Monday, 5 June 2017

3 ways to get rid of impossibly persistent story ideas

As some of you probably know already, I'm currently working through the third (ish?) draft of Rogue Escarlate. Editing has happened, and I'm giving it a last polish/read before sending it off to alpha readers. *screams dramatically* 

And I have one very important exciting plan for once I do that.

I'm going to take a break.

No more writing. No more editing. Just life. And I'm really looking forward to it.

But there's just one problem. If you're flighty or easily scared, don't read the next paragraph. Just warning you.

Plot bunnies.

SOMEONE HELP. I'm being surrounded by these amazing little creatures of fluffy evilness and they won't stop. I keep getting more and more ideas.

(Shhh yes this picture totally relates to the post. It's a road, because everything about writing is a journey. OF COURSE. *ahem*)

Now, I'm sure you've been in this situation too. Drowning under fluff and cuteness and floppy ears. But have no fear, because I am now officially an expert and today I'm here to tell you three ways to get rid of these impossible, persistent story/character ideas.

Just face it. You can't now and you never will be able to stop these. They will come and go as they please and you have absolutely no control over them at all. I'm sorry, but it's true. You're just going to have to deal with it.

2: Maybe...listen to them instead?
If you're struggling to focus on your current dystopian work in progress because of all these fantasy characters dancing around in your brain, maybe that's actually something you need to think about. What if your futuristic creativity needs to take a break? Take a breath and listen to these bunnies and maybe even schedule in a break -even as short as one day- where you'll either a) stop writing altogether or b) write some of those snippets that are dyyying to be written. 
It might be just the thing that your creativity needs.

(And as it happens I'm soon taking both option a and b and hoping for the fullest result. But I'll have to tell you that in July when I've finished the experiment.)

3: Humour them
Do what they want. Write them. It'll be fun, even if it distracts you from your current WIP. And seriously! Why else do you write except for fun? Over the last month or so I've had plenty of fun writing little snippets of different things. And playing around with different tenses (about 80% of them were in 1st person present tense because that intrigues me and I wanted to try it out) and settings and ideas and gosh. It's just so much fun.

And because I KNOW you're all so curious to know what random plot bunnies I've been having recently (you weren't? WELL TOO BAD. Because I'm putting them here anyways. XD), I thought I'd include some of the little scraps of stuff that I've written randomly.

- contemporary road-tripping (pov character is about 17) -

I think I'm going to pass out.
His foot goes back, but then he howls something incomprehensible, clutching at his shin. Zap is scowling up at him, positioning herself between the boys and me.
"Stop it." Her voice is clear and not even quavering.
Better than I could do.
He stares, his eyes wide and disbelieving. "What?"
"Stop hurting my brother." Zap crosses her arms over her chest, head tipped far up to look at him. "Or else."
If not for the pain pounding through my temples, I might laugh. A five year old girl, facing down a teen boy.
And winning.
He backs off a pace, his gaze flicking to me for a moment before waving a hand impatiently at his friends. "Come on," he snarls. "I'm sick of this."
Zap stick out her tongue in his direction. "And don't come back!"
I can't do anything but stare as she turns to me. She smiles nervously, curling a finger in her hair. "Are you okay?" This time her voice wobbles a little bit.
She's still my little girl.
I push myself onto my elbow and hug her quickly. "I'll be all right."
A real smile comes this time and I smile back. Reaching out, she brushes a finger against my cheekbone, elicting a wince. "You need fixing."
I nod slightly. "We'll go back to the hotel and see if we can get an ice pack."
She takes my hand, trying to help me to my feet. It makes it harder actually, but I let her try anyway. The throbbing in my head dizzies me, but her hand clasped in mine is like an anchor.
"Come on." She tugs me lightly. "We need to fix you now."

- fantasy + seers and magic powers - 

The long grass swayed above his head, deceitfully peaceful in the contrast to his throbbing heart.
He gulped in shaking breaths, trying not to let any audible gasps pass through his lips.
But he knew that the dog could follow his scent. It didn't really matter how loud he was if he couldn't keep running.
Shoving up from his hands and knees, he started running again, stumbling on twigs and roots that seemed like branches and trees to him. His hair kept flopping into his eyes, but he didn't have time to push it back.
The ground vibrated slightly and fear swept up behind him, engulfing him in the form of a low, canine growl.
He could never run fast enough.

- more fantasy + dragons this time -

I flop back onto the grass, staring up a the sky. "Ugh."
The dragon puffs a curl of smoke over above me and I roll over onto my elbow.
"Really?" I jump to my feet and kick a tuft of grass. " 'How do I save the princess?' 'Go ask the dragon of course.' " I mimic the warlock's voice and tone perfectly, bending and yanking out a piece of grass from a bunch and proceeding to rip it into small shreds.
"And not even the smallest question of whether I actually can talk to dragons." I throw the grass viciously, but the dragon puffs again and it all flies right back into my face.
I splutter and collapse onto the ground again, groaning. "I don't care if you're nine-hundred-and-whatever-ridiculous-number years old. You're absolutely no use to me because I can't understand dragon's tongue."

