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Topic Tuesday #2: Plot Bunnies (a day late)


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I was in transit yesterday, coming home from an Epic Weekend of immersive storytelling. Otherwise known as, "I was getting my nerd on by playing some Dungeons and Dragons." So, I apologize for not posting this yesterday. Before I start this week's topic if anyone has suggestions for Topic Tuesday, please feel free to share them, or Start a Topic Tuesday (or any topic), and we can work together.


"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." - John Steinbeck

I've always heard that Steinbeck's quote above was the foundation of the Plot Bunny meme. Well, it's true. Stories, Worldbuilding, Characters, Plots, Scenes, are all like rabbits, and they breed rapidly. I don't know about anyone else, but for myself, I end up with a TON of ideas. Most I write down in my "Notes Journal" and look at them from time to time, to see if I feel they are viable to use. There's some I've gotten and had not have time to write them down and soon forgot them.


So, what about you? How do you handle the Plot Bunnies? Can you herd them, and get them written down? Or do you turn them into Rabbit Stew?

Let us know how you do it, and Let's Work Together!

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I prefer to think of them as weeds.  Some grow like mad and are pretty, so i keep them. Other i quickly douse with round-up and kill them dead.   The ones i keep end up in my folder... they could also have a first chapter written, which i keep and nurture until it's a story. 

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Bit morbid, there. I like it anyway. Hehe. You've reminded me of a set of articles by @Lugh. (Which are awesome and funny. Murdered muses, suffering slugs, and more. I'm just too lazy to look them up. XP.)


I often make use of two things to relay my thought process. 

(Ok, 2 suggestions: Formatting controls at the bottom [so they move with you as you write these. 《Especially when margined for mobile posts become inconveniently long to scroll back up》]  And bulleted/numbered lists. With or without indent controls.)


Squirrel! Oh! Case in point! I didn't even plan that. Ok, where was I? (As if any of you know...)


1. The squirrel gag from UP! (Disney/Pixar)  someone else's compilation of squirrel moments from the movie

They are a close relative of Plot Bunnies. Thus my point of relevance. My squirrels are fast, agile, clever, demonstrate cooperative tactics, some are carrying smoke peanuts and fragmentation acorns. ( translation - they're hard to catch, and when you corner them they fight back)


When I catch a really important one, whole squads of it's family regiment will attempt to overwhelm my position and stage a rescue. (The Air Corp  [flying squirrels] are particularly effective, and adorable) I think it's happening, I was supposed to be on number 2 by now. Take cover!


Prisoners of imagination must therefore be catalogued and interrogated quickly. 


Sometimes, I must stage a strategic withdrawal back to secured ground. 


2. Rivers and Streams of Consciousness 


 My thoughts and ideas, my words and phrases, exposition, description, dialogue, actions, reflections, all unfold in a largely continuous flow from (hopefully) beginning to end. The natural process of decision making, through the voice of my narrator and the reactions of the cast and the world, move the story. 


Ever try to pause a river? Unless you're Batman, freezing a river isn't in the cards. An idea river? "foggetaboutit." Not gonna happen. I've lost scenes, chapters, entire acts to the simple fact the river kept going while I couldn't write it down. 


Season the whole environment liberally with jungles, dark woods, swamps, quicksand, and other hazzards i must carry chase them,and mutant squirrels that look like large predators. Tigers, bears, bugbears, ratmen (The European  Verminati or the Asian Nezumikuza), the list goes on, and you'll have a rough idea. 


It's somewhere between "it's dangerous to go alone" and "abandon all hope ye who enter here," with a pronounced lean to the Dante side of things. 


Added fun: my mood radically alters the landscape, the currents, the types, temperament, and armament of the squirrels. 


This one time,  even though I still had the the map, the overview, and a lot of other supports, the entire contenent was impassable  for most of oh... six years. Hmm... how long was i dormant? Yeah, that's about right.


I hope the whole place didn't turn into one of those only above the water every so-many years Magic Turtle Islands.  I did *not* authorize a giant turtle. 


Did something just bellow? I better...


I just saw a plump squirrel, I'll see you guys later. *dives into the brush*


*fading voice* " I've been experimenting with digital tape recorders, I keep leaving them behind and then getting the ideas..."

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I am rather obsessive with keeping my ideas written down. Hehehe! Well, more on that this Saturday, I guess. BUT...my ideas and my current emotions are one and the same. Which is why I always write what I'm feeling while I'm in the 'moment'. It's not about losing the idea or the notes or the plan/strategy behind creating the story. It's about losing that EMOTION. "This is what I'm feeling right now. Joy, confusion, heartache, depression, horniness, anger..." The plot builds itself around my emotions. So I guess those bunnies are just as spontaneous as I am sometimes!


LOL! Don't worry, dude. A day late is commendable when it comes to you enjoying life itself. We won't beat you up for having fun 'away from keyboard'! :) 


Yep, I spelled it out. Because...reasons.

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I try not to give my attention to more than three or four stories at one time, or I start "bouncing" between them, only writing a few sentences instead of paragraphs. If I think I have something truly spectacular, I write it down in a journal and revisit the idea later. :)

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  • 3 months later...

I carry a notebook with me at all times.

Ideas can hit at any time and so I try to write things down as soon as I can.

I also use the memo and notes apps on my phone and iPad. I have been known to record a voice note on my phone halfway to wherever I'm heading, handsfree headphones with microphones are a wonderful thing :P 

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  • 1 month later...

I look at plots I have written down, and I say to myself: "This isn't too close to what XXX over here has already written?" If something sounds too similar to a book or story already available, I toss it into the pot to make stew. "Nobody needs to read a different version of this story again, but I really like these two characters, so I'll keep them." :)

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