Plot Bunnies


Plot Bunnies

 “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”

–John Steinbeck

There you are happily working on a story, not a care in a world, when you catch the glimpse of a whisker from the corner of your eye. With a shake of the head, you continue typing. The whisker has now grown into a cute, fur-covered face with wide brown eyes. The eyes bore into your brain, overtaking the current piece you are working on.

No matter how hard you try, that adorable face refuses to go away and you find yourself thinking about this new idea that formed. Interesting how it began to take shape at the same time you glimpsed that whisker.

Yes, the plot bunny has struck again. What’s this? You never heard of a plot bunny?

What is a plot bunny?

A plot bunny is a story idea that refuses to go away until it is written. The term’s origin is unknown, but is known to predate NaNoWriMo. Because plot bunnies tend to multiply quickly, the term is thought to be related to the oft-quoted John Steinbeck quote about ideas and rabbits. For descriptions and how to recognize various plot bunnies, here’s a link to Wikiwrimo.

Basically a plot bunny is an idea that tends to multiply without warning, much like a pair of rabbits. The good point about plot bunnies, you will never run out of ideas for writing. The bad point, there’s not enough hours in the day or or month sin the year to write out every plot bunny that comes along. Much as you would like to write up every one that appears, I fear your well-being will suffer.

If the plot bunny continues to stare at you, you had best write down what is it. Get as much of the idea written out as possible, then go back to what you were previously working on.

The existence of plot bunnies ensures we never run out of things to write about. Sure, some of it may go nowhere, but  others could explode into a great story. Keep a notebook or a document on your computer to keep track of these plot bunnies. Who knows what rabbit hole they will take you down.

May the words ever flow!

About Anna Dobritt

Anna Dobritt is an independent eBook author and an indie publisher of RPG PDFs and fantasy maps through Cartography Unlimited for RPGs. She loves to read and write, and lives in Michigan. Anna enjoys watching Dr. Who, both the classic episodes from the 1960s-1980s and the current episodes. Anna has three trilogies in the queue: Ravynwyng Chronicles Universe – Volume 1: The Beginning has been released, and Volume 2: Discovery, is going through the editing and revision process, with plans to self-publish in 2016. Volume 3: Truth is currently being written. Two other trilogies are The Archivist — Lenara Lenquil Adventures, and the Guardian Blades Trilogy. Anna has self-published Volume 1 of the Ravynwyng Chronicles Universe titled The Beginning; three short stories: The Hunter, First Raven, Raven Voice; a novelette titled Raven Flight, and a collection of short fiction titled Whispers from Within. Where the imagination soars on glowing wings! May the words ever flow!
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12 Responses to Plot Bunnies

  1. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Ever wondered where story ideas come from? 😀

  2. I hadn’t heard the term before, but recognize the symptoms all too well. I think I have to reorganize my WiP folder, now, rename it the Rabbit Hole, and move all the Plot Bunnies there. XD

  3. I haven’t heard this term before either. Always something new to learn. It never stops. 😀 ❤

  4. I save plot bunnies to snack on later…

    If a plot bunny is threatening to derail a work-in-progress and refuses to be ignored, I’ll write what is actually there of it (plot bunnies have little actual substance once you pin ’em down — they’re kinda like Peeps that way), and then go about my business. Sometime later, the bunny will be there to feed a story that’s too thin.

  5. SD Gates says:

    I have bunnies in my head!!! Yippee! I love bunnies, especially when they hop in with ideas!!! Great post!!!

  6. Anna Dobritt says:

    Reblogged this on Anna Dobritt — Author and commented:

    A post from April of this year. 😀

  7. Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    Great post on the concept of ‘plot bunnies’.

  8. I never heard that expression before, I like it!

  9. Pingback: Plot Bunnies — Anna Dobritt — Author | Arrowhead Freelance and Publishing

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