- beauty and the beast retelling (and yes the main character is invisible) -

He shivers, wrapping his arms over himself. "Wish there was a moon." His breath puffed white in the air.
"But nights without the moon are better."
"How so?"
I gaze up at my home in the sky. "Because then you can see the stars."
Shivers trill my spine and for a moment I feel light, tiny galaxies sparkling in my transparent fingertips.
"Huh." My Prince hunches his shoulders to his ears. "Talking to myself again." He shakes his head, turning back to the door.
Everything is cold again.
I can hear the stars sighing.

I also have a fairly new superhero character and a steampunk aviator who has a tragic backstory that makes me feel like the most evil person ever. (And also a short story but more about that in another post. *nods*)

But I'm still getting places with my editing, and I'm hoping to have it finished and ready for my alpha readers in a day or two. (*screams again*) And then I'm going to take my own advice and take a nice break from writing until Camp NaNo smashes into me before I'm expecting it and I promptly drown after crash-landing in the ocean because I failed at winging it.

Are you hyped for July Camp already??
(I would be, but I'm stubbornly ignoring the fact that it's ALREADY INSANELY CLOSE)
(also - post upcoming about available spaces in my camp nano cabinnnn *flails excitedly* so watch out for that so you don't miss it)
What do you do to deal with plot bunnies?

(and shhh no one point out that this post was basically useless and was me just whipping something up randomly because I wanted to post something today. >.<)


  1. *stalks email impatiently* XD
    PLOT BUNNIES MY LOVELY NEMESES (how do you even spell the plural version O.o) XD
    how do I deal with them
    scratch down the ideas until they're done and then go back to my current project
    doesn't always work, but it seemed to the last time I used it?
    *shh, they might be listening* *might have just jinxed myself*
    although I did have a couple short story ideas with my current WIP charries, which isn't bad really. I'm calling 'em character development and just going with it, so who knows. XP
    this felt really random and disjointed, sorry. XP
    *still stalks email excitedly* :P

    1. IT IS COMING. XD Soon.
      Yaaass. In some ways I love them but at the same time they're evil...(Who knows xP)
      Oh yes that *covers bunnies' ears* sounds like it would work.
      I've done that before. XD In fact, once I got to a point where those short stories actually were better than the original novel so I switched and turned the stories into the main focus. XD And it actually worked really well?
      Nuu random is fine. *cough* Like this entire blog post. *cough* :P

    2. YAY XD
      ikr... XD
      oh yeah, cooool. :D I had a plot bunny idea that turned into my whole setting/story world, so that was really neat. *nods* now the bunnies are for fluff drabbles for after the story that takes place in the book. *sighs and writes them anyways* XD
      hooray for randomness :P

    3. Ooh nice. It's so cool when that happens. *sighs* That's not so fun though. I had a HUGE problem with that happening when I was trying to write the first draft of book 3 because my brain was just "Let's skip to the haaaappy part okay??" XD

  2. YOUR SNIPPETS THOUGH -FLAILS- I definitely think you should listen to your plot bunnies... but I mean you should also edit? #priorities GO EDIT SO I CAN READ YOUR BOOK PLS XD

    1. YEET. *FLAILS ALSO* It's such a problem though. Like, should I listen...but should I edit so that I can be done that first??
      BUT YES IT IS COMING. I shall finish part one today and then stick it in a doc and EEK. *screams because it's exciting and terrifying*

  3. AAHHH CONGRATS ON ALPHA READERS IT'S GOING TO BE A BLAST. I don't know how you're going to take a writing break though *squints* Do you have any tips for calming the writing monster constantly trying to get out? ;)

    My greatest defense against plot bunnies is scrap paper and pinterest boards xD

    audrey caylin

    1. THANK YOU!!! *flails* I definitely hope so. :D
      To be honest...I have no idea. XD But I think it won't actually be that hard if I fill my time with lots of reading and hanging out with my little siblings (I have a few plans for some fun stuff to do with them <3). And there'll probably be a little bit of writing happening, but nothing with a deadline or any reason other than for fun. And that'll be the main point. It'll be allll the plot bunnies time. :P

      Yasss pinterest boards. XD I have a heap of them that are sitting there and every now and then I get a random impulse to scroll through and look at them again and think about the day that I'll have time to write them all. xP

  4. Dude. Your snippets are excellent and I'm trying so hard to keep calm but I CAN'T EVEN PICK A FAVOURITE 'COS THEY'RE ALL TOO AWESOME xD *ahem* Great Job! :D

