Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Writing Journey Part IV: Plot Bunnies

This is a plot bunny.
Plot bunnies are little mythical creatures who come wandering in and drop ideas into the brains of writers. Kind of like the Muse, only furrier and less sentient. Basically, if the Muse had a bastard lovechild with a dust bunny, the end result would be a plot bunny.

They come along at the most random times. While I'm driving, walking around, shopping...
...even just looking up at the sky.
I can't even tell you how many have come hopping into my brain while I'm snorkeling.
Wherever I am, the plot bunny will find me.
And this is a good thing, of course. There's a reason I keep a notebook and/or my iPhone (thank you, notepad app!) with me at all times.

BUT. There are times when plot bunnies are not welcome. Specifically, while I'm working on another story.

What usually happens -- to me, anyway -- is this. The story will be coming along nicely...
...which means I'm reasonably immune to the nibble of the plot bunny.
So they wait. Just outside my peripheral vision, they wait. They wait until that vulnerable moment...
When the story stalls. When I need a new idea like I need a damned hole in my head. That, my friend, is when they make their attack.
Some can be quite...demanding:
Now, I've tried telling them I have deadlines to meet. I'd love to play with their new little ideas, but...yeah, can't always do that when I want to. Because in my mind, a deadline should act as a repellent for such creatures.
But...well, let's put it this way. I was raised around Morgan horses. Morgans are what would happen if you ever crossed a horse with a termite. They like to eat barns and fences, and there are these wonderful companies that make such products as ChewStop, which, as its name would suggest, discourages horses from chewing.

And for the most part, it works.

Except with Morgans.

Spray ChewStop or anything like it on a fence, and a Morgan will do one thing and one thing only:
So since deadlines won't do the job, I find other ways to keep plot bunnies at bay.

Sedation works quite nicely.
Of course, like anything, this can backfire. The only thing harder to ignore than a plot bunny is a plot bunny who's drugged out of his gourd.
Today, the sedation didn't work.

The plot bunny chewed through its restraints, and is currently gnawing on my skull, even though I'm trying to work on something else. This happens a lot...but OMG, I do not have time for it. (Yes, I have time to spend an evening making a webcomic. Don't judge me.)

My friend Melissa had a suggestion tonight, and quite frankly, I think she's right.

If this plot bunny doesn't get its teeth out of my head and let me finish the book I'm working on right now, there are simply no other options.

It must be done.
(screencap from Monty Python & The Search for the Holy Grail)


  1. Hahahaha! Love this! Plot bunnies are running wild around my house, and I don't do a very good job of wrangling them.

  2. YAY!!! Plot bunny demolition! Just make sure you count to THREE. ;)

  3. Plot Bunnies are running amok in my house! I thought having 4 cats would solve the problem, but no, the cats just watch the bunnies. LOL.

    I had not thought of The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch..... Hmmm....

  4. OMG YES! ROFL-- tweeted and facebooked