Behind the Keyboard: The Plot bunny

Picture this.

You’re in class.  An exam. A meeting. Either way, you’re in a place where you’re trapped and you can’t leave, when suddenly you see a stampede of plot bunnies coming towards you, preparing to attack.

A plot bunny is an idea that one can get that demands to be written, lingering at the back of one’s mind, begging to be written. It often strikes at the most inconvenient time and before you know it, you have more and more ideas launching themselves at you. Which is unfortunate, as the original, wonderful idea that you had at the start is slowly slipping away as the others fight for your attention.

So how can we make sure we don’t lose all of these wonderful ideas?

The most logical answer would be to note it down in a notebook. But if you’re like me, (in other words, disorganised) then this isn’t always possible. Other ways to note down ideas: recording it using a voice recorder on a mobile phone, using the back of a receipt to write down ideas or even writing all down your arm – this isn’t recommended if you live in a place where it rains a lot.

However, once you have it down, this poses another problem – how do you sort out the good ideas from the bad ones?

This depends on what counts as a ‘good’ idea and what counts as a ‘bad’ one! One person’s bad story about unicorns could be another person’s great story with lots of mystery and tension. If you like the idea – explore it further! Something that starts as something silly could end up being very complex with a much more serious tone.

That’s it for this week. Look out for any plot bunnies that come your way, wherever you are and whatever time of day it is; you’ll never know when they’ll visit.

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6 Responses

  1. Trident says:

    This happens to me all the time, and I’m afraid that I have had loads of good ideas that I’ve lost because I had nothing to write them down. Oftentimes my best ideas come away from the keyboard.

  2. Heather says:

    I have a ridiculous amounts of notebooks which wriggle their way into my bags or pockets so I’m never far from one and while they haven’t had much use lately, I always try to be ready!

    As for good idea vs bad idea, put it away for a few months and then when you stumble across it, if you still like it, it’s time for some evaluation. Does this idea have enough substance to form a plot? >> Make a plot sheet. Does it have a target audience? Do you have characters yet? Are you ready to write or does it need more time in the cooker?

  3. Aniqa says:

    I get such ideas when i hit the bed to sleep, then i keep thinking about the story and sleep, next morning there isnt a single thing about the plot in my mind. Because of not writing them down at that time I have lost many of my good stories and conversational dialogues.

  4. indieeloise says:

    I’m with Trident – these sudden rushes of inspiration strike me when I least expect it, and never at the computer. A lot of times, a ‘plot bunny’ hops my way when I’m falling asleep, in class, or walking in the hallways at school. Today during church I thought of a theme for a poem, and I had to grab a pen from my mother’s purse and the back of a sticker from my sister’s Sunday school and jot it down in the middle of the sermon. Can’t risk losing it!

  5. Cadi says:

    I have a notebook that comes with me at all times it possibly can, and now that I have a Nexus 7, I can usually take that even if a tablet isn’t possible (though I’ll be in trouble when it gets too hot for my big black coat). Mostly, though, if I’m getting ideas, I’m getting them as I fall asleep (this happens with programming problems, too!), and having a notebook by my bed isn’t that hard. 🙂

  6. Auxiira says:

    I have a folder that I’ve kept all of my ideas in, but then came the big bummer: the folder went missing. I can actually remember most of the ideas, but it’s just the loss… anyway, I always have more than a few scraps of paper in my bag, or a notebook, so I can mainly write them down^^

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