    Regarding plotbunnies and all their fluffiness, I usually just fill up a document with everything I can think of for that idea. Annnnnd then proceed to get nothing actually done xP

    1. EEK YAS. *bounces* Thank you! They were all very fun to write. :D

      Tsk tsk no no no. That's not good. Unless the stories/ideas are actually brilliant plans of geniusy - in which case, I'm not complaining. But you need to write allll the things. xP

  5. Erhem... me with plot bunnies... *Looks vaguely guilty* Uh, they grow... and get huge files... and, yeah, are in general half written stories by the time I'm done with them... when I should be doing homework...
    Oooh, the Beauty and the Beast one looks interesting.... I like that bunny. *Nods* Good bunny.

    Ah, I must admit, you write posts like this very well, they are informative and entertaining, I like them!

    1. Hehe yass but as long as they're good ideas that's okay. XD Except homework is also important I guess.
      EEP THANKS. *grins*
      Yass that's one of my favourites actually. BUT I LOVE THEM ALL. *drowns under piles of fluffiness*

      Aw thank you! I would say "I try" except it just comes naturally. XD

  6. Hmmm, I'm pretty new at all this writing stuff, so I haven't really had that problem yet, but thanks for all the tips! Wow, your posts are preparing me for everything writing problem based. XD Thank you!
    Heehee, I like writing about characters that have tragic backstories. I don't know why. Congrats on your Rogue book!!! I can't wait to read it!!!!!!! XD
    What is your superhero story about?

    1. You're welcome. XD I hope they'll be useful for if the problems ever come up! :P
      Yas same. It's so evil, but I still keep doing it anyway?? XP
      THANK YOUUUU!!! *flails excitedly*
      Officially that character doesn't have a very clear plot line. He's mostly just character bunny (totally didn't just invent that right then xD). But he's got a mysterious backstory and a secret power and he must rise to save the world right when everything he cares about is at stake. *dramatic music* (Also, just note, the 'everything he cares about' is not a love interest. It's probably his parents actually.)

    2. YES thank you for writing about someone who cares about his parents. I'm excited! :-D XD
      So evil. XP
      Yep, definitely will be useful. :-)

  7. *gasp*
    Your dragon and prince snippet was amazing!

    Normally when I get plot bunnies, I let them simmer in the back of my mind until I can form them into a story. (I just realized I said I was simmering bunnies. Oops. I mean the idea or the....well, you know what I mean)
    I actually haven't been plagued with plot bunnies recently, since I've been pounding away in every second of my free time trying to get my first draft finished by the end of June...So when I'm not working, my brain just kind a sits there like an exhausted pile of tapioca.

    -Mary Kate

    1. *squeals* Awh thank you!! ^-^

      HAHA YES. Simmer those bunnies. XD Okay but that made me laugh. XP
      Well that's good. WOOHOO! How close are you to finishing? *gives you motivational pizza* You can do it.

  8. That sounds like an awesome twist on the Beauty and the Beast story!


    Jem Jones

    1. Yeet thanks! I really love it too. Amnesic princes, evil beauties, invisible star-nymphs yasss. <3

      YES JEEZ THAT'S MY EXACT THOUGHTS. *slaps time for going so unfairly fast*

  9. Your snippits are /amazing/. 'Specially the contemporary road trip one. *nods*

    Your blog graphic totally fits. Just rename the post "plot kangaroos' and you've got it. :P

    AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH CAMP NANO!!!!!!! Actually I'm surprisingly calm about it. I'm pretty much completely ready. *deep breath*

    Normally I just stick plot bunnies in a word doc? It works surprisingly well. The basic idea with maybe a sentence or two expanding about it, then I can safely forget about it until I finish the current project. That way they're all safe in one spot and I can go back when I have time.

    1. *flails* THANK YOUUU!!

      Haha YES. I SHOULD'VE THOUGHT OF THAT. XD *notes that down for next time because it's genius*


      Ooh yes that sounds like a good, smart plan.

  10. Have you sent your precious (lol, LOTR pun intended...) off to alpha readers yet? :) I'd be interested in reading for you.
    Yesss.... Camp NaNo is BACK and this is crazy.... I'm finishing my novel and hopefully will have a quick break, then I write a compilation of Lyme disease sufferers' stories... I'm excited for it. Just gotta get it rolling, lol.
    God bless, Jane!
    -Ang |

    1. Eep yes I have actually. Awh thank you!! I might just take you up on that offer some day. *hugs*
      I'm excited for Camp NaNo...But at the same time I've vaguely freaking out because WHAT IN THE WORLD WILL I DO. I HAVE NO PLANS OR ANYTHING. *panics*


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