Aren't I a good little blogger? Look at me, keeping my word on what I post. I promised you guys a happier post, and here you are! ENOUGH ABOUT DEAD BUTTERFLIES.
Now we have ...
(just in case you didn't know, bunnies are my favorite animal so I might go a little crazy with bunny love in this post. asking forgiveness in advance.)
LOOK AT THE RUNNING LITTLE BUNNY!!!!!!!!!! ISN'T IT ADORABLE???
Wait don't leave! I promise this is writing related.
You've all heard the phrase, "rabbit trails" right? Or, "plot bunnies"? So you're sitting there typing ever so slowly on this idea you've been working on for three stinkin' years ... and your hands just don't want to move and your brain is mush and what do you even like about this story anyway? The MC is soooo dull. The plot is sooooo dull. Everything about this story seems sooooo dull and you're sick and tired of it and struggling not to just print out your whole document and burn it. (just deleting it on the computer wouldn't be satisfying enough, lets face it.)
And then, all of a sudden ... A BUNNY! LOOK AT IT.
It's running hard, and if you don't throw everything down right this second, it's going to get away. And it's so cute and fluffy and adorable and exciting ... how can you not toss aside your WIP and race after it?
And so you do. You close your doc and pull up a new one and stop that bunny in its tracks. It's a little slippery and challenging to snare, but once you've got it you're all the more satisfied with it. It's snuggled up in your arms and it's SO STINKIN' CUTE.
You've caught the little ball of fluffy delightfulness, and you've got your cup of coffee and your notebook and you're scribbling frantically and getting ink on your hands and lots of cramps and it's just so wonderful and new. You've caught it! It's so exciting, this new idea. Any thought of your WIP is long gone. That poor project is lost in the chase of the new, lively bunny.
And then, once you have about one little page of hastily scribbled notes, your conscious kicks in.
You were supposed to write 2k words today, drat. And you're behind from yesterday's goal, too. You need to grind out 4k, or else you'll lose the steam you've been keeping up since the beginning of the month. You're determined to finish the draft before nanowrimo in the fall so you can take a break and write something new and fresh.
So you get up. You leave your new little bunny and you sit your butt down and you begin to write.
But the bunny isn't done with you yet.
|what are you doing|
Nope. It's not having that.
|YOU MUST WRITE ME, MORTAL|
Your hands falter on the keys and you bite your lip, torn with indecision. You can't think about your WIP anyway ... so maybe you could just pull up the doc/journal page for your new idea and ...
Thirty minutes later, you snap out of it. It's ten oclock! You have to hit your word count. So you go back to your WIP and you set the timer for twenty minutes and you WILL NOT STOP FOR ANYTHING. The house could catch fire, your little brother could come running in with a pirahnha clinging to his nose, or all your stuffed animals could come to life and began playing duck duck goose in a circle around you, but you refuse to budge.
You will finish this.
The bunny is angry you've left it again. He sticks his face in yours once more and growls, WHY YOU NO WRITE ME.
|LET ME LOVE YOU|
The clock ticks on and so do you. The bunny goes ignored.
The bunny isn't happy. The bunny is sad. His angry steam isn't working, so he decides to take a new tactic.
|but ... why can't you write me?|
Through sheer willpower, you ignore the adorable creature hovering over your shoulder and grind out your 4k. They stink though. They're so forced, and you don't know what to do about it. But they're words, and you'll have to settle for them.
The rest of the week is much the same. Every time you turn around, the bunny is there. Sometimes furiously demanding, sometimes slightly sad.
|why you no love me|
The bunny doesn't care. He stands there watching you, head tilted, whiskers quivering. That's when you know you've got to do something. You can't just ignore it.
But what do you do? What do you do when that amazing, new, tempting idea is lurking and prodding and making all the words you put into your WIP forced and terrible, because your heart has shifted and you don't feel the love for it in that moment?
The key is to get the bunny to quiet down for a while. You've got to lull the fluff-ball to sleep. Then it won't lurk, it won't follow you around, and it won't fluff up adorably and give you the big baby eyes, distracting you from what you need to be working on.
Now you know what you need to do. But ... how do you lull the rabbit to sleep?
Writing and time. That's the only thing you can do. You open the doc/journal for the new idea and you let yourself get lost in its fresh, beautiful wonder for just a day or two. You make a map. You come up with the names of your characters. You get a vague idea for the plot.
Now that you're paying attention, the bunny doesn't have to work so hard to be noticed. He can relax a bit. Snuggle up.
You're so close. It's been three days since you've left your WIP. But just a bit longer ... just this last plot point you want to get down and then ...
|the bunny is out|
Awwwww he's asleep! FINALLY! Like a mother with her whiny newborn, you slip out of your chair and gently pick the baby up, praying you don't wake him. You carry the little rabbit to a bundle of blankets where you tuck him to sleep for a good long while. Hopefully.
The bunny is fast asleep now, and you go back to your WIP feeling refreshed from your small break. It actually helped to think about another idea, and you plunge back into the old one with renewed vigor.
Like that mother with the baby, you only have a certain amount of time before you hear the crying that means your free time is up. The bunny will wake, but hopefully he'll sleep longer than a baby would. In the meantime, you can write on your WIP undisturbed (for the most part).
I don't get a lot of book ideas (about one every month or so) but when I do, they are massive, beautiful bunnies that demand my attention, usually for several days. Once I stop ignoring them and give them the time and attention they want, they usually quiet down and I can go back to my WIP after those few days of indulgence. I'm going to write this story eventually, anyway. The time is not wasted. It's good to take a break and have fun with a new idea for a while.
Can you relate to this? Do you get lots of book ideas? What do you do when a plot bunny is lurking?
*Just to let you know, I am on a retreat currently and will not be back till late Sunday, so I will be slow in replying to comments. Thank you for taking the time to read this! I love you all!*