Monday, April 1, 2013

Temptation & Plot Bunnies, Monday Fortune Cookie, 4/1/13

The problem with resisting temptation is that it may never come again.

SNARKY RESPONSE: One should never let a good temptation go to waste. You already feel guilty for being tempted. Why not just give in and have something to show for all that guilt?

The problem with resisting temptation is that it may never come again.

Something about this made me think of all those plot bunnies accumulating in my brain. Oh, that and Easter, I guess. (after all, I'm writing this on Sunday) 
No, honestly, plot bunnies are those mental sparklies that pop into existence without rhyme or reason to plague our precious writing time.

  • The bizarre character who sneaks onto the stage of our imagination to shout an intriguing bit of monologue or purloin a bit of the current scene for herself
  • The random "what if" that stops us cold at our keyboard with a quizzical huh?
  • That bit of backstory that just won't stay in the back

A well-trained writer knows she must remain focused on the work at hand if she hopes to finish the damned book. So she yanks the character off stage with one of those old vaudeville hooks, snatched back the piece of the scene, and promises herself to check that "what if" later when she's dealt with the current WIP.

However, "later" is a nebulous word and a promise given under duress is seldom fulfilled, leaving our hopeful plot bunnies piling up in the corners or squished between the pages of notebooks. Or worse, you finally wrestle some free time for auditioning those plot bunnies only to discover that they've thrown up their hands in disgust and hopped back down the rabbit hole from whence they came, leaving nothing behind except a vague sense of unfulfilled potential.

So, I hereby grant myself and all my fellow writers permission to tell their current WIP to "take five," sit back and let that character say their piece. I suggest you open a new document and spend a little time pursuing that tantalizing "what if." And you pull out a few mental carrots to lure that plot bunny out of the shadows and into center stage.

I've been trying this out with the random Plot Bunny Story Snippets on my fb author page. I often discover a delectable photo or piece of artwork and share it on my author page and in the past I'd just say something like "plot bunny" but now, I'm trying to take the time to dash out a story snippet to try and nail down those wrascally wabbits.

Trust me, the WIP will be there, you've already created enough of it to be able to pick it back up again, but the sparklies may not be able to wait. Without that form that only you can provide, they will fade away leaving only the memory and a touch of guilt over a possibility missed.

Who's with me?


  1. Love this idea! I always say I'm going to jot them down, but I don't. Or I always have those moments of inspiration when I'm, like, driving, or getting my teeth cleaned, or something where I can't stop and make note. Once it's gone, it's gone! We should preserve all we can!

    1. Hi, Leah! That is SO frustrating when they pop out of a corner when your hands are full or it's not possible to stop and give them the attention they so obviously desire. But if we both begin to accommodate their brothers and sisters, they may be more patient in the future. May we both have dozens of "hutches" filled with plot bunnies contentedly awaiting their turn.