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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Five Tips for Beating Writers Block

November 9, 2009 at 10:48 pm (Writing Tips)

Okay, so I’m currently typing this up outside of Colfax Iowa…somewhere…in the country…and I’m kinda of freaked out. Okay, so we’re only here because of Trainland USA. Yeah, my dad wanted to see a train museum. It’s closed but the guy is giving my pops a free tour and I’m stuck in the car with the rest of the family. *DORK ALERT* 

Now I’m going to give a few quick tips today…seeing as how I have the time.

Anyway, about the tips. I think we all know that writer’s block can be a serious, serious distraction, seriously. And when it comes to NaNo, that can be a really bad deal because, well, it’s all about the writing…not the blocking of the writing. So here are some very simple tips to defeat writers block.

  1. Just Take A Break:  Okay, it sounds silly to stop writing when you’re trying to, you know, write but clearing your mind for half an hour to catch the end of “Gilmore Girls” isn’t always a bad idea. Forcing it will just make it harder.
  2. Take a Shower: Sometimes writers block is only the result of stress. Take a hot shower and let it wash away all the worries that NaNo might have caused you. Besides that, you do really need to remember to bathe at least once a week during November. Bad sanitary habits just aren’t healthy.
  3. Listen to Music: Again, this is really all about just taking a little time to focus on something besides writing. Trying to force through your writers block will only make it harder for you.
  4. Do Writing Prompts: These can actually help add to your word count. There are plenty of writing websites out there that list writing prompts. Just google ‘writing prompts’ and I bet you’ll find something to help you out. Heck, you might even be able to incorporate your prompt into your NaNo.
  5. Don’t Think About the Story: Seriously, just stop thinking about it. I’ll know if you’re thinking and then I’ll have to sick the Zombie UPS guy on you.

 

Well, we’re about to leave the train thingy *eye roll* so farewell again from lilymoore until we get to a hotel with wireless internet. *bows*

Oh….and stop thinking about your story. or else.

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Tips For Creating a Comfortable Writing Environment

October 28, 2009 at 11:06 am (Writing Tips)

Hey there everybody! Sense I’ve been doing NaNo for several years now and I’ve been writing for just as long, if not longer, I figured I probably have enough experience to give out a few tips.

And today, we’re going to talk about the five elements of…Getting Comfy…as a writer…not together. *head out of gutter*

  1. Location: Not only do you want to be someplace where you are creatively comfortable, you also want to be writing someplace where you are physically comfortable. But what you have to remember about that is the concern of getting too comfy. So much so that you pass out, drool all over the keyboard, and get electrocuted. Keep the lighting a little brighter than you maybe like it and don’t lay down on the couch, sit up straight at a table.
  2. Organization: Another important thing to remember is staying organized. If you have a writing desk or some sort of designated writing area, keep it in enough order so as not to lose everything. Not only that, but make sure you have the essentials (dictionary, reference material, coffee mug, pencils, pens) with you so you aren’t having to get up every five minutes to find something. Trust me, it’s counter productive.
  3. Food/Drink: Some people like to nibble while they work, others don’t. It’s a matter of preference. Find out what works best for you, and then, here’s the kicker, do it.
  4. Time: Everyone has their point in time when they are most creative and least creative. Do you know what that means? That means that you shouldn’t wake up at 4 in the morning to write when you know that you’re going to end up writing about how sexy you think your pillow is and just how badly you want to snuggle with it.
  5. Noise: This is something I think every writer struggles with sometimes. Noise (and the internet) are two major distractions but noise is one that you can sometimes fix. If you need absolute silence to write, then make sure you are writing in absolute silence, even if you have to take a machete to the neighbor’s dog. (Okay, that’s a little drastic. Some ear plugs would probably work out just fine.) If you like a little noise put headphones in and listen to music that will inspire you but not distract you. As a general rule, music with lyrics is likely to be more of a distraction then music without so keep that in mind.

Anyway, I hope that at least a few of these tips and the ones that will likely follow, were helpful to even one person out there as you prepare to Write or Die in 2009. NaNoWriMo, here we come!

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