so much, Jen. I’m so glad you like Alex and Hope. They really are quite the pair and I can’t wait for their wild spirits to be captured on paper. ACK, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR STORY IDEA. I NEVER KNEW I NEEDED A GENDERBENT CINDERELLA RETELLING UNTIL LIKE RIGHT NOW. PLEASE WRITE IT SO I CAN HAVE IT. *grabby hands* <33333

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THEIR STORY!!! *heart eyes* ^_^

        Aww! *blushes* Thank you so much!!! Everyone’s enthusiasm over it is making me so happy! 😭 <333 I am so excited for when I have it written and ready to be shared! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      2. AND I CAN’T WAIT TO GIVE IT TO YOU😍😍😍

        Awe, that makes me so happy. I’m glad you’ve surrounded yourself with the happy, encouraging, positive part of the blogosphere. πŸ’›πŸ’«

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well good, cause if they weren’t being nice to you, I was gonna have to get you to name names so I can go kick them because WE’RE A NICE AND SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY, DANGITπŸ‘€

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Aww!!! You are just the sweetest! 😍 Day. Made. <333 This is definitely a very nice and supportive community! It's such a blessing to be a part of it. ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like such a beautiful story!! I love that you’re embracing the fact that God gave you this story and how that’s enough to make it unique!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awwww! This sounds like SUCH a precious, poignant tale! And I can tell it’s a story of your heart, which just makes it all that much more special! I really do think ALL stories are unique because they come from US. No one can tell them quite like we can, and it just make storytelling honestly feel like magic.

    Thank you so much for joining the linkup! I loved reading about this. Also, your aesthetics are giving me all the heart eyes! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHHH, THE CHRISTINE COMMENTED ON MY BLOG. I’VE MADE IT IN THE WORLD. *throws confetti and glitter* Yeah, it’s a story that’s been on my heart for YEAAAARS, so I’m happy to finally have some people know about it’s existence. Maybe it’ll motivate me to write it? *nervous laughter*

      OF COURSE I JOINED THE LINKUP, IT’S AMAZING AND EVERY YEAR I SCREAM IN JOY AT ITS EXISTENCE ALL OVER AGAIN. <3<3<3

      Like

  4. I love the sound of this. It sounds so sweet and gentle. I love the idea of having grief almost as the antagonist and the romance sounds so cute. I love the sound of both your protagonists and the aesthetics you’ve created are so amazing and beautiful!
    Also, the song quotes scattered about the place are lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad my little book baby is already resonating with you, Chelsea. I also love the idea of grief being an antagonist, especially since it’s not my first time doing it. I’ve written a couple short stories where grief is the main emotion and sets the mood for the story, so I’m hoping I can do that again with this one, except, y’know, it’ll also be happy and fuzzy too. ❀

      Agh, I know right? I loved adding all the song lyrics, it was so fun. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. “I need to read a story like this.”

      ^You and me both, Skye. A big part of why I’m writing this is because it’s the story I’ve needed to read for almost five years. It deals really heavily with the theme that sometimes loving someone means you ultimately have to let them go, and that’s something I’ve had to struggle with in my own life for a long time, so translating it into my book baby is something I’m hoping to accomplish. <3333

      Like

  5. I would totally read this, Bree! All the aesthetics. *heart eyes* And it just sounds like such a sweet, soulful story. I don’t actually read a lot of romance, and it’s probably been YEARS since I’ve read a contemporary romance, but, um, your story makes me want to remedy that. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe, your comment made my day, Megan! πŸ’›πŸ˜‰I’m so glad my book baby has renewed your interest in contemporary romances. They do tend to have a bad rap, but sometimes there are a few, golden gems out there; one of which is 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons *cough cough*πŸ˜‚

      Like

  6. I am so intrigued. When I saw the pictures for Alex, I was like, “Oh, he looks to be a bad boy.” And you confirmed it. Bad boy may be a overused trope, but they are so fascinating and strangely lovable characters that you don’t care how many times they have been done. So, I fully support you in your use of this trope. Judging from his picture, I’ll probably love him.
    Grief as an antagonistic force?? That sounds like such an interesting thing to explore. I’ve never heard of such a thing.
    And the fact that it doesn’t have a blurb makes me all the more intrigued with this story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, haha, yeah, Alex is definitely a bit of a Bad Boy. It’s definitely an overused trope, but I’m hoping that I can play with the cliches surrounding it and make Alex a little more original. I’m glad you think you’ll love him, cause that’s obviously what I want. πŸ˜‰
      I had no idea that so many people would fall in love with the idea of grief as the antagonist. I was really just spitballing when I wrote that, so I guess now I’ll have to find a way to make it come true in the actual novel, lol.
      Yeah, I don’t tend to share blurbs for fear of someone stealing my idea, so I’m glad the lack of blurb has intrigued you. Thank you so much for your nice comment, Ribbonash. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

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