Fighting Those Dastardly Plot Bunnies

January 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm (Writing Tips)

Some writers will sit down at their computer, break out the typewriter, or reach for a fresh sheet of notebook paper and wait for that one great idea to hit them. Others find themselves being swarmed by herds of angry bunnies until they are forced to write them all down. Yes, I did say bunnies. But these aren’t any ordinary bunnies. Nope, they’re the dreaded plot bunnies – those hundreds of constantly multiplying ideas that keep running around in your head.

But plot bunnies can be fought, and here are a few tips, tricks, and ideas to help you combat those fluffy villains.

1. Where’s Waldo? We’ve probably all spent time looking for that sneaky Waldo, trying to spot that one sly little man in a crowd of people. And that’s what you need to do with your ideas. Look through that crowd of ideas and find that one idea that shines uniquely above the rest.

2. Write It and Forget It. How many times have you been writing away on your story, content with how things are going when out of nowhere, a plot bunny jumps at you and starts nibbling on your nose like a carrot stick? And suddenly, all you want to do is write about that bunny. Well do it. Write down everything about that idea that you can until you find yourself having to search for inspiration. Write it out of your system then take it and store it away. Finish what you had originally been working on before you decide to look at that plot bunny again.

3. Talk About the Bunnies. How often do you find yourself talking to yourself about that really awesome idea that you just had in math class while you’re walking home from school? Probably a lot if you’re like many other writers. But when you’ve got a billion bunnies in your head, which one do you want to talk about most. You know, don’t you? Well that’s the idea that you should put all of your focus on. Ignore the ones that aren’t nearly as important to talk to yourself about and maybe, just maybe, you’ll remember those other lesser bunnies once you’ve fully told that really important bunnies story.

4. Put Your Bunnies up for Adoption. Well Mr./Mrs. Too Many Ideas, why not give away some of those ideas that you don’t want any more. There are groups and websites all over the net where people give their plot bunnies up for adoption. Even giving a plot bunny to a friend on YWS can mean giving that bunny a good home.

5. Write What You’re Passionate About. Take a look at all the bunnies running around. Which one of those bunnies do you feel most passionate about? Are you trying to choose between writing about a post-civil war home rebuilding or about a pre-apocalyptic alien take over? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Choose what you’re truly feeling the most passion for and then go crazy.

6. Seeing It Is Believing It. Creative people are more likely to understand ideas and flourish when they can visualize a problem. That’s why it’s often a good idea to sort ideas by color. Trying things like using post-it note cards on your walls with your ideas written on them in different colors – green for ideas you really like; yellow for ones that you kind of like; red for ideas that you don’t like at all – can make sorting through your ideas easier.

7. Just Think It Out. Sometimes the problem you’re facing with those dastardly bunnies is too much to fight, even with these tips. So do you know what that means? No, don’t give up writing! Just sit down and ask yourself which one you really want to write and take your story from there.

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