Minnesota Goodbyes

Minnesota Goodbyes - student project

Creative Idea: The basis for this story is the exploration of lost love. The focus will be on M., the main character, who is responsible for the death of the girl she loved, Clair. The main themes will revolve around grief, guilt, and redemption as M. comes to terms with Clair's death. 

Story Title: Minnesota Goodbyes

  • Romance, Coming-of-age, Young Adult
  • Approximate word count: 55K
  • PG-13 for language

Story Introduction: 

This is the truth. The whole truth.

It's easy, I think, when putting pen to paper, to cut and stretch. To make myself appear kinder or cleverer. To add little bits of embellishment here and there, or perhaps to wind the little pains into a tight ball, small enough to be curled in my fist. But I can't. The words flow quickly and the truth is intoxicating. Slit me open and a spurt of black will pour out, thick and viscous. Ink and words bruising my skin, throbbing in the pads of my fingertips.

Blood means nothing. It is forgotten.

Words, words, words thrumming through me: these matter. Ink thicker than blood thicker than water.

And so it is. The truth is life, and now I must face it.

I am the reason she's dead.

She lies buried beneath six feet of earth and a slick of frost, and I am the reason for it.

I can confess here. After all, I am simply scratches on a page. Sure, your mind can comprehend them. You can translate these marks however you want and judge me as you will. But you cannot find me. You cannot confront me to fling my words back at me and decry my cowardice.

Only I can do that.

Only I can set myself free.


Story Description: M., a college sophomore, is haunted by the events of a year ago that ended another girl's life. In an attempt to clear her conscience, she writes her confession down in a battered notebook and leaves it to you, the reader. This search for redemption is far more painful than she ever imagined, and she struggles to cope with her grief and guilt. As M. spirals deeper into herself, she must ask what the cost of absolution is...and if she's still willing to pay it.

Story Overview: Minnesota Goodbyes will be structured to contain two timelines, past and present.

  • The events of the past, starting with M. entering college and meeting Clair up to Clair's death
  • The events of the present, starting with the current school year, and ending in the spring of that year, a full year after Clair's death

Beyond this, the story will be told as a confession in journal format, and to clarify the past and present, one will be told in second person perspective and the other in first person, respectively.

Chapters 1 - 17 

  • Past: M. and Clair meeting, developing their relationship with each other and within their group of friends
  • Present: Explore M.'s decision to relay her thoughts in a journal, show M.'s mental and emotional state now, half a year after Clair's death.

Chapters 18 - 35

  • Past: M. and Clair's relationship growing towards something besides just friendship. M. trying to sort through feelings as well as questioning her sexuality.
  • Present: M. isolating herself from her friends and family due to her guilt, while they try and maintain ties, no matter how frayed.

Chapters 36 - 52

  • Past:The deconstruction of M. and Clair's relationship, ending just before Clair's untimely death.
  • Present: M. reliving the past as an escape from the present. Comes to the conclusion she will act as though she's healing, for the sake of her family and friends.

Chapters 53 - 70

  • Past: Clair's death and funeral. M. imploding afterwards until her brother gives her a journal.
  • Present: M. coming to some kind of terms with her part in Clair's death after writing about it, finally being able to forgive herself and start creating ties to people again.