Friday, August 22, 2014

attack of the plot bunnies

I'm human. I get distracted. I get distracted a lot, actually. I get distracted by the fact that my t-shirt sometimes accidentally matches my socks, by forgetting what somebody's middle name is and then having to recall/research that information, by old papers, and by this dangerous (oh I'm so punny) song.


I get distracted a lot.


And when you're writing, distraction is not a good thing.


I mean this in a strictly "idea" based setting. Getting distracted after writing for an hour or two by being hungry or needing to use the restroom or just wanting to chill and listen to music is perfectly okay. Healthy, even.


However, being distracted by a new idea when you're smack dab (or worse, at a lull) in your writing is the literal worst.

Since I completed Section A of the great ones and the general, I decided to let myself have some time off--both for sanity and for editing's sake. I spent a lot of time letting my creative muscle rest (except for the little outlining I worked on) and filling in the gaps of A, of which there was a lot. I was especially on my guard for new ideas. Now is NOT the time to get distracted, and while I think I'm invested and excited in this story enough that it wouldn't have been a problem, I was still prepared.

That preparation payed off.

The other day, while reading one of the books I got for my birthday, a plot bunny struck me. Actually, it wasn't even a bunny at that point. It was just an idea, a thought. "Why does this never happen in books?" I asked myself. "What would a book with this in it be like?" It made my resting creative muscle twitch, and that set alarm bells ringing. Instantly, I shoved that idea into the deepest, darkest closet of my mind and tried to forget about it. It was to no avail. I couldn't stop thinking about it. There were several moments I literally got out a pen and paper and almost wrote a short story on it, but I stopped for two reasons. Firstly, because I didn't want to be distracted, and secondly, because I wanted to give this idea more than just a little scribble on two or three pages. I wanted to flesh it out, to give it bones. And right now, when I'm focusing on tgoatg, I can't do that.

So I sighed and moved on.

This afternoon, while watching The Night Watchmen (first episode: SO MANY CUTE LITTLE KIDS.) another idea blossomed. This time, I was prepared for the plot bunny attack. I got out my handy-dandy notebook and my mechanical pencil and began cleaning the dusty plot bunnies out of my closet and onto the page.

That isn't writing. That isn't getting 100% distracted from my work. That isn't shoving the idea back into my mind and potentially forgetting about it.

That's actually being a smart writer and saving your idea for a future date.


I don't know why it took me so long to figure this out; it seems like a no-brainer. Sometimes, it's hard to write the ideas down so quickly. I like to let things churn in my mind, to let them grow a tiny bit, just to see if they're actually worth saving. But sometimes that little bit is enough for the idea to take over my whole mind, and I'm pulled away from my main project. Sometimes I get ideas in the worst places--like in the middle of a dark movie theater or while I'm mowing the yard. I can't exactly run to my room or fish my notebook out of my pocket in those situations. So I guess I'm going to have to find a delicate balance.

But I've defeated the incoming horde of plot bunnies...for now!!!!


What do you do with plot bunnies? Ignore them? Write them down and let them ferment? Drop everything else and pursue them with all that you've got? In fact, tell me some of your plot bunnies! I want to hear about you all and your writing escapades--especially those pesky little bunnies. :)

Here are my main three plot bunnies at the moment, if you were interested. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!

  • extraordinary girl falls for the world's most ordinary boy, who really doesn't reciprocate the feelings (seriously, why does this never happen in the books I read? Not only does it mean having a strong, independent female lead--who is also one gorgeous chick--but also a male lead who isn't shallow, has brains, and is potentially the world's most adorable dork? This needs to happen.)
  • hey, remember icarus? well, that puppy needs finishing. And world building. And an actual plot. Not just a smattering of ideas shoved together. Besides, Felyn is totally an awesome name, and she needs to be boss or something.
  •  ghosts/demons/spirity things exist. A handful of people can see them.These ghosties are good and evil--but mostly on the evil side--and the See-ers (Seers? Something like that. Eyes?) are trying to get rid of them. Here's the catch--those who can see the spirits can't harm them, and vice verse. Only those who are clueless about the spirits' existence can destroy them or be destroyed by them.

2 comments:

  1. DO THE SPIRIT ONE!

    My NaNoWriMo this year is gonna be about spirits and demons and creepy as heck things. so DO IT! I'd read that. well, I'd read anything you write, but I would thoroughly enjoy the last one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OOOOH! Me likey creepy stuff. I would totes read your spirirty demony thingie!!

      hmmmm...maybe I'll do my spirit story for NaNo too... *begins scheming pose* :)